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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 39TEXAS BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL GEOSCIENTISTS
CHAPTER 851TEXAS BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL GEOSCIENTISTS LICENSING AND ENFORCEMENT RULES
SUBCHAPTER BP.G. LICENSING, FIRM REGISTRATION, AND GIT CERTIFICATION
RULE §851.32Continuing Education Program

(a) Each licensee shall meet the Continuing Education Program (CEP) requirements for professional development as a condition for license renewal.

(b) Terms used in this section are defined as follows:

  (1) Professional Development Hour (PDH)--A contact hour (clock hour) of CEP activity. PDH is the basic unit for CEP reporting.

  (2) Continuing Education Unit (CEU)--Unit of credit customarily used for continuing education courses. One continuing education unit equals 10 hours of class in an approved continuing education course.

  (3) College/Unit Semester/Quarter Hour--Credit for course in a discipline of geoscience or other related technical elective of the discipline.

  (4) Course/Activity--Any qualifying course or activity with a clear purpose and objective which will maintain, improve, or expand the skills and knowledge relevant to the licensee's field of practice.

(c) Every P.G. licensee is required to obtain 15 continuing education hours (PDH units) during a standard renewal period year (one year). The continuing education requirement for a license that is renewed for a period less than one year per §851.28(b) of this chapter shall be prorated.

(d) A minimum of 1 PDH per renewal period must be in the area of professional ethics, roles and responsibilities of Professional Geoscientists, or review on-line of the Texas Geoscientist Practice Act and TBPG rules.

(e) If a licensee exceeds the annual requirement in any renewal period, a maximum of 30 PDH units may be carried forward into the subsequent renewal periods.

(f) PDH units may be earned as follows:

  (1) Successful completion or auditing of college credit courses.

  (2) Successful completion of continuing education courses, either offered by a professional or trade organization, university or college, or offered in-house by a corporation, other business entity, professional or technical societies, associations, agencies, or organizations, or other group.

  (3) Successful completion of correspondence, on-line, televised, videotaped, and other short courses/tutorials.

  (4) Presenting or attending qualifying seminars, in-house courses, workshops, or professional or technical presentations made at meetings, conventions, or conferences sponsored by a corporation, other business entity, professional or technical societies, associations, agencies, or organizations, or other group.

  (5) Teaching or instructing as listed in paragraphs (1) - (4) of this subsection.

  (6) Authoring published papers, articles, books, or accepted licensing examination items.

  (7) Active participation in professional or technical societies, associations, agencies, or organizations, including:

    (A) Serving as an elected or appointed official;

    (B) Serving on a committee of the organization; or

    (C) Serving in other official positions.

  (8) Patents issued.

  (9) Engaging in self-directed course work.

  (10) Software programs published.

(g) All activities described in subsection (f) of this section shall be relevant to the practice of a discipline of geoscience and may include technical, ethical, or managerial content.

(h) The conversion of other units of credit to PDH units is as follows and subject to subsection (g) of this section:

  (1) 1 College or unit semester hour--15 PDH.

  (2) 1 College or unit quarter hour--10 PDH.

  (3) 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU)--10 PDH.

  (4) 1 Hour of professional development in course work, seminars, or professional or technical presentations made at meetings, conventions, or conferences--1 PDH.

  (5) 1 Hour of professional development through self-directed course study (Not to exceed 5 PDH)--1 PDH.

  (6) Each published paper or article--10 PDH and book--45 PDH.

  (7) Active participation, as defined in subsection (f)(7) of this section, in professional or technical society, association, agency, or organization (Not to exceed 5 PDH per year)--1 PDH.

  (8) Each patent issued--15 PDH.

  (9) Each software program published--15 PDH.

  (10) Teaching or instructing as described in subsection (f)(5) of this section--3 times the PDH credit earned.

(i) Determination of Credit:

  (1) The Appointed Board shall be the final authority with respect to whether a course or activity meets the requirements of this chapter.

  (2) The Board staff shall not pre-approve or endorse any CEP activities. It is the responsibility of each licensee to use his/her best professional judgment by reading and utilizing the rules and regulations to determine whether all PDH credits claimed and activities being considered meet the continuing education requirement. However, a course provider may contact the Board staff for an opinion for whether or not a course or technical presentation would meet the CEP requirements.

  (3) Credit for college or community college approved courses will be based upon course credit established by the college.

  (4) Credit for qualifying seminars and workshops will be based on one PDH unit for each hour of attendance. Attendance at qualifying programs presented at professional and/or technical society meetings will earn PDH units for the actual time of each program.

  (5) Credit for self-directed course work will be based on one PDH unit for each hour of study and is not to exceed 5 PDH per renewal period. Credit determination for self-directed course work is the responsibility of the licensee.

  (6) Credit determination for activities described in subsection (h)(6) of this section is the responsibility of the licensee.

  (7) Credit for activity described in subsection (h)(7) of this section requires that a licensee serve as an officer of the organization, actively participate in a committee of the organization, or perform other activities such as making or attending a presentation at a meeting or writing a paper presented at a meeting. PDH credits are not earned until the end of each year of service is completed.

  (8) Teaching credit, as defined in subsection (f)(5) of this section, is valid for teaching a course or seminar for the first time only.

(j) The licensee is responsible for maintaining records to be used to support credits claimed. Records required include, but are not limited to:

  (1) A log, showing the type of activity claimed, sponsoring organization, location, duration, instructor's or speaker's name, and PDH credits earned; and

  (2) Attendance verification records in the form of completion certificates, receipts, attendance roster, or other documents supporting evidence of attendance.

(k) The licensee must submit CEP certification on the log and a list of each activity, date, and hours claimed that satisfy the CEP requirement for that renewal year when audited. A percentage of the licenses will be randomly audited each year.

Attached Graphic

(l) CEP records for each licensee must be maintained for a period of three years by the licensee.

(m) CEP records for each licensee are subject to audit by the Board staff.

  (1) Copies must be furnished, if requested, to the Board staff for audit verification purposes.

  (2) If upon auditing a licensee, the Board staff finds that the activities cited do not fall within the bounds of educational, technical, ethical, or professional management activities related to the practice of geoscience, the Board staff may require the licensee to acquire additional PDH as needed to fulfill the minimum CEP requirements.

(n) A licensee may be exempt from the professional development educational requirements for a specific renewal period or periods for one of the following reasons listed in paragraphs (1) - (4) of this subsection:

  (1) New licensees that were licensed by passage of any part of the required licensing examinations shall be exempt for their first renewal period.

  (2) A licensee serving on active duty and deployed outside the United States, its possessions and territories, in or for the military service of the United States for a period of time exceeding one hundred twenty (120) consecutive days in a year shall be exempt from obtaining the professional development hours required during that year.

  (3) A licensee employed outside the United States, its possessions and territories, actively engaged in the practice of geoscience for a period of time exceeding three hundred (300) consecutive days in a year shall be exempt from obtaining the professional development hours required during that year except for five (5) hours of self-directed course work.

  (4) A licensee who is impacted by a long term physical disability or illness (of the licensee or a family member or other person) may be exempt.

  (5) Supporting documentation must be furnished to the TBPG. The Executive Director shall review circumstances and documentation and make a decision. A licensee may appeal a decision of the Executive Director to an appropriate Committee or the full Appointed Board, as appropriate.

(o) A licensee may bring an expired license to active status by obtaining all delinquent PDH units. However, if the total number required to become current exceeds 30 units, including 2 hours of professional ethics, roles and responsibilities of Professional Geoscientists, then 30 units (including 2 hours of ethics) shall be the maximum number required.

(p) Noncompliance:

  (1) If a licensee does not certify that CEP requirements have been met for a renewal period, the license shall be considered expired and subject to late fees and penalties.

  (2) A licensee must submit the CEP certification log and supporting records for credits claimed not later than 30 days after the Board sends by certified mail an audit notification and request for a log and supporting documentation to the licensee's last known address as shown by the Board's records. Failure to timely submit a CEP certification log and supporting records for credits claimed is grounds for disciplinary action.

  (3) A licensee must satisfy CEP requirements. Failure to satisfy CEP requirements during the applicable period is grounds for disciplinary action.

  (4) Falsely reporting that CEP requirements have been met for a renewal period is misconduct and will subject the licensee to disciplinary action.


Source Note: The provisions of this §851.32 adopted to be effective December 15, 2010, 35 TexReg 10695; amended to be effective October 1, 2013, 38 TexReg 5731; amended to be effective December 11, 2014, 39 TexReg 9539; amended to be effective March 15, 2016, 41 TexReg 1843; amended to be effective November 24, 2016, 41 TexReg 9138

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