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State Continuing Education Requirements for License Renewal  

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Gene Kooper
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January 2, 2019 4:04 pm  

Am asking surveyors in states nearby to Colorado if they would chime in with their state's continuing ed requirements.  I would appreciate any info on the number of hours mandated per renewal period, the verification/audit process, whether the continuing education must be approved by the licensing board, specific classes like ethics that are mandatory, and cites to the statutes and board rules.

I'm trying to find out what other states currently require.  Last year a bill was introduced here mandating continuing ed.  It was a very short bill that only specified that the continuing ed be approved by the state board, but no specifics on the number of hours, required CE courses, or whether the Board would approve all courses, or just promulgate general rules that the continuing education must meet to be "approved by the board".

The PLSC did state in their 2017 application to the Dept. of Regulatory Agencies that they would like to see an ethics course requirement and that the number of CE credits be a minimum of 30 contact hours (maybe that many hours is deemed necessary to catch up with our peers in other states).  The bill was summarily killed by the Republican controlled Senate who were rather interested in following Nebraska with legislation to reduce regulatory mandates.  BTW...has that impacted the CE requirement in Nebraska or is something planned to reduce or eliminate it based on the "deregulation" bill?

Just a preliminary heads up for those in other states that also are licensed in Colorado.  You might find it necessary to come visit us to get your CE hours if any new bill has similar language.  The Legislative Session starts next week, so a quick look at the Colorado General Assembly's web site will see if another attempt will be made to, "get us to be like all those around us".  😀 


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Jon Collins
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January 2, 2019 6:53 pm  

ND SD NE are all 30 hours per biennium, none have mandated curriculum type. SD audits are random about 2 to 4 PLS per meeting, not many. I am not sure about ND audits. This year NE started auditing 25% each year, and yes I got to be one of them.


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holy cow
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January 2, 2019 7:22 pm  

Kansas is still a bit odd.  30 hours per biennial renewal.  A 2 hour requirement for state minimum standards review is the only required topic so far as I recall.  There is no pre-approval of courses or instructors to the best of my knowledge.  Some percentage are to be audited at each renewal.  Certain activities that are not classes can count towards the hours.  Teaching a course, I believe may count.  Taking a college class counts big time.   You do what you assume will be counted in an audit and maintain records and proof of attendance to submit if selected for an audit.

Those with two licenses, such as engineer and land surveyor, need a total of 40 hours per biennial renewal.


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Rich Leu
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January 2, 2019 8:29 pm  

In 1979, Iowa became the first state in the country to implement mandatory continuing education for professional engineers and land surveyors.

Currently, Iowa’s biennial requirement is 30 hours. For dual licensees (engineering and land surveying) the biennial requirement is 20 hours in each discipline. At least 2 of the 30 hours must be in the area of professional ethics. There is no pre-approval but there is a very general list of allowable activities and a list of specific exclusions. 15 hours may be carried over from the previous biennium. The licensee is responsible for maintaining adequate records to support the professional development hours claimed and must provide those records if audited.

The specifics can be found in the Iowa Administrative Code, Section 193C, Chapter 7.


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Jim Frame
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January 2, 2019 8:56 pm  

CA doesn't share a boundary with CO, but for what it's worth we remain mercifully free of a CE requirement.

Jim Frame
Frame Surveying & Mapping
609 A Street
Davis, CA 95616
framesurveying.com


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Gene Kooper
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January 2, 2019 9:23 pm  

Thank you for the responses, gentlemen.  It is surprising that those with licenses as both surveyors and engineers get a slight break in Kansas and Iowa.  Colorado engineers do not have CE requirements either.  For whatever reason(s) they have zero interest in pursuing a CE mandate.

 

I concur with Jim Frame and hope we will be free of a CE requirement when the Legislature adjourns in May.  But then I'm old school and cling to the notion that a licensee's professional judgment should rule over arbitrarily established Board Rules and legislative mandates.  If this passes, it won't affect Colorado surveyors for the next license renewal (October 31, 2019).  The bill wouldn't become effective until August of this year and any rules promulgated won't likely be in place for that license renewal.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Gene Kooper

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Hblair
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January 3, 2019 5:41 am  

New Mexico's requirements are 30 PDH's every 2 years, of those 2 PDH's must be in ethics.

 


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Jim in AZ
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January 3, 2019 5:48 am  

Gene,

Arizona has no requirement for CE's. The Board is no longer in the business of protecting the public, as they were when I obtained my license decades ago. All they seem to be interested in is collecting money for the State. The level of competency of licensee's is of little if any interest to them.

Jim

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance - Confucius


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holy cow
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January 3, 2019 10:34 am  

I also have a license as a real estate salesperson.  That requires a 2-hour course in ethics, believe it or not.  A total of 12 hours of CE every 2 years is the standard requirement for renewal.


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Gene Kooper
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January 3, 2019 4:19 pm  

Thanks again for the information.  Much appreciated.  I had complied a list of the surrounding states of their CE requirements for architects many years ago when the architects in Colorado tried a bold initiative (see below), but had only looked at what states surveyors had CE requirements.  In 2008, only Arizona and the three "C" states did not have a CE requirement for surveyors.

Back in July 2008, when I served as the Executive Director of the Professional Land Surveyors of Colorado I was asked to serve on a licensing board rulemaking committee tasked with implement a new "flavor" of continuing education for architects.  AIA Colorado had been seeking a continuing education requirement for many years and after their attempt early in 2008 appeared to be headed for the dumpster, a handful of them made a Faustian deal with the Colorado Dept. of Regulatory Agencies.  DORA had always been dead set against CE, but suggested that if the architects would sign on to something new called Continuing Professional Competency, DORA would grant the architects a seat at the table to implement it.  This was a concept first developed back east for the health care field with funding from AARP.

The architects agreed and on July 21, 2008 the inaugural committee meeting was held.  I attended monthly meetings for the next 18 months.  Finally the architects threw their hands up in despair and quit.  The folks at DORA had hired an expert psychometrician who drove the architects nuts with his notions of what the architects needed to provide him in order for him to determine if the program was having the desired results.  Here are the 5 stages of the continuing professional competency as adapted from the health care professions:

  1. A reflection on one's practice....aum!
  2. Develop a list of weaknesses and deficiencies in one's practice 
    crazy.thumb

  3. Develop a plan to address those weaknesses and deficiencies
  4. Implement the plan
  5. Evaluate the results to see if they maintain continuing professional competency.

The psychometrician had determined that in order for him to have valuable data, each architect would need to write their list of weaknesses and deficiencies on a State of Colorado computer.  Well, as you can imagine the architects thought that this wasn't just goofy, it was insane....posting on a state-run computer that you were basically incompetent to practice.  The other major stumbling block was that the architect be required to demonstrate that they had not only retained the material but they had to write narratives describing the CE experience.  I knew things had entered into a dark, Theatre of the Absurd void when it was agreed that saying the architect had "not learned a thing" was sufficient to meet the requirement.

Unsurprisingly, the architects introduced a bill in the 2010 Legislature to rescind their mandate of continuing professional competency.  Fortunately for them, a well-respected architect was a member of the Legislature who sponsored the bill.  In addition to rescinding the madness, the architects got their nice, plain vanilla wrapped continuing education mandate.  IIRC, architects are required to take 12 contact hours each year and a certain proportion must meet specific criteria.  No requirement that the licensing board approve the CE courses.  The architect was responsible for determining what they took met the guidelines.

I actually believe that the five bullet items are a good methodology for a professional to privately document how they garnered the expertise to practice in areas that they previously did not have sufficient expertise.

Thus ends the horror story of trying to adapt health care continuing professional competency to technical professions in Colorado.


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Shelby H. Griggs PLS
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January 7, 2019 12:19 pm  
Posted by: Jim Frame

CA doesn't share a boundary with CO, but for what it's worth we remain mercifully free of a CE requirement.

This has always surprised me as IMO CA has more red tape and regulations than any other state on the west coast, maybe the entire country! I am licensed there and four other states, the other four all require PDH's, but thankfully all about same rules so I get my 30 hours every two years and no issues to date. The instant each state starts mandating their own agenda with in-state acquisition required will be the day out of state licensees will start retiring all but one license! I do actually use all of my licensees at least once every couple years, working for a mapping company where we can have a plane overhead in any one of those states within an hour or so means I get to travel for the ground control quite a bit.

SHG

This post was modified 2 weeks ago 3 times by Shelby H. Griggs PLS

PLS CA, ID, NV, OR, WA
Commercial Vehicle Driver


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Tommy Young
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January 7, 2019 3:10 pm  

Illinois requires 20 hours every two years.  Starting in 2020, one of said hours must be in sexual harassment.


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John Thompson
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January 9, 2019 9:18 am  

Gene, As Jon stated, Nebraska requires 30 hours per biennium. Courses must be "directly related to land surveying." Acceptable activities with hours credited are listed here: http://www.nbels.nebraska.gov/profdev.html

The Nebraska statute can be found here: http://www.nbels.nebraska.gov/statutes.html Scroll down to 81-8,119.01 and .02. The statute requirement is not very specific: Renewing licensees "shall be required to successfully complete thirty hours of professional development within the preceding two calendar years." For those that complete more than 30 hours per biennium, up to 15 hours can be credited to the next biennium. The statute leaves the details to the board: "The examining board shall adopt and promulgate such administrative procedures and rules and regulations as are necessary for the effective delivery and certification of all programs of professional development required in section 81-8,119.01."

The Nebraska board rules can be found here: http://www.nbels.nebraska.gov/rulesreg.html#11 Paragraph 004 states that the board shall select a board-determined percentage of registrants to audit.

My understanding of the Nebraska deregulation bill is that it requires a sunset review of the board every 5 years. I'm not sure when the surveyors board is scheduled for review, but looks like we will find out then what the impact on CE will be.


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