NSPE and the Maine Society of Professional Engineers are opposing legislation that would eliminate continuing education requirements in the state. Currently, professional engineers licensed in Maine must complete 30 professional development hours every two years.
In a letter to the Maine Joint Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development, NSPE President Kodi Jean Verhalen, P.E., Esq., F.NSPE, and MeSPE President Colin Hewett, P.E., LEED AP, emphasized the importance of continuing education requirements for professional engineers. “The universe of engineering knowledge continues to expand with time. Just as evolving technical precepts are integrated into classroom instruction, so too the practicing engineer must grow in knowledge to remain effective and competent,” the letter states. “Mandatory continuing education requirements, overseen and enforced by the licensure board, ensure that PEs continue to learn, grow, and benefit the profession and their own development, as well as protect the public health, safety, and welfare.”
Over 40 state licensing boards require that professional engineers maintain and improve their skills through continuing education courses. The number of states requiring continuing education requirements continues to grow. If the bill (L.D. 1165) is enacted, Maine would put its professional engineers at a significant disadvantage with almost all other states requiring continuing education; endanger the public health, safety, and welfare; and possibly create comity issues with other states.
The Joint Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development will consider the bill at a hearing on April 13.