CLEAR News - Summer/Fall  2001

Model Law for Licensing of Engineers

Engineering Times recently reported that the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) has approved a new PE Licensure Model with the goal of having it implemented in state licensing laws across the country. The NASPE Engineering Education/ Licensure Model Task Force, that developed the Model, felt that the existing licensure procedures are not relevant to the professional practice with the result that fewer than one in five engineers are licensed professional engineers.

While the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) has already revised the fundamental of engineering (FE) exam to make it more discipline specific, the Model provides for a second Professional Licensing Exam that "would focus on codes, standards, ethics, and professional practice issues, rather than on technical material." "It is anticipated that the professional engineering societies would help define what pertinent information should be included in the Professional Licensing Exam."

The new NASPE Model includes two different pathways to licensure in contrast to the current one track standard prepared by NCEES. The first path is for those with only a B.S. in engineering; the candidate must pass the FE exam and then serve four years as an Engineer Intern; then a credentials and portfolio review, followed the passing of the new Professional Licensing Exam. The second path would be for those applicants that have master's or doctoral degrees in engineering. These candidates would not be required to take the FE exam but would be immediately designated as an Engineer Intern. The "candidates with master's degrees in engineering would need three years of acceptable experience, while those with doctoral degrees in engineering would need only two years of acceptable experience before undergoing a credentials and portfolio review. After completing the review and passing the Professional Licensing Exam, candidates would then receive their PE license."

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