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RE: Continuing Professional Development

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I think the idea of SAGE that Neil mentions is a most wonderful 
idea. I have tried to run similar idea's past the five other 
engineers here in the Coachella Valley. Two are very agreeable 
to it, one refuses to talk to me, and the others are too busy to 
consider the idea.
I applaud the engineers in Neil's area that are professional 
enough to recognize the need to interact and work through common 
issues.
On the down-side, I think this is more the exception to the rule 
than the norm.
Nigel's comments as a president of a state chapter of NSPE 
reflected a response to an apathetic profession. I believe that 
the requirements for Continuing education will not be a popular 
idea, however it is the responsibilty of the licensing agency 
and professional associations to determine the level of 
professionalism required.  The University does not allow us to 
determine when it is time to stop learning, nor does the 
licensing board who determines how much apprenticeship is 
needed.
One thing that we have discussed is that the issue is not 
necessarily based upon the inability of the engineer in his 
practice, but upon the inaccessibility of the information needed 
to understand code changes and methodologies for new materials 
or the needed modifications that occur between code 
publications. One example is the FEMA publications for Moment 
Frame structures that occured between code cycles, or the 
Seminars that occured between the Northridge Earthquake and the 
1997 UBC. Please note that the measures adopted after Northridge 
negated the new measures of the 1994 UBC before it was even 
adopted by the municpalities.
Taking it one step further, to stay abreast of the changes 
required the engineer to have knowledge of the seminars 
available in major cities, to be a member of an SEA organization 
in order to receive FEMA's guides (they don't mail guides based 
upon BORPELS records, they mail to known members of professional 
organizations).
Now, consider that the majority of licensed professionals are 
not members of SEA or ASCE or CASE or NSPE - and my have no 
affiliation of their own. Their sole source of information is 
the code and any additional research they are in mind to do.
My point is that we do (and should) allow our professional 
organizations that help create the design and code changes to 
establish requirments for professional licensing renewal based 
upon the myriad of information that should be reaching our desks 
but don't. By establishing CEU's, we increase the number of 
publications as well as help to put much of this information 
into accessible hands like our SEAOC Internet web.
Dennis Wish PE.