New Mexico Board of Examiners for Architects


What’s New in Continuing Education

What is continuing education?

According to Part 3 of the Board’s Rules [NMAC B.(1) (b)], “Continuing education is post licensure learning that enables a registered architect to increase or update knowledge of and competence in technical and professional subjects related to the practice of architecture to safeguard the public’s health, safety and welfare.”

What is the time frame in which I have to accumulate my credit hours, and how do I keep track of what I've done?

Registrants shall acquire 12 credits/hours per calendar year in health, safety and welfare at renewal, December 31, 2018. Credits/hours should be acquired within each calendar year – no “rollover” hours are allowed at renewal. Each registrant should maintain certificates of completion and any other documentation showing proof (receipts, fliers, AIA transcripts). Currently the Board does not require a full report of each credit/hour to be submitted along with renewal, but each registrant is responsible for certifying completion on the renewal form. Keep the documentation as part of your records; the documents will be needed if the registrant’s certification is audited by the Board.

If you have an AIA transcript, please do not send it in with your renewal. The New Mexico Board requires each registrant to certify they have completed the Continuing Education requirements on renewal statement.

What is a “continuing education hour,” and how many do I need to accumulate?

A “continuing education hour” (CEH) is one continuous instructional hour (minimum 50 minutes of contact) spent in structured educational activities intended to increase or update the architect’s knowledge and competence in health, safety and welfare subjects. If the provider of the structured education activities prescribes a customary time for completion of such an activity, then such prescribed time shall, unless the board finds the prescribed time to be unreasonable, be accepted as the architect’s time for CEH purposes irrespective of actual time spent on the activity. An architect shall complete a minimum of 12 CEH each calendar year unless initially licensed in the last year of the two-year renewal cycle.

Does the board pre-approve courses?

Neither the Board nor the staff pre-approves courses. The Board expects each registrant to make the determination of settings that rise to the level of CEH as stated in the answer to the first question of this primer. Please see a comprehensive listing of topics and parameters of CEH activities – short courses at universities or colleges, architectural research, NCARB self-study courses (monographs) and public service – in Part 3 of the Rule [NMAC B. (2) and (4)]

I live in a remote area and would find it burdensome to travel for conferences where continuing education may be offered. Is there another way for me to acquire CEH?

There are many options available through distance learning for those who do not have access to in-person contact. Self-study courses offered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and the American Institute of Architects are examples of this option. The Board offers five, free scenarios regarding ethics on its website. Completion of each scenario is worth 1 credit in health, safety and welfare (HSW).

Do I submit all my records and documentation of the activities I completed when I renew my license in the fall of 2018?

No. A registrant needs to certify they have completed the required 12 CEH per year at the upcoming renewal (December 31, 2018). The Board conducts a random audit of registrants regarding continuing education. If you are audited you will be required to submit proof of completion of the activities you certified as having completed. Do keep all receipts and proof of attendance in the event you are audited.

Can I renew and certify completion of CEH if I haven’t completed all of the CEH?

No. Your renewal will be processed only if you have certified you have completed 12 CEH of health, safety and welfare for year 2018. Remember, all fees are non-refundable and late renewals mean late fees.

Are exemptions granted?

Exemptions are listed under NMAC B (8)

Does the Board consider hardship cases?

Under NMAC B (10), the Board can consider a hardship case. During the last renewal cycle, the board considered a few medical hardship cases. These registrants were asked to provide a letter of explanation and a letter from the physician.

*** Please remember, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the entire rule pertaining to continuing education. Please read NMAC

Important Explanation of Public Service

In order to provide clarity, the Board is offering the following additional information for the continuing education option related to public service.

The item, listed under (h) states: "up to four (4) contact hours in service to the public that is directly related to the practice of architecture in the area of public protection, also known as health, safety and welfare."

The Board is defining this provision as: committees or boards commissioned by a public governing authority or working on behalf of a non-profit entity whose purpose is to define or regulate professional practice in the field of architecture.

The Board will require a letter of explanation or appointment from the entity defining the registrant's role in order for a registrant to obtain these contact hours.

Architect Emeritus

"Architect Emeritus" is a title established by Board rule for those who have retired from the practice of architecture, are 60 years of age or older, and have had ten years of continuous practice, five of which have been as a registered architect in New Mexico. Architects Emeritus are exempt from continuing education requirements. Application should be made in writing and should positively state the individual is retired from the practice of architecture.

Health, Safety, and Welfare Subject Matter

By rule, (2) (b) NMAC, “Health, safety and welfare in architecture” is anything that relates to the structure or soundness of a building or site or its role in promoting the health, safety or wellbeing of its occupants. Also, HSW subjects are technical and professional subjects within the following enumerated areas:

NMAC B. (2) (c)
  1. Building systems: structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, communications, security, fire protection.
  2. Construction contract administration: contracts, bidding, contract negotiations.
  3. Construction documents: drawings, specifications, delivery methods.
  4. Design: urban planning, master planning, building designs, site designs, interiors, safety and security measures.
  5. Environmental: energy efficiency, sustainability, natural resources, natural hazards, hazardous materials, weatherproofing, insulation.
  6. Legal: laws, codes, zoning, regulations, standards, life safety, accessibility, ethics, insurance to protect owners and public.
  7. Materials and methods: construction systems, products, finishes, furnishings, equipment.
  8. Pre-design: land use analysis, programming, site selection, site and soils analysis, surveying.
  9. Preservation: historic, reuse, and adaptation.
Health, Safety, and Welfare in architecture is anything that relates to the structure or soundness of a building or site.


  • Health: Aspects of architecture that have salutary effects among users of buildings or sites and address environmental issues. Examples would be appropriate air temperature, humidity, and quality; adequate provisions for personal hygiene; and nontoxic materials or finishes.
  • Safety: Aspects of architecture intended to limit or prevent accidental injury or death among users of buildings or sites. Examples would be the provision of fire-rated egress enclosures, automatic sprinkler systems, and stairs with correct rise-to-run proportions.
  • Welfare: Aspects of architecture that engender positive emotional responses among, or enable equal access by, users of building or sites. Examples would be spaces whose scale, proportions, materials, and color are pleasing for the intended use; spaces that afford natural light and views of nature; and provisions for users with disabilities.

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