Practice Support Groups are a type of CPD Activity
They are a regular forum for on-going professional learning and development. The material discuss in the group can be very broad and wide-ranging, but must be of value to the on-going professional development of Registered Architects.
Practice Support Groups are private groups in the sense that only members can attend the meetings. Any person may be a member of the group, but for the purposes of CPD only New Zealand Registered Architects can be given points through the CPD website. Also, for the purpose of gaining points, an architect may only belong to one PSG group at a time.
Each group is self managing and has a coordinator. The role of the Coordinator is to manage the group’s meeting dates, time and venue, complete the minutes, allocate the Unit of Competency to the meeting and confirm the member’s attendance. All of this can be done on line and in real time. The coordinator is able to edit all information about the group and set up the members of the group.
Minutes are taken for the purposes of CPD audit, but these minutes are not intended to be resource material for members. This sort of information needs to be stored elsewhere. The minutes can be written either as a full continuous page, or as separate notes. The meeting minutes are confidential to the members, but because all minutes are open to audit no sensitive commercial or personal information should included in them.
Practice Support Groups can take various forms. For instance they can be a group of smaller sole practioners, a large practice and several small practices or sole practioners, a large practice with one small practice or a sole practioners, or a practice support group within a large practice.
Practice Support Groups are intended to enable all Registered Architects to achieve the 100 points minimum in each of the four units of competency (Design, Documentation, Project Management, Practice Management and Core Professional Development) after five years. The allocation of points reflects this rationale.
120 points per year are allocated to Practice Support Groups. These are given in units of 5 points per hour, or 10 points for two hours. Points can only be gained in one of the four Units of Competency (Design, Documentation, Project Management and Practice Management) per meeting. Once an individual member has reached their yearly allocation any subsequent meeting points will show as 0. All members of the group receive the same allocation of points, irrespective of whether they are presenting or participating, to encourage dialogue and sharing of professional knowledge. Outside presenters, who are Registered Architects, may apply for CPD points for themselves by using the Individual Activity: Presenter Form found on the website.
Note that you can be a member of an In Office Training Group as well as a PSG Group, though there is a restriction that in total you can only claim at the most 120 CPD points per annum from these activities.