Frequently Asked CEP Questions

Refer to the following pages for additional information:

Engineer Continuing Education

Land Surveyor Continuing Education

TBPELS Law and Rules


How many continuing education hours are required?
For professional engineers, 15 hours of continuing education, at least one of which must be an1 hour of ethics, are required for each renewal cycle. For registered professional land surveyors, 12 hours of continuing education, at least three of which must be ethics, are required for each renewal cycle.

 

How do I get the required ethics hour(s)?
You can meet the ethics requirement through any coursework, seminars, presentations, or other activities that are in the area of professional ethics, roles and responsibilities of professional engineers or land surveying, or by reviewing the Law and Board Rules. We also offer free webinars every month. Refer to our Webinar Page for dates and registration information
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What activities count as continuing education?
For professional engineers, Board rule 137.17(g) states: All activities described in 137.17(f) of this section shall be relevant to the practice of a technical profession and may include educational, technical, ethical, or managerial content.

For register professional land surveyors, Board rule 138.17(g) states: All activities described in 138.17(f) of this section shall be relevant to the practice of a technical profession and may include educational, technical, ethical, or managerial content.

There are many different activities that can count. All activities must be related to engineering or surveying, respectively, in an educational, technical, managerial, or ethical manner. You may take free online classes/videos and they will count as qualifying professional development hours (PDHs). You must have supporting documentation from the entity that produces these classes/videos in order to receive all the allowable PDHs. If you do not have supporting documentation then these types of activities can count as self-study (maximum of 5 PDHs for self-study for engineers and 4 PDHs for self-study for surveyors).

 

I attended a presentation or conference and want to claim continuing education for attending? What sort of documentation should I get from the organizer?

The ideal documentation for tracking formal continuing education courses or conferences is a certificate issued by the provider. The certificate should detail the organizer of the course or conference, the content of the course, the number of PDHs offered, and the date the event took place. Other acceptable documentation could include a self-certification form, a sign-in sheet, receipt, agenda, or conference flyer. The main information the Board needs in case of an audit is proof that you attended the claimed activity and documentation that the content presented during the activity meets the goals of the continuing education program.

 

What is Self-Study?
The language in the rule states, "self-study is “time spent engaging in professional development that is not otherwise identified in this rule.”  Examples include, but are not limited to, reading or reviewing trade magazines or books, watching tutorials, and viewing other online content." Credit determination for self-directed study is the responsibility of the license holder and subject to review as required by the board." So, reading up on a new topic, researching a new design, keeping up with current engineering or surveying periodicals, or reading about the Law and Rules, can all count. It is credited on an hour for hour basis, with a maximum set by the legislature at 5 PDH total per renewal period for professional engineers and 4 PDH total per renewal period for professional land surveyors.

 

What do I need to report and how do I do it if I am audited?
Keep documentation of the activities as proof in the case of an audit. Do not send in certificates, logsheets, etc. with your renewal forms. If you are randomly selected for an audit, you will be notified after your renewal date.

 

Am I exempt from CEP?
Please note: Exemptions must be claimed at the time of renewal.

All active PEs must perform 15 hours of CEP activities, even if they are over age 65 or working in an exempt industry. All active RPLSs must perform 12 hours of CEP activities, even if they are over age 65.

There are four reasons that you can be exempt from CEP requirements:
Currently in Inactive Status
Experiencing physical disability, illness, or other extenuating circumstances as reviewed and approved by the Board. Supporting documentation must be provided.
Deployed Military Service (min 120 days during year)
New license holders shall be exempt for their first renewal period if the licensing exam was taken within 1 calendar year of the license or registration issuance date.

You are NOT exempt for any of the following reasons:
Over age 65
Active license or registration but not practicing engineering or professional land surveying
Industry Exempt (Engineering)
Retired.

 

What proof / documentation do I need?
The Board wants the reporting process to be as simple as possible. There are only two things that a license or registration holder needs to do:
1) Certify on the renewal statement that you have completed the CEP requirement and return it with your renewal payment. This is the main document that the board reviews and keeps as a record of completing the CEP requirement.
2) Keep some sort of paper proof of your activity. This can include a certificate of completion or attendance in a course or seminar, a grade report, a flyer or agenda from a presentation or meeting, or any other document that shows the date, location, duration, and type of activity you wish to claim. Do not send in the supporting documentation with your renewal.
Self-study should be reported simply as the type of activity, date, and hours claimed. (Example - "Read Engineering Practice Act, 02/05/04, 1 PDH"). A worksheet can be downloaded from the website to help track self-study hours. Content providers or activity sponsors do not need to report attendance to the board.

NCEES CE Tracking - You can also conveniently track your CPC activity for free through your MyNCEES account.

 

What courses, presentations, or activities count? Does the Board have a list?
The intent is for the continuing education program to be self-administered. TBPELS does not pre-approve any courses, seminars, presentations, or other activities to meet the CEP requirement. The board does not have a list of approved courses or activities. It would be very difficult to include every possible course, seminar, or activity available to engineers or land surveyors nationwide.

There are two basic criteria for an activity to count:
1) Is the specific activity on the list of activities in the rule? (see below for an excerpt from the rule)

2) Is the activity relevant to the practice of your profession and does it include educational, technical, ethical, or managerial content? If the activity is related to engineering or land surveying in an educational, technical, managerial, or ethical manner, then it will count.

PDH units may be earned as follows:
(1) Successful completion or auditing of college credit courses.
(2) Successful completion of continuing education courses, either offered by a professional or trade organization, university or college, or offered in-house by a corporation, other business entity, professional or technical societies, associations, agencies, or organizations, or other group.
(3) Successful completion of correspondence, on-line, televised, videotaped, and other short courses/tutorials.
(4) Presenting or attending qualifying seminars, in-house courses, workshops, or professional or technical presentations made at meetings, conventions, or conferences sponsored by a corporation, other business entity, professional or technical societies, associations, agencies, or organizations, or other group.
(5) Teaching or instructing as listed in paragraphs (1) through (4) above.
(6) Authoring published papers, articles, books, or accepted licensing examination items.
(7) Active participation in professional or technical societies, associations, agencies, or organizations, including:

(A) Serving as an elected or appointed official;
(B) Serving on a committee of the organization;
(C) Serving in other official positions.

(8) Patents Issued.
(9) Engaging in self-directed study.
(10) Active participation in educational outreach activities involving K-12 or higher education students.
See Board Rule 137.17(i) (engineers) or 138.17(i) (surveyors) for a detailed list of how many PDHs you can claim for each activity.

 

I want to change to "Inactive Status" and not do CEP. How do I become Inactive and how do I report my status?
If you have received your renewal notice and decide that you meet the requirements for Inactive Status, you must apply for Inactive Status before your renewal is due. This means that you can submit the Inactive Status Form before your renewal is due, or you can submit the paperwork WITH the renewal form. Simply checking the "Currently Inactive" box on the renewal form will NOT automatically change you to Inactive Status.
Please note, if you send in your renewal and then decide to become Inactive, you are still required to complete the CEP requirements for that renewal. Please visit the Inactive Status Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

 

I am in Inactive Status now and wish to re-activate my license. What are the CEP requirements?
A license holder may bring an inactive license to active status by obtaining all delinquent PDH units and submitting copies of CEP records demonstrating compliance to the board or its authorized representative for verification purposes. If the total number required to become current exceeds 30 hours for engineers or 24 hours for surveyors, then 30 or 24 hours respectively, shall be the maximum number required. Please visit the Inactive Status Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

 

Can I carryover hours from one year to the next?
Yes, professional engineers can carry over 14 hours from one year to the next and professional land surveyors can carry over 9 hours from one year to the next. The ethics requirement is an annual requirement that must be obtained during each renewal period and therefore cannot be carried over.

Additional Information

TBPELS Law & Rules
Compliance Flowchart - This flowchart outlines the renewal and audit process.
ECHO (Electronic Cash Handling Online - the Board's online profile and payment application).

 

Forms for CEP
Download this log sheet and keep track of your PDH's for your renewals. Retain with your records for audit purposes. Do not send the log sheet in with your renewal.

CEP Log Sheet - .pdf format

 

Self-Study Worksheet
Download this worksheet to help keep track of your Self-Study activities. Retain with your records for audit purposes. Do not send the worksheet in with your renewal.
Self-Study Worksheet - .pdf format