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Re: proposed ASCE legislation to require 30 continuing education PDH units

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I believe David's post was in response to proposed legislation before the California PELS board to mandate 30 PDH for license renewal...

On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 3:35 PM, Stan Caldwell <stancaldwell(--nospam--at)> wrote:
I am generally up-to-speed on most ASCE issues and initiatives, but your post stumps me.  The subject of your post is "proposed ASCE legislation to require 30 continuing education PDH units".  What legislation are you referring to?  If it is the "Raise the Bar" (a.k.a., "B+30") initiative, that relates to earning 30 hours of graduate-level college credit (or equivalent) past a BSCE degree before taking the PE Exam.  As you might guess, the +30 is still being debated and defined.  To the best of my knowledge, B+30 does not directly address annual continuing education hours, or Professional Development Hours (PDHs).
You should also be aware that NCEES has adopted B+30 in their Model Law.  In the many states that follow the Model Law, B+30 will be required before taking the PE Exam, starting in 2020.  This should not be much of an issue for structural engineers.  Virtually all of the structural engineering consulting firms in Texas hire entry level engineers only at the MS level and it has been that way for a long time.
Stan R. Caldwell, P.E., SECB
Richardson, Texas
On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 5:26 PM, David Merrick, Structural Engineer, Merrick Group <> wrote:
Joan Al-Kazily at joanalk(--nospam--at)
(receiver comments for ASCE)

This is in response to the ASCE proposed wording to require PDH units of continuing education.

Cost of seminars seem to have gone beyond just covering the rent of a space, some snacks and documentation. Lecturers need to recognize their reward is professional status and recognition as a leader, not pay. Text and code books now seem to cost more than that of publishing and are used to sweeten the purchase of seminars.

*  I recommend to not limit "
Self study of relevant materials" to just 10% of PDH units. It is the wrong message to deny that self study is the most important source of continuing knowledge. The limit of credit seems to be contrived from a distrust of licensed engineers and to profit by forcing purchases of seminars. The most affective source of my growth and knowledge has been from collecting a large library, a whole room, and constantly referencing it in my professional ponderings, curiosity as well as research for a project.

*  I recommend reducing the number of PDH units required to reflect length of experience. Continuing education courses increase in repetitiveness to my existing knowledge as my experience increases. I recommend reducing the amount of PDH units required, based on years having been licensed. Such as the PDH units required could be 30 units divided by the number of years licensed.

*  Prevent giving out reduced rates for one company and multiple users. If not then the percent discounted should reduce that amount of PDH units to be earned. This will prevent corruption of the PDH seminar process.

*  Its seems that some of the PDH units resources are given out to activities not enhancing one's personal growth such as for teaching or lecturing in a seminar. The work study to give the presentation my enhance a growth of knowledge, but if so, then any one's design work effort should also get PDH units designing includes research, review and study. This goes back to reducing the PDH units for the length of time having been licensed.

I have found no statistics where design error or construction error have been reduced due to a jurisdiction adding a requirement for  PDH units. If it is a fact that safety is not increased when requiring PDH units, then such a programs should be discontinued, and such jurisdictions should not be used as examples to argue that a lot of folks do it so why not?

The proposed rules seem to be weighted by a profit motive to sell PDHs. The proposed rules seem to cater to the closest to ASCE, large companies investing in, makers of, and lecturers of the code.

There must be better ways to improve the safety of the society we serve. It seems counter productive to charge the servants of construction, not the user.

Consider if the legislated code were easy to find to freely to down load, with usable text to search, copy and paste. Would that not greatly increase safety to not restrict the rules intended to create a safe world?

Make seminars free to find to freely down load with subtitles of usable text to search copy and paste.

David B Merrick, SE

David Topete, SE