Specifiers trust RIBA-approved CPD but favour online delivery, says study

A recent study from specification and product information platform, NBS and RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects) into CPD, found that in-person seminars, once the go-to format for CPD, have now been surpassed by digital learning. Nearly half as many attendees now choose an online format (91%) over an in-person presentation, compared with stats back in 2019. Just over 80% also anticipate watching webinars ‘on-demand’ and just over three-quarters (77%) are choosing to view them live.

There’s no doubt that the pandemic and increase in remote working has been a catalyst for this change. For context, only 49% of RIBA network members delivered online CPDs back in 2018 yet in 2021 this has risen to 70%.

However, an appetite still remains for in-person seminars: nearly half (47%) still take part in in-person CPDs and at least three-quarters of respondents say they would like to. 

CPD from members of the RIBA CPD Providers Network are seen as trusted sources of information and perceptions around the quality of content are positive. Nearly eight out of 10 see it as ‘professional and credible’ and over 70% say it is of a high quality. The RIBA accreditation also holds weight – three quarters stated that this is important to them (75%), up from 71% back in 2019. The GAI offers a range of RIBA CPDs. Fine them at

Specifiers are also happy with the quality of content: 87% say that both online and in-person seminars are good or very good overall and 76% are satisfied with the CPD delivered through the Network. These stats also reflect the effectiveness of CPD when it comes to choosing products for specification – which is on the rise. The number of respondents specifying one of more of a suppliers’ products after undertaking their CPD has increased incrementally – nearly two thirds are willing to do so (64%), a 15% rise since 2017.

This also extends to the number of specifiers downloading a supplier’s BIM or digital objects following a CPD, growing in the same time period from 18% to 26% and 36% in 2022.

The study asked about barriers to CPD and found that 85% stated that lack of time is a barrier. An important point raised in the study was also the subject of impartiality. Providers need to be sure they are focusing primarily on education value over a sales pitch.

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