Section 1380.325  Professional Development


The professional development required as a condition for license renewal under the Professional Engineering Act of 1989 is set forth in this Section.  All professional engineers shall meet these requirements.


a)         Professional Development Hours Requirements


1)         Beginning with the November 30, 2005 renewal and every renewal thereafter, in order to renew a license as a professional engineer, a licensee shall be required to complete 30 professional development hours (PDHs) relevant to the practice of professional engineering or be exempt from the professional development requirements as provided in subsection (j).  Failure to comply with these requirements may result in non-renewal of the professional engineer's license or other disciplinary action, or both.  A maximum of 15 qualifying PDHs gained within six months from the current renewal deadline and not used for the current renewal period may be carried over to the subsequent renewal period but shall not include the requirements for State statutes and this Part, professional conduct and/or ethics, or sexual harassment prevention training, which must be satisfied during each pre-renewal period.  PDHs used in this manner must be documented on the appropriate Department issued form.


2)         Beginning with the November 30, 2023 renewal and every renewal thereafter, the total professional development hours shall include:


A)        A minimum of 1 hour of programs, courses or activities in the area of Illinois statutes and this Part that regulate professional engineers and professional engineering.


B)        A minimum of 1 hour of programs, courses, or activities in the area of professional conduct and/or ethics.


3)         Beginning with the November 30, 2021 renewal and every renewal thereafter, the total professional development hours shall include 1 hour of Sexual Harassment Prevention Training which shall meet the requirements of 68 Ill. Adm. Code 1130.400.  A licensee completing a course on sexual harassment prevention developed or offered by the Illinois Department of Human Rights [775 ILCS 5], the licensee's employer or an acceptable provider listed within this Section, may count that course toward the 1 hour requirement under this Section.  (See Section 1205-15.5 of the Department of Professional Regulation Law [20 ILCS 2105].)


4)         A prerenewal period is the 24 months preceding November 30 of each odd-numbered year.


5)         One professional development hour shall equal a minimum of 50 minutes of instruction or participation. If a program is taken that awards continuing education units (CEU) rather than professional development hours, one CEU equals 10 professional development hours of class in an approved continuing education course.  A maximum of 12 PDHs may be earned within a 24-hour period, where a period begins at midnight.


6)         Professional engineers licensed in Illinois but residing and practicing in other states shall comply with the professional development requirements set forth in this Section.


7)         Professional development hours used to satisfy the professional development requirements of another jurisdiction may be applied to fulfill the professional development requirements of the State of Illinois if they are substantially equivalent.


b)         Professional Development Activities shall include, but not be limited to:


1)         Successful completion of a college or university course in the area of professional engineering, related sciences and engineering ethics. One semester hour completed shall equal 15 PDHs and one quarter hour shall equal 10 PDHs;


2)         Successful completion of professional engineering courses or programs in which professional development hours are earned;


3)         Active participation and successful completion of professional engineering programs, seminars, tutorials, workshops, short courses, on-line or in-house courses.  Credit will be given for self-study courses only if an examination has been completed by the licensee and graded by the sponsor;


4)         Attending program presentations at related technical or professional meetings;


5)         Teaching or instructing.  Teaching or instructing a professional engineer course, seminar, lecture, presentation or workshop shall constitute 3 PDHs for each hour spent in the actual presentation.  Teaching credit shall be valid for the initial presentation only.  Teaching credit shall not apply to faculty teaching regularly scheduled curriculum courses at a college, university or other educational institution;


6)         Authoring papers or articles that appear in nationally circulated journals or trade magazines or presented to a university, professional society or organization.  10 PDHs per paper or presentation, but not both, are allowed for this activity;


7)         Receiving a patent within the renewal period.  Ten PDHs may be earned per patent;


8)         Active participation on a professional engineer board, committee or holding an office in a professional or technical society.


A)        Two PDHs will be awarded per committee membership or office held.


B)        A maximum of 8 PDHs may be accepted per pre-renewal period.


c)         All professional development programs, activities or courses shall:


1)         Contribute to the advancement, extension or enhancement of the professional skills and/or scientific knowledge of the licensee in practice of professional engineering;


2)         Foster the enhancement of general or specialized practice and values of professional engineering, related sciences and engineering ethics;


3)         Be developed and presented by persons with education and/or experience in the subject matter of the program; and


4)         Specify the course objectives and course content.


d)         Auditing or Restoration


1)         It shall be the responsibility of a licensee to maintain a record of PDHs for 6 years that includes one of the following:


A)        Documentation consisting of the name and address of the sponsor or provider, the number of PDHs attended in each program, the date and place of the program and a certificate of attendance, and a brief statement of the subject matter, printed program schedules, registration receipts or other proof of participation; or


B)        Transcripts or records of professional development hours maintained by an acceptable provider as set forth in subsection (e); or


2)         A log of activities by itself shall not be accepted as meeting the requirements of this subsection.


e)         Acceptable providers for structured educational activities shall include, but not be limited to:


1)         National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES);


2)         National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE);


3)         Illinois Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE);


4)         American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC-IL);


5)         American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE);


6)         Colleges, universities or other educational institutions;


7)         Technical or professional societies or organizations including manufacturers relating to professional engineering.


f)         The Division shall not pre-approve individual courses or programs.


g)         PDHs that are structural in nature shall not be accepted unless licensee can substantiate how the course enhances their professional engineer license, since a professional engineer in Illinois cannot legally offer or perform structural services.


h)         Certification of Compliance with PDH Requirements


1)         Each renewal applicant shall certify, on the renewal application, full compliance with the professional development requirements set forth in this Section.


2)         The Division may require additional evidence demonstrating compliance with the PDH requirements as set forth in subsection (d).  This additional evidence shall be required in the context of the Division's random audit.  It is the responsibility of each renewal applicant to retain or otherwise produce evidence of compliance.


3)         When there appears to be a lack of compliance with PDH requirements, an applicant shall be notified in writing and may request an interview with the Board.  At that time the Board may recommend that steps be taken to begin formal disciplinary proceedings as required by Section 10-65 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act [5 ILCS 100/10-65].


i)          Restoration of Nonrenewed License.  Upon satisfactory evidence of compliance with PDH requirements, the Division shall restore the license upon payment of the required fee as provided in Section 1380.275.


j)          Waiver of PDH Requirements.  A licensee may be waived from the professional development requirements if one of the criteria in subsection (j)(1) through (3) occur. If a waiver is claimed, it is required that the renewal fee and any documentation needed to support the waiver be submitted.


1)         A licensee shall not be required to report continuing education hours during the first biennial renewal period in which the licensee obtained initial licensure in Illinois, but shall be subject to the continuing education requirements for all subsequent biennial renewal periods.


2)         A licensee who is on full-time active duty in the military service of the United States, or is a licensee who is called to temporary active duty in the military service or Armed Forces of the United States for a period of time exceeding 120 consecutive days during the renewal period, when that activity or location restricts participation in a professional development program.


3)         A licensee who demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Division that meeting these requirements would be an undue hardship by reason of disability, illness, or other clearly mitigating circumstances shall submit supporting documentation.


A)        The documentation shall be in the form of a sworn statement by the licensee, statement from a licensed healthcare provider, or medical record showing the disability, illness, or circumstance preventing the licensee’s participation in the continuing education program during a substantial part of the renewal period.


B)        If the Division finds from the evidence that good cause has been shown for non-compliance, the Division may waive enforcement, extend the time within which the applicant shall comply, or establish a particular program or schedule of continuing education for the renewal period in which the undue hardship existed.


C)        Consecutive waiver requests made for reasons of disability, illness, or other circumstances may be prima facie evidence for non-renewal of applicant’s license based on an inability to actively engage in licensed practice.


k)         Any renewal applicant who, prior to the expiration date of the license, submits a request for a waiver, in whole or in part, pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be deemed to be in good standing until the final decision on the application is made by the Division.


(Source:  Amended at 47 Ill. Reg. 876, effective January 5, 2023)