Continuing Education

General Information

See MN Statute 326.107 for details on continuing education ("CE"; also referred to as "professional development hours" or "PDH") requirements. This page is an overview only.

The Board does not have a list of specific continuing education programs or activities available to complete the CE requirement.

Reminder: You must report a minimum of 2 professional development hours in professional ethics to renew your license in 2018.

Continuing Education FAQs

 

Jump to page sections:

Requirements Carryover Dual Licensee Exemptions Qualifying CE Statement Regarding Course Preapproval Recordkeeping Noncompliance/Audit

 

Basic Requirements

All licensees or certificate holders (with the exceptions noted below) must obtain 24 professional development hours (PDH). Two of those hours must be dedicated to professional (but not necessarily profession-specific) ethics and those ethics hours must be earned during the proper period (they cannot be carried forward as ethics hours).

The PDH requirements must be satisfied during the two-year period prior to biennial renewal (except for permitted carryover—see below for details). For example, PDH for the 2020 renewal is earned between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2020.

 

Carryover Hours

Carryover of PDH as general PDH credits from the previous renewal period is permitted (for certain PDH types), but carryover is limited to 50% (12 hours) percent of the biennial requirement of PDH.

As stated, all carryover is considered "general" PDH. Professional ethics hours must have been earned during the biennium to which they are applied and cannot be carried over as "ethics hours."

For example: If you earned 26 hours for a prior renewal period, of which four were professional ethics, you would have two hours that could be carried over to the next period as "general" hours; you would still need to take two hours of ethics in the next period  to meet the biennial ethics requirement. Even if all 26 hours were in professional ethics, the two credits carryover as "general credits."

The link below lists alphabetically all individuals who have carryover from their 2016 renewal that they can be used toward their 2018 renewal.

Carryover from 2016

 

Exceptions

Dual Licensure

Dual license or certificate holders must meet the same PDH requirements as single license or certificate holders with the following exception: Dual holders must obtain in each profession a minimum of one-third of the total professional development hours required. The remaining one-third may be obtained in either profession at the sole discretion of the licensee or certificate holder.

For example: Someone with an architect license who is also a certified interior designer must earn:

  • 8 hours that address their professional development as an architect
  • 8 hours that address their professional development as a certified interior designer
  • 8 additional hours divided in any manner between the professions
  • Of that 24 total, 2 hours must be in professional ethics

New Licensee Exemption

New licensees and new certificate holders are exempt from continuing education reporting for their first biennial renewal. Simply stated, this means they do not need to earn or report CE for that first renewal. This exemption is automatic; if you are renewing for the first time, you do not need to apply to receive this exemption.


Exemption Due to Hardship

A licensee or certificate holder who has experienced during the biennial renewal a serious illness, injury, or other extenuating circumstance, or who has been called to active duty in the military services for a period exceeding 120 consecutive days may apply for exemption to continuing education reporting. The Board will review the request and, where such circumstances restrict compliance with the continuing education requirements (as supported by documentation furnished to the Board), the Board will approve an exemption.

Note: If you need to apply for exemption, you must make that request before you send in your renewal. See the Forms section to select the Continuing Education Exemption Request Form for the proper period.

 

Qualifying Programs and Activities

Types/Sources

Continuing education must consist of learning experiences that enhance and expand the skills, knowledge, and abilities of practicing professionals to remain current and render competent professional services to the public. Practitioners may pursue technical, nontechnical, regulatory, ethical, and business practice needs for a well-rounded education provided the education directly benefits the health, safety, or welfare of the public. Continuing education activities that satisfy the professional development requirement include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • completing or auditing college-sponsored courses;
  • completing self-study college or non-college-sponsored courses, ending with examination or other verification processes;
  • participation in seminars, tutorials, televised or videotaped courses, or short courses;
  • attending self-sponsored and prepared in-house educational programs;
  • completing a study tour with a structured program resulting in a written or visual presentation by the licensee or certificate holder;
  • presenting or instructing qualifying courses or seminars; preparation time for the first time you develop the presentation can also be counted as PDH;
  • authoring published papers, articles, or books; preparation time for the first time you author or present (one or the other, but not both) a work can also be counted as PDH, but the hours can only be claimed following publication (not prior to publication);
  • participating in professional examination grading or writing, with a maximum credit of five PDH per biennium (Note: This type of PDH cannot be carried over);
  • serving on public boards, commissions, and committees that require your professional expertise, such as planning commissions, building code advisory boards, urban renewal boards, or non-work-related volunteer service. You can earn up to a maximum of ten PDH per biennium (Note: This type of PDH cannot be carried over); and
  • patents, for a maximum credit of ten PDH during the biennium in which the patent was granted (Note: This type of PDH cannot be carried over).

Criteria

Continuing education courses and activities must meet the following criteria:

  • Each must have a clear purpose and objective that will maintain, improve, or expand existing professional skills and knowledge or develop new and relevant skills and knowledge.
  • The content must be well organized and presented in a sequential manner.
  • There must be evidence of preplanning which must include the opportunity for input by the target group to be served.
  • The person(s) presenting must be well qualified by education or experience.
  • The course/activity creator must provide appropriate documentation of your participation, including information required for record keeping and reporting.

Pre-Approval of Courses or Activities

The Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience, and Interior Design does not pre-approve any courses or activities for continuing education. The Continuing Education Assessment Form (see Forms section on this page) is a tool created by the Board for licensees and certificate holders to use to help determine which courses or activities will meet the statutory requirements. It is up to each licensee or certificate holder to become familiar with the statutory requirements and to determine for themselves whether a particular course or activity meets those requirements.

Sponsors of courses and activities are welcome to review the statutory requirements and state the following on their advertising, "The Minnesota Board does not pre-approve courses and activities, however to the best of our knowledge this course/activity meets the continuing education requirements outlined in MN Statute 326.107. Final discretion is up to the Board."

 

Recordkeeping

Licensees and certificate holders must keep records of courses and activities and those records must include all of the following:

  1. dates
  2. subjects
  3. duration of programs
  4. sponsoring organization
  5. professional development hours earned
  6. registration receipts where appropriate
  7. other pertinent documentation

You must maintained those records for a period of four years after the end of the licensure/certification period for which the hours apply. The Board may require you to produce this information in connection with verification of a renewal application, a random audit conducted by the Board, or upon receipt of a complaint alleging noncompliance on your part. It is your responsibility to ensure you have proper supporting documentation of your activities.

 

Noncompliance

If the Board rejects PDH hours reported by you in an amount sufficient to reduce the number of accepted hours below the required 24 PDH, the Board will notify you. You will have 180 days after that initial notification (the "cure period") to substantiate the validity of the rejected hours or to earn other qualifying hours to meet the minimum requirement. If you do not correct the situation to the satisfaction of the Board during the cure period, your licensure or certification will be suspended. You cannot use PDH earned to remedy a shortage in the current period to meet the following biennial renewal requirements.

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Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design (AELSLAGID)
85 E. 7th Place Suite 160, St. Paul MN 55101 USA

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