Frequently Asked Questions 3/1/13
WHEN DO I HAVE TO BEGIN ACCUMULATING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HOURS AND HOW MANY DO I NEED?
All New Hampshire licensed Professional Engineers must satisfactorily demonstrate 30 professional development hours per biennial renewal period. All Professional Development Hours must be earned in the licensees renewal time frame, except for carry over credits awarded in their previous renewal period. New licensees are exempt from accumulating Professional Development Hours during their first license cycle. New licensees cannot earn carry over credits or and should not report PDH's during their first renewal cycle.
WHAT IS A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HOUR (PDH)?
A Professional Development Hour (PDH) is equivalent to one contact hour. One continuing education unit (CEU) equals ten PDH's.
HOW CAN I EARN THE REQUIRED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HOURS?
Professional Development Hour activities must be relevant to the practice of engineering and should include technical, ethical or managerial content. PDH units may be obtained through successful completion of college courses, participation on committees of professional or technical societies, on-line or correspondence courses, seminars, workshops, teaching, vendor demonstrations, in-house trainings, patents, publication of technical papers or professional/technical presentations made at meetings, conventions, or conferences. PDH units may also be earned by publishing a professional journal or textbook and through the award of patents. The criteria for professional development activities is outlined in administrative rules Eng 403.05 and 403.06.
DO I HAVE TO SUBMIT MY COURSES IN ADVANCE TO THE BOARD FOR APPROVAL?
The Board does not pre-approve courses. The Board is relying on the professional judgment of the licensee to choose courses which comply with the administrative rules, and enhances the professional knowledge of the licensee.
HOW LONG MUST I KEEP DOCUMENTATION OF CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT?
The licensee will be responsible for all record keeping. Documentation must be maintained for four years. Copies of documentation may be requested by the board for random audit purposes per Eng. 403.07 (c), (d).
HOW DO I REPORT MY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HOURS TO THE BOARD?
The renewal form contains a log for Professional Development Hours earned or you may renew on-line at https://nhlicenses2.nh.gov/professional/ Logs are also available for your personal use on the Board's web site at www.state.nh.us/jtboard/pece.htm Upon renewal, licensees will list the credits claimed, courses taken and certify that they have complied with the continuing professional development renewal requirements of Eng 403.
ARE CARRY OVER CREDITS ALLOWED?
If you exceed the 30 PDH units required in any biennial period up to 15 PDH's may be carried forward into the subsequent renewal period, per Eng 403.01,(c).
IS IT EXPENSIVE TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENT FOR CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT?
That depends on your individual selections. The licensee will be responsible for choosing programs that will meet the needs of their scope of practice; therefore it is up to the professional judgment of the licensee to choose the programs that would most benefit their practice. In-house trainings given by your employer or vendor demonstrations may count towards or possibly fulfill your PDH requirement.
ARE THERE EXEMPTIONS TO THE PDH REQUIREMENT? WHAT ABOUT ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY?
New licensees shall be exempt for their first renewal period. Licensees who list their occupation as retired on the renewal form and certify that they are no longer practicing professional engineering will be exempt from PDH requirements. Licensees on temporary active duty in the armed forces of the United States exceeding 120 consecutive days in a year are exempt. Licensees with proof of disability, or other extenuating circumstances may be exempt, however they must apply to the Board for their specific exemption, per Eng 403.08, 403.09.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSEES WHO ARE RESIDENTS OF OTHER STATES?
If the licensee documents that they have met the continuing professional development requirements of their home state, New Hampshire requirements will be deemed satisfied. If the licensees home state has no provision for continuing professional development the licensee will be required to meet the requirements of the State of New Hampshire per Eng 403.03.
HOW DO I KEEP TRACK OF THE COURSES AND SEMINARS I HAVE ATTENDED?
You will find a continuing professional development activity log for your own use on our web site at www.state.nh.us/jtboard/pece.htm
I LET MY LICENSE LAPSED OVER 12 MONTHS HOW DO I REINSTATE IT?
If your license lapsed for more than 12 months you must file a reinstatement application, pay all applicable fees and submit a Continuing Professional Development Log with the 30 PDH's required per Eng 403.01.
WHERE DO I OBTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS?
Your local and national engineering societies, colleges and universities, professional trade organizations or your employer may have information about Continuing Professional Development Programs. As a courtesy to licensees the Board maintains a Continuing Professional Development listing on our web site at www.state.nh.us/jtboard/calendar.htm with links to various organizations and educational institutions, you can also find a list of professional associations that may offer PDH's at www.nh.gov/jtboard/org.htm.
HAVE AUDITS OF COMPLIANCE WITH CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GUIDELINES BEEN CONDUCTED?
The Board conducted annual audits of compliance with continuing education requirements from 2000 - 2011. 3% of licensees are randomly chosen to provide proof of compliance with Administrative Rules Eng 403, Continuing Professional Development. Audits are conducted on a yearly basis.
HOW WERE LICENSEES CHOSEN FOR THE AUDIT?
A neutral third party is retained to query the Board's database for a random selection of licensees. No Board members or staff participated in selection of licensees for the audit.
HOW ARE AUDITS CONDUCTED?
Licensees randomly chosen for the audit are notified by US mail of the requirement to provide verification to the Board of 30 Professional Development Hours claimed on their renewal and are given approximately 30 days to submit verification. Once verification is received it is reviewed for compliance and the licensee is notified of the audit results.
ARE THE AUDITS A SUCCESS?
Yes, the majority of licensees audited submitted the requested documentation completely, accurately and in a timely manner. Every effort was made to work with licensees chosen for audit to assist them with providing proper documentation. Upon completion of the audits, the majority of licensees audited are able to provide verification of compliance.
WHAT ISSUES AROSE AS PART OF THE 2012 AUDIT?
Several licensees failed to retain verification records as required per Administrative Rule Eng 403.07 (c) and had to go back to the course sponsors or organizations and request documentation be reissued. There were no disciplinary actions as a result of the 2012 audit; all licensees were in compliance! The 2013 audit is in process.
WHEN WILL THE NEXT AUDIT BE CONDUCTED.
Audits are conducted on an annual basis. The next audit will be in the Winter of 2014.
WHO DO I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?
You may submit questions to Donna Lobdell, Program Specialist II at Donna.Lobdell@nh.gov
Return to Professional Engineers Home Page