Every licensee shall obtain 15 PDH units during the renewal period. If a licensee exceeds the annual requirement in any renewal period, a maximum of 15 PDH units may be carried forward into the subsequent renewal period. Selection of courses and activities which meet the requirements of Rule .1702 Item (4) of this Section is the responsibility of the licensee. Licensees may select courses other than those offered by sponsors. Post evaluation of courses offered by other than sponsors as defined in Rule .1702 Item (6) of this Section may result in non-acceptance. PDH units may be earned as follows:
- Completion of college courses.
- Completion of continuing education courses.
- Completion of correspondence, televised, videotaped, audiotaped, and other short courses/tutorials.
- Presenting or attending seminars, in-house courses, workshops, or professional or technical presentations made at meetings, conventions or conferences.
- Teaching or instructing in Items (1) through (4) of this Rule.
- Authoring published papers, articles, or books.
- Active participation in professional or technical societies.
- Authoring exam questions accepted for use in the engineering or land surveying exams.
Continuing Professional Competency Rules
All CPC Rules can be found in the PDF in the sidebar. Please look under sections 21 NCAC 56.1701-1713.
CPC Activity Log
Helpful Tips for Completing a CPC Log
- Be specific in the description of the course. For example, “Wastewater seminar” is too general.
“Effective Management of Water and the Wastewater Industry” is a more descriptive title.
- Do not use general time periods ie. “ All of 1996”. Be specific about the dates of the courses/activities
- Describe each activity/course individually. You can make one entry for a conference or multi-session or multi-day program. When completing Instructor’s/Speaker’s Name and Title or Specific Subject, state various and see attachment. Keep the program material, agenda, etc. so if audited you can submit it with the CPC log. You are not expected to enter each session with each speaker’s name.
- The course or activity is taken through an “Approved Sponsor.”
- The licensee can substantiate that the course or activity has maintained, improved or expanded their skills and knowledge relevant to their field of practice.
- The activity will enhance the licensee’s ability to provide engineering/surveying services in a professional and competent manner and better protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.
- The subject matter of the course or activity is related to the licensee’s professional practice.
- The course or activity is aimed at engineers/surveyors and is of a technical nature.
- Completing courses, seminars, instruction, in-house programs, or training of engineering/surveying content that relate to the licensee’s field of practice.
- Attending a technical or professional society meeting when an engineering/surveying topic is presented.
- Except for full-time faculty, teaching a course related to professional practice for the first time or teaching of a course previously taught if substantial time was spent in updating material.
- Completing advanced computer courses to be used in professional practice.
- Completing Internet based, correspondence, televised and audiotape engineering/surveying courses where an examination is required at the end of the course.
- Completing college courses related to the licensee’s field of practice.
- Authoring published papers, articles, or books related to the licensee’s field of practice.
- Active participation in professional or technical societies, when the licensee was an officer or actively participated in a committee of the organization.
- Authoring exam questions accepted for use on the engineering or surveying examinations.
- Business (unrelated to the practice of engineering/surveying)
- General office management
- Continuing education related to other licenses, professions and trades (e.g. real estate, home inspector, contractor, etc.) unless clearly applicable to engineering/surveying
- Executive Coaching
- Estate or financial planning
- Basic computer/software (e.g. Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.)
- Sight-seeing and tours
- Visiting vendor/exhibitor displays
- Sales presentations or sales seminars (e.g. increasing sales, maximizing profitability, marketing, etc.)
- Personal improvement
- General business meetings
- Regular employment activities
- Company procedure and policy workshops
In order for a continuing education course or activity to meet the Continuing Professional Competency requirements it must have a purpose and objective which will maintain, improve, or expand the skills and knowledge relevant to the licensee’s field of practice.
To uniformly interpret the requirements and provide guidance to licensees, the following attributes serve as indicators that a course or activity complies with the CPC Rules adopted by the Board: (While not all of these attributes are necessary to show compliance, there is little question that the intent of the Rules are met if all are met.)
The Board has final authority with respect to approval of courses, PDH value for courses, and methods of earning PDHs.
Yes, online courses qualify for CPC credit provided an exam is required for completion. No exam is required for attendance at a webinar presentation if attendance is documented.
The Board allows licensees to claim up to 30 PDHs for auditing a college level engineering or surveying course provided the licensee can provide evidence they’ve done the course work if requested by the Board and provide documentation from the college or university that the course was audited. The number of hours claimed is based upon contact hours, with the limit being 30 for the course.
No, licensees can attend courses/activities offered by non-sponsors as long programs contain a purpose and objective, and result in the maintenance, improvement, or expansion of skills and knowledge relevant to the licensee’s field of practice.
The Board approves CPC sponsors that have provided detailed information regarding the instructor’s qualifications and sample course/activity content. This information is reviewed to insure that the sponsor understands and will comply with the CPC Rules adopted by the Board.
No, the Board does not pre-approve courses.
Dual licensees are required to obtain a minimum of one-third of the total PDH requirement in each field. The remaining one-third requirement may be obtained in either field at the sole discretion of the licensee.
|1 College or unit semester hour||45 PDHs|
|1 College or unit quarter hour||30 PDHs|
|1 Continuing Education Unit||10 PDHs|
|1 Contact hour of professional development in course work, seminars, or professional or technical presentations made at meetings, conventions or conferences. Contact hours equal the actual time of instruction and shall be credited to the nearest one-third of an hour.||1 PDH|
|For teaching in the preceding items, PDH credits are doubled. Teaching credit is valid for teaching a course of seminar for the first time only. Teaching credit does not apply to full-time faculty, as defined by the institution where a licensee is teaching.|
|Each published paper, article or book.||10 PDHs|
|Active participation in professional and technical society. (Each organization)||2 PDHs|
|Each patent||10 PDHs|
|Each exam question used||2 PDHs|
Yes, licensees can claim PDHs for each published paper, article or book. Board Rule .1705(e) states that Credit determination for published papers, articles and books and obtaining patents is the responsibility of the licensee. As the Board has final authority with respect to determination of PDH value [.1705(a)], the CPC Committee has interpreted Board Rule .1705(e) to mean that licensees can claim up to 10 PDHs for each paper or article. This determination must be based upon the time to prepare the paper or article. For example, if a paper required a five hour effort, the licensee should only claim 5 PDHs.
No, licensees should not claim CPC credit for both the published paper and for presenting the material. Licensees will have to decide whether to claim credit for the paper, or for presenting the material, but not both. Licensees are permitted to double the PDH credit for teaching or presenting a seminar the first time.
Licensees are chosen randomly.
Notify the Board’s designated point of contact ASAP. The Board staff will grant extensions to respond to the audit in certain circumstances.
The licensee will receive the initial notice informing them that they are being audited. It will indicate how many PDHs were claimed, and will provide a date for return of the documents needed to complete the audit. This is generally 30 days from the date of the letter. The licensee then replies to the notice via e-mail or mail. Once this requested information is provided, it is reviewed by Board staff and if in compliance, a letter will be sent to the licensee informing them of the results.
If a licensee fails to reply to the initial audit notice, a second notice will be sent by Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested. This notice will include information on the ramifications for not responding to the audit to include the Board authorizing an investigation. If the Board determines that the licensee is in violation it may revoke, suspend or refuse to renew the certificate of licensure; issue a reprimand; and levy a civil penalty of up to $5000.00 against Professional Engineers/$2000.00 against Professional Land Surveyors.
A log including the type of activity claimed, sponsoring organization, location, duration, instructor’s or speaker’s name, and PDH credit earned. The Board may also request attendance verification records in the form of completion certificates, or other documents supporting evidence of attendance.
The licensee will be denied credit for self-study. The licensee may be given 90 days to make up the hours with qualifying courses/activities. If the licensee fails to comply within 90 days the Board may authorize an investigation for non-compliance with the CPC Rules.
The licensee will be deemed to have failed the audit. The Board may authorize an investigation to determine compliance with the CPC Rules.
The licensee will be required to submit a compliant log. The Board may also request acceptable verification records before the audit can be completed.
Staff will only grant credit for PDHs up to the number claimed on the renewal, but not more than 30 PDHs, as only 15 PDHs can be carried over.
Record keeping and reporting PDHs
Yes, the Board requires you to maintain both.
Yes, the Board keeps a record of the PDHs reported when licenses are renewed. However the Board does not maintain a record of specific CPC activities for the licensee.
The licensee shall maintain records to be used to support credits claimed. Records required include a log showing the type of activity claimed, sponsoring organization, location, duration, instructor or speaker’s name, and PDH credits earned. The licensee shall also maintain attendance verification records in the form of completion certificates, or other documents supporting evidence of attendance.
CPC records are to be maintained for three years.
No, you are not required to submit documentation when you renew. You should keep the documentation in case you are audited.
No, you can make one entry for the entire program. When completing Instructor’s/Speaker’s Name and Title or Specific Subject, state various and see attachment. Keep the program material, agenda, etc. so if audited you can submit it with the CPC log. You are not expected to enter each session with each speaker’s name.
No, you may use any type of log as long as it contains the information required by Board Rule 21-56.1706(1).
No, this is strictly a record keeping option for your use only. This information does not populate the database. There is a PRINT PREVIEW button to open the log and email the attachment to the Board if audited.
A licensee on “Inactive” status has renewed their license but is not entitled to offer or practice engineering or surveying services, whereas a licensee that is “Current” can practice. An “Inactive” licensee is exempt from the CPC requirements.
A licensee wishing to return to active practice must earn Professional Development Hours (PDHs) for each year of “Inactive” status not to exceed the annual requirement for two years (30 PDHs). A licensee that was “Inactive” the prior year or after April 1st of the current year must provide documentation of PDHs to the Board office. A licensee that was “Current” the previous year but “Inactive” between January 1st and March 31st of the current year only needs to report the PDHs to the Board office to change their status to “Current.”
A licensee who is no longer practicing engineering or surveying, but would like to use the “Professional Engineer, Retired” or “Professional Land Surveyor, Retired” designation after their name. When a licensee requests “Retired” status, the Board assumes that they will never again practice engineering or surveying in the State of North Carolina. A person granted “Retired” status after review of record, including any disciplinary action, by the Board can use the title “Professional Engineer, Retired” or “Professional Land Surveyor, Retired”. A person on “Retired” status is exempt from CPC and license renewal requirements.
Once you are granted “Retired” status, the Board assumes that you will not practice again in North Carolina. To return to “Current” status after being “Retired”, a reinstatement Application For Licensure As Professional Engineer or Application For Licensure As Professional Land Surveyor will need to be completed. A complete application includes references and documentation of 30 PDHs earned during the last 24 months. It may also include supplying transcripts and work experience.
Yes, new licensees are exempt from the CPC requirements for the first renewal period.
Yes, any PDHs that are reported during their first renewal period will carry over to the next year.
If currently licensed by and in good standing (license is not suspended or revoked) with the Board a licensee who is serving in the armed forces and who is eligible for an extension of time to file a tax return pursuant to G. S. 105-249.2 is granted a waiver of the mandatory continuing education requirements for the time period disregarded pursuant to the Internal Revenue code 26 U.S. C. 7508. The licensee shall request the waiver in accordance with Board Rule 21 NCAC 56.1707(2).
Yes, the Board can consider granting an exemption due to a licensee experiencing physical disability, illness, or other extenuating circumstances. The Board requires supporting documentation before considering the exemption.