CAA Continuing Professional Development Programme

Helping built environment professionals to maintain competency in an ever-changing world.

Programme objectives

Welcome to the CAA Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme, the aim of which is to facilitate knowledge exchange between member organisations and member firms, to help promote mutual understanding and greater awareness of issues related to climate change and rapid urbanisation together with the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While targeted at qualified built environment professionals, we hope that the programme will be of interest to policymakers, city leaders and students alike.

Making Natural Building Materials Work (25 June 2024)

With the buildings and construction sector accounting for over 34% of global energy demand and around 37% of energy and process-related CO2 emissions in 2021, decarbonising the buildings sector by 2050 is critical to delivering our climate objectives yet with 70% of the building stock in Africa by 2040 alone yet to be built, how can we achieve a sustainable built environment? The intelligent and creative use of natural building materials provides a critically important solution to so many of the challenges we face, and, in this event, we considered some of the many benefits they provide together with obstacles to be overcome.

Making National Building Codes Work (12 March 2024)

The development, implementation and enforcement of effective building code is fundamental to the delivery of a built environment which is inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The aim of this knowledge sharing event will be to learn about the work that is being undertaken to strengthen National Building Codes, particularly among small island states in the Pacific and the Caribbean, which are in the forefront of climate change.  It will also seek to identify key barriers and enablers to the successful design and implementation of National Building Code Join us for this event and engage with a diverse panel of experts from around the Commonwealth and beyond. The 90-minute event will comprise a series of 5 short presentations followed by a panel discussion during which there will be an opportunity for Q&A.

Making Mutual Recognition Agreements Work (07 Nov 2023)

Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA’s) enable architects from one country to work seamlessly in another. The CAA hosted an online event on 07 November 2023 to consider the ways in which such MRAs work with reference to the recent agreement that has been signed between the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Participants also heard perspectives from other Commonwealth regions, including East Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Contributors also reflected on some of the challenges and opportunities such agreements create.

Season 3

Season 3 of the CAA’s CPD Programme will be organised around the six core themes set out in the Climate Framework. The Climate Framework is the product of a two-year consultation led by an international, cross-sector, multi-disciplinary collaboration, the aim of which has been to build a comprehensive, industry-wide framework for all those working in the built environment with the knowledge required to support delivery of the UN SDGs.

  • Session 1, Energy & Carbon (13 June 2023): The first session of this season took place on 13 June 2023, focused on the theme of Energy & Carbon and offered guidance on how to minimise energy use and associated carbon emissions, while also accelerating the transition to a global, decarbonised built environment. Key focus areas for this session included passive design, active systems and technologies, together with renewable energy generation and energy storage. The presenters illustrated how some of the core principles have been applied in a range of built case-studies from around the Commonwealth.

The remainder of the series will be reprogrammed for broadcasting in 2024 and will comprise the following:

  • Session 2, Circular Economy: This session will focus on resources, their use, maintenance, and procurement to encourage ‘endless recycling/reuse’.
  • Session 3, Water: This session will focus on water use, harvesting and recycling, as well as climate change’s impact on natural water bodies.
  • Session 4, Ecology & Biodiversity: This session will focus on efficient land use, nature-based solutions, and sustainable food production, among others.
  • Session 5, Connectivity & Transport: This session will focus on how people, places, and cities connect through sustainable urban planning, and transportation.
  • Session 6, Human Factors: This session will focus on people including health & wellbeing, behaviour, and social value.

Drawing on the success of the Seasons 1 and 2, the CAA is in the process of negotiating accreditation of its CPD Programme with member organisation and national regulators to ensure that these events are recognised as counting towards an individual’s mandatory CPD requirements. In light of this, from Season 3 onwards the CAA will be defining a set of learning outcomes for each event and participants will be required to demonstrate having achieved these before receiving a Certificate of Participation.

Season 2

Season 2 was developed to reflect on a range of key issues in anticipation of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that was due to take place in Rwanda in June 2021.  Season 2 was undertaken in collaboration with the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP), the Commonwealth Engineers Council (CEC) and the Commonwealth Heritage Forum (CHF).The recordings of each session and additional resources can be found by clicking on the relevant links below.

  • Session 1, The Capacity Gap: This session considered the critical capacity gaps identified in the Survey of the Built Environment Professionals in the Commonwealth and how we might work together to address the underlying issues.
  • Session 2, The Conservation Challenge: This session reviewed diverse international examples of heritage-led regeneration, and drew together the lessons learned and developed recommendations for future action across the Commonwealth.
  • Session 3, The Challenge of Climate Change: This session considered what needs to be done to reduce the climate impact of infrastructure systems, who needs to do it and what the consequences will be if we fail.
  • Session 4, The Challenge of Inequality: This session explored the deep-rooted spatial inequalities that exist in many cities and city regions, together with recommendations to address them in order to achieve inclusive outcomes.
  • Session 5, The Impact of COVID-19: This session considered the impacts of COVID-19 on the built environment and how built environment professionals can respond to the calls for us to ‘build back better’.

Season 1

Season 1 was curated to help explain the urgency underpinning the need for sustainable development, the policy environment driving change at national level together with a variety of ways in which built environment professionals can contribute in their daily work. Each lecture was filmed by its author with accompanying commentary and can be downloaded in PDF form for local delivery. All material is provided on an open-source basis and is free to use.

Season 1 set out to help participants better understand, engage with and contribute to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and be better equipped to apply the principles of sustainable development at city and building scale. The authors recognise that while the principles of sustainable development may be universal, their application will vary depending on variables such as culture and climate. The reader is therefore invited to consider how the principles outlined in each lecture might apply to their local circumstances and conditions. Season one comprised the following seven titles:

  • Session 1, Introduction to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals: Provides an overview of the SDGs together with other related international agreements and describes the importance of the Goals for Built Environment Professionals.
  • Session 2, Planning for Rapid Urbanisation: Outlines a framework for use in secondary cities which are experiencing rapid growth, but which may have little or no access to professional planning expertise.
  • Session 3, Planned City Extensions: Provides a reminder of key master-planning and urban design principles such as: site analysis, micro-climate design, density, mixed use, walkability etc.
  • Session 4, Resilient Infrastructure: Explains the context, relevance and drivers to develop resilient infrastructure by adopting an integrated design approach and considering planetary solutions to address climate related challenges.
  • Session 5, Climate Responsive Design: This lecture will be delivered in two parts with part one entitled ‘A Manifesto for delivering Climate Responsive Design’, and part two entitled ‘Collaborating for Sustainable Development’.
  • Session 6, Heritage-led Regeneration: Describes the value of heritage led regeneration in terms of the reuse of existing buildings, and the potential to generate social and economic value.
  • Session 7, Sustainable Outcomes: Provides a practical explanation of the outcomes that need to be delivered if we are to achieve development which is sustainable. Includes meaningful, measurable targets with associated metrics.