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Policy Statement 450 - State Licensure Boards for Professional Engineers

Approved by the Committee on Licensure on July 16, 2017
Approved by the Committee on Advancing the Profession on November 6, 2017
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on March 13, 2018
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 13, 2018


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 of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) and adopt provisions of the NCEES Model Rules in order to facilitate expedited comity licensure for civil engineers and support consistency of continuing professional development requirements between jurisdictions; and
  • Licensure and renewal fees assessed by boards should be consistent with the cost to administer and enforce the appropriate regulatory acts, and all fees should be used for implementing the licensure act.


It is the duty of government to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens.  The purpose of statutes regulating professional licensing of engineers is to fulfill this duty by qualifying individuals who have met appropriate education, experience, and competency standards 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 authority through the legislatures and the courts. This responsibility is delegated to the licensing boards. It is incumbent upon 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; and
  • assure the competence 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