Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – for the stressed and overworked!

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We are all aware that CPD is obligatory for architects in the UK. With Chartered Members of the Royal Institute of British Architects having to undertake 35 hours of learning every year,    20 of which must come from the 10 mandatory RIBA Core Curriculum topics, just how easy is it to satisfy this requirement?

Bilco Carl Sutterby presenting Bilco Access all Areas CPD to CABE South West regionThere are certainly plenty of ways for architects and building services professionals to fulfil their obligation when it comes to CPD.  From reading articles, watching videos, going to seminars and roadshows to participating in workshops, conferences, organised factory tours and courses. It would appear that the opportunities to gain those all-important CPD points are endless. However, when you are a time poor architect trying to achieve some semblance of work life balance it can be challenging.

Stressed and overworked

Just how stressed and overworked architects actually are was highlighted in last year’s AJ Life in Practice Survey.  The survey found that one third of architects were regularly working more than 45 hours per week.  15% of 40-49 year olds were clocking up in excess of 60 hours work per week!  Given that, in England and Wales in 2015, the average age for fathers was 33.2 years old and 30.3 years for women those working the longest hours will also be the ones with young families.  The survey revealed that for those architects with children the impact of having too much work was the biggest concern in their job.

Making the right choices

Against the backdrop of long hours and a culture of high expectations, making the right choices when it comes to CPD is essential.  The most obvious way to guarantee efficient use of time is to select only RIBA assessed and approved CPD presentations.  These presentations have been vetted by RIBA to ensure they meet stringent criteria.  Not only is the quality of the CPD verified, architects can also earn double CPD points if a presentation is RIBA approved.

RIBA Approved CPD from Bilco UK

Bilco was established in the US in 1926 with Bilco UK set up in 1989 to serve the UK and European markets.  Bilco UK is a horizontal access specialist supplying standard and bespoke access solutions including roof access hatches, floor doors, ladders and smoke vents.  Following the acquisition of Howe Green Ltd in March 2017 Bilco UK can now also offer floor, wall and ceiling access covers, panels and hatches, linear drainage and bespoke architectural metalwork.

Bilco UK has run more than 500 CPD presentations over the course of the last decade.  The focus of the Safe Access All Areas RIBA and CPD Certified presentation is on designing an appropriate safe solution for an access requirement.

The CPD is delivered by Bilco UK’s team of experienced Regional Sales Managers and usually takes around one hour.

70% of the CPD presentations are delivered in-house, primarily to architect practices but also more recently to the Building Control departments of local authorities.  By presenting the CPD at the audience’s place of work the time input for the attendees is kept to an absolute minimum.  There is no travel time or expense incurred. The in-house CPD is the most cost and time effective option for busy architects and building services professionals. Visit the website for a list dates and locations for the rest of 2018.

From Inverness to Redruth

The remaining 30% of the CPD presentations are run as part of an extensive annual programme of ‘Meet the Expert’ CPD events organised by Direct Contract Exhibitions (DCE).  These free roadshows take place across the UK and provide those involved in building and construction with an easy way to keep on top of their CPD.

The events offer a minimum of six CPD eligible problem solving product presentations contributed by leading industry experts, including Bilco UK, on a wide range of specialist topics.  The geographic spread of DCE events attempts to keep travelling time to a minimum and to ensure that there is a relatively “local” session for anyone wishing to attend. Refreshments and lunch are also provided free of charge.


The team at Bilco UK take their responsibility in assisting architects and those involved within building services with the enhancement of professional knowledge in the specialised area of safe access very seriously.  In addition to being audited by RIBA, as an approved CPD provider, Bilco UK also use a feedback form to continually assess relevance and delivery standard. Visit the website to read what attendees have to say.

Further information

If you are interested in organising a Safe Access All Areas CPD presentation for your team please get in touch with the Bilco UK –  call 01284 701696.

If you would like to attend a DCE Meet the Expert event please visit our website to see the programme of events for the rest of 2018.

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