§137.17 Continuing Education Program
(a) Each license holder shall meet the Continuing Education Program (CEP) requirements for professional development as a condition for license renewal.
(b) Terms used in this section are defined as follows:
(1) Professional Development Hour (PDH) - A contact hour (clock hour) of CEP activity. PDH is the basic unit for CEP reporting.
(2) Continuing Education Unit (CEU) - Unit of credit customarily used for continuing education courses. One continuing education unit equals 10 hours of class in an approved continuing education course.
(3) College/Unit Semester/Quarter Hour - Credit for course in ABET-approved program or other related college course.
(4) Course/Activity - Any qualifying course or activity with a clear purpose and objective which will maintain, improve, or expand the skills and knowledge relevant to the license holder’s field of practice.
(c) Every license holder is required to obtain 15 PDH units during the renewal period year.
(d) A minimum of 1 PDH per renewal period must be in the area of professional ethics, roles and responsibilities of professional engineering, or review of the Texas Engineering Practice Act and Board Rules. PDH units carried forward may not be counted to meet the professional ethics requirement.
(e) If a license holder exceeds the annual requirement in any renewal period, a maximum of 14 PDH units may be carried forward into the subsequent renewal period. Professional Development Hours must not be anticipated and cannot be used for more than one renewal period.
(f) PDH units may be earned as follows:
(1) Successful completion or auditing of college credit courses.
(2) Successful completion of continuing education courses, either offered by a professional or trade organization, university or college, or offered in-house by a corporation, other business entity, professional or technical societies, associations, agencies, or organizations, or other group.
(3) Successful completion of correspondence, on-line, televised, videotaped, and other short courses/tutorials.
(4) Presenting or attending seminars, in-house courses, workshops, or professional or technical presentations made at meetings, conventions, or conferences sponsored by a corporation, other business entity, professional or technical societies, associations, agencies, or organizations, or other group.
(5) Teaching or instructing as listed in paragraphs (1) through (4) above.
(6) Authoring published papers, articles, books, or accepted licensing examination items.
(7) Active participation in professional or technical societies, associations, agencies, or organizations, including:
(A) Serving as an elected or appointed official;
(B) Serving on a committee of the organization;
(C) Serving in other official positions.
(8) Patents Issued.
(9) Engaging in self-directed study.
(g) All activities described in §137.17(f) of this title shall be relevant to the practice of a technical profession and may include technical, ethical, or managerial content.
(h) The conversion of other units of credit to PDH units is as follows:
(1) 1 College or unit semester hour- 15 PDH
(2) 1 College or unit quarter hour - 10 PDH
(3) 1 Continuing Education Unit - 10 PDH
(4) 1 Hour of professional development in course work, seminars, or professional or technical presentations made at meetings, conventions, or conferences - 1 PDH
(5) 1 Hour of professional development through self-directed study (Not to exceed 5 PDH) - 1 PDH
(6) Each published paper, article, or book - 10 PDH
(7) Active participation in professional or technical society, association, agency, or organization (Not to exceed 5 PDH per organization - 1 PDH
(8) Each patent issued - 15 PDH
(9) Other activities shall be credited at 1 PDH for each hour of participation in the activity.
(i) Determination of Credit
(1) The Board shall be the final authority with respect to whether a course or activity meets the requirements of these rules.
(2) The Board shall not pre-approve or endorse any CEP activities. It is the responsibility of each license holder to assure that all PDH credits claimed meet CEP requirements.
(3) Credit for college or community college approved courses will be based upon course credit established by the college.
(4) Credit for seminars and workshops will be based on one PDH unit for each hour of attendance. Attendance at programs presented at professional and/or technical society meetings will earn PDH units for the actual time of each program.
(5) Credit for self-directed study will be based on one PDH unit for each hour of study and is not to exceed 5 PDH per renewal period. Credit determination for self-directed study is the responsibility of the license holder and subject to review as required by the Board.
(6) Credit determination for activities described in subsection (h)(4) of this section is the responsibility of the license holder and subject to review as required by the Board.
(7) Credit for activity described in subsection (h)(7) of this section requires that a license holder serve as an officer of the organization, actively participate in a committee of the organization, or serve in other official positions. PDH credits are not earned until the end of each year of service is completed.
(8) Teaching credit is valid for teaching a course or seminar for the first time only.
(j) The license holder is responsible for maintaining records to be used to support credits claimed. Records required include, but are not limited to:
(1) a log showing the type of activity claimed, sponsoring organization, location, duration, instructor’s or speaker’s name, and PDH credits earned; and
(2) attendance verification records in the form of completion certificates or other documents supporting evidence of attendance.
(k)The license holder must submit certification that CEP requirements have been satisfied for that renewal year with the renewal application and fee.
(l) CEP records for each license holder must be maintained for a period of three years by the license holder.
(m) CEP records for each license holder are subject to audit by the Board or its authorized representative.
(1) Copies must be furnished, if requested, to the Board or its authorized representative for audit verification purposes.
(2) If upon auditing a license holder, the Board finds that the activities cited do not fall within the bounds of educational, technical, ethical, or professional management activities related to the practice of engineering; the Board may require the license holder to acquire additional PDH as needed to fulfill the minimum CEP requirements.
(n) A license holder may be exempt from the professional development educational requirements for one of the following reasons listed in paragraphs (1)-(4) of this subsection:
(1) New license holders by way of examination shall be exempt for their first renewal period.
(2) A license holder serving on active duty and deployed outside the United States, its possessions and territories, in or for the military service of the United States for a period of time exceeding one hundred twenty (120) consecutive days in a year shall be exempt from obtaining the professional development hours required during that year.
(3) License holders experiencing physical disability, illness, or other extenuating circumstances as reviewed and approved by the Board may be exempt. Supporting documentation must be furnished to the Board.
(4) License holders who list their status as “Inactive” and who further certify that they are no longer receiving any remuneration from providing professional engineering services shall be exempt from the professional development hours required.
(o) A license holder may bring an inactive license to active status by obtaining all delinquent PDH units. However, if the total number required to become current exceeds 30 units, then 30 units shall be the maximum number required.
(1) If an license holder does not certify that CEP requirements have been met for a renewal period, the license shall be considered expired and subject to late fees and penalties.
(2) Failure to comply with CEP reporting requirements as listed in this section is a violation of Board rules and shall be subject to sanctions.
(3) A determination by audit that CEP requirements have been falsely reported shall be considered to be misconduct and will subject the license holder to disciplinary action.
Source Note: The provisions of this §137.17 amended to be effective January 1, 2006.