Continuing Education FAQs

Continuing Education Program

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the TBPG Continuing Education (CE) Program established? The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists established a CE program effective September 1, 2006. Each licensee shall meet the Continuing Education Program (CEP) requirements for professional development as a condition for license renewal.

Are there any exemptions for the Continuing Education requirement?  Yes. Please see:
Board Rule §851.32 (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.

How many hours of Continuing Education do I need per renewal period?

Professional Geoscientist: 

TBPG Rule §851.32 (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.
TBPG Rule §851.32 (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.

 Geoscientist-in-Training: 

TBPG Rule §851.43 (b)(2): Accumulate eight or more Professional Development Hours (PDH) as described in §851.32 of this chapter throughout the prior certification year to include one hour of ethics training.

What would successfully fulfill the “professional ethics/roles and responsibilities of Professional Geoscientists” requirement? Almost any course in the area of professional ethics or the roles and responsibilities of Professional Geoscientists, or review on-line of the Texas Geoscientist Practice Act and TBPG rules would satisfy the requirement.

Many course offerings may not specifically declare that the offering includes content on “professional ethics/roles and responsibilities of Professional Geoscientists.”  But if the content in a technical presentation includes information about the legal requirements or ethical considerations of the Professional Geoscientist in that context, then the course may very well meet the requirement.  It is important to keep information provided with a course (outlines, research, PowerPoint slides, handouts, etc.) if you plan to use a course to meet that one hour CE requirement.

Additionally, there is an ethics presentation available to the general public and to TBPG license holders for free located here that will also fulfill the requirement.  Anyone who wishes may register to view the Ethics Video, take the quiz, and receive a certificate of completion. Under the “Licensing” tab, select the “Continuing Education” link and then select the “TBPG Ethics Video” link.

What is the difference between a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) and a PDH? A CEU is the unit of credit commonly used by an entity offering a continuing education course. The PDH is the unit the TBPG uses to record continuing education credits. One CEU is the equivalent of 10 hours of instruction/ applicant classwork. The formula for converting a CEU credit(s) earned is as follows: 1 CEU=10 PDH

What will be accepted as continuing education?  Please see TBPG Rule §851.32(f):

§851.32(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.

How does “carry over” of CE activities work?
TBPG Rule §851.32 (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.

A P.G. or GIT should keep records of their continuing education activities.  Rules require that a licensee keep CE records for three years.  However a licensee who claims “carry over” hours must keep records that clearly demonstrate that the licensee earned in excess of 15 hours in a licensure period prior to the period in which the hours are used.

How will I know what continuing education courses/activities are acceptable by the TBPG? According to TBPG Rule 851.32 (b)(4), a course/activity is acceptable if it has a “…clear purpose and objective which will maintain, improve, or expand the skills and knowledge relevant to the license holder’s field of practice.” Only courses that are geoscientific in nature or relate to the practice of geoscience should be counted.  The Appointed Board trusts that every licensee should be able to make an accurate determination of what constitutes a geoscientific-related activity. If in doubt, please contact TBPG at 512-936-4400.

Who approves the continuing education courses/activities? The Appointed Board shall be the final authority with respect to whether a course or activity meets the requirements of the CE Program.

Will the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists post Continuing Education classes on the website?  No, although the TBPG provides links and postings for opportunities for continuing education activities on the website. See the “CE Opportunities” link under the “Licensing” tab.

How do I keep track of my PDHs? It is your responsibility to keep track of all PDHs earned.  For your convenience, you may use the Continuing Education Program Activity Log to record a course/meeting/activity that you participate in. You also need to maintain supporting documentation such as certificates of completion, registration forms, etc. as well.  Do not submit any CE activities to the TBPG office unless requested.  CE Activity Logs must be maintained by the licensee for a period of three years. An example of CE Activity logs are available on the website.  You may also maintain your CE activity log online in your TBPG Online account.

When do I turn in my CE Activity Log? You should submit your log and supporting documentation only if you are randomly selected for an audit.  TBPG randomly audits 5% of renewals each month.  If you are randomly audited, you will be requested to turn in your Continuing Education Program Activity Log to TBPG along with supporting documentation.

If I’m not required to turn in my CE Activity Log, how will TBPG know that I’ve met the Continuing Education Requirement?  When a licensee renews a license, the licensee is required to certify that the licensee has completed the hours of Continuing Education needed to fulfill the CE requirement.

 

 

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