An act to amend the education law (CPC Law: Laws of New York State, Chapter 146), in relation to mandatory continuing education for licensed professional engineers became a law July 23, 2002, and took effect on January 1, 2004.
The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) provided considerable input into the development of the current model endorsed by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The purpose for this model is to maintain uniformity amongst the states that have implemented continuing professional competency mandates for Professional Engineers. The New York State Continuing Education law mirrors this model in many ways, although some modifications have been made. To facilitate the eventuality of mandatory continuing education requirements, NYSSPE formed the Practicing Institute of Engineering, Inc. (P.I.E.) Its purpose is to accredit those activities that the NYS Education Department finds suitable for continuing education credits.
The Regulations have been finalized by the NYS Education Department and are published in the New York State Register. The regulations can also be viewed here. Some notable aspects of new Section 7211 of the law are as follows:
- Professional engineers who do not satisfy the mandatory continuing education requirements shall not practice until they have met such requirements, and have been issued a registration certificate, except that a professional engineer may practice without having met such requirements if he or she is issued a conditional registration certificate pursuant to the Law.
- Professional engineers employed on a full time basis by the state of New York, its agencies, public authorities, public benefit corporations or local governmental units do not need to satisfy the continuing education requirement.
- During each triennial registration period an applicant for registration shall complete a minimum of thirty-six hours of acceptable continuing education, provided that no more than eighteen hours of such continuing education may consist of non-course activities. Excess credits on one triennial period cannot carry over to the next period. There are a few special provisions regarding hours required and carry over PDH credits only in the phase-in period from 2004 through 2006. A $45 triennial fee paid by the licensees will offset costs associated with implementing a continuing education program in New York.
- "Acceptable continuing education" shall mean courses of learning and educational activities which contribute to professional practice in professional engineering and which meet the standards prescribed by regulations. Courses must be accredited by a New York State approved sponsor (P.I.E., AIA, State Education Department, IACET).
- Professional engineers shall maintain adequate documentation of completion of acceptable continuing education and educational activities for six years after the registration period, and shall be subject to audit by the State Education Department.
A professional development course or activity that does not have an approved sponsor can be submitted to P.I.E. for evaluation by a P.I.E. PDH Evaluator in order to gain NYS PDH approval. The Evaluator would review the specific technical content of the course/activity to confirm that it is sufficient in content to either develop, maintain improve or expand the skills and knowledge of the Professional Engineer pertaining to the practice of engineering. The Evaluator would also review the instructor's resume to confirm that he/she has the proper knowledge to teach the subject, and would either accept or reject the course/activity. If accepted, the Evaluator defines the PDH credits.
Continuing Education Credits:
- 1 college semester hour: 15 PDH
- 1 college quarter hour: 10 PDH
- 1 hour of professional development: 1 PDH
- Teaching activities: 3 times the course PDH
- Technical presentation activities: 3 times the course PDH
- Each paper or article: 9 PDH
- Each patent: 9 PDH
- Active participation in professional society: none
Note that for teaching or presenting activities, PDH's are only given for the first such instance. Repeating the same program does not qualify for additional PDH's.
The AIA and other organizations can "approve" sponsors of educational activities. The following entities are authorized to approve sponsors of continuing education for New York State professional engineers. If the courses and educational activities are offered by sponsors approved by one of these entities and the subject area of the courses and educational activities meet the requirements of the P.I.E., then the courses or educational activities would be considered approved New York State mandatory continuing education.
CES Provider Tip: What is a "Learning Unit Hour"?
- The Practicing Institute of Engineering (P.I.E). P.I.E's list of recognized sponsors is available via Phone: (518) 283-7490, Fax: (518) 283-7495, or www.practicinginstitute.org/ or www.nysspe.org. New York State Professional Engineers may join P.I.E. for an annual fee of $25. Organizations may join for a higher fee. P.I.E. welcomes New York State P.E.s to apply to become PDH Evaluators and welcome organizations to apply to become P.I.E. Sponsoring Organizations.
- International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). IACET's list of recognized sponsors is available via Phone: (703) 506-3275, Fax: (703) 506-3226, or www.iacet.org
- The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Education Program. AIA's Continuing Education System list of recognized sponsors is available from the Continuing Education Program, Phone: (202) 626-7300, Fax: (202) 626-7547, or at AIA's web site at www.aia.org
- Colleges, universities and other degree granting institutions offering degree (e.g. AAS, BS, MS), certificate or diploma programs carrying degree credit that are registered by the State Education Department or have authority to offer equivalent programs accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency. The State Education Department's "Inventory of Registered Programs" includes all degree granting institutions in the State and can be found on our web site at www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue
- The NYS Education Department directly approves sponsors (providers). http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pels/pelscesponsor.htm. Further information and an application form are available on this site. An application fee of $900 is required for this service.
The AIA records continuing education credit in learning unit hours (LU hours). A one-LU hour activity is equal to one contact hour. An LU hour is not a continuing education unit (CEU). One tenth of a CEU (.1) is equal to one contact hour, which is equal to one LU hour. In other words, one CEU is equal to 10 contact hours or 10 LU hours.
The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) was created by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET, www.iacet.org
) as a measurement of continuing education in the 1960's. While other organizations may use the term CEU, the term belongs to IACET and the conversion given here refers to IACET 's guidelines. All state licensing board credit is measured in the contact hour regardless of what acronym used to describe it. Whether it's CEC, PDH, CE, CPD or CEU, all state licensing boards consider one contact hour equal to one hour of credit. The CEU is a measurement of real-time or synchronous activities. These are programs where the instructor(s) and learners are engaging in the learning activity at the same time.
The International Learning Unit (ILU) was created by the Learning Resource Network (LERN ) as a measurement of continuing education in 2006. The ILU term belongs to LERN . The ILU is based upon competencies, not time. The AIA/CES supports the ILU for Asynchronous activities. Asynchronous activities are ones in which the learner(s) and the instructor(s) are separated by time and are not engaging in the learning activity simultaneously (i.e., learning anytime, anyplace, 24/7). ILU credits are awarded when the participants demonstrate that they have mastered the competencies, regardless of how much time it takes.