How to Prepare for Chief Academy

Students in the Advanced Residential class at Chief Academy.

Author, Kerry Hansen By Kerry Hansen

Chief Architect is proud to have Chief Academy back and in person this year! Chief Academy is an excellent way to get inspired. Spend two and a half days learning new skills to increase your knowledge of the software. Connect with our staff, network with industry peers, test drive new products, get answers to your questions, and more. As a class participant, there are several things you can do to help prepare and ensure your success during your time at Chief Academy.

Choose the Best Class

Choose the comprehensive training course that best suits your experience level and professional focus. This year we are offering five 2-Day training courses. Take some time to review the descriptions of these classes to ensure you are enrolling in the category best suited for your skill level and specialty. 

  • The Residential Introductory course covers the basics of using the software effectively, including managing your files, creating and dimensioning structures, creating camera views and section views, assembling a layout file, and printing your construction documents.

  • The Residential Intermediate course allows experienced Chief Architect users to dig deeper into manual editing, productivity, and efficiency tools. 

  • The Advanced Residential Level I course is for proficient users of Chief Architect. This course takes a deep dive into Chief Architect’s tools and processes.

  • The Advanced Residential Level II course is a collaborative seminar where attendees discuss unique situations and solutions. Attendees are encouraged to bring challenging issues and plans to the class. This workshop does not follow a specific curriculum; the discussion will be driven by situations and topics of interest to the attendees, with moderation and direction provided by the instructors. 

  • The Kitchens, Baths & Interiors Introductory course covers the fundamentals of using the program for interior design projects, including floor plans, elevations, 3D rendering, and using the kitchen and bath tools. This course is NKBA CEU Approved (1.6 credits).

  • The Kitchens, Baths & Interiors Intermediate course is for experienced Chief Architect users looking to improve their productivity and learn new skills using the kitchen and bath tools. This course is NKBA CEU Approved (1.6 credits).

Students in the Kitchens, Baths, and Interiors class at Chief Academy.
Students in the Kitchens, Baths, and Interiors class at Chief Academy.


After reviewing our class list and selecting the training course that best suits your experience level and professional focus, Chief Architect will provide you with a link to a video playlist. These playlists, along with some handouts, are also available below. Spend some time reviewing and practicing the concepts in these resources. The information in the videos and handouts is often a preview for the class. Our trainers find that attendees who do the pre-class homework get the most out of their course.

Kitchens, Baths, & Interiors Class Homework

  • Review the  Kitchens, Baths & Interiors prerequisite videos.
  • If you are relatively new to Chief Architect or need to brush up, please watch the Quick Start video playlist.
  • Complete the floorplan from pg. 2 of the Class Project pdf. This will be beneficial for Day 1.
  • Complete the bath construction floorplan from pg. 6 of the Class Project pdf. This will be beneficial for Day 2
  • If you plan to bring your own laptop, download & install the KBI-Class Catalog. We will be using objects and materials from this catalog in class.

Residential Introductory Class Homework

Residential Intermediate Class Homework

Residential Advanced Class 1 Homework

Our trainers are preparing too! Expect emails and a call leading up to the event. We like to check in with each attendee to see if there are any special accommodations we need to plan for or any areas in the software they hope to spend extra time reviewing. Communication with our staff is essential so that we can best prepare for your success in class.

Chief Architect running on a laptop.


There are two options when it comes to computers for Chief Academy. The first option is to rent one. If you rent, Chief Architect will provide you with a computer to use during your time at Chief Academy. Each laptop will be equipped with everything you need for your course, including the most up-to-date version of Chief Architect Premier. Rental laptops are available in limited quantities. Be sure to reserve one during checkout or contact Chief Architect directly to arrange for a rental.

You may be more comfortable using your computer. If you plan to bring your laptop, ensure it can run the latest version of the software and have it installed. Take a 3D and Elevation view to verify your computer’s video card functions properly. Contact us or see our System Requirements Page to verify compatibility. In addition to installing the most up-to-date version of Chief Architect, you will also want to install the core library catalogs. We also recommend doing all the pre-class homework on the computer you intend to use for the class.

Library Catalogs

Be sure to download the Core Library Content and update any existing catalogs.  See the diagram below.

Menu system within Chief Architect software showing where to access and install the core content.

What to Bring

Here is a quick checklist of items you will want to have for Chief Academy.

  • Computer with Chief Architect Premier and Core Library installed
  • Mouse
  • Computer Power Cord
  • Notepad
  • Snacks
  • Water Bottle
  • Comfortable Clothes
  • Business cards
The cruise on Lake Coeur d'Alene during Chief Academy.
The cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene during Chief Academy.


Start making connections now! Find other users attending Chief Academy on our professional forum, ChiefTalk. Follow our social media channels like Instagram and Facebook. Tag us @chiefarchitect or use the hashtag #chiefacademy when you post. Let us know when you’ve reserved your spot. Once you are here, please share your experience with us too.

Attendees who participated in the group hike on Tubbs Hill in 2019.
Attendees who participated in the group hike on Tubbs Hill at Chief Academy.

After Training

Following Chief Academy, Chief Architect will email you a replay of the lessons you learned in class. Use these videos to brush up on areas where you may need additional practice. Also included in that email is a link to a survey. We take your feedback seriously and adjust future events to reflect it. Please let us know what you think about your experience. What is something that made your time with us valuable, or how can we improve?

If you are a member of the NKBA, our classes are eligible for self-reporting CEU credits. Be sure to submit and get the credits you earned.

Lastly, we hope you have a fun and enjoyable experience in the class, with our staff, and networking with other Chief users! We appreciate you taking the time to increase your knowledge of the software! Join us at this year’s Chief Academy!


Jeff Zeeman

When is your next in person Academy

Chief Architect

Hello Jeff!

Our Chief Academy training event is hosted the 3 days leading into Labor Day weekend every year. You can view exact details an sign up online here.

Have a good day,

Chief Architect Sales

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