Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:40-11.6
The New Jersey State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (Board) is proposing to replace N.J.A.C. 13:40-11.6(a)1i to clarify the method of calculating how many continuing professional competency (CPC) credits will be granted to professional land surveyors for the successful completion of a one-credit hour college level course. By amending this rule, the credit calculation methods for continuing education for land surveyors would be consistent with recently proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:40-13.7, which is the section relating to credit calculation methods for continuing education for professional engineers. See 44 N.J.R. 37(a).
In 2011, the Board amended Subchapter 11 to replace the term "professional development hour" or "PDH" with "continuing professional competency credits" (CPC credits) throughout the subchapter. See 43 N.J.R. 590(a); 2181(a). The Board also amended N.J.A.C. 13:40-11.6 by replacing the semester hour and quarter hour calculation (15 PDH credits for an academic-semester one-credit course and 10 PDH credits for an academic-quarter one-semester course) with one continuing professional competency credit for each semester hour. The intent of that amendment was to permit licensees to earn a continuing competency credit for each hour that they spent in class, regardless of whether the course took place over a semester or over a quarter. That change has confused many [page=1316] licensees who believe that they will receive only one continuing competency credit for the completion of a one credit college level course, rather than one credit for each hour spent in class.
This confusion was exacerbated when, in the notice of proposal published in the New Jersey Register on January 3, 2012 at 44 N.J.R. 37(a), the Board reverted to the prior method of calculating credits for college level courses in its continuing competency requirements for professional engineers. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:40-13.7 assigns 15 continuing professional competency credits for the successful completion of each semester-hour credit and 10 continuing professional competency credits for each quarter-hour credit awarded by a college or university. By amending N.J.A.C. 13:40-11.6 to make the methods of calculation for both the land surveyors and the professional engineers consistent, the Board hopes to eliminate the confusion that resulted from the 2011 amendments. Therefore, the Board proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:40-11.6(a)1i to grant professional land surveyors 15 continuing competency credits for the successful completion of a one-credit semester course and 10 credits for the successful completion of a one-credit quarter course.
The Board has provided a 60-day comment period for this notice of proposal, therefore, this notice is excepted from the calendar requirement set forth at N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5.
The Board anticipates that the proposed amendment will have a positive social impact upon professional land surveyors. The proposed amendment will clarify the method of credit calculation for licensees, thus making it easier for them to determine whether they have properly complied with the continuing education requirement. The amendment does not make a substantive change to the number of credits the Board will grant to someone taking a college level class. By establishing a fixed number of credits for the successful completion of a college level class, a licensee would be relieved of the burden of proving attendance at each class in order to receive credit.
The Board anticipates that the proposed amendment would have no social impact on the public or on public safety, because licensees would still be required to complete the same number of continuing education credits for the renewal of their licenses.
The Board does not anticipate that the proposed amendment will have an economic impact on licensees or on the public.
Federal Standards Statement
A Federal standards analysis is not required because the proposed amendment is subject to State statutory requirements and is not subject to any Federal requirements or standards.
The Board does not anticipate that the proposed amendment will result in the creation or loss of jobs in the State.
Agriculture Industry Impact
The proposed amendment will have no impact on the agriculture industry in the State.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
Since the 1,225 professional land surveyors are individually licensed by the Board, they may be considered "small businesses" under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq. The proposed amendment does not impose any reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements; rather, it merely clarifies the method of credit calculation for continuing professional competency of professional land surveyors. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.
Housing Affordability Impact Analysis
The proposed amendment will have an insignificant impact on affordable housing in New Jersey and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rule would evoke a change in the average costs associated with housing because the proposed amendment concerns the method of calculating how many continuing professional competency credits will be awarded to professional land surveyors for the successful completion of a one credit-hour college level course.
Smart Growth Development Impact Analysis
The proposed amendment will have an insignificant impact on smart growth and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rule would evoke a change in housing production in Planning Areas 1 or 2, or within designated centers, under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in New Jersey because the proposed amendment concerns the method of calculating how many continuing professional competency credits will be awarded to professional land surveyors for the successful completion of a one credit-hour college level course.
Full textof the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):
SUBCHAPTER 11. LAND SURVEYORS; CONTINUING COMPETENCY
13:40-11.6 Credit calculation
(a) Continuing professional competency credits will be granted as follows for each biennial renewal period:
1. Successful completion of approved college level courses.
[i. One continuing professional competency credit for each semester hour credit awarded by the college;]
i. Fifteen continuing professional competency credits for each semester hour credit awarded by the college or university, or 10 continuing professional competency credits for each quarter hour credit awarded by the college or university;
2.-7. (No change.)
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