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Developments in Professional Engineering License Mobility and Recognition of International Credentials

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

International Accreditation and Credentials: International Division Technical Session 1

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Carmine C. Balascio P.E. University of Delaware

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Carmine C. Balascio, Ph.D., P.E., is an Associate Professor in the departments of Plant and Soil Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Delaware. He earned bachelor’s degrees in agricultural engineering technology and mathematics from UD. He earned an M.S. in agricultural engineering and a Ph.D. double-major in agricultural engineering and engineering mechanics from Iowa State University. He has taught engineering, engineering technology, and landscape architecture courses in surveying, soil mechanics, site engineering, urban hydrology, hydraulics, and stormwater management for over 35 years. He has research interests in urban hydrology, stormwater management, and enhancement of student learning. He is in his 16th year of service on Delaware’s Engineering Licensing Board, the DAPE Council, is the current president of DAPE Council, and has been active on several NCEES committees and chair of another during the last 15 years.

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With increasing globalization, issues regarding international mobility of (often licensed) professionals in a host of disciplines have gained importance. Basic considerations of fairness and economic efficiency prompt questions about restraint of trade, unnecessary barriers to professional practice, and policies that can facilitate domestic and international mobility of license holders in different occupations. Positions can be extreme. In the United States, a changing political climate has made libertarian ideas questioning the necessity of professional licensure itself more prominent. Licensed professions in the United States, including engineering, have been concerned and, in some cases, felt threatened in the aftermath of the 2014 Supreme Court decision about the case of the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission. Because of the potential antitrust ramifications of that decision for licensed occupations in the U.S., licensing boards, including those for engineering, have become much more concerned with any actions they take that could potentially run afoul of antitrust law. In addition to protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the public, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), an organization whose membership is composed of jurisdictional (chiefly state) licensing boards for engineering and surveying in the U.S., has from its inception had a goal of promoting engineering licensure mobility both domestically and internationally. To enhance domestic and international licensure mobility, reduce restraint of trade and antitrust concerns, and remove unnecessary barriers to entry into the engineering profession, NCEES has, among other steps, encouraged recognition of international engineering education and professional engineering licensure credentials. The Delaware Association of Professional Engineers (DAPE) Council that serves as the State of Delaware’s engineering licensing board, supports those goals and has recently initiated efforts to change state law to enhance licensure mobility for both domestic and international applicants. The proposed law changes include recognition of engineering degrees from programs accredited by Washington Accord signatories as equivalent to those accredited through EAC of ABET and extending eligibility for licensure through comity to any applicant who is registered as an International Professional Engineer (IntPE). This paper discusses the international and domestic engineering licensure regulatory framework and the details of Delaware’s engineering law changes.

Balascio, C. C. (2020, June), Developments in Professional Engineering License Mobility and Recognition of International Credentials Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34465

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