Are there ways to get Construction and Evaluation AXP/ARE experience outside of the office?


Hello everyone, I'm about two years into tracking my AXP hours and I'm finding it very hard to get hours logged in the C&E category at this point in my career. I've found that offices don't like to let the younger people in the firm handle construction & evaluation type tasks so it has been slow going. Are there any ways of getting experience in less traditional ways or even ways outside of the office? For example, volunteer construction work or attending construction seminars put on by outside organizations? I'm happy to put in the extra hours outside of the office to get experience and learn as much as I can! Thanks for your help. 


Apr 16, 19 8:30 pm

If you're that far into AXP, surely you should be aware by now that NCARB publishes the AXP guidelines in a little booklet, which documents exactly what types of Other (outside of an architecture firm) experience settings can count toward which experience categories.  For the C&E category:  yes volunteer construction work can count (up to 320 hours) - if it's with a non-profit organization, and signed off on by your AXP Supervisor. 

Site visits with your mentor can also count toward that category (up to 40 hours).

So can getting a CSI CCCA certification (up to 40 hours) - though that one's fairly impractical, expensive and time-consuming, as you have to get the CDT first.

Apr 17, 19 10:34 am

CCCA isn't an option right now anyway, because CSI has put all the advanced certification exams on hold until at least 2020 (no sittings in 2019). You could do the CDT this year, so you'd be ready for the CCCA when it returns. But yeah, probably a lot of rigamarole for just 40 AXP hours.

I've heard rumor that the CDT will no longer be a prerequisite for the "advanced" CSI credentials moving forward. Anyone know for sure?


That rumor stems from a misunderstanding. In 2018 CSI changed the CDT from a "certificate" to a "certification", and added continuing ed requirements and tri-annual dues for it (like the upper level certifications already had). When CSI did that, part of the statement that they released said "professionals holding upper level certification (CCS, CCPR, and CCCA) are not required to maintain the CDT."  What they meant was that those who get the upper level certifications will not have to pay additional dues and earn additional continuing ed to keep their CDT active, in addition to the higher certification. But some people misinterpreted that statement to mean that the CDT was no longer a pre-req to getting the other certifications.

Apparently there was something in the recent town hall that was brought up on the CSI discussion forum. There wasn’t any further discussion from what I can tell, just a note to contact the chief learning officer with any questions. You’d think they would want to correct anything like that in the forum rather than ad nauseum in individual private communications.

... that said, I can accept your explanation that it is a misunderstanding.


Hmm... what part of the forum was that on? The only thing I've seen that noted to contact the chief learning officer with questions was about the extension in the black-out of exam sittings for all tests except the CDT (initially they'd announced it would only be spring 2019 exams that wouldn't happen, and in the town hall they'd let it slip that it's all year).

took me awhile to find it, hoping this will post...

Curiouser and curiouser. Thanks for the info. The chief learning officer herself posted right around that same time in the specifications group, encouraging someone to take the CDT this year in preparation for taking the CCS the next year - so I'm not convinced these people are all on the same page. It wouldn't be the first time.

“In preparation for” =/= “as prerequisite for”

“In preparation for” =/= “as prerequisite for”

If you find the recording of the CSI members town hall on the CSI Learning Library, during the Q&A the question comes up. At 42:10 a clarification question was asked, "The CDT is no longer a requirement for the other credentials, is that correct?" Tracy replies, "It's not a prerequisite for other credentials." While the answer leads one to conclude that earning the CDT will no longer be a prerequisite for earning the advanced credentials, I think it is plausible that Tracy's answer was relating to maintaining an advanced credential ... i.e. maintaining the CDT credential is not a prerequisite for maintaining the other credentials. You can let your CDT lapse without fear of losing your CCCA, CCS, or CCPR credentials. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.


Yeah, you are right, they have changed the rules. Now for pre-reqs for the upper-level exams there's a choice between: 2 years of experience doing that specialty, plus a CDT, or 5 years of doing that specialty, but no CDT. From a qualifications standpoint that seems ok: the CDT is a pretty low bar, and 3 years more of experience is more than an even trade. But I'm surprised CSI is ok with letting the extra exam fees slip away from them!

Are they going to actually enforce the experience requirements now? 2 years plus CDT was always the requirement for the advanced certifications, but they only required a person to attest to it. I never had to submit hours or anything to prove it. If you're seriously doing the work of the specialty, I think you could probably pass it with about a year or two of experience and no CDT. 

Which brings this back full circle ... how many AXP candidates are looking for 40 hours in a category they've been doing for 2-5 years already? On paper the certification looks like it could be a nice deal for an easy 40 hours ... but in reality if you're following the guidelines/requirements it is pretty much worthless as a means to gain hours for AXP.


As 5839 said, do some volunteer work at Habitat for Humanity or a similar organization that does construction activities.

Apr 17, 19 11:00 am

HSW CEUs logged with the AIA can be counted towards any area up to a certain amount. A very easy way to knock out a few hours.

Apr 17, 19 7:49 pm

20 hours area allowed, per area.


You can get self-paced distance learning AIA HSW CEU's online here:  Most are free of charge.

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