RAIC Partners with Rick Hansen Foundation and University of Alberta to Bring the RHFAC Professional Designation to the Architectural Community | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

RAIC Partners with Rick Hansen Foundation and University of Alberta to Bring the RHFAC Professional Designation to the Architectural Community


OTTAWA, May 28, 2024 – In honour of National AccessAbility Week, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) is proud to announce a partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) and the University of Alberta to enhance and expand accessibility certification training opportunities for the architectural community.  

Nearly two-thirds or 64% of Canadian adults have a disability or have a family member they live with or take care of with a disability. Regardless of circumstance, most of us will encounter disability at some juncture in our lives and will need accessible communities in order to continue to participate in society and live fulfilling lives. 

The RAIC is dedicated to providing the architectural community with the necessary tools and resources to build a more inclusive world. RAIC has been partnering with the Rick Hansen Foundation to bring the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) Training to the RAIC community. The newly updated RHFAC Professional course launching in Fall 2024 will provide participants with the fundamental skills and knowledge required to rate a site using the RHFAC methodology.  The new partnership with the University of Alberta further expands the ability to deliver this important training to more people in an interactive, online format. 

“In partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation, our aligned mission is to lead the movement to build a more inclusive and accessible world for all,” states Jason Robbins, FRAIC, President of the RAIC. “This partnership is a way to drive our joint mission forward by providing opportunities to educate and designate members of the architectural community.” 

RHFAC Professional Training courses will be offered periodically throughout the year starting this Fall and will be delivered online in partnership with the University of Alberta through Brightspace by D2L.   

RAIC members will receive $200 discount on fees for the RHFAC Professional Training.

“We are grateful to partner with the RAIC to expedite the shift in design culture needed to improve meaningful access for people of all ages and abilities.” said Brad McCannell, VP Access & Inclusion, Rick Hansen Foundation. “Building industry professionals are recognizing that the RHFAC is the key to delivering diversity, equity and inclusion programs at a practical level. Using common language and common methodology that is rooted in standardized training results in measurable data that is directly comparable versus projects completed under different codes and standards using different definitions of accessibility. This course enables Architects not only prepare for changing accessibility legislation but go above and beyond to capture the return on investment that becomes available with informed design.”

RHFAC is a rating system that helps both building owners and tenants measure the meaningful accessibility of their sites and promotes increased access through the adoption of Universal Design principles. Qualifying for an RHFAC Professional designation will provide the learner with the knowledge and practical skills needed to rate a building for its overall accessibility under the RHFAC program. The digital course includes a unique variety of enriched content including virtual fieldwork interactives, videos, activities, readings, assessment tools, and peer discussions in a coached environment. 

The online course facilitator will conduct virtual classroom sessions to discuss ratings and allow learners to present their site ratings. After successfully completing the RHFAC Professional Training, students can take the online exam administered by CSA Group to become designated RHFAC Professionals. Once individuals acquire their RHFAC Professional designation, they are eligible for inclusion in the publicly accessible RHFAC Professional Directory.  

“RHFAC Training has helped me advance my specialization in inclusivity and social impact related to the built environment by expanding my knowledge of accessibility and Universal Design. It has helped me see our surroundings in a new, crucial light,” says Fiona Jones, BA&Sc, M.Arch., Social Impact + Strategy Coordinator, hcma. 

About the Rick Hansen Foundation

The Rick Hansen Foundation was established in 1988 following the completion of Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion World Tour. For over 35 years, RHF has raised awareness, changed attitudes and removed barriers for people with disabilities. For more information, please visit  


About the RAIC 

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is a not-for-profit, national organization dedicated to representing Canadian architects and architecture since 1907. The RAIC is the only national voice for excellence in the built environment in Canada focused on providing Canada’s architectural community with the tools, resources, and education to elevate their practice. The RAIC is committed to showcasing how design enhances quality of life, while advocating for important societal issues through responsible and inclusive architecture. The RAIC’s purpose is to create a better world for all by empowering Canada’s architectural community. Through our work, the organization envisions a strong architectural community that is valued and empowered to create change.  

About the University of Alberta  

The University of Alberta (U of A) is a leading research and teaching university in Canada. With over 40 000 students across five campuses and online forums, the U of A has a stellar reputation as a national leader in the pursuit of knowledge. The University of Alberta offers bachelors, masters, and doctorate programs alongside online courses for both personal learning and professional development. For more information, visit the University of Alberta website.