National council also inks agreement to continue offering licensing exams in Japan
The state licensing boards that regulate the practice of engineering in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Texas signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the Japan PE/FE Examiners Council (JPEC) on December 18 in Tokyo, Japan. The MOUs allow for those who have successfully completed NCEES licensing exams in Japan to seek licensure as a professional engineer, or P.E., in the three U.S. states.
The boards’ executive directors signed the MOUs for their jurisdictions: David Cox, of the Kentucky State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors; Andrew Ritter, of the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors; and Lance Kinney, P.E., of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers. The states’ trade representatives to Japan also attended the signing ceremony. JPEC representatives included the organization’s president, Masami Yoshimoto, P.E.
“Some state requirements can make it difficult for someone from Japan to get an engineering license in the United States, such as requiring that he or she reside in that state,” Ritter said. “My state, as well as Texas and Kentucky, wanted to work with JPEC to make sure that we don’t have any unnecessary barriers.”
In the United States, the practice of engineering is regulated by each state or territory. Each jurisdiction sets its own requirements. The main areas are education, examination, and professional experience.
“The Kentucky, North Carolina, and Texas boards all have procedures in place to evaluate professional experience gained outside the United States, and none require that an individual reside in the state to first get a P.E. license,” said Cox.
The boards do require that licensure candidates comply with all applicable state and federal requirements. “We use the same standards to evaluate domestic and international applicants,” Kinney said. “We must ensure that individuals are competent to practice engineering and standards are upheld.”
Continuing a valued relationship
At the ceremony, NCEES and JPEC also signed a new agreement that allows NCEES exams to continue to be offered in Japan through JPEC. The Fundamentals of Engineering exam now will be offered throughout the year at approved Pearson VUE test centers in Tokyo and Osaka. The Principles and Practice of Engineering exam will continue to be administered in the spring and fall in Tokyo.
NCEES exams have been offered in Japan since 1992, initially through a MOU between the parent organization of JPEC and the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying. Since 2006, they have been offered through an agreement between NCEES and JPEC.
Enhanced mobility of the P.E. license is a key element of the NCEES strategic plan and a focus of NCEES President Patty Mamola, P.E., who represented the organization at the signing ceremony with CEO Jerry Carter.
“We want to champion mobility for professional engineers here in the United States and globally,” Mamola said. “Making it easier to practice engineering across borders will promote the exchange of ideas and accelerate advances.”