There is an interesting topic on eng-tips.com discussing states that do not require continuing education.
States that do not require PDHs for Professional Engineers
I understand that policies not specifically designated to the federal government are reserved for the states, but something as important as protecting the health and welfare of the public deserves to be consistent across state lines.
I, for one, am against requiring PDHs for maintaining licensure. The post I made on the site clearly states that only idiots don't get continuing education simply because they don't have to. But really, the extra burden on the State Boards to audit engineers; the varying requirements among states that each engineer is licensed in; the personal burden to document and track all education hours; and the variation among states for what qualifies and what doesn't is what makes me believe requiring continuing education is pointless.
I think it is time that a model law is developed that all states follow.
There are plenty of engineering organizations and societies that are now international. Those groups could band together and develop a plan for the U.S. to create an acceptable, and consistent, definition of what a good engineer should do in terms of continuing education. Each state would adopt the model law.
1) Create a central database of acceptable activities that qualify for PDH.
Companies that supply training seminars, conferences, or online training can apply to have their activity accredited.
2) Allow all professional engineers to maintain an account in the online, web-based database to log the activities they have participated in. Each state board can verify an engineer's qualifications via the database. Customer's, clients, and other concerned citizens can also verify that the engineer providing a service is current.
3) And more (because obviously all the details aren't going to be worked out in a blog).
Of course, how does all this get paid for? By each state board. How much will each state board save by having a 3rd party host the database? The cost of time, infrastructure, and manpower to self certify all of their engineers in their state has now been outsourced. It's no different than outsourcing contract labor for any other service. Each state pays their rental fee for the database with the savings they accrue from not maintaining it themselves.
I think it would work. Comments?