All active registered professional engineers who provide engineering in Ohio and plan on keeping their professional registration are required to complete continuing professional development (CPD) hours. A registrant is exempt from the CPD requirements during the first calendar year of registration. Beginning January 1, 2012, registered professional engineers and professional surveyors must complete 30 hours of continuing education during the two-year (biennial) renewal period unless otherwise exempt. Each registrant must complete 30 hours of continuing education during the two-year period immediately preceding the biennial renewal expiration date. If the registrant earns more than the required 30 hours in any biennial renewal period, a maximum of 15 of the remaining hours may be carried forward into the following renewal period.
For those engineers who are permanently retiring from the practice engineering, you may request a retirement card. Go to http://peps.ohio.gov/Renewal/RetirementCard.aspx for information.
The Ohio Board of Registration does not pre-approve CPD courses. Each registrant is responsible to make sure that the courses they take meet the requirements specified in Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4733.151. Claimed CPD activities must be relevant to the practice of engineering and must include technical, ethical, or managerial content. The State Board of Registration has what is acceptable on their website, http://peps.ohio.gov/ContinuingEducation.aspx.
Activities that can earn CPD credit:
o Successful completion or auditing of college credit courses relevant to the practice of engineering.
o Successful completion of continuing education courses offered by a professional or trade organization, university or college, or offered in-house by a corporation relevant to the practice of engineering.
o Completing or attending a seminar, conference, convention or workshop, relevant to the practice of engineering.
o Successful completion of online courses relevant to the practice of engineering.
o Successful completion of structured engineering related LEED coursework, with credit granted for verified class attendance on an hour-for-hour basis, provided the coursework meets the requirements of Ohio law.
o Authoring published papers, articles or books (to be used only once and only in the year that it was published).
o Teaching or instructing relevant courses, seminars or workshops for the first time only.
o For full time faculty teaching at a college or university a total of 15 hours may be claimed one-time only for teaching an engineering course in an ABET accredited curriculum.
o Being an officer or active committee member of an engineering society.
o Attending satellite downlink video courses where attendance is verified and program material meets requirements.
o Completing advanced computer software instructional courses that relate to the improvement of one’s profession or business does not include spreadsheet, word processing, presentation, or web design software (e.g. Excel, Word, Dreamweaver, etc.)
o Spreadsheet courses can be accepted only if the course incorporates engineering or surveying applications. Documentation must prove that engineering or surveying applications were included in the spreadsheet course.
o Technical articles found in publications, trade journals, or trade magazines requiring successful completion of a test — the Board will allow a maximum of 3.0 hours per year.
o Patents granted in the United States. (To be used only once and only in the year that it was awarded).
o Live web seminars — the Board will not allow credit for live web seminars unless the provider is able to verify and confirm attendance and participation.
o Financial Management courses
Activities Not acceptable for CPD hours
o Elementary and entry-level training normally expected to have been completed by registered engineers prior to registration.
o Regular full- time employment.
o Computer courses in Excel, Microsoft Word or web design
o Real estate courses, financial planning, foreign language courses, attending trade show displays.
o Self directed study.
o Topics not relevant to the engineering profession.
o Personal self-improvement.
o Attending general committee or business meetings as required by your employment.
o A patent or a published book, article, or paper prior to the applicable reporting period.
o Speed Reading courses.
o State-specific courses that are specific to, and based on, another state’s laws, rules, policies and practices.
o The Board does not give credit for examinations
CPD Conversion Hours
1 university or college semester hour = 45 CPD hours
1 university or college quarter hour = 30 CPD hours
1 continuing education unit (CEU) = 10 CPD hours
1 published paper, article or book (only in the year published) = 10 CPD hours
1 patent awarded (ONLY U.S. patents in the year awarded) = 10 CPD hours
1 year of service as an officer or active committee member of a professional or technical society or association = 2 CPD hours
1 year of participation on the Ohio professional surveyor exam workshop committee or member of the Board’s expert panel = 2 CPD hours
1 hour of attendance at a conference, seminar or workshop = 1 CPD hour
1 contact hour of teaching a class for the first time (NOT full time faculty) = 1 CPD hour
The registrant shall be responsible for maintaining records to support his or her own professional development hours. Records are required being available at the end of the year for biennial renewal. This information has to be documented and submitted to the State Registration Board if you are audited. Records required include, but are not limited to a log showing:
Type of activity claimed
Instructors or speaker’s name
CPD hours earned
Documents supporting evidence of attendance: completion certificates, attendance log or other documents supporting evidence of completion
A downloadable activity log is available on the Board’s web site – http://peps.ohio.gov/ContinuingEducation.aspx. Licensees will be required to certify to the Board, as part of the biennial renewal process, that they have met the requirements of Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4733.151. All signed information pertaining to application for licensure and/or registration are subject to audit.
Records must be maintained for a period of four years. Such documentation shall be made available to the Board for random audit and/or verification purposes. Documentation must support the professional development hours claimed.
What does the Board consider acceptable documentation of attendance?
o A certificate of attendance that shows the date(s), the number of continuing professional development hours earned the location, the topic and the instructor’s name.
o A letter from the provider or your supervisor stating the date(s), the number of continuing professional development hours earned the location, the topic and the instructor’s name.
o A log in sheet signed by the attendee and the provider or supervisor showing date(s), the number of continuing professional development hours earned the location, the topic and the instructor’s name.
o An agenda or program that is signed or stamped by the provider verifying the registrant’s attendance to the sessions.
o Documentation from the United States patent office showing the patent number, patent award date and brief patent description.
o A copy of the publication page showing the author of the paper, article or book, the topic and brief description and the date and name of the publication.
o A transcript from the college or university showing the course taken and date of completion.
o A copy of your committee membership card from the association or technical society or a letter from the association or technical society stating that you are an active member and year.
What is not acceptable as verification of attendance?
o A paid receipt from the provider, hotel or other vendor is not verification of attendance.
o A copy of the program, agenda or power point presentation is not verification of attendance.
o A certificate that shows only the dates attended. (Documentation must include: the date(s), the number of continuing professional development hours earned, the location, the topic and the instructor’s name).
o Any documentation that does not include the date(s), the number of continuing professional development hours earned the location, the topic and the instructor’s name.
o Emails that thank you for attendance or time spent on a presentation
o Notes taken during a seminar, conference, or other CPD event cannot be used as verification of attendance
What happens if I do not meet the CPD requirements?
o If the Board discovers that the required CPD has not been completed, the registrant will be informed and allowed a maximum of six months to remedy the deficiency.
o If the deficiency is not remedied, the Board can revoke or suspend the registrant’s license after an adjudication hearing.
Keep in mind that the engineer determines if he feels the program qualifies for CPD hours and the State Board of Registration makes that final decision.
Prepared by Howard R Jones, P.E. with portions excerpted from a presentation by John Greenhalge, Executive Director, Ohio State Board of Registration Engineers and Surveyors and the State Board of Registration Rules and Regulations