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Re: Continuing Professional Development

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I would respond as follows to the matters expressed below in this way:

A number of folks do seem to disagree that it is enough to leave
professional learning to voluntary initiative and personal motivation.

My understanding of the relationship between SEAOC and the licensing board
is indirect. I often attend meetings of the directors of the Central section
of SEAOC (one of four autonomous regional components) and have heard there
that SEAOC desires to run a continuing education program in-house with Board
of Registration blessings. The four SEAOC Sections already run rich seminar
programs and would like them endorsed rather than replaced. 

I would characterize SEAOC's relationship with the Board of Registration as
at most, "wary", in an unspoken way, but not as antagonistic. This is merely
my personal view, not a SEAOC position.

As for the rest of the profession, it depends on the organization or PE
branch in question. California licenses PE's by branch, not generically, and
the privileges are not equally distributed. In recent times, Fire Protection
Engineers and Safety Engineers can fairly be said to have been treated
antagonistically by the Board, which sought to have the legislature cease
licensing them.

On the other hand, private-firm consulting civil, electrical, and mechanical
engineers have had the Board champion their every wish; government employed
engineers much less so. A decades-old feud over public works design turf
between these factions has escalated into state supreme court-decided
lawsuits and a bitterly contested ballot initiative set for the June 1998
statewide election.  Non-licensed consultants to high-tech research,
manufacturing, and industrial corporations have been treated with vigorous
antagonism by the Board, but to no avail once it hits the political arena.
It's not unfair to observe that the Board's makeup reflects the wishes of
the appointing authority, the incumbent governor, who promotes
privatization. The legislature is controlled by the other party, however.
Hence my supposition of legislative disdain for the Calif Board.

As for the merits of mandatory continuing professional development, it does
appear that there's no small pretense in it: the regulators pretend they've
done something good, and the professionals pretend that something good is
happening to them. Maybe they're both right and maybe neither is.  Myself, I
think what H.L. Menken said 77 years ago may well apply to the mandatory
part of continuing education: as a solution to a problem, it's one of those
solutions that is "neat, plausible, and wrong."  

Chuck Greenlaw, SE, Sacramento, CA
At 03:44 PM 10/18/97 -0600, you wrote:

>Charles Greenlaw wrote:[...]
>> future as an administrative regulation. (It appears from several unrelated
>> contexts that the current Calif Board may not be held in the highest esteem
>> by the legislature; perhaps delegation of Contin Ed authority to the Board
>> does not appeal to the legislators.)
>> Nobody implied however that voluntary professional learning was ineffective
>> or undesirable.
>Although apparently a number of folks would disagree with that statement...
>> SEAOC has been debating whether to advocate a particular mandatory
>> continuing education program. The reason given in favor is to pre-empt the
>> PE Board's version, whatever it might be.
>Does this statement imply an antagonistic relationship between the profession
>and that California licensing board?