Board Rule 9.3.1: Temporary Changes on Continuing Education Requirements
*On April 17, 2020, the Board voted to temporarily modify continuing education (CE) requirements for licenses expiring on December 31, 2020, and December 31, 2021. The modifications intend to address recent developments that may reduce the availability of in-person CE opportunities and restricted travel. In addition, the reduction of hours reflect the Board's understanding that some licensees may be facing other hardships unrelated to their practice, which may adversely impact their ability to gain CE hours. Please refer to the Continuing Education - Architects and Engineer - Continuing Education pages for more details.*
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 hours for architects or seven and one-half hours for professional engineers.
Rule 126.96.36.199 clarifies that web-based course offerings 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 9.3.1.
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 the 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 (six hours) or professional engineer (seven and one-half hours) in a two-year-biennial renewal period.
Rule 9.3.1 (formerly 9.2.3) became law on April 30, 2016.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I fulfill all of my required hours through web-based courses?
Yes, as long a minimum of 75% of the hours are offered by providers outlined in Board Rule 9.2.3.
What if I believe my web-based activity to be valuable, but the activity is not offered by one of the listed categories of providers?
You can either
1. apply the activity toward your self-reported hours, which can be a maximum of 25% of the required hours (six hours for architects or seven and one-half hours for professional engineers); or
2. contact the provider and ask them to apply for IACET accreditation.
If I complete CE hours during my initial renewal period, can I use excess hours as carryover?
New licensees are exempt from CE requirements during their initial renewal period. However, if the new licensee accrues more than 24 CE hours (if an architect) or 30 hours (if a professional engineer) CE hours in their initial license period, they can carry over up to 12 CE hours (if an architect) or 15 hours (if a professional engineer) into the subsequent renewal period.
What professional societies are considered acceptable providers?
Examples of professional societies that are considered acceptable providers include, but are not limited to:
American Concrete Institute (ACI)
American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)
American Wood Council
American 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 per Board Rule 9.4.1.
I am an AIA member and maintain a transcript. How does Rule 9.3.1 affect me?
As of April 2016, meeting the membership standards of AIA will no longer satisfy the Board's continuing education requirement.
How are professional society web-based courses affected?
Web-based courses presented by professional societies, such as AIA or NSPE, are exempt from the 25% limitation. Web-based offerings approved by a professional society fall under the self-reporting limits
If I fulfill my CE requirement for another state, am I subject to the new limits?
Licensees required to complete CE in another jurisdiction, as a condition of that jurisdiction’s license requirements does not automatically satisfy the Nebraska Board’s CE requirements.