Approved by the Committee on Licensure on May 12, 2020
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on May 18, 2020
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 11, 2020
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports requiring a minimum of fifteen (15) professional development hours (PDHs) per year of documented continuing professional development, 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 provider, topic and hour requirements, renewal periods, and documentation.
It is essential that practicing civil engineers remain current with issues and advancements in technology in order to maintain competency. State licensing boards have placed an increasing emphasis on continuing professional development as a condition for maintaining and renewing licenses.
The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), a federation of licensing boards within the U.S dedicated to advancing professional licensure for engineers and surveyors, has developed Model Rules that endorse continuing professional competency requirements as a condition for licensure. The NCEES model language requires every licensee to obtain fifteen (15) professional development hours (PDHs) per year (Model Rules Section 240.30). ASCE's policy requiring a minimum of fifteen (15) PDHs is based, in part, on this broadly accepted 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. 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 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 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 enhance the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Continuing professional development in technical, professional and ethical areas maintain and enhance the competence of practicing professional engineers toward that end. ASCE provides leadership, encouragement, and opportunities to achieve this continuing professional development. Uniform continuing professional development requirements will help sustain effective licensed practice and the concept of professional engineering licensure.
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