Approved by the Committee on Licensure on February 17, 2021
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on May 4, 2021
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 16, 2021


Licensing of Professional Engineers is the responsibility of licensing boards in each jurisdiction. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recommends that boards be structured to include at least one non-engineer public member and members who are professional engineers representing the breadth and diversity of engineering practice, and in proportion to the percentage of licensed civil engineers in that jurisdiction.

ASCE also advocates that:

  • Boards have authority and jurisdiction over those fraudulently practicing engineering, including unlicensed practice, and should actively pursue perpetrators. 
  • Boards require the licensing of all practicing civil engineers. 
  • Board members who are professional engineers be responsible for judging the qualifications of applicants. 
  • Licensing boards encourage the adoption of provisions of the Model Law and the Model Rules of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) in order to facilitate expedited comity licensure for civil engineers and support consistency of continuing professional development requirements between jurisdictions. 
  • Application and renewal fees assessed by licensing boards should be consistent with the cost to of administering and enforcing the appropriate regulatory acts.


It is the duty of government to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. In the U.S., 55 licensing jurisdictions (U.S. states and territories) have sole responsibility for professional licensure, which is defined by each jurisdiction’s unique statute.  The purpose of statutes regulating professional licensing of engineers is to fulfill this duty by qualifying individuals who have met the appropriate education, experience, and examination requirements for licensure and who adhere to the ethical practice of their profession.

The public interest is best served when the judgment of technical qualifications and evaluation of professional competence are made by licensing boards with members who are licensed professional engineers. 

It is essential for jurisdictions to exercise their regulatory authority via engineering licensure through licensing boards and it is incumbent on the members of these boards to: 

  • Advocate for and set appropriate standards of education, experience, and examination for licensure.
  • Impose and enforce rules of professional conduct. 
  • Assure the continuing professional competency of practicing engineers to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. 


Licensing boards are essential for protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. 

ASCE Policy Statement 450
First Approved in 1996