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MDSPE initiative produces improved CPC requirements

 

Posted March 9, 2018

Professional engineers in Maryland are facing less burdensome Continuing Professional Competency (CPC) requirements as a result of a two-year government review and diligent input by the Maryland Society of Professional Engineers.

The review process began after Governor Larry Hogan established his Regulatory Reform Commission in 2015. MDSPE members quickly began exploring options to improve CPC requirements through the commission, which was co-chaired by James Soltesz, an MDSPE member and President and CEO of the engineering firm Soltesz.

“The Maryland Society of Professional Engineers was a key advocate in advancing the changes,” said Joe Scheffey, Vice President at Jensen Hughes. “MDSPE urged the State Board [for Professional Engineers] to consider some of the more burdensome, unfair and costly aspects of CPC while maintaining the integrity of the licensing process.”

Three MDSPE representatives – Joe Scheffey, David Thaler and Ed Hubner – joined a task group focused on CPC requirements for professional engineers. Together with representatives of the State Board and the engineering community, they developed revised requirements which “maintain the spirit of lifelong learning” in a more manageable and flexible manner, Scheffey said.

Effective January 15, 2018, the total required professional development hours for each two-year registration period dropped from 24 hours to 16 hours.

The revised requirements also provide professional engineers with greater flexibility in selecting between technical and management training content. The regulations no longer distinguish between A units and B units. Furthermore, content areas that qualify for Professional Development Hour (PDH) units include:
* Technical, research, analytical, or design aspects of engineering;
* Laws and regulations applicable to the practice of engineering in Maryland;
* Engineering-related computer hardware and software topics;
* Standards of practice or care;
* Professional engineering ethics;
* Projects management, risk assessment and management, or emergency and disaster management; and
* Similar topics aimed to maintain, improve or expand the skills and knowledge relevant to the licensee’s field of practice. 

The determination of whether an activity qualifies for credit is left within the discretion of the State Board. However, participation as an officer in an engineering, professional or technical society qualifies for one PDH unit. Publishing a paper or article on an engineering subject continues to qualify for five PDH units and publishing a book on an engineering subject for 24.

A minimum of one PDH unit in each bi-annual term must be earned in a program with content areas related to the following:
* Awareness of ethical concerns and conflicts related to the practice of engineering;
* An enhanced familiarity with the Code of Conduct for professional engineers;
* An understanding of standards of practice or care related to the practice of engineering; or
* Laws and regulations applicable to the practice of engineering in Maryland.

“MDSPE continues to strongly support the concept that lifelong, continuous education is the essence of being a professional, and that it is our sacred professional responsibility to protect the public health, safety and welfare,” said David Thaler, President of DS Thaler and Associates.  “However, it is MDSPE’s view that CPC requirements should be mandated in the least burdensome way possible.”  

 

 

 

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