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09.23.06 - Board for Professional Engineers - Proposed Regulations

PROPOSED ACTION ON REGULATIONS
MARYLAND REGISTER, VOLUME 44, ISSUE 19,
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

Title 09 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING, AND REGULATION

Subtitle 23 BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS

09.23.06 Continuing Professional Competency Requirements

Authority: Business Occupations and Professions Article, §14-314, Annotated Code of Maryland

Notice of Proposed Action
[17-216-P]

The Board for Professional Engineers proposes to amend Regulations .02 — .05, repeal Regulations .06, .07, .16, and .17, adopt new Regulation .06, amend and recodify existing Regulations .08 — .11 and .13 — .15 to be Regulations .07 — .10 and .12 — .14, respectively, and recodify existing Regulation .12 to be Regulation .11.

This action was considered by the Board at a public meeting held on May 11, 2017, notice of which was published on the Board’s website pursuant to General Provisions Article, §3-302 (c), Annotated Code of Maryland.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this action is to (1) repeal different categories of qualified continuing competency activities; (2) clarify methods of earning continuing competency credits; (3) reduce the number of continuing competency credits required for license renewal; and (4) make other clarifying changes to enable licensees to earn continuing competency credits in a more efficient and flexible manner.

Comparison to Federal Standards

There is no corresponding federal standard to this proposed action.

Estimate of Economic Impact

The proposed action has no economic impact.

Economic Impact on Small Businesses

The proposed action has minimal or no economic impact on small businesses.

Impact on Individuals with Disabilities

The proposed action has no impact on individuals with disabilities.

Opportunity for Public Comment

Comments may be sent to Steve Long, Executive Director, Board for Professional Engineers, 500 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, or call 410-230-6262, or email to steve.long@maryland.gov, or fax to 410-333-0021. Comments will be accepted through October 16, 2017. A public hearing will be held on November 9, 2017, at 11 a.m., at 500 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202.

Open Meeting

Final action on the proposal will be considered by the Board for Professional Engineers during a public meeting to be held on December 14, 2017, at 10 a.m., at 500 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202.

.02 Definitions.
  A. (text unchanged)
  B. Terms Defined.
    (1) — (3) (text unchanged)
    [(4) “Category A/Category B programs” means the types of programs set forth in Regulation .04 of this chapter.
    (5) “College unit/semester/quarter hour” means the credit for a course described in §B(1) of this regulation, offered by a university, college, or community college.
    (6) “Continuing education unit (CEU)” means a unit of credit customarily used for continuing education courses. One continuing education unit equals 10 hours of class time in an approved continuing education course.]
    [(7)] (4) — [(12)] (9) (text unchanged)
    [(13) “Seminar” means a meeting or meetings of experienced participants or experts with an expert leader who conducts a discussion on a specific topic.
    (14) “Workshop” means a meeting or meetings of general sessions and individual groups.]

.03 Requirements.
  A. A licensee shall complete [at least 24 PDH units during each reporting period with a:
    (1) Minimum of 18 PDH units in Category A programs, including a minimum of 1 PDH unit in content areas related to the standards of practice or care, laws and regulations applicable to the practice of engineering in Maryland, or professional engineering ethics; and
    (2) Maximum of 6 PDH units in Category B programs.
  B. A maximum of 12 PDH units earned in excess of 24 PDH units that are required for a license renewal during the licensing term can be carried forward to apply as credit toward the next individual licensing term.] a minimum of 16 PDH units earned from the participation in and completion of qualifying programs described in Regulation .04 of this chapter as a condition of license renewal in each individual biennial licensing term.
  B. A minimum of 1 PDH unit in each individual biennial licensing term shall be earned from the participation in and the completion of qualifying programs with content areas related to the following:
    (1) The 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.
  C. A maximum of 8 PDH units earned in excess of 16 units that are required for a license renewal during the licensing term can be carried forward to apply as credit toward the next individual licensing term.

.04 Qualifying Programs.
  A. (text unchanged)
  B. Qualifying programs [may fall into one or more of the following categories] shall have the following content areas:
    [(1) Category A programs shall have content areas that focus on the following issues:]
    [(a)] (1) — [(e)] (5) (text unchanged)
    [(f)] (6) Project management, risk assessment and management, or emergency and disaster management; [or]
    [(g)] (7) Similar topics aimed to maintain, improve, or expand the skills and knowledge relevant to the licensee’s field of practice; or
    [(2) Category B programs shall have content areas that focus on the following issues:
      (a) Business or government administration; or
      (b)] (8) Development of traits, skills, or behavioral patterns geared towards improved communications skills, oral and written skills, personal management skills, or other similar programs which contain a clear purpose of improving a licensee’s methods of practice or operations or advancing professionally related skills and practices as applicable to the practice of engineering.
  [C. Qualifying programs shall be formally organized and classified as:
    (1) University, college, and community college courses;
    (2) Professional workshops;
    (3) Seminars;
    (4) Self-directed; or
    (5) Technical presentations.
  D. Qualifying programs may be presented by the following methods:
    (1) Live;
    (2) Televised;
    (3) Videotaped;
    (4) Audiotaped;
    (5) Online; or
    (6) Through other appropriate formats approved by the Board.]
  C. The determination of whether the activity constitutes a qualifying activity is within the discretion of the Board.

.05 Sources of Credit.
  A. A licensee may earn PDH units by any of the following methods:
    (1) [Attendance] Attending and [successful completion of structured educational programs] successfully completing qualifying programs in which the teaching methodology consists primarily of systematic presentation of subjects related to the practice of engineering, and which programs are:
      (a) — (c) (text unchanged)
    (2) — (3) (text unchanged)
    (4) Subject to limitations set forth in Regulation [.07] .06 of this chapter, active participation in an engineering professional or technical society;
    (5) (text unchanged)
    (6) [Teaching of an engineering subject as identified] Subject to limitations set forth in this Regulation .05, teaching or lecturing of a qualified program, as described in Regulation .04 of this chapter;
    (7) (text unchanged)
    (8) Other appropriate methods approved by the Board.
  B. A licensee may not earn credits for such activities as:
    (1) Regular employment as a professional engineer, full-time faculty member, or expert witness;
    (2) — (5) (text unchanged)
    (6) Repetitive attendance of the same course or activity [without substantial modifications or updates];
    (7) — (11) (text unchanged)

.06 Values of Units.
  A. PDH units are earned or converted from other units of credit as follows:
    (1) 1 college or unit semester hour—45 PDH units;
    (2) 1 college or unit quarter hour—30 PDH units;
    (3) 1 continuing education unit—10 PDH units;
    (4) Each published paper or article on an engineering subject as identified in Regulation .04 of this chapter — 3 PDH units;
    (5) Each published book on an engineering subject — 16 PDH units;
    (6) Teaching of engineering and related subjects on a part-time basis, provided that:
      (a) The presenter may claim credit for the first time presentation of the qualifying program; and
      (b) The presenter may claim up to 2 times the number of PDH units awarded by the Board for the same program;
    (7) Participation in engineering, professional or technical societies, regardless of the number of organizations a licensee may be serving on simultaneously, as an officer, provided that the credit is not considered earned until the end of each year of service completed — 1 PDH unit;
    (8) Work related to the development and submission of examination questions subject to the following limitations:
      (a) Questions accepted for use on NCEES examinations — 2 PDH units per accepted question, up to 4 PDH units per year; and
      (b) Attendance and participation in NCEES exam development committee meetings—up to 6 PDH units per year; and
    (9) Obtaining a patent — 8 PDH units.
  B. The final determinations of value and other matters related to the PDH units are the responsibility of the licensee, subject to review and approval by the Board.

[.08] .07 Authorizations of Providers/Other Presenters.
   A. The Board will review and, if appropriate, approve the providers of the [CPC credits and PDH units] qualifying programs.
  B. Providers’ Eligibility/Other Presenters.
    (1) The following providers are considered to be preauthorized providers without any further action by the Board:
      (a)—(b) (text unchanged)
      (c) [National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying] NCEES;
      (d) (text unchanged)
      (e) International Association for Continuing Education and Training; [and]
      (f) Entities that are currently certified as approved providers [of CPC credits and PDH units] by preauthorized providers; and
      (g) (text unchanged)
    (2) In order to be eligible to become an approved provider, the provider must offer the qualifying activity that meets the criteria set forth in Regulation .04 of this chapter.
     [(2)] (3) The Board may allow appropriate credits for the attendance and participation in a technical activity or presentation by companies or organizations, whether or not approved by the Board under this regulation, if:
      (a) The activity or presentation is consistent with Regulation .04[(1)] of this chapter; and
      (b) A licensee maintains required documentation in accordance with Regulation [.09] .08 of this chapter, including a test [, a narrative,] or other appropriate outcome measure acceptable to the Board.
    [(3)] (4) Approval of Providers.
      (a) — (f) (text unchanged)
C. (text unchanged)

[.09] .08 Record Keeping.
   A. (text unchanged)
  B. Documentation referred to in §A(2) of this regulation, includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    (1) — (5) (text unchanged)
    (6) Dates and times attended;
    (7) Presenter’s name; and
    (8) [Other appropriate information, such as a narrative describing the knowledge gained; and
    (9) Materials required for self-directed continuing education programs] Any other information that may be required by the Board.

[.10] .09 Reporting Requirements for License Renewal.
  A. A licensee shall attest on the license renewal form to the fact that the licensee has completed all applicable CPC requirements set forth in this chapter [by the last day of the month preceding the month in which the licensee’s individual license is to be renewed for the following 2-year licensing term] before the licensee’s license expiration date.
  B. The Board at its discretion may audit [randomly selected] licensees to ascertain compliance with CPC requirements.
  C. (text unchanged)

[.11] .10 Exceptions from Compliance with CPC Requirements.
  A. (text unchanged)
  B. Compliance Exception Request.
    (1) If a licensee is unable to comply with all or part of CPC requirements due to physical disability, illness, or other extenuating circumstances, the licensee may request the Board or the Board’s administrative designee grant a one-time exception from compliance (Compliance Exception Request), provided that the Compliance Exception Request is filed with the Board or the Board’s administrative designee at least [60] 30 days prior to the licensee’s license expiration date.
    (2) If a Compliance Exception Request is based on physical disability or illness, the licensee must provide the Board or the Board’s designee with written documentation acceptable to the Board supporting the basis for the request.
    (3) (text unchanged)

[.13] .12 Reinstatement of License
A licensee who wishes to reinstate a license [after failing to complete the CPC requirements] shall fulfill [past due CPC requirements ] at least 16 PDH units by attending and successfully completing one or more qualifying programs described in Regulations .03 and .04 of this chapter for the immediately preceding CPC reporting period [up to 48 PDH units] and pay all applicable fees.

[.14] .13 Retired Status
An individual who elected to receive retired status license shall be exempt from the compliance with the CPC requirements. In the event such individual elects to have the license reactivated, the individual shall fulfill [past due CPC requirements up to 48] at least 16 PDH units by attending and successfully completing one or more qualifying programs described in Regulations .03 and .04 of this chapter.

[.15] .14 Dual Licensees.
A licensee who maintains current licenses in the State of Maryland both as a professional engineer and as a professional land or property line surveyor shall [comply with] fulfill at least 8 PDH units that satisfy the CPC requirements set forth in COMAR 09.13.08 applicable to licensed professional land or property line surveyors, [except that a minimum of 1/3 of the units earned shall be gained from the qualifying programs on an engineering subject as set forth in Regulation .04 of this chapter] and at least 8 PDH units that satisfy the CPC requirements of this chapter.

STEVE LONG
Executive Director