Friday, June 13, 2014, Governor Rick Scott signed HB 713 into Florida law, which revises the appointment of FBPE Board members, continuing education requirements, the retaking of the Fundamental (FE) and Principles and Practice (PE) examinations, and exemptions to taking the Fundamentals Examination. The following is a summary of the changes to be made to Chapter 471, Florida Statutes - Engineering, effective July 1, 2014. PLEASE NOTE: the changes made to continuing education requirements will not take effect until March 1, 2015, and will not apply until the 2015-2017 biennial renewal.
The Governor appoints members of the Board of Professional Engineering (Board) to four year terms and now HB 713 provides that professional and technical engineering societies may submit a list of recommended qualified nominees for appointment even though the Governor is not required to select a nominee from the list. Additionally, the composition of the nine (9) licensed professional engineers that comprise the Board is changed to require that the Board will always be comprised of PEs with civil, structural, electrical or electronic, mechanical and education expertise and that the Board member terms will be staggered after July 1, 2014 to assure continuity of service on the Board.
Effective March 1, 2015, HB 713 requires a total of 18 continuing education course hours in order for licensed professional engineers to renew their licenses. Of the 18 hours, one must be related to the laws and rules of professional engineers, one must relate to professional ethics, and four must relate to the licensee’s area of practice. The remaining hours may correlate to any topic pertinent to the practice of engineering. Four hours of the continuing education course hours may be obtained by being an officer for a Board-recognized professional or technical engineering society. The required hours relating to law, rules and ethics may also be earned by a PE serving as a member of the Legislature or as an elected state or local official. Since the portion of the Bill relating to CE requirements does not take effect until March 1, 2015, the new CE requirements will not apply until the 2015-2017 biennial renewal.
Retaking of the FE or PE Examination
HB 713 allows applicants for licensure as a professional engineer who have failed one of the licensure examinations three times are now permitted to take a Board-approved examination review course prior to retaking the examination. Additionally, the Bill provides that those applicants who are delayed in taking an examination due to reserve or active duty service in the United States Armed Forces or National Guard are allowed two additional attempts to take the examination before being required to obtain additional college course hours or examination review course credit.
Exemptions to Taking the Fundamentals Exam
Previously, Chapter 471, Florida Statutes provided an exemption for PE licensure applicants to forego taking the fundamentals examination if the applicant held an accredited doctorate in engineering or a doctorate in engineering and had at least three years of qualified teaching experience. HB 713 deletes both of these provisions related to applicants who hold doctorates in engineering.
To read the bill and all activity related to the proposed legislation change in its entirety, go to the Florida House of Representatives website at http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=51807. You can also view the current statutes and rules related to the practice of engineering on our website at http://www.fbpe.org/legal/statues-and-rules.
If you have any questions or concerns related to this proposed legislation or the current engineering laws and rules, feel free to email the Board at