Professional Engineering and Land Surveying
Introduction | General Information | Continuing Education: Who is required to take it? | Continuing Education Hours | Continuing Education Courses and Educational Activities - Acceptable Subject Areas and Providers | Record Keeping and Reporting | More Information
Effective January 1, 2004 licensed professional engineers and land surveyors renewing registration of a license on or after January 1, 2005 are required to complete continuing education requirements.
- If your registration is due for renewal before January 1, 2007,
the number of contact hours you will be required to complete
will vary, but will not exceed 36 hours for professional engineers
or 24 hours for land surveyors.
- If your registration is due for renewal on and after January 1, 2007, professional engineers will be required to complete 36 contact hours of continuing education and land surveyors will be required to complete 24 contact hours of continuing education, in each three-year registration period.
Sections 7211 and 7212 of Article 145 of Education Law and sections 68.11 and 68.12 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education apply to the continuing education requirements. You may request a copy of the law and regulations by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 140 or faxing 518-473-6282 or by writing to the New York State Education Department, Office of Professions, State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying, 89 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor Mezzanine East Wing, Albany, NY 12234.
This information is designed to respond to frequently asked questions about this requirement. It is not a substitute for reading the provisions of law, rule or regulation.
Amendments to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education relating to the mandatory continuing education requirements for professional engineers and land surveyors
- The amendments expand acceptable continuing education activities to include professional service on a committee or task force that addresses technical and/or regulatory issues relating to the professional practice of engineering and/or land surveying. The amendments also require that licensees earn at least one continuing education credit during each triennial registration period by participating in an approved continuing education course or educational activity that focuses substantially on ethics relating to professional practice. Detailed information on these changes is available under our Continuing Education - Questions and Answers, specifically questions Nos. 14, 16, 17, and 18.
- Why is continuing education important?
Licensed professional engineers and land surveyors work in a world of evolving technology, increased consumer expectations and other emerging issues. Practice in this changing environment requires ongoing development of knowledge and skills. It is critical that licensees remain current with changes and developments in the profession to render quality services and to ensure public protection. The Office of the Professions is committed to helping professionals stay up-to-date and informed throughout their professional lives.
- What is the difference between "licensure" and "registration"?
When an individual successfully completes the licensure requirements they are awarded a professional license. The license is valid for life unless it is revoked or surrendered.
Professional engineers and land surveyors in New York must register with the State Education Department every three years to practice their profession.
- Who is required to take continuing education
and how many hours must be completed?
Every New York State licensed and registered professional engineer and land surveyor must complete continuing education unless you satisfy the requirements of the public sector exemption outlined in question 4 or are newly licensed as outlined in question 6 or 7. Professional engineers will be required to complete 36 hours of continuing education during each three-year registration period. Land surveyors will be required to complete 24 hours of continuing education during each three-year registration period. Each licensee must take continuing education in appropriate subject areas offered by approved sponsors.
- What are the
requirements of the public sector exemption for continuing
education for professional engineers?
To satisfy the continuing education requirements under the Public Sector Exemption, a licensee must be directly employed on a full time basis by the State of New York; its agencies, public authorities, public benefit corporations or local government units on December 31, 2003, working in a position requiring licensure in engineering, and either represented by a collective bargaining unit or, pursuant to Article 14 of the Civil Service Law, designated managerial or confidential. If a licensee practices engineering (i.e. provides engineering services) in New York State outside the government service described above, the exemption no longer applies. In these situations, the licensee must complete the continuing education requirement of 1 hour/month of required continuing education from the time the services are provided until the next registration period. Thereafter, the licensee must complete the regular continuing education requirement of 36 hours per registration period. This exemption does not apply to licensed land surveyors.
- When will I be required to report completion of continuing education?
Beginning January 1, 2007, professional engineers will be required to complete 36 contact hours of continuing education and land surveyors will be required to complete 24 contact hours of continuing education, during each three-year registration period.
- I just passed all parts of the licensing
examinations and received my first license. Since I am in my
first registration period, do I need to complete the continuing
education requirements immediately?
No, you are not required to complete continuing education during your initial three-year registration period.
- I was practicing in another jurisdiction
and just received my first New York State license and registration.
Do I need to begin completing continuing education immediately?
No, you are exempt from taking continuing education during the first 3 years following your initial licensure in New York State.
- I am licensed in New York State but am not registered (my registration is inactive) and I am practicing my profession in another jurisdiction. Do I need to complete continuing education before I can reactivate my New York State registration?
Yes. To reactivate your New York State registration, you are required to have completed the number of hours applicable to the period of time of your last registration period and to take 1 hour of continuing education for each month your registration is inactive, up to a maximum of 36 hours. Since you are actively practicing your profession, you will be able to count continuing education credits earned up to 36 months prior to the month in which you reactivate your registration. The continuing education must be taken in appropriate subject areas offered by approved sponsors.
- I am licensed in New York State but am not registered (my registration is inactive) because I have not been practicing my profession in any jurisdiction. Do I need to complete continuing education before I can reactivate my registration?
Yes. To reactivate your New York State registration, you are required to have completed the number of hours applicable to the period of time of your last registration period and to take 1 hour of continuing education for each month your registration is inactive, up to a maximum of 36 hours. Since you are not actively practicing your profession, you will only be able to count continuing education credits earned up to 12 months prior to the month in which you reactivate your registration. In addition, you must complete the regular continuing education requirements for the new registration period at a rate of 1 hour per month until your next registration period. The continuing education must be taken in appropriate subject areas offered by approved sponsors.
- I just received my registration certificate
and notice that the registration period is less than three
years. Am I required to complete the total number of continuing
education hours required by my profession?
No, registration periods are adjusted so that renewals occur during the licensee's month of birth. When this happens and your registration period is less than three-years, you must calculate how many hours you are required to complete. To do this, count the number of months of the registration period. You must complete 1 hour of continuing education for each month up to a maximum of 36 hours for professional engineers and up to maximum of 24 hours for land surveyors. For example, suppose your registration period extends from 01/01/05 to 06/30/07. This registration period is a 30-month period, therefore, you are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education if you are a professional engineer or 24 hours if you are a land surveyor.
- What is an hour of continuing education?
An hour of continuing education is one contact hour of at least 50 minutes in duration. Most continuing education providers give credit in hours; however, you may also see credit given in continuing education units.
One continuing education unit (CEU) equals 10 contact hours. Therefore, .1 CEU equals one contact hour. To convert CEU's to contact hours, multiply by 10. To convert contact hours to CEU's divide the contact hour by ten.
Individuals completing college-level course work should note that one-semester hour of college level course work equals 15 contact hours and one-quarter hour of college-level course work equals 10 contact hours.
Continuing education hours, commonly referred to as Professional development hours (PDH) are based on the duration of time it takes for continuing education course content to be delivered. It includes only instructional time and does not include breaks or meal times. 1 PDH is equivalent to 60 minutes of instruction.
In the case of a one hour long, stand-alone educational session, 1 PDH may be awarded for 50 minutes of instruction. In all other cases, 1 PDH should be assigned for each 60 minutes of instructional time.Example 1: Day Session at local conference from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm
9:00 - 10:00 Assessing Bridge Superstructures 1 PDH
10:30 - 12:30 Design of Reinforced Masonry Structures 2 PDH
1:00 - 1:50 Bridge Mechanics 1 PDH Total PDH credits to be awarded for attendance at all three sessions would be 4 PDH.
• If participants only attended the 9:00 am session on Assessing Bridge Superstructures, they would receive 1 PDH for the 60 minute session.
• If participants only attended the 1 PM session on Bridge Mechanics, they would receive 1 PDH for that session, even though it was only 50 minutes in duration.
• If participants attended only the 10:30 am session on Designing Reinforced Masonry Structures, they would receive 2 PDH credits for the 120 minutes of instruction.
Example 2: Breakfast Lecture Series
7:00 Welcome and Breakfast Service Begins
7:30 – 8:20 Speaker – “Understanding Plastic Potable Water Pipeline Systems”
8:30 Questions, Answers and Closing Remarks • Participants attending this continuing education session would receive 1 PDH credit for the lecture portion of the session, which was 50 minutes in duration (from 7:30 – 8:20). Example 3: 2-Part Presentation
10:00 – 11:00 Part 1 – New Concepts in Design Build – Lecture Presentation
11:00 – 12:00 Local Engineering Society awards ceremony
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch on your own
1:00 – 3:00 Part 2 – New Concepts in Design Build – Case Study Discussions • Participants attending Parts 1 and 2, would receive 3 PDH credits for 180 minutes of instruction.
• Participants attending only Part 1 would receive 1 PDH credit for 60 minutes of instruction.
• Participants attending only Part 2 would receive 2 PDH credits for 120 minutes of instruction.
- If I complete more hours of continuing education
than is required during my registration period, can I use them
toward the hours required in my next registration period?
No, continuing education hours cannot be carried over to subsequent registration periods.
- Am I required to complete a certain number
of hours of continuing education each year during my registration
No. You can complete the hours any time during the three-year registration period as long as you have completed the required hours prior to the expiration date of your registration, unless you have had a lapse in your registration. If this is the case, the requirements outlined in question 9 would apply. However, we recommend that you complete courses each year so you are sure to have them completed before it is time to reregister.
- What is acceptable continuing education?
Acceptable continuing education includes courses and educational activities.
- Courses: A minimum of 18 hours of continuing education must be completed in courses for professional engineers and a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education must be completed in courses for land surveyors. All 36 hours for professional engineers or 24 hours for land surveyors may be completed through acceptable courses.
- Educational Activities: A maximum of 18 hours may be in educational activities for professional engineers and a maximum of 8 hours may be in educational activities for land surveyors.
- 1 hour of professional ethics must be taken as either a course or educational activity every registration period. This requirement becomes effective for registration periods beginning August 1, 2011 and after.
- What are acceptable courses/educational
activities for continuing education?
To be acceptable the courses/educational activities must be:
- administered by an approved New York State sponsor (provider) and
- in an approved subject area and
- in an approved format.
- In addition to the requirements above, for a course to be considered acceptable, a student must have the opportunity for immediate interaction with an instructor/presenter, e.g. a seminar, workshop, lecture, technical presentation, etc. See question #17 for a listing of approved sponsors and question #18 for a listing of approved subject areas.
Please note: Courses and educational activities requiring the use of a self-reporting form by the sponsor will NOT be accepted for New York State continuing education credit.
15 a. What are the guidelines for an acceptable professional ethics course?
To be an acceptable ethics course, the live course or educational activity must increase the engineer or land surveyor’s knowledge of ethical standards for the practice of his/her respective profession. This may include:
- Focusing on the New York State Education Law, Rules of the Board of Regents, and the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. See http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pels/
- Ethical concerns or issues in the area of specialization/engineering discipline/land surveying that is inclusive of information on recent litigation with a discussion of case studies in these fields
- Foundation courses that cover such topics as:
- Introduction to ethical concepts
- The psychology of moral development
- Judgement and values
- The sociology of professions
- Virtue and the role of ethics
- Public expectations of engineers and land surveyors responsibilities
- Ethical dilemmas
An ethics component may be incorporated into a continuing education course, but must meet the following criteria, for audit purposes:
- be at least 60 minutes in duration
- be indicated in the title of the course and course completion certificate
- be identified in the course syllabus/topical outline
- What are acceptable continuing educational
activities other than courses?
Acceptable continuing educational activities include:
- Preparing and teaching a course offered by an approved New York State sponsor (provider) and in an acceptable subject area. Continuing education hours credited for this activity can include actual instructional time plus preparation time, which may be up to 2 additional hours for each hour taught. Teaching experience will not be accepted if you have taught the course on more than one occasion without presenting substantially new or revised material.
- Authoring an article in an approved subject area published in a peer reviewed journal or a published book. You will receive 9 continuing education hours for each work published during the registration period up to a maximum of 18 educational activity credits per registration period.
- Making a technical presentation in an approved subject area at a professional conference or meeting sponsored by an organization that is an approved sponsor (provider). Continuing education hours credited for this activity can include actual instructional time plus preparation time, which may be up to 2 additional hours for each hour taught. A specific presentation may only be counted once during any given registration period.
- Obtaining a patent related to the practice of engineering. You will receive 9 continuing education hours for each patent granted on an invention during the registration period.
- Completing self-study program. Self-study must be taken from an approved provider and in an acceptable subject area and be structured study that is based on audio, audio-visual, written, online, or other media, and does not meet the criteria established for live instruction described in question 15. In addition, a self-study program must have a testing instrument, which is completed by the licensee and returned to the sponsor for scoring. A passing grade is required before a sponsor may award continuing education credit.
- Completing an educational tour in an approved subject area, meaning a structured tour of an instructional nature, provided by an approved sponsor (provider). The tour may not be promotional in nature.
- Professional service on a committee or task force that addresses technical and/or regulatory issues relating to the professional practice of engineering or land surveying, provided that such committee/task force has been established by a governmental entity, professional association, or other entity determined by the Department to be acceptable. Such service must be certified in writing by an authorized individual within the committee or task force. You will receive 1 continuing education hour for every 2 hours of time spent in formal collaborative sessions, while engaged in activities directly related to professional practice. Licensees are permitted to earn up to 9 hours per registration period for this activity.
- How do I know if a sponsor is approved?
The following entities are authorized to approve sponsors of continuing education for New York State professional engineers and land surveyors. If the courses and educational activities are offered by sponsors approved by one of these entities and the subject area of the courses and educational activities meet the requirements in question 18, then the courses or educational activities would be considered approved New York State mandatory continuing education.
Please note: NOT all courses and educational activities offered by an approved sponsor are acceptable for continuing education credit in New York State. Also note: Courses and educational activities requiring the use of a self-reporting form by the sponsor will NOT be accepted for New York State continuing education credit.
- Sponsors recognized by the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™). The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) list of recognized sponsors is available at Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™)
- American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACECNY). ACECNY's list of recognized sponsors is available from ACECNY, 6 Airline Dr., Albany, NY 12205, Phone 518-452-8611; Fax 518-452-1710; or www.acecny.org/conedu.html
- Registered Continuing Education Providers Program (RCEPP). RCEPP's list of registered providers is available at www.rcep.net . RCEP 1015 15th Street, NW – 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Phone 202-682-4338; Fax 202-789-7220
- International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). IACET's list of recognized sponsors is available from IACET, 1620 I St. NW Suite 615, Washington, DC 20006; Phone 202-463-2905; Fax 202-463-8497 or www.iacet.org
- National Council of Structural Engineers Association (NCSEA). NCSEA's list of recognized sponsors is available from NCSEA, 645 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 540, Chicago, IL 60611; Phone 312-649-4600; Fax 312-649-5840; or www.ncsea.com
- The Practicing Institute of Engineering (P.I.E). P.I.E's list of recognized sponsors and procedures is available from P.I.E., 6 Airline Dr. Albany, NY 12205; Phone 518-283-7490; Fax 518-283-7495; or www.practicinginstitute.org
- AIA's Continuing Education System list of recognized sponsors is available from the Continuing Education Program, 1735 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006-5292; or AIA's Web site at www.aia.org
- The Shaw Fund Continuing Education Approved Provider Program. The Shaw Fund list of recognized sponsors is available from the Shaw Fund Approved Provider Program, 146 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12210; Phone 518-432-4046; Fax 518-432-4055; or www.nysapls.net
- Colleges, universities and other degree granting institutions offering degree (e.g. AAS, BS, MS), certificate or diploma programs carrying degree credit that are registered by the State Education Department or have authority to offer equivalent programs accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency (e.g., ABET). The State Education Department's "Inventory of Registered Programs" includes all degree granting institutions in the State and can be found on SED's site at www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue
- The NYS Education Department directly approves sponsors (providers). Please see the list of currently approved sponsors. Further information and an application form are available on this site.
- US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) www.epa.gov
- What are appropriate subjects for continuing
Not all courses and educational activities offered by an approved sponsor are acceptable for continuing education credit in New York State. Courses and educational activities must contribute to the professional practice of professional engineering or land surveying. The subject matter of the course or educational activity must be related to professional practice and contribute to the development or maintenance of professional knowledge. Subject areas that are not so related, such as, project management related to improving/maximizing profitability and professional fees; marketing and public relations; expanding a design professional's business; laws related to arbitration, mediation, liens and limiting the design professional's liability (unless they are related to safeguarding the health, safety, and welfare of the public); real estate licensing; basic Auto CAD; personal, estate or financial planning; zoning as it relates to increasing a developer or engineer/land surveyor's profitability; design build and/or alternative delivery methods (unless it includes information on the laws related to design build and its limitations in New York State) are non-acceptable subjects.
Acceptable subjects may include:
- Professional Engineering:
- aerospace engineering, agricultural engineering, architectural engineering, bioengineering, ceramic engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, construction engineering, control systems engineering, electrical/computer engineering, environmental engineering, fire protection engineering, geological engineering, industrial engineering, manufacturing engineering, mechanical engineering, materials/metallurgical engineering, mining/mineral engineering, naval architecture/marine engineering, nuclear/radiological engineering, ocean engineering, petroleum engineering, structural engineering, systems engineering, architecture, land surveying; or other matters of law and/or ethics which contribute to the professional practice in engineering and the health, safety, and/or welfare of the public; and in other topics which contribute to the professional practice of engineering as such practice is defined in section 7201 of the Education Law.
- Land Surveying:
- Land surveying methods and techniques; or other matters of
law and/or ethics which contribute to the practice of land surveying
and the health safety, and/or welfare of the public; and in other
topics which contribute to the professional practice of land surveying
as such practice is defined in section
7203 of the Education Law.
- Land surveying methods and techniques; or other matters of law and/or ethics which contribute to the practice of land surveying and the health safety, and/or welfare of the public; and in other topics which contribute to the professional practice of land surveying as such practice is defined in section 7203 of the Education Law.
- Professional Engineering:
- Can I study on my own rather than complete
courses or educational activities?
No. Independent study or informal group "study clubs" and/or "book clubs" of professional engineers or land surveyors that are not approved sponsors cannot be accepted. Continuing education offered by an approved sponsor assures appropriate course format, effective evaluation and necessary record keeping.
- Are courses limited to a traditional "classroom setting" in
which I am in the same room with the instructor?
No, however you must be able to interact with the instructor. Examples include: a live lecture, a telecourse or teleconference in which you and the instructor can speak directly with each other; a course in which you and the other practitioners discuss a taped presentation with a facilitator's assistance; a computerized course in which you are able to interact directly with the instructor. On the other hand, a televised lecture with no means of direct interaction would not be acceptable as a live course even if it were a live telecast.
- May I count toward my requirement a college
level course that I teach?
Yes. Individuals teaching a college-level course; at a College, university or other degree granting institutions offering degree (e.g. AAS, BS, MS), certificate or diploma programs carrying degree credit that are registered by the State Education Department or have authority to offer equivalent programs accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency (e.g. ABET) which is taught over the course of a college semester and is in an approved subject area may receive New York State continuing education credit which may be counted once during any given registration period.
The number of contact hours accepted for teaching a college course is as follows: one semester hour equals 15 contact hours; one quarter hour 10 contact hours. During a registrant's three-year registration period, a maximum of 18 contact hours for engineers and 8 contact hours for land surveyors may be accepted as educational activities for continuing education credit. Any contact hours exceeding the 18-hour requirement for engineers and 8-hour requirement for land surveyors may not be carried over to subsequent registration periods.
Documentation should be obtained from the college or university's department chair or registrar's office, certifying that you taught the course which should include; the title of the course and any identification number assigned; number of semester hours completed; name of the college; verification by the sponsor or department chair (registrar) that you taught the course; date and location of the course.
- What records will I expect to receive from the continuing education provider and how long am I required to keep them?
Sponsors must provide a Certificate of Completion to licensees who completed courses or educational activities for continuing education credit. The information on each course or educational activity should be retained in your records for six years from the date of completion. For NO reason will self-reporting forms be acceptable for New York State continuing education credit.
A Certificate of Completion should include the following information:
- title of the course or program, the specific acceptable subject area, and any identification number assigned to it by the sponsor
- number of hours completed
- the sponsor's name and any identifying number
- verification by the sponsor of your attendance
- the date and location of the course or activity
- you taught the course or made a presentation - alternatively, a signed letter from the sponsor indicating you taught the course or made the presentation (including name of the course, when, where, how many hours taught/presented) may be accepted in place of a certificate of completion.
- What information must I provide the State
Education Department when I renew my registration?
Send your completed registration form, on which you will attest that you completed the required continuing education hours, together with the registration fee, which is currently $242, and the continuing education fee, which is currently $45, for a total of $287.
- Do I have to send my continuing education
records to the State Education Department when I reregister?
No. On the registration renewal form you will be required to certify that you have completed the required continuing education. You should retain your continuing education records in your files for a period of 6 years after the date of completion of the continuing education. However, you are required to make your continuing education records available for inspection by the Department upon our request. We audit random samples of mandatory continuing education records to assure compliance with the continuing education requirement.
- What documentation must I provide if my
continuing education records are audited?
Upon request, you must provide the Department with your records of completion for each approved continuing education course or activity. In no cases will self-reporting forms be acceptable for New York State credit.
- What if the audit reveals discrepancies?
You may be subject to charges of professional misconduct. Willfully making or filing a false report is unprofessional conduct, according to section 29.1 of the Rules of the Board of Regents. Penalties may include censure and reprimand, fine, and/or suspension or revocation of your license to practice in New York State.
- What if I fail to complete the required
number of hours?
If you request, the Department, at its discretion, may issue you a conditional registration. The conditional registration is valid for one year only and is not renewable. To be granted a conditional registration you would have to:
- agree to complete the required hours of continuing education from the previous registration period during the period of conditional registration,
- complete the regular continuing education requirement at a rate of 1 hour per month,
- complete and submit the Registration Remittance Addendum ( 21 KB), and
- pay the fee for the conditional registration, which is currently $287.
At the end of the conditional registration period, you must submit to the Department, your continuing education records certifying that you have completed the required continuing education and pay the regular registration and continuing education fee, which is currently $287, for the remaining two years of the registration period.
- What if I do not meet the continuing education
requirement and simply do not renew my registration?
Fine, as long as you are not practicing your profession in New York State. Your status will remain "not registered" until you meet the continuing education requirement and submit a registration renewal application with the appropriate fee. If you practice your profession while unregistered or after the Department has denied renewal of your registration for failure to report completion of the required hours of continuing education, you are subject to charges of professional misconduct.
- What if, due to circumstances beyond my
control, I am having difficulty meeting the continuing education
The Department may grant an adjustment (not an exemption) to the requirement for: poor health certified by a physician; a specific physical or mental disability certified by an appropriate health care professional; extended active duty with the armed forces of the United States; or extreme hardship which, in the judgment of the Department, makes it impossible for you to comply with the continuing education requirements in a timely manner. You must request an adjustment from the Office of the State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying, by completing and submitting the Registration Remittance Addendum ( 21 KB), and provide written documentation of the circumstances preventing you from complying with the requirements.
- How can I obtain more information?
Please contact the Office of the State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying, New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, State Education Building - 2nd Floor Mezzanine East Wing, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York, 12234; Phone 518-474-3817 ext. 140; Fax 518-473-6282; E-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org