Continuing Education Unit FAQs

Update on CEU Requirements from the State 02/2014

http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol44/44-8/372.html

The following unedited questions pertaining to the Pennsylvania Landscape Architecture Registration Board’s Continuing Education Units (CEU) requirements were submitted to the Chapter during its Annual Business meeting in April 2005. Initial responses to the questions have also been provided; however, we want to emphasize that the ASLA does not regulate or administer the CEU requirements in any way. That is the responsibility of the Registration Board. Due to the number of questions that we have received, and due to the enforcement of the requirements being relatively new, the Chapter is simply trying to be a resource for its members when trying to interpret or understand the requirements. We are also in the process of providing these questions to the Registration Board for a more formal response to each of the questions.

Where there are questions of similar scope or topic, they have been grouped together based on the applicable Section of Chapter 15 of the Rules and Regulations for the Pennsylvania State Board of Landscape Architects. To view the Rules and Regulations in their entirety, go to
http://www.dos.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/state_board_of_landscape_architects/12511 .

Are LACES courses accepted by the Pennsylvania Landscape Architecture Registration Board?

A: Yes.  Since LACES is provided by ASLA and ASLA is a pre-approved provider, all LACES courses meeting the Health, Safety and Welfare criteria of LACES should be accepted by the PA Board.

Purpose: What is the purpose of 24 CEU’s?
How does this encourage more / increase of new landscape architects?

Response: To be a landscape architect, one has to pass the licensure examination, which is meant to test the minimum level of knowledge and competency to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Due to the expansive scope of the profession, and due to the ever-changing factors affecting our profession, the need for continuing education units has been determined to be an effective method for continuing to educate professionals to insure the protection of the public health, safety and welfare. CEU’s are not intended in any way to increase or decrease the number of landscape architects or to encourage or discourage anyone from being a landscape architect.

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Sect. 15.34(c) How is licensure regained after it is not maintained for more than 2 years or several years? Is retaking the licensure test required?

Response: Section 15.34(c) states that a landscape architect who has allowed his certificate of licensure to lapse by failing to pay a biennial renewal fee, may activate a certificate by submitting to the Registration Board a new application and any past due biennial renewal fees.

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Sect. 15.34(a) I am a retired landscape architect who desires to maintain licensure so that I can (legally) practice by taking the occasional small job. I have almost 190 college credits (relevant) and have been to about 20 national annual meetings. Frankly, I have “heard it all before” and I find most of the continuing educational opportunities elementary or superficial – or not relevant to my potential opportunities for practice.
Has there been any thought to eliminating the CEU requirement for retirees?
After four decades (almost) of practice I have become expert in certain L.A. areas and inadequate in others. I know my capabilities and limitations and can guide my remaining career accordingly. I do not need and will not benefit from 20 hrs. of fatuous, baby-basic training.

Response: All landscape architects actively practicing landscape architecture are required to be registered and to comply with the continuing education provisions of the Registration Board. However, Section 15.34(b) provides for a landscape architect who is not engaged in the practice of landscape architecture to be placed on inactive status, subject to the approval of the Board. If the inactive landscape architect later desires to become active again, he must comply with the requirements for renewal at that time, but there will be no penalty for preceding biennial periods when the landscape architect was inactive.

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Sect. 15.36 Please clarify the part of present registration law that defines who can advertise practicing landscape architecture. Ex.: Can an engineering firm advertise practice of LA if the employed LA is not a principal.

Response: This section is currently somewhat unclear; however, it is our understanding the Board is amending the wording of Section 15.36 to clearly indicate that a firm does not have to have a landscape architect as one of its principals in order to advertise landscape architectural services. This is consistent with the current policies of the Board.

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Sect. 15.71 & definition of Biennium: For those of us who are licensed in more than one state with continuing education requirements (for example, PA & NJ), we would appreciate it if PA would adjust its two-year renewal cycle for licensing to be the same period as adjacent states, to make it easier to keep track of CEU’s.

Response: To our knowledge, continuing education programs by the various state differs considerably in many ways, including the time period in which CEU’s are to be tallied. To try to match one state, you will most likely be creating a program inconsistent with a number of other states. Currently, the Pennsylvania Board defines “Biennium” as “the period from June 1 of an odd-numbered year to May 31 of the next odd-numbered year.”

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Sect. 15.72 Can CEU’s carry over from 1 term to the next if you would get more credits than needed for a previous term? (example: getting 13 credits when 10 is needed; would the extra 3 carry over?)
What happens if your CEU’s are not kept up or the limit is not reached within 2 years? Can additional CEU’s be obtained after the deadline to regain licensure?

Response: There is no provision within Section 15.71 to permit or suggest that CEU’s from one biennium can be carried over to another biennium. In addition, there is no grace period mentioned for not attaining the required CEU’s within each biennium.

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Sect. 15.73 If 24 hours becomes the new bi-annual standard, I need to know where is the “clearing house”, through the State Licensure Board or PA/DEL ASLA, for notification of CEU opportunities?
How do I find out if a program I want to attend will count for CEU credits?

Response: The Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter of ASLA lists on its website those programs that are brought to its attention that qualify or potentially qualify for CEU’s. However, the Registration Board is the official clearinghouse for determining CEU opportunities and the number of CEU’s attributed to each course or seminar.

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Sect. 15.73 & 15.74 Can I design my own continuing education class/trip study and submit it to ASLA for approval in a more manageable process?

Response: There is nothing to prevent an individual designing his own continuing education course as long as the content of the course is found to be acceptable to the Registration Board as set forth in Section 15.73 and provided the provider follows the process for having the course qualified by the Board as set forth in Section 15.74.

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Sect. 15.74 How do companies/consultants become qualified as CEU providers? (i.e., my company provides in-house training on relevant landscape architecture topics) (i.e., private educational providers also provide relevant seminars)
I would appreciate making CEU credits easier to obtain – currently the system seems difficult.

Response: Section 15.74 describes the process for having a course approved by the Board for CEUs. At this time, it is widely agreed that the process is too long and tedious. The Registration Board is looking at ways to streamline the process. On behalf of its membership, ASLA hopes to work with the Board in this matter to make the qualifying of courses for CEU’s more user friendly.

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Sect. 15.74 & 15.76 Will the PA/DE Chapter consider honoring CEU-related programs offered by the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU)? www.cnu.org

Response: These are not pre-qualified course providers per Section 15.76; therefore, you will need to have their courses qualified by the Board as set forth in Section 15.74. It is noted that it is not the responsibility of this ASLA Chapter to determine if courses are qualified.

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Sect, 15.76 Are CEU’s accredited by neighboring states (NJ . . .) acceptable in PA?

Response: Not necessarily. Using New Jersey as an example, if the New Jersey Chapter of ASLA provides a course, then it would be acceptable per Section 15.76 which lists all affiliates of ASLA as being a pre-qualified course provider. If a course was provided by another entity, but approved for CEU credit by the New Jersey Chapter, the providing entity would also have to have the course approved by the Pennsylvania Registration Board to offer CEU’s to those registered in Pennsylvania. One exception is that Pennsylvania specifically excludes “Office Management” courses from being acceptable for CEU’s. Office Management is defined as an “activity supportive of administrative or business activities and not related to professional practice, including bookkeeping, business development, finance, marketing, taxes, human resources and the use of office equipment”.

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Sect. 15.76 How can I get 5 more CU’s between now and May 31st?

Response: If someone happens to be near the end of the biennium and recognizes that he needs a few more CEU’s, it would be advisable for that person to attend a course offered by one of the pre-qualified course providers listed in Section 15.76. The time needed to have another course provider qualified would probably take too long.

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Sect. 15.76 Can you expand the list of programs recognized by PA for CEU credits?

Response: The Registration Board is currently in the process of expanding the list of pre-approved providers.

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Sect. 15.76 Will CEU’s from PRPS, PA Recreation & Parks Society, be accepted? They offer some excellent DCNR partnered/led educational sessions. Parks & Recreation Planning / Master Plans; Greenways & Trails planning & development; Fundraising; Grantsmanship; Conservation Development (Ed McMahon, ULI)

Response: The National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) and its affiliates are approved providers by the Board. The Pennsylvania Recreation and Parks Society (PRPS) is listed as an affiliate of the NRPA on the NRPA website. Therefore, the PRPS is an approved provider.

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Sect. 15.76 Why aren’t CLARB provided/sponsored courses acceptable? Or are they?
CELA & EDRA – Add to approved providers list.

Response: We agree courses provided by CLARB (Council of Landscape Architectural Review Boards), CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture), and EDRA (Environmental Design Research Association) should be added by the Registration Board to the list of pre-qualified providers. LAF (Landscape Architectural Foundation) should also be added to that list. Technically, none of these entities is an affiliate of ASLA. The Chapter will urge the Board to make these changes.

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Sect. 15.76 The Longwood Garden courses of ornamental horticulture are not currently on the list of ASLA providers for CEU’s. Many landscape architects are often criticized for knowing too little about plants, and I believe these Longwood courses are critical for all landscape architects. I continue to take courses there for my own benefit at my own expense, but I hope that someday CEU’s will be allowed from this essential education.

Response: We agree Longwood Gardens provides courses that are beneficial to landscape architects. We would urge Longwood Gardens to make the effort to have its courses pre-approved or individually approved for CEU’s.

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Sect. 15.76 What is ASLA’s position regarding CEU’s & the LEED exam? If someone demonstrates a passing grade, could it count toward “X” number of CEU’s?

Response: Again, it is the position of the Registration Board, not this ASLA Chapter, to determine whether a program is qualified for CEU’s.

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Sect. 15.76 No question but I just wish there were enough “cases” under $75 to allow an option of topic choices. As of now you end up getting CEU’s just for the #, not that it will educate you in your work field.

Response: It is hoped that landscape architects would use the CEU program as incentive to further their educational value in a manner that will benefit their clients. We also feel there is an ample variety of programs available from which to choose.

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Sect. 15.76 Do all of the pre-approved CEU providers know they are pre-approved?

Response: We would hope so, but there is no guarantee that they know.

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Sect. 15.76 Change list of pre-approved providers to include the provision for name changes of providing organizations.

Response: For most of those listed, there is a reference to “and its affiliates”. This should encompass those providers whose name has been technically changes over time.

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Sect. 15.79 What documentation will conference attendees receive from ASLA PA/DE regarding CEU’s received at conference?

Response: Typically, ASLA will provide a certificate that includes all pertinent information required by the Registration Board to confirm participation of a licensee in the courses attended at the conference

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Sect. 15.79 What documentation will RLA’s need to provide to CLARB for license renewal?
Must you have a certificate for CEU’s or can the L.A. individual track their own CEU’s on a form provided by CLARB?

Response: The individual licensee is ultimately responsible for tracking and documenting his CEU’s to the Registration Board. For each course, the Board requires the date attended, the clock hours claimed, the title of the course, the course provider and the location of the course. A “certificate” is not specifically required.

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Sect. 15.80 Is there a way to track CEU’s? (personal number of CEU’s obtained)
All pre-approved providers should have to provide us with a “certificate” – like me, the (ASLA?) (AIA?) do. Or we need a specific list posted stating what we need to provide to the “CEU” police/board.
Is there a way to access (on the website) my individual record of CEU’s as accepted officially – to verify that they are listed correctly there?

Response: The licensee is responsible for retaining copies of licensure renewal forms, and the certificates, transcripts or other acceptable documentation of completion of CEU courses for 4 years following completion of the course. The provider of an approved course is required to retain records for 4 years following the presentation of the course. Such records should include the successful completion of the course by the licensee and the number of clock hours granted.

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Website: Request that the PA/DE Chapter clearly identify on the events calendar on their Website and Newsletter which of the events carry acceptable CEU’s. Clarify if the CEU’s are acceptable to both PA & DE Boards of Registration.

Response: The Chapter lists courses and, when provided, the CEU’s attributed to each course as a service to its membership. However, it is the ultimate responsibility of each state Registration Board to determine the actual number of CEU’s assigned to each course.

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Project Management: In order to make us pro’s more responsible & responsive to new ideas & inclined to seek better solutions – how can we spur more active check-ups & post-involvement with projects we have done? Would it be motivating to have designers’ names more indelibly & prominently associated with the projects? Somehow to do a retrospective evaluation of our projects? We could learn so much!

Response: Construction management is a great way of insuring a project is developed per your plans, and post-construction evaluation is a great method for landscape architects to evaluate how both the design and the design process can be improved. However, the CEU program does not directly affect these matters.

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State Governmental Resources:

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