20% of Engineers May Be Audited
Statistically speaking, you are virtually guaranteed to be audited during your career, and likely more than once.
State engineering boards now audit professional engineers to verify they met the continuing education requirements. It is important you know what the requirement are, keep records for six years, complete the right type of training, and use approved course providers. If you are registered in multiple states, as most engineers are, then you could be audited more than once in a single year.
State engineering boards have different targets for the number of professional engineers they audit each year, but they will generally review between 5 and 20 percent of the license renewals.
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Audit Selection Process
Audits typically occur in states where licensees are not required to submit verification of continuing education courses at the time of renewal. In these states, the engineer certifies that they have completed the required number of CEU courses, and the audit is the board’s method of verifying the information. Most engineers who are audited are selected at random from the list of licensed engineers. However, many states automatically audit engineers who have been disciplined in the past.
The timing of an audit also differs from state to state.The Florida engineering board, for example, selects who they will audit in June and sends notices to these licensees within a few weeks. Every state is different, so it is important that you be prepared for an audit by making certain you have met the board’s continuing education requirements before you renew your license and keeping records in an orderly fashion so you can produce them quickly.
The following information includes some useful strategies and methods for dealing with a state engineering board audit.
Professional Engineering Continuing Education Requirements
Most professional engineers are required to complete continuing education (CE) training as part of their license renewal. Currently, 42 states require engineers to earn professional development (PDH) hours, also known as continuing professional competency (CPC). State engineering boards require continuing education as a means of keeping professional engineers up to date on industry practices, new technology, and rules in your state. Most states require 10 to 15 hours per year or 30 PDH credits biennially, or every two years. A few, like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, require 24 hours biennially.
States usually request CE reporting in one of two ways: