Frequently asked questions regarding Professional Development

The State of Illinois implemented a new Professional Development (continuing education) requirement for all Illinois PEs in December, 2003.

All PEs must earn 30 professional development hours within the current 2-year renewal period, with one Professional Development Hour equaling 50 minutes of presentation/classroom time. The hours must be earned during the renewal period (there are no "carry over" hours from one renewal period to the next).

Professional development activities must be conducted by an acceptable provider (ISPE is an acceptable provider named in the PE rules), and:
  • Contribute to professional skills and/or scientific knowledge relevant to the practice of professional engineering;
  • Enhance the practice and values of professional engineering, related sciences, and engineering ethics;
  • Be developed and presented by persons with education and/or experience in the subject matter of the program.
(Are you or your organization interested in partnering with ISPE to provide Professional Development Hours? Click here to learn how to become an ISPE Registered Provider)

Who is Subject to the Requirements?
All professional engineers licensed by the State of Illinois must meet the requirements. Exceptions include:
  • A professional engineer is not required to fulfill the PDH requirements in the renewal period in which he becomes licensed.
  • Professional engineers licensed by the State of Illinois but residing in another state may use the professional development requirements in his home state if they are substantially equivalent to those of Illinois.
  • Individuals may seek a waiver of the PDH requirements prior to the renewal deadline for undo hardships, including full time service in the Armed Forces, extreme illness, or significant physical inability to travel.

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Who are the Acceptable Providers Named in the PE Rules?
  • Illinois Society of Professional Engineers
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying
  • Consulting Engineers Council of Illinois
  • Colleges, Universities or other Educational Institutions
  • Technical or Professional Societies or Organizations Relating to Professional Engineering (i.e. ASCE)
  • Other Technical or Professional Societies or Organizations (including Manufacturers)
  • Please Note: The PE Rules indicate that the list above are acceptable providers, but that acceptable providers are not limited to this group.

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    How do I report my PDH's?
    Professional Engineers are required to certify on their renewal application that they are in compliance with the PDH requirements. PE's are required to maintain a record of their professional development hours for a period of six years. Recommended formats include:
    • Maintaining a record including the name and address of the provider, the hours for each program, the date and place of the program, and a certificate of attendance if available.
    • Maintaining a log of activities that includes the date and number of hours claimed as PDHs, a statement on the subject matter, printed program schedules, agendas, and/or minutes, registration receipts or other proof of participation;
    • Records of professional development hours maintained by an acceptable provider.
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    How do I find PDH classes?
    Click here to view the calendar.

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    What Activities Qualify for how Many PDHs?
    Activity PDH Additional Qualifiers
    College Course
    Successful completion of college or university course in professional engineering, related sciences, or engineering ethics
    1 Semester Hour = 15 PDH

    1 Quarter Hour = 10 PDH
    Professional Engineering Courses
    Professional Engineering Courses - Successful completion of professional engineering courses or programs in which professional develop hours are earned
    1 Hour = 1 PDH
    Seminars & Workshops
    Professional engineering programs, seminars, tutorials, workshops, short courses, on-line or in-house courses.
    1 Hour = 1 PDH Self study courses must have an examination graded by the sponsor.
    Professional Meetings
    Attending program presentations at related technical or professional meetings
    1 Hour = 1 PDH
    Teaching or Instructing (does not apply to faculty in the performance of regular assigned duties)
    1 Hour Teaching = 2 PDH Only valid for teaching a course or seminar the first time.
    Papers & Presentations
    Authoring papers or articles that appear in nationally circulated journals or trade magazines or presented to a professional society or organization
    Maximum of 10 PDH's per paper or presentation
    Receiving a patent within the renewal period
    10 PDH per patent
    Society Involvement
    Active participation on a committee or holding an office in a professional or technical society
    2 PDH per Committee or Office Maximum of 8 PDH's per renewal period. May not use the same committee or office twice per renewal period.
    Continuing Education Units
    An approved Continuing Education Course.
    1 CEU = 10 PDH's
    Unfortunately, the Department of Professional Regulation will not pre-certify courses as qualifying as appropriate PDHs, so use prudence when selecting your activities.

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    ISPE Registered Professional Development Provider Program
    Look for the ISPE "Registered Provider" Stamp!

    "Will this count?" is one of the most common questions we hear from members, referring to the new professional development requirements. In response to member concerns, ISPE developed a new "Registered Provider" program to help you feel confident that the courses and seminars you attend will stand up to IDPR PE Board review as appropriate professional development activities.

    PEs can feel assured that any professional development course featuring the ISPE Registered Provider stamp has undergone a thorough review by our professional development committee and meets the standards laid out by the state PE Board.

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