Approved by the Committee on Licensure on January 27, 2021
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on May 4, 2021
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 16, 2021
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports requiring a minimum of fifteen (15) documented professional development hours (PDHs) per annum to maintain continuing professional competency, including ethics training, as a condition for maintaining status as a licensed Professional Engineer. ASCE also supports uniformity of continuing professional development requirements among licensing jurisdictions, specifically through common topic and hour requirements, renewal periods, and documentation.
It is essential that practicing civil engineers remain current with rapid advances in technology, our understanding of our world and societal expectations to maintain competency. Consequently, state licensing boards have placed an increasing emphasis on continuing professional development in both technical and non-technical content as a condition for maintaining and renewing licenses. Non-technical content includes training in ethics, standards of practice, codes of conduct, risk assessment management and other methods of professional practice essential for competent practice.
The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), a federation of licensing boards within the U.S. has endorsed continuing professional competency in their Model Rules which state that every licensee shall obtain fifteen (15) professional development hours (PDHs) per annum. ASCE’s policy requiring a minimum of fifteen (15) PDHs is based on this model.
With many civil engineers licensed in multiple states, and with the common objectives of continuing professional development, there are practical reasons for uniform continuing professional development requirements among licensing jurisdictions. However, this is complicated by states having different requirements, renewal periods and forms. The NCEES operates a Records Program to facilitate comity between licensing jurisdictions. The addition of continued professional development tracking to that program is a positive step toward continued professional development uniformity.
Ethics training is part of professional development. Adherence to the ASCE Code of Ethics as well as other appropriate ethical codes is consistent with licensure laws such that civil engineers are to practice only in areas in which they are competent and are to hold paramount the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the public. As the nature of engineering practice continues to change, it is essential that ethics implications are reviewed and understood.
ASCE is dedicated to the advancement of the profession of engineering to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. To this end, ASCE provides leadership, encouragement, and opportunities for continuing professional competency.
Continuing professional development is essential to maintain and enhance the competence of practicing professional engineers and to fulfill the outcomes of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge. Uniform continuing professional development requirements will help sustain competent licensed practice and reciprocity across jurisdictions.
ASCE also has in its Code of Ethics a requirement that states engineers shall continue their professional development throughout their careers and shall provide opportunities for the professional development of those engineers under their supervision.
ASCE Policy Statement 425
First Approved in 1994