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Policy Statement 425 - Continuing Professional Development for Licensure

 
Approved by the Committee on Advancing the Profession on November 6, 2018
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on March 13, 2018
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 13, 2018

Policy

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports requiring a minimum of 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. Such uniformity could be achieved through the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Records Program; ASCE encourages state licensing boards to use this program.

Issue

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 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 15 professional development hours (PDHs) per year (Model Rules Section 240.30). ASCE's policy requiring a minimum of 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 Council 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 encourages civil engineers to practice in areas in which they are competent and to hold the public health, safety and welfare as their highest duty. As the nature of engineering practice continues to change, it is essential that ethics implications are reviewed and understood.  

Rationale

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 advance the goal of this Policy.

ASCE also has a Fundamental Canon in its Code of Ethics 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


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