Two separate provisions in the Florida Administrative Code outline a licensee’s requirements for records retention. They are Rule 61G15-22.006(3), Demonstrating Compliance; Audits; Investigations, which defines the retention of continuing education documentation, and Rule 61G15-30.009, Retention of Engineering Documents.
The first provision, Rule 61G15-22.006(3) states, “The licensee shall retain such receipts, vouchers, certificates, or other papers as may be necessary to document completion of the continuing education pursuant to an audit for four (4) years from the date of completion of the continuing education activity”
While CE reporting to the Board is no longer necessary, all CE providers are required to provide completion and attendance certificates to course participants/licensees, and accurately maintain those records for a period of four years. In the event a licensee is selected during the CE audit process, the licensee must provide the appropriate certificate to the FBPE. Please refer to Rule 61G15-22.012, F.A.C., Obligations of Continuing Education Providers. Failure to comply with this rule may result in a loss of the provider license and the ability to provide continuing education courses to Florida engineers.
Remember that 18 hours of continuing education — including one hour related to the Florida laws and rules of professional engineers, one hour related to Florida professional ethics, and four hours in area of practice — need to be completed by each Professional Engineer licensee each biennium. Failure to complete the requirements set forth in Section 471.017(3), Florida Statutes, and Rule 61G15-22.001, F.A.C., could result in a reprimand and $1,000 fine or suspension of license until the licensee demonstrates compliance. Secondary or subsequent violations could result in possible revocation.
Please note that Professional Engineers who complete the Advanced Building Code course must provide documentation to the Board so that it may be added to your record, pursuant to Section 471.0195, Florida Statutes.
The second provision, Rule 61G15-30.009 states, “At least one copy of all documents displaying the licensee’s signature, seal, which is legible to the reader, date and all related calculations shall be retained by the licensee or the licensee’s employer for a minimum of three years from the date the documents were sealed. These documents shall be maintained in hardcopy or electronic format.”
It is the licensee’s responsibility to maintain a legitimate or negotiable copy of what was originally signed, sealed, and dated, regardless of format. With advancements in technology and the move towards paperless environments, a licensee using electronic engineering documents should use every precaution to ensure that an off-site storage or disaster recovery plan is in place so that their obligation to this requirement can be met.
To view the statutes and rules in their entirety, see Statutes and Rules under the Legal section on this website. If you require further clarification of these rules or any other laws as it relates to the practice of engineering in Florida, please feel free to contact the Board office at (850) 521-0500 and ask to speak to someone in the Legal department.