Board Rule 9.2.3
Web-based course offerings provided by the following types of providers may constitute the entire biennial requirement:
International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) approved providers,
professional engineering or architectural societies,
technical societies and associations recognized at a national level, or
Web-based course offerings provided by other types of providers may constitute no more than one-fourth of the biennial education requirement that is six ACE hours or seven and one-half ECE hours.
Board Rule 126.96.36.199 clarifies that web-based offerings including webinars, video conferences, and online meetings led by an instructor that enables both the instructor and attendees to give, receive, and discuss information in real time is not restricted under Rule 9.2.3.
Over the past several years, the Board and staff had noticed an increase in continuing education credits fulfilled through online courses. Technology has made it easier for many professionals to complete courses from the comfort and convenience of their desk, minimizing scheduling conflicts and travel costs. It is also certain that courses using this type of delivery system will increase in the years to come.
The dilemma our Board faced through the course of continuing education audits was the questionable quality of many of these courses, the time it actually took to complete the course as compared to the hours or credit claimed, and their benefits to professional practice. Though many courses evaluated were just as valuable as those attending in person, it was clear that this was not the case for a number of units being submitted.
The Board’s conclusion was to limit the amount of certain web-based credits allowed toward the required 24 actual hours of architecture- or 30 actual hours of engineering-related learning. Simply put, they will be considered under the self-reporting guidelines defined in the handbook and limited to 25% of the total required hours for an architect (6 hours) or professional engineer (7.5 hours) in a 2-year-biennial renewal period.
Rule 9.2.3 became law on April 30, 2016.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I fulfill all of my required hours through web-based courses?
A: Yes, as long a minimum of 75% of the hours are offered by providers outlined in the policy above.
Q: What professional societies are considered acceptable providers?
A: The following are some examples of acceptable societies:
- American Concrete Institute (ACI)
- American Institue of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
- American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)
- American Wood Council
- Amercian Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)
- American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE)
- National Council of Engineering Associations
- National Council of Structural Engineers (NCSEA)
- The Prestressed/Precast Concrete Institute
Please note, the Board has final authority with respect to approval of courses and credit. The Board does not pre-approve ANY course.
Q: If I had carry-over from my last renewal period, will it have to meet the new criteria?
A: Hours earned in previous renewal cycles need only to meet the guidelines during the time it was earned.
Q: How do I find out if my provider is IACET approved?
A: Please check the IACET website or contact your provider. The Board cannot pre-approve courses.
Q: What if I believe my web-based course to be valuable, but does not fall under one of the listed categories?
A: We encourage you to either 1) contact the provider and ask them to apply for IACET accreditation, or 2) apply it toward your 25% self-reported hours.
Q: I am an AIA member and maintain a transcript. How does the new policy affect me?
A: As of April 2016, meeting the membership standards of AIA will no longer satisfy the Board's continuing education requirement.
Q: How are AIA-approved web-based courses affected?
A: Web-based courses presented by a professional society such as AIA are exempt from the 25% limitation. Web-based offerings approved by a professional society would fall under the self-reporting limits.
Q: If I fulfill my continuing education requirement for another state, am I subject to the new limits?
A: Licensees involved in a mandatory continuing education program in another jurisdiction are subject to that jurisdiction's requirements. However, to be eligible for this, the licensure period must be identical to that of your Nebraska license (i.e., January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2015).
If you have any questions about Board Rule 9.2.3, please contact us.