Professional Development Hours

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PDH Requirements Are Waived for First Renewal

Licensees renewing for the first time have no PDH requirements.

What Counts

Professional engineers are licensed to protect the public. Professional development keeps PEs current with technology and professional, managerial, and ethical standards.

  • All Maine PEs must complete 30 hours of professional development (PDH) in each 2-year licensure period.
  • Licensees must keep a PDH log and certificate or receipt to prove attendance.
  • Licensees must keep their logs and supporting documents for 3 years in case htey are audited.
  • PDH activity must be reported on the PDH Activity Log (PDF).
  • Maine does not pre-approve any PDH courses -- it is the responsibility of the PE to take courses of value to them.
  • PDH courses should be relevant to the practice of engineering and may include technical, management, and ethics topics.
  • A guideline for choosing acceptable courses: "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."

Typical Qualifying PDHs

  • Courses, seminars, instruction, in-house programs, or training with engineering content that relates to the licensee’s current or future discipline(s)
  • Technical or professional society meetings when an engineering topic is presented as a principle part of the program
  • Teaching an engineering course for the first time
  • Repeat teaching a course if substantial time is spent updating material
  • Satellite or online video courses where attendance is verified and program material meets requirements
  • Computer-based courses related to improving one’s business or profession
  • Language courses related to one’s business or profession (not recreational travel)
  • Management or ethics courses related to one’s business or profession
  • Correspondence courses on an engineering topic where lessons are returned for correction or grading and where testing at the end of the course is required

Typical Non-Qualifying PDHs

  • Employment or job-related tasks or functions
  • Real estate licensing courses
  • Personal, estate, or financial planning
  • Self-study courses without testing
  • Personal self-improvement
  • Service club meetings or activities
  • Equipment demonstrations, sales presentations, 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 or general business meetings of organizations not directly related to engineering
  • Language courses for personal use

Terms Defined

Professional Development Hours (PDH): A PDH is 1 contact hour of instruction. A contact hour is 50 minutes of instruction and a 10-minute break. PDH units are reported to the nearest half hour. Example: 50 minutes = 1 PDH but 40 minutes = .5 PDH. No activity lasting less than one half hour will be accepted. 

Example: A seminar from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. could have a maximum of 8 PDH units. If there is a 1-hour lunch, the seminar would need to have at least 50 minutes of presentation/participation per hour for the seminar to provide 8 PDH units. PDH units cannot exceed actual contact clock hours.

PDH credit requirements: A licensee must obtain 30 PDHs within each 2-year licensure period.

PDH carryover: If a licensee exceeds 30 PDHs during the 2-year licensure period, up to 15 PDHs may be carried over into the next license period. The licensee must retain documentation for 3 years to establish PDH credits and to prove any 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. Providers offering CEUs must comply with IACET requirements to receive PDH credit.

Semester/quarter hour credit for college engineering courses: To qualify for PDH credit, a course must be accredited, offered on the class schedule, and have a final exam. A passing grade is required.

  • One semester hour consists of 15 class meetings of 50-55 minutes, with 2 hours of additional interaction with subject materials, such as study, lab work, practicums, and the like; therefore one semester hour is equal to 45 PDH.
  • One quarter hour consists of 10 class meetings of 50-55 minutes, with 2 hours of additional interaction with subject materials, such as study, lab work, practicums, and the like; therefore one quarter hour is equal to 30 PDH.

Other courses and PDH activities: Other qualifying courses provide 1 PDH credit for each contact hour. Participation in professional technical presentations made at meetings, conventions or conferences also earns 1 PDH credit for each hour of attendance. Distance learning must show evidence of completion and/or a final graded test.

Teaching credits: Instructors receive PDH credits 2:1 to students the first time a course is taught. Repeat teaching the same course does not earn additional credit. Full-time faculty members qualify for teaching credit the first time they teach a course. If a course is substantially updated, the instructor may receive 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 may earn 2 PDHs per licensure period by serving as an officer or active committee member in a professional or technical society.

For all members of professional and technical societies: Attendance at qualifying programs presented at professional and/or technical society meetings will earn 1 PDH for each hour of attendance.

Patents: 10 PDHs can be earned for filing a patent application relevant to engineering.

Keep Your Records

Licensees must maintain PDH documentation for 3 years. The Board conducts random audits to verify compliance.

Required records include, but are not limited to:

  1. PDH Activity Log (PDF) 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.
  2. Attendance verification such as completion certificates, receipts, or other documents supporting evidence of attendance.

HOW TO FILL OUT THE PDH Activity Log

The licensee should complete the activity log with sufficient information as shown below:

Type Date(s) Sponsoring Organization's Name Title/Description PDH
Incorrect 2/15/22 to 6/30/22 Local Engineering Society 6 Presentations during meetings 4.3
Correct 2/15/23 Local Engineering Society
Hometown Jurisdiction
"Earthquake-Proof Buildings"
Dr. Blake Blakeman, PE
Acme Construction Co.
1.5

The incorrect sample shows undefined activities grouped together and inadequately described, and the PDH are not rounded correctly. Doing this will delay renewal and could result in sanctions against your license.

If you have any questions related to PDHs, please contact the Board Office.