Approved by the Committee on Licensure on January 25, 2022
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on February 2, 2022
Adopted by the Board of Direction on March 5, 2022


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports post-Professional Engineering (PE) credentialling in major specialty areas of civil engineering for those licensees who assume responsible charge of civil engineering specialty area services. Credentialling demonstrates the licensee’s attainment of adequate breadth and depth of engineering in that specialty area, based on an appropriate body of knowledge, administered by a recognized authority. PE licensure constitutes the legal authority to practice engineering, however, the requirements for licensure do not ensure attainment of the necessary body of knowledge to practice in responsible charge in each specialty area of civil engineering. Post-PE credentials can include state or national board recognized licenses, designations, certifications, or other credentials. Credentialling should support and not restrict collaboration between specialty areas on the civil engineering team, as aspects of each specialty area overlap with those of other specialty areas.

ASCE encourages institutions of higher education, governments, employers, engineers, and other appropriate organizations to endorse, support, promote, and implement post-PE specialty area credentialling for those civil engineers serving in responsible charge, to further protect and advance the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

As a necessary step in the creation of a credentialling system, designations for post-PE credentialing requirements shall be consistent with ASCE’s continuously refined scopes of engineering activities within each specialty area, including identification of those activities within one specialty area that overlap with the authority of other specialty areas.


Civil engineering is broadly comprised of specialty areas, including but not limited to structural, geotechnical, water resources and environmental, transportation, and construction. The Principles and Practice of Engineering examination required for professional engineering licensure in the civil engineering discipline examines the broad understanding of individual specialty areas and is one of three steps that must be completed to be granted the legal authority to practice engineering. However, the civil engineering profession continues to undergo significant, rapid, and revolutionary changes requiring a greater body of knowledge, and the qualifications for civil engineering licensure have not kept pace. As demonstrated by the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (CE BOK), civil engineers need a higher level of technical competence in their specialty area(s) of civil engineering than that currently required for professional engineering licensure. This need becomes more essential for more complex civil engineering projects, as well as projects representing a greater risk to the health and safety of the public. Post-PE credentialling can be used to confirm such competency. The design of civil engineering systems may involve licensed engineers from different specialty areas within civil engineering, general civil engineers, and engineers outside of civil engineering.

ASCE, as the recognized leader of the civil engineering profession, has identified the need for licensed civil engineers who serve in responsible charge to attain aptitude in their chosen civil engineering specialty area(s) that goes beyond what licensure requires. A post-PE credential will serve to identify those civil engineers competent to serve in responsible charge in the various sub-disciplines of civil engineering. Sub-discipline credentialling will protect and advance the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

ASCE Policy Statement 524
First Approved in 2008