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The Maryland Board For Professional Engineers Revises The Requirements For Continuing

Professional Competency

 

Posted February 27, 2018

By:  David S. Thaler, PE, LS, F.NSPE, F. ASCE

 

After a two-year period of review and discussion, during which the officers of the Maryland Society of Professional Engineers (MDSPE) actively participated, the Maryland Board for Professional Engineers (the PE Board) has revised the requirements for Continuing Professional Competency (CPC) for professional engineers effective January 15, 2018.  

The new regulations now include:  
The required number of PDH units for every two-year renewal period has been reduced from 24 to 16.  
There is no longer a distinction between A units and B units.
Now the following content areas qualify:
1. Technical, research, analytical, or design aspects of engineering;
2. Laws and regulations applicable to the practice of engineering in Maryland;
3. Engineering-related computer hardware and software topics;
4. Standards of practice or care;
5. Professional engineering ethics;
6. Projects management, risk assessment and management, or emergency and disaster management; or
7. Similar topics aimed to maintained, 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 PE Board.
Participation as an officer in engineering, professional or technical societies qualifies for one (1) PDH unit.
A minimum of one PDH unit in each bi-annual term must be earned in a program with the content areas related to the following:
1. Awareness of ethical concerns and conflicts related to the practice of engineering.
2. An enhanced familiarity with the Code of Conduct for professional engineers.
3. An understanding of standards of practice or care related to the practice of engineering, or
4. Laws and regulations applicable to the practice of engineering in Maryland.
A dual licensee, that is, one who maintains licenses as both a professional engineer and a professional land or property line surveyor may provide eight (8) PDHs that satisfy the surveying requirements and eight (8) that satisfy the professional engineering requirements.
Licensees must maintain their records for a period of at least four (4) years from the date of completion of a qualifying program.  Required documentation remains the same.
Publishing a paper or article on an engineering subject continues to qualify  for five (5) PDH units and publishing a book on an engineering subject for twenty-four (24).

The requirements of CPC must be taken seriously. A certain number of the renewal applications are audited by DLLR.  If selected, you must send proof of PDH hours earned to the PE Board office within 30 days.  Failure to respond or to provide adequate proof that the requirements have been satisfied may result in a fine of $1,500.00.

The entire regulation applicable to continuing education for professional engineers may be found in C.O.M.A.R. 09.23.06.  

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.  However, it is MDSPE’s view that CPC requirements should be mandated in the least burdensome way possible.   

Board member Joseph Sheffey, PE worked tirelessly on this issue and served with past presidents Edward Hubner, PE and David Thaler, PE on the committee established by the Board to review the regulations and recommend improvements.  

MDSPE reluctantly supported the original legislation in 2007 that mandated CPC for professional engineers, believing that required CPC would become reciprocal between the states and that it would be better and more convenient for Maryland practitioners to take their CPC in Maryland than to have to travel to other states to comply.   In fact, the regulations among the jurisdictions are generally unique to each and are usually not reciprocal.  This is an issue that the PE Board has agreed to continue to work on and MDSPE will be actively involved to make required continued education as efficient as possible for its members.

 
 

 
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