Continuing Education Program (CEP)
Frequently Asked CEP Questions
How many hours are required?
15 hours with at least 1 hour of ethics.
How do I get the one ethics hour?
You can meet the ethics requirement through any coursework, seminars, presentations, or other activities that are in the area of professional ethics, roles and responsibilities of professional engineering, or by reviewing the Texas Engineering Practice Act and Board Rules. An interested engineer can download or view the Texas Engineering Practice Act and the Board Rules at http://engineers.texas.gov/downloads/lawrules.pdf. We also offer free webinars every quarter approximately 1 month prior to the expiration date. Refer to our Webinar Page for additional information.
What activities count?
Board rule 137.17(g) states: All activities described in 137.17(f) of this title shall be relevant to the practice of a technical profession and may include educational, technical, ethical, or managerial content.
There are many different activities that can count. All activities must be related to engineering in an education, technical, managerial, or ethical manner. You may take free online classes/videos and they will count as qualifying PDHs. You must have supporting documentation from the entity that produces these classes/videos in order to receive all the allowable PDHs. If you do not have supporting documentation then these types of activities can count as self-study (maximum of 5 PDHs for self-study).
What is Self-Study?
The language in the rule states, "Credit determination for self-directed study is the responsibility of the license holder and subject to review as required by the board." Essentially, self-study is any study, research, reading, etc. that is relevant to the practice of a technical profession and includes educational, technical, ethical, or managerial content. So, reading up on a new topic, researching a new design, keeping up with current engineering periodicals, or reading about the engineering Act and Board Rules can all count. It is credited on an hour for hour basis, with a maximum set by the legislature at 5 PDH total per renewal period. Examples include, but are not limited to: reading/reviewing trade magazines or books, watching tutorials, and viewing other online content.
What do I need to report and how do I do it?
Keep documentation of the activities as proof in the case of an audit. Do not send in certificates, logsheets, etc. with your renewal forms.
Am I exempt from CEP?
Please note: Exemptions must be claimed at the time of renewal.
All active PE's must perform 15 hours of CEP activities, even if they are over 65 or in exempt industry.
There are four reasons that you can be exempt from CEP requirements:
Currently in Inactive Status
Deployed Military Service (min 120 days during year)
1st renewal after licensure via PE exam
You are NOT exempt for any of the following reasons:
Not practicing engineering
What proof / documentation do I need?
The board wants the reporting process to be as simple as possible. There are only two things that a license holder needs to do:
1) Certify on the renewal statement that you have completed the CEP requirement and return it with your renewal payment. This is the main document that the board reviews and keeps as a record of completing the CEP requirement.
2) Keep some sort of paper proof of your activity. This can include a certificate of completion or attendance in a course or seminar, a grade report, a flyer or agenda from a presentation or meeting, or any other document that shows the date, location, duration, and type of activity you wish to claim. Do not send in the supporting documentation with your renewal.
Self-study should be reported simply as the type of activity, date, and hours claimed. (Example - "Read Engineering Practice Act, 02/05/04, 1 PDH"). A worksheet can be downloaded from the website to help track self-study hours. Content providers or activity sponsors do not need to report attendance to the board.
What courses, presentations, or activities count? Does the Board have a list?
The intent is for the continuing education program to be self-administered. TBPE does not pre-approve any courses, seminars, presentations, or other activities to meet the CEP requirement, and the Board does not require that a P.E. take a course approved by RCEPP. The board does not have a list of approved courses or activities. It would be very difficult to include every possible course, seminar, or activity available to a P.E. nationwide.
There are two basic criteria for an activity to count:
1) Is the specific activity on the list of activities in the rule? (see below for an excerpt from the rule)
2) Is the activity relevant to the practice of a technical profession and does it include technical, ethical, or managerial content?
If the activity is related to engineering in a technical, managerial, or ethical manner, then it will count.
PDH units may be earned as follows:
(1) Successful completion or auditing of college credit courses.
(2) Successful completion of continuing education courses, either offered by a professional or trade organization, university or college, or offered in-house by a corporation, other business entity, professional or technical societies, associations, agencies, or organizations, or other group.
(3) Successful completion of correspondence, on-line, televised, videotaped, and other short courses/tutorials.
(4) Presenting or attending qualifying seminars, in-house courses, workshops, or professional or technical presentations made at meetings, conventions, or conferences sponsored by a corporation, other business entity, professional or technical societies, associations, agencies, or organizations, or other group.
(5) Teaching or instructing as listed in paragraphs (1) through (4) above.
(6) Authoring published papers, articles, books, or accepted licensing examination items.
(7) Active participation in professional or technical societies, associations, agencies, or organizations, including:
(A) Serving as an elected or appointed official;
(B) Serving on a committee of the organization;
(C) Serving in other official positions.
(8) Patents Issued.
(9) Engaging in self-directed study.
(10) Active participation in educational outreach activities involving K-12 or higher education students.
I want to change to "Inactive Status" and not do CEP. How do I become Inactive and how do I report my status?
If you have received your renewal notice and decide that you meet the requirements for Inactive Status, you must apply for Inactive Status before your renewal is due. This means that you can submit the Inactive Status Form before your renewal is due, or you can submit the paperwork WITH the renewal form. Simply checking the "Currently Inactive" box on the renewal form will NOT automatically change you to Inactive Status.
Please note, if you send in your renewal and then decide to become Inactive, you are still required to complete the CEP requirements for that renewal. Please visit the Inactive Status Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.
I am in Inactive Status now and wish to re-activate my license. What are the CEP requirements?
A license holder may bring an inactive license to active status by obtaining all delinquent PDH units and submitting copies of CEP records demonstrating compliance to the board or its authorized representative for verification purposes. If the total number required to become current exceeds 30 units, then 30 units shall be the maximum number required. Please visit the Inactive Status Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.
Can I carryover hours from one year to the next?
Yes, you can carry over 14 hours from one year to the next. The ethics requirement is an annual requirement and therefore cannot be carried over.
Forms for CEP
Download this log sheet and keep track of your PDH's for your renewals. Retain with your records for audit purposes. Do not send the log sheet in with your renewal.
CEP Log Sheet - MS Word format
CEP Log Sheet - .pdf format
CEP Log Sheet - MS Excel format
Download this worksheet to help keep track of your Self-Study activities. Retain with your records for audit purposes. Do not send the worksheet in with your renewal.
Self-Study Worksheet - MS Word format
Self-Study Worksheet - .pdf format
History of CEP
During the 78th legislative session (2003), SB277 was passed instructing the Texas Board of Professional Engineers to develop and implement a Continuing Education Program (CEP) adding Section 1001.210 to the Occupations Code. Refer to the TBPE Law & Rules for the exact language.
- September 1, 2003: SB277 became effective as law.
- October 9, 2003: Quarterly Board Meeting. CEP Proposed Rules adopted with changes.
- November 7, 2003: Proposed Rules published in Texas Register. Public comment period began.
- December 7, 2003: Public comment period ended.
- January 14, 2004: Licensing Committee Meeting. Public Comment and possible rule changes were presented and discussed. The proposed rule was adopted with non-substantive changes.
- January 15, 2004: Quarterly Board Meeting. Proposed CEP Rules adopted with non-substantive changes.
- May 20, 2004: Board Rules Recodified. CEP Rules move from 131.139 to 137.17.
- Jan 1, 2005: CEP program began. License holders are required to submit their first CEP hours with the renewal they receive in 2005.