By Michelle Rambo-Roddenberry, Ph.D., PE
The new NCEES CPC Tracking System is a great tool for Professional Engineers (PEs) to conveniently track and report continuing professional competency (CPC) activities, also referred to as continuing education (CE). Launched in June 2016, the system was developed by staff at the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), at the request of the NCEES Committee on Education. Composed of engineers and surveyors, the committee provided assistance and guidance during the system’s development.
If you are licensed in multiple states, you know the burden of keeping track of hours for the states’ different requirements and renewal periods. The goal of the CPC Tracking System is to alleviate this burden for engineers and surveyors. Another purpose is to enable licensees to report CPC hours to any state in which he/she holds a license.
The NCEES CPC Tracking System
The CPC Tracking System is a free service provided by NCEES. (It is separate from the NCEES Records Program. The Records Program helps licensed engineers and surveyors with the application process to become licensed. NCEES will transmit your record to a board, which is especially helpful for those who want to become licensed in multiple jurisdictions.)
To begin using the system, complete these steps:
- Create a MyNCEES account at https://account.ncees.org/login.
- Identify the state licensing boards for which you would like to track and report your CPC activities – i.e., choose the states in which you hold licenses.
- Select a tracking method and enter renewal period information for each selected board.
As you complete CPC activities, use the CPC Tracking System to keep track of them. Log in to MyNCEES and:
- Enter the course information.
- Enter the number of professional development hours (PDHs).
- Indicate the type of course: technical, ethics, business practice, or laws and regulations.
- Upload supporting documentation (e.g., transcript, certificate, proof of attendance, syllabus, course description, or course information from a conference program).
Use the CPC Tracking System to monitor your CPC activities throughout the year, to help you stay up to date with different states’ renewal cycles and requirements. Also, use the system to report your activities to a state licensing board. The system provides:
- A side-by-side comparison of each state’s requirements and your completed CPC activities for a renewal period
- The ability to quickly create a CPC report, or “transcript”, for a state licensing board – including any supporting documentation that the user has uploaded
- The ability to electronically transmit a CPC report to a board for renewal purposes (or to comply with an audit, in the case of the Florida Board of Professional Engineers)
Some boards now require their licensees to use the system. Be mindful, though, that the CPC Tracking System is strictly a place to track hours; it does not approve courses or providers.
Try the new system. Remember, it’s free and a convenient way to stay on track with CE hours.
Continuing Education Requirements for PEs Licensed in Florida
In Florida, a new license renewal cycle began earlier this year, so you are probably already aware of the changes made to continuing education (CE) requirements, effective March 1, 2015. The current cycle ends February 2019, but it is not too early to start tracking your activities. Below is a reminder about CE requirements for licensed engineers, per section 471.017, Florida Statutes.
A total of 18 CE hours are required during each license renewal biennium, as follows:
- One (1) hour must be related to the Florida laws and rules (Florida Statutes Chapter 471 and Florida Administrative Code Chapter 61G15).
- One (1) hour must relate to professional ethics.
- Four (4) hours must relate to the licensee’s area of practice.
- The remaining 12 hours may relate to any topic pertinent to the practice of engineering.
Up to four (4) hours may be obtained by serving as an officer for a board-recognized professional or technical engineering society.
Continuing education hours may be earned from a variety of activities such as college courses, short courses, tutorials, webinars, seminars, workshop, and professional or technical presentations made at meetings, conventions, or conferences presented/sponsored by a provider or vendor with specific knowledge related to the licensee’s area of practice.
Reporting Continuing Education Hours to FBPE Not Required
To demonstrate compliance, a licensee must attest to completion of the CE requirements when he/she renews the license. The licensee does not need to submit proof at that time. In June following a renewal cycle, the Florida Board of Professional Engineers (FBPE) will conduct a random audit of a number of licensees to ensure that the continuing education requirements were met. If you are selected for audit, the Board will notify you, and you will be required to provide proof of completion of all CE hours for that last renewal cycle. Be sure to maintain sufficient records that demonstrate completion of the CE activity for four (4) years after the completion date.
CE providers such as the Florida Engineering Society are no longer required to report hours on behalf of PEs. In fact, FBPE prefers that providers not report hours to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), but continue to provide certificates to licensees. Accordingly, FES will continue to issue certificates to their members and other customers for any CE activities they provide, and they will retain those records for the individual.
NCEES is the nonprofit organization that develops, administers, and scores the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) examinations. Comprising 70 member boards, NCEES also helps to improve licensure mobility, to make it easier for engineers to obtain and maintain licenses in multiple states. At NCEES meetings and through committees, the boards work together to establish national Model Laws, Model Rules, and licensing standards that boards can strive for or adopt in their own states. The CPC Tracking System is a service that NCEES recently added to help licensees with managing CPC requirements for licenses held in one or multiple states.
Michelle Rambo-Roddenberry, Ph.D., P.E., is Associate Professor at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in Tallahassee, Fla. Before joining the university in 2006, she was a bridge engineer for seven years. Since 2012, she has served on the Florida Board of Professional Engineers. She is also active in NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying), serving on the Committee on Education for the past four years and as chair for the past two years. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Florida State University and her Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. She teaches structural engineering courses, and her research is primarily in prestressed concrete and bridge engineering. She is a registered Professional Engineer in Florida.