Section 1480.185  Continuing Education


The continuing education required as a condition for license renewal under the Act is set forth in this Section.  All structural engineers shall meet these requirements.


a)         Continuing Education Requirements


1)         For every renewal, renewal applicants shall complete 30 hours of Continuing Education (CE) relevant to the practice of structural engineering during each pre-renewal period. The pre‑renewal period is the 24 months preceding the expiration date of the license.  Failure to comply with these requirements may result in nonrenewal of the structural engineer's license or other disciplinary action, or both.


2)         A renewal applicant is not required to comply with CE requirements for the first renewal following the original issuance of the license.


3)         Structural engineers licensed in Illinois but residing and practicing in another state must comply with the CE requirements set forth in this Section.  Continuing education credit hours used to satisfy the CE requirements of another state and meeting the requirements of this Section may be submitted toward fulfillment of the CE requirements of the State of Illinois.


4)         The minimum length of any single CE activity is one hour. After completion of the initial CE hour, credit may be given in one-half hour increments.


5)         One continuing education hour shall represent a minimum of 50 minutes of instruction or participation.  No credit will be allowed for introductory remarks, meals, breaks or administrative matters related to courses of study.  For a CE activity consisting of a single presentation with duration greater than 60 minutes or consisting of multiple individual presentations with total duration greater than 60 minutes, the CE credit earned shall be determined by totaling the minutes of instruction or participation and dividing by 60 to convert to hours.  The number of hours from this calculation shall be rounded down to the nearest one-half hour increment.


6)         Nontechnical portions of a CE activity, such as receptions, dinners, etc., do not qualify for credit as CE.


b)         Activities for which CE credit may be earned are as follows:


1)         Course work relevant to structural engineering completed at an accredited college or university.  One semester credit hour of course work is equivalent to 15 hours of CE and one quarter credit hour of course work is equivalent to 10 hours of CE.


2)         A maximum of 10 CE credit hours per pre-renewal period may be earned for the completion of a self-administered course. All required CE hours may be obtained online; however, each self-administered course shall include an examination that will be graded by the sponsor.


3)         Successful completion of continuing education courses.


4)         A maximum of 10 CE credit hours per prerenewal period may be earned for attending in-house courses.  Credit for in-house courses will be based on one CE credit for each hour of attendance. For courses presented in‑house by outside individuals, see subsection (b)(3).


5)         Attending workshops or professional or technical meetings, conventions or conferences in person or by webinar in real-time with opportunities for interaction with the presenter.  Attendance at qualifying programs, professional and/or technical society meetings will earn CE credits for the actual time of each program. Visiting exhibitor booths or similar activities shall not qualify for CE credit.  Recorded webinars shall be considered self-administered and subject to the requirements of subsection (b)(2).


6)         Teaching or presenting in the activities described in subsections (b)(1) through (5). CE credit will be applied at the rate of 3 hours for every hour taught, and only for the first presentation of the program (i.e., credit shall not be allowed for repetitious presentations of the same program).


7)         Authoring published papers, articles or books.  The preparation of each published paper or book chapter dealing with structural engineering may be claimed as 10 hours of CE credit.


8)         Two hours of CE credit may be earned by active participation on a committee in a professional or technical society.  A maximum of 10 CE credit hours earned through participation on committees will be accepted per prerenewal period.


c)         All programs or courses shall:


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


2)         Foster the enhancement of general or specialized practice and values of structural engineering;


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, course content and teaching methods to be used.


d)         Acceptable providers for programs or course activities shall include, but not be limited to:


1)         Technical or professional societies or organizations relating to structural engineering;


2)         Colleges, universities or other accredited educational institutions; or


3)         Providers of services or products used by or specified by structural engineers.


e)         It shall be the responsibility of a licensee to maintain a record of CE for 4 years after the renewal that includes:


1)         All of the following:


A)        The name and address of the sponsor or presenter;


B)        A brief statement of the subject matter, printed program schedules, registration receipts or other proof of participation;


C)        The number of hours attended in each program; and


D)        The date and place of the program; or


2)         The certificate of attendance, transcript or records of CE credits maintained by an acceptable provider of continuing education or a records administrator, or log of activities that include activities for CE credit not given by a CE provider.


f)         Certification of Compliance with CE Requirements


1)         Each renewal applicant shall certify, on the renewal application, full compliance with the CE requirements set forth in subsection (a).


2)         The Division may require additional documentation in order to demonstrate compliance with the CE requirements.  It is the responsibility of each renewal applicant to retain or otherwise produce evidence of compliance.  The additional documentation will be required in the context of a Division audit.


3)         When there appears to be a lack of compliance with CE requirements, an applicant will be notified 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].


g)         The Division may conduct random audits to verify compliance with continuing education requirements.


h)         Waiver of CE Requirements


1)         Any renewal applicant seeking renewal of a license without having fully complied with these CE requirements shall file with the Division a renewal application, the required renewal fee, a statement setting forth the facts concerning the non-compliance, a request for waiver of the CE requirements on the basis of these facts, and proof of CE that was completed during the pre-renewal period.  The applicant may request an interview with the Board at the time of the waiver request.  If the Division, upon the written recommendation of the Board, finds from the applicant's affidavit or any other evidence submitted that extreme hardship has been shown to substantiate granting of a waiver, the Division shall waive enforcement of the CE requirements for the renewal period for which the applicant has applied.


2)         If an interview with the Board is requested at the time the request for waiver is filed with the Division, the renewal applicant shall be given at least 20 days written notice of the date, time and place of the interview by certified mail, return receipt requested.


3)         Extreme hardship shall be determined by the Board on an individual basis and be defined as an inability to devote sufficient hours to fulfilling the CE requirements during the applicable pre-renewal period because of:


A)        Full-time service in the armed forces of the United States of America during a substantial part of the pre-renewal period;


B)        An incapacitating medical condition, documented by a currently licensed physician;


C)        A physical inability to travel to the sites of approved programs, documented by a currently licensed physician; or


D)        Any other similar extenuating circumstances (i.e., family illness and prolonged hospitalization).


4)         Any renewal applicant who, prior to the expiration date of his/her license, submits a request for a waiver, pursuant to the provisions of this subsection (h), shall be deemed to be in good standing and may practice until the Division's final decision on the waiver has been made.


(Source:  Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. 1856, effective January 28, 2021)