The U.S. engineering and surveying licensure boards that make up NCEES have voted to amend its policy on exam charges to lower the price for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exams by $50 to $175 beginning January 2018. The decision was made at the organization’s 95th annual meeting, held August 24–27, 2016, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Delegates also set a price for the computer-based Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam. None of the PE exams, which NCEES offers in 24 disciplines, is currently administered through computer-based testing (CBT), but the organization is preparing for future transitions to CBT. The earliest that the new price of $375 for computer-based PE exams could take affect is January 2018.
Delegates also approved an amendment to the financial policy on exam charges to require that examinees pay NCEES directly for all exams, whether CBT or pencil-and-paper format, beginning May 2017. Direct payment to NCEES is already required for all CBT exams. With PE exams moving from pencil-and-paper to CBT, the change will provide a consistent payment method during the transition.
“NCEES and its member boards are committed to reducing barriers to licensure,” NCEES Chief Executive Officer Jerry Carter explained. “Therefore, the organization wanted to lower the price of the fundamentals exams—the first exam for engineering and surveying licensure—to ensure that cost is not a prohibitive factor in starting on the path to licensure.”
NCEES adopts new professional policy and position statements
Among other actions taken at the annual meeting, delegates voted to adopt a professional policy on the Model Law Engineer, Model Law Structural Engineer, and Model Law Surveyor designations.
The development of the professional policy follows a 2015 vote to charge a committee to consider whether these Model Law designations should be removed from the Model Rules and adopted as a professional policy. The NCEES Advisory Committee on Council Activities was charged this year with developing this policy statement.
“NCEES wanted to move these definitions because they are specific to NCEES, not individual state licensing regulations,” explained CEO Carter. “They are intended for the NCEES Records program to help expedite applications for licensure by comity, so the Council felt they belonged in a professional policy, not in our model documents.”
Delegates adopted a position statement on remote sensing technologies. The statement says that the use of these technologies, such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR), photogrammetry, and unmanned aircraft systems, as well as other emerging technologies should be under the responsible charge of a licensed professional in order to safeguard the public.
Delegates also adopted a position statement on sustainability. The new statement says, in part, “NCEES recommends that professional engineers and professional surveyors incorporate the principles of sustainability to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the public now and in the future.”
“Engineers and surveyors have a leading role in ensuring a sustainable future, so NCEES wanted to address this issue and formalize its position,” CEO Carter said.
The full text of the newly adopted professional policy on NCEES Model Law designations and position statements on remote sensing and sustainability is available online at ncees.org/PP5.
Parallel model language for structural engineering voted down
The NCEES Committee on Uniform Procedures and Legislative Guidelines proposed amendments to the Model Law and Model Rules to language for structural engineers parallel to that which is currently included for professional engineers. After debate, delegates voted not to accept the new language.
NCEES member boards maintain the Model Law and Model Rules as best practice manuals. The documents are a resource for U.S. states and territories, which set their own licensing laws and rules.
Full details on all motions considered during the annual meeting will be included in the official minutes, which will be published later this year.