PDH -- Professional Development Hours
The purpose of licensing professional engineers is to protect the public by enforcing minimum standards of education and professionalism. Fulfilling professional development requirements helps engineers stay current with technology and professional, managerial and ethical standards.
Maine requires 30 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) during each two-year licensing period.
The licensee is required to keep records to establish actual attendance and course completion.
The professional development hour requirements adopted in Maine are based on the Model Rules established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The Maine Statutes and Rules are the definitive documents regarding professional development, and should be familiar to each licensee. 32 M.R.S.A. §1362 and Rules Ch. 2 sec. 12 (DOC 82KB).
Given the extensive range of PDH courses, the Board has declined to pre-approve courses. Engineers should select meaningful PDH activities which will benefit their engineering practice. A good guideline for choosing acceptable courses is: "Any qualifying course or activity with a clear purpose and objective which will maintain, improve, or expand the skills and knowledge relevant to the licensee's field of practice."
In addition to technical training, management and ethics programming are acceptable areas of study.
Typical Qualifying PDHs
- Completing or attending courses, seminars, instruction, in-house programs, or training that includes engineering content which relates to the licensee’s field of practice
- Attending technical or professional society meetings when an engineering topic is presented as a principle part of the program
- Teaching a course for the first time
- Teaching a previously taught course if substantial time was spent in updating material
- Attending satellite or online video courses where attendance is verified and program material meets requirements
- Completing computer software instructional courses which relate to the improvement of one’s business or profession
- Completing language courses which relate to the improvement of one’s business or profession
- Completing management or ethics courses which relate to the improvement of one’s business or profession
- Completing correspondence courses on an engineering topic where lessons are prepared and returned for correction and/or grading and where testing at the end of the course is required
Typical Non-Qualifying PDHs
- Regular employment
- Real estate licensing courses
- Personal, estate, or financial planning
- Personal self-improvement
- Service club meetings or activities
- Equipment demonstrations or trade show displays
- Topics not relevant to engineering profession
- Enrollment without attendance at courses, seminars, etc.
- Repetitive attendance or teaching of the same course
- Attending committee meetings or general business meetings of just any organization
- Conversational language courses for personal use
Professional Development Hours (PDH): A PDH is equal to one contact hour of instruction or presentation. For example, a seminar that runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. could have a maximum of 8 PDH units. If there were a one hour lunch, the seminar would need to have at least 50 minutes of presentation/participation per hour in order for the seminar to provide 8 PDH units. PDH units cannot exceed actual contact clock hours.
PDH units are reported to the nearest half hour. No activity lasting less than one half hour will be accepted.
Example: 50 minutes = 1 PDH but 40 minutes = .5 PDH.
PDH Credit Requirements: During the two-year license period, a licensee must obtain 30 PDHs.
PDH Carryover: If a licensee exceeds 30 PDHs during the two-year license period, up to 15 PDHs may be carried over into the next license period. The licensee must retain sufficient records to establish all of the PDH credits to prove the carryover.
Continuing Education Unit (CEU): The CEU is a nationally recognized and uniform unit of measure for continuing education and training. One CEU is awarded for each 10 hours of contact instruction, therefore 1 CEU is equal to 10 PDHs.
If providers offering CEUs to professional engineers comply with the requirements of the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) in awarding CEUs, all requirements for PDH will be met.
College/Unit Semester/Quarter Hour Credit for Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (EAC-ABET) approved courses: To qualify for PDH credit, a course must be regularly scheduled and testing with a passing grade is required.
One semester hour generally consists of 15 class meetings of 50-55 minutes duration. It is assumed that generally twice as much study time is required as class contact time, therefore one semester hour is equal to 45 PDHs.
One quarter hour generally consists of 10 class meetings of 50-55 minutes duration. It is assumed that generally twice as much study time is required as class contact time, therefore one quarter hour is equal to 30 PDHs.
These courses must be accredited by EAC-ABET or have other appropriate accreditation for non-technical courses. Only actual class contact time is allowed for PDH credit.
Other Courses and PDH Activities: Other qualifying courses, seminars, corporate-sponsored educational activities, programs and activities provide one PDH credit for each contact hour. Participation in professional technical presentations made at meetings, conventions or conferences also earns a credit for each hour of attendance. It is not intended that these courses/activities be undertaken in private, such as a videotaped program in one's home, but rather be conducted in a group. A correspondence course should require the participant to show evidence of achievement and completion and/or a final graded test.
Teaching Credits: Teaching of qualifying courses, seminars, or tutorials earns PDH credits for the instructor 2:1 to students. Teaching the same course more than once does not earn additional credit. Full-time faculty members do not qualify for teaching credit. Credit for a Published Paper, Article, or Book: A published paper should be a serious effort. A "news" article in a technical or professional bulletin is not considered a published paper. The PDH credit for published work is 10 PDHs.
Participation in Professional and Technical Societies: Licensees are encouraged to participate fully in appropriate technical and professional societies. Two PDH credits can be earned per organization per renewal period if the licensee is an officer or committee member who actively participates.
For all members of professional and technical societies: Attendance at qualifying programs presented at professional and/or technical society meetings will earn one PDH for each hour of attendance.
Patents: Credit for 10 PDHs can be claimed after filing a patent application. The invention should be relevant to the engineering profession.
It is the responsibility of the licensee to maintain adequate records. Records must be maintained for three years. The Board will conduct random audits of licensees to verify compliance with PDH requirements.
Required records should include, but are not limited to:
- A PDH Activity Log (DOC 38KB) showing the type of activity claimed, sponsoring organization, location, duration, instructor or speaker’s name, and PDH credits earned. An accurate log makes it easier to complete renewal.
- Attendance verification records in the form of completion certificates or other documents supporting evidence of attendance.
The licensee is responsible for obtaining sufficient verification for credits claimed. (A rare and unlikely exception might be a speaker at a professional association meeting where verification is not provided.)
HOW TO FILL OUT THE PDH Activity Log (DOC 38KB)
The licensee should complete the activity log with sufficient information as shown below:
|Type||Date(s)||Sponsoring Organization's Name||Title/Description||PDH|
|Incorrect||2/15/12 to 6/30/12||Local Engineering Society||6 Presentations during meetings||4.3|
|Correct||2/15/13||Local Engineering Society
Dr. Blake Blakeman, PE
Acme Construction Co.
The incorrect sample shows undefined activities grouped together and inadequately described, and the Professional Development Hours are not rounded correctly. This could delay the renewal for this licensee, if the licensee was unable to verify the PDHs with supporting documentation, could result in sanctions such as a fine, suspension or revocation their license.
If you ever have any questions related to PDHs, please feel free to contact the Board Office.
Table of Prorated PDHs for First-Time Licensees
Required number of PDHs for licensees with less than two years of licensure at time of first renewal.
|Even-numbered year||PDHs Required(s)||Odd numbered year||PDHs Required|