CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (Professional Development Hours)
In January 2004, the new Texas requirements for Professional Engineers to obtain 15 hours of continuing education or professional development hours (PDHs) per year was adopted. To download a copy of the new rules, click here.
All engineers have from September, 1st, 2003 until their renewal time – either March, June, Sept, or Dec 2005 to earn 15 PDHs. The first group of engineers to be affected will be those renewing their licenses in March 2005. At this time they will have to fill out a form and show that they have earned 15 PDH’s.
For those participants in the previous voluntary program, no hours will be carried forward.
Engineers who accumulate more than the required hours over the designated time may carry up to 15 hours for one year to the next. For example, if you earn 25 PDHs from September 1, 2003 to December 2005, you may carry 10 of these units forward to the next. year.
Of the 15 required hours:
- One hour must be on Engineering Ethics
- Up to 5 hours may be self study
- Up to 5 hours can be accumulated for serving as an appointed official or on the committee of a professional technical society
- 15 hours can be taken of a patent
- 10 hours can be taken for publishing a book, article or paper
SEAoT is fully committed to assisting its members achieve the necessary number of PDHs for license renewal. Members may earn CEUs by attending presentations at Chapter meetings around the State, seminars and at the Annual Conference. The benefits of Association membership have never been greater. If you are not currently a member, please join by clicking here.
Keeping track of PDH
The Texas Board of Professional Engineers requires engineers to keep an activity log. For a pdf copy of the TBPE log sheet click below:
Frequently Asked Questions
- When does CEP start?
- My renewal date is 12/31/04. Will I have to provide CEP hours for this renewal?
- When can I start collecting hours?
- How many hours are required?
- How do I get the one ethics hour? Does the board provide anything that will meet this requirement? Is there anything online?
- What is Self-Study?
- What proof / documentation do I need?
- What courses, presentations, or activities count? Does the Board have a list?
- I am a content provider. How do I get a course listed / approved by the board?
- What exemptions are there from CEP requirements? Are they the same as the exemptions for renewals?
When does CEP start?
The Continuing Education Program will begin in calendar year 2005. This means you will have to provide CEP hours with the renewal you receive in 2005. You will receive more information and specifics with your renewal form in 2004.
My renewal date is 12/31/04. Will I have to provide CEP hours for this renewal?
No. Your first renewal that requires CEP hours was due 12/31/05. (
When can I start collecting hours?
The board has decided to allow license holders to begin collecting hours as of September 1, 2003. This will allow everyone to become familiar with the program and will ensure that everyone can collect enough hours by the beginning of the program in 2005.
How many hours are required?
The CEP rule requires 15 PDH (Professional Development Hours) per year. If you collect more than 15 PDH in one year then you can roll over up to 15 hours for the next year.
At least one PDH per year 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.
How do I get the one ethics hour? Does the board provide anything that will meet this requirement? Is there anything online?
You can meet the ethics requirement through any coursework, seminars, presentations, or other activities that are in the area of professional ethics, roles and responsibilities of professional engineering, or review of the Texas Engineering Practice Act and Board Rules. This can include self-study.
Currently, the board does not have any specific courses or on-line activities available to provide the minimum one hour requirement.
An interested engineer can download or view the Texas Engineering Practice Act and the Board Rules at www.tbpe.state.tx.us/downloads.html
What is Self-Study?
The language in the rule concerning self-study states “Credit determination for self-directed study is the responsibility of the license holder and subject to review as required by the board.”
Essentially, self-study is any study, research, reading, etc. that is performed by the license holder that is relevant to the practice of a technical profession and includes technical, ethical, or managerial content. It is credited on an hour for hour basis, with a maximum set by the legislature at 5 PDH total per renewal period.
So reading up on a new topic, researching a new design, keeping up with current engineering periodicals, or reading about the engineering Act and Board Rules can all count toward self-study.
What proof / documentation do I need?
The board wants the reporting process to be as simple as possible. There are only two things that a license holder needs to do:
1) Fill in a short list of activities, dates, etc. on the renewal statement from the TBPE and return it with your renewal payment. This will be the main document that the board reviews and keeps as a record of completing the CEP requirement. Click here to download a log sheet to help track CEP activities as you accumulate hours.
2) Keep some sort of paper proof of your activity. This can include a certificate of completion or attendance in a course or seminar, a grade report, a flyer or agenda from a presentation or meeting, or any other document that shows the date, location, duration, and type of activity you wish to claim.
Self-study will be reported simply as the type of activity, date, and hours claimed. (Example – “Read Engineering Practice Act, 02/05/04, 1 PDH”)
Content providers or activity sponsors do not need to report attendance to the board.
What courses, presentations, or activities count? Does the Board have a list?
The intent of the continuing education program is for it to be self-administered. TBPE does not plan on pre-approving any courses, seminars, presentations, or other activities to meet the CEP requirement. The board does not have a list of approved courses or activities. It would be very difficult to include every possible course, seminar, or activity available to a PE nationwide.
There are two basic criteria for an activity to count:
1) Is the specific activity on the list of activities in the rule?
2) Is the activity relevant to the practice of a technical profession and does it include technical, ethical, or managerial content?
If the activity is related to engineering in a technical, managerial, or ethical manner, then it will count.
I am a content provider. How do I get a course listed/approved by the board?
The board does not have a list of approved courses or activities, so there is no need for a content provider to register their activity with the board or have it approved.
The intent of the continuing education program is for it to be self-administered. TBPE does not plan on pre-approving any courses, seminars, presentations, or other activities to meet the CEP requirement.
Content providers or activity sponsors do not need to report attendance to the board.
There are several important things to note about the Continuing Education Program and exemptions:
1) The exemptions for the $200 professional fee for renewals are NOT the same as exemptions from CEP requirements.
2) ALL active engineers, regardless of industry exemption or age, must provide CEP hours for renewal. This means that even if you do not perform engineering for the public (exempt industry) or you are over 65 you must still provide 15 PDH per renewal period.
3) The only exemptions are listed below:
- A license holder serving on temporary active duty in the armed forces 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.
- 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.
- License holders who list their status as “Retired” or “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.
- New license holders by way of examination shall be exempt for their first renewal period.