By: Ryan Malone
At PDH Now we often use the same terms and acronyms as the state boards. This article provides an overview and description of often used terms. Check back often at PDH Now for helpful tips.
Professional Development Hours (PDH): A PDH is one contact hour of instruction or presentation. For example, a seminar that runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. could have a maximum of 8 PDH units. If there were a one hour lunch, the seminar would need to have at least 50 minutes of presentation/participation per hour for the seminar to provide 8 PDH units. PDH units cannot exceed actual contact clock hours.
PDH Credit Requirements: A state board will specify the required PDH required in the renewal term. For example, a Maine professional engineer licensee must obtain 30 PDHs within the two-year licensure period.
PDH Carryover: A state board will specify the allowed PDH carryover into the next term For example, if a Maine professional engineer exceeds 30 PDHs during the two-year licensure period, up to 15 PDHs may be carried over into the next license period. The licensee must retain documentation sufficient to establish all of the PDH credits to prove the carryover.
Continuing Education Unit (CEU): The CEU is a nationally recognized and uniform unit of measure for continuing education and training. One CEU is awarded for each 10 hours of contact instruction, therefore 1 CEU is equal to 10 PDHs. Providers offering CEUs must comply with IACET requirements for PDH credit.
College/Unit Semester/Quarter Hour Credit for Engineering courses: To qualify for PDH credit, a course must be accredited, offered on the class schedule, have a final exam, and a passing grade is required.
One quarter hour consists of 10 class meetings of 50-55 minutes. Because study time takes twice as much time as class time, one quarter hour is equal to 30 PDHs.
Other Courses and PDH Activities: Other qualifying courses, seminars, corporate-sponsored educational activities, programs and activities provide one PDH credit for each contact hour. Participation in professional technical presentations made at meetings, conventions or conferences also earns a credit for each hour of attendance. It is not intended that these courses/activities be undertaken in private, such as a videotaped program in one's home, but rather be conducted in a group. A correspondence course should require the participant to show evidence of achievement and completion and/or a final graded test.
Teaching Credits: Teaching of qualifying courses, seminars, or tutorials earns PDH credits for the instructor 2:1 to students. Teaching the same course more than once does not earn additional credit. Full-time faculty members do not qualify for teaching credit. Credit for a Published Paper, Article, or Book: A published paper should be a serious effort. A "news" article in a technical or professional bulletin is not considered a published paper. The PDH credit for published work is 10 PDHs.
Participation in Professional and Technical Societies: Licensees may earn two PDHs per licensure period by serving as an officer or active committee member in a professional or technical society.
For all members of professional and technical societies: Attendance at qualifying programs presented at professional and/or technical society meetings will earn one PDH for each hour of attendance.
Patents: Patent PDH allowance is state dependent. Check our links to your sprecific state. As an example for Maine, 10 PDHs can be earned for filing a patent application relevant to the engineering profession.