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09.21.05 - Board Architects - Pending Regulations

 

PROPOSED ACTION ON REGULATIONS
MARYLAND REGISTER, VOLUME 40, ISSUE 9,
FRIDAY, MAY 3, 2013

Subtitle 21 BOARD ARCHITECTS

09.21.05 Continuing Professional Competency Requirements

Business Occupations and Professions Article, §§3-208, 3-309, 3-309.1, and 3-309.2; Annotated Code of Maryland

Notice of Proposed Action
[12-128-P]

The Board of Architects proposes to adopt new Regulations .01 — .12 under a new chapter, COMAR 09.21.05 Continuing Professional Competency Requirements. This action was considered by the Board at a public meeting held on February 27, 2013, notice of which was published in the Daily Record on February 21, 2013, pursuant to State Government Article, §10-506(c), Annotated Code of Maryland.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this action is to create a framework for continuing professional competency regulations that is consistent with the recent national changes related to the licensure of architects. In addition, these regulations: (1) clarify the process of compliance with the continuing professional competency requirements as a condition of renewal of architectural license; and (2) streamline the reciprocal license process for architects licensed in other states and seeking licensure in Maryland.

Comparison to Federal Standards

There is no corresponding federal standard to this proposed action.

Estimate of Economic Impact

The proposed action has no economic impact.

Economic Impact on Small Businesses

The proposed action has minimal or no economic impact on small businesses.

Impact on Individuals with Disabilities

The proposed action has no impact on individuals with disabilities.

Opportunity for Public Comment

Comments may be sent to Pamela J. Edwards, Executive Director, Board of Architects, 500 N. Calvert Street, Room 308, Baltimore, MD 21202, or call 410-230-6262, or email to pamedwards@dllr.state.md.us, or fax to 410-333-0021. Comments will be accepted through June 3, 2013. A public hearing will be held, May 22, 2013, 11 am, 500 N. Calvert Street, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Baltimore, MD 21202.

Open Meeting

Final action on the proposal will be considered by the Board of Architects during a public meeting to be held on June 26, 2013, 10:00 a.m., at 500 N. Calvert Street, Third Floor Conference Room, Baltimore, MD 21202.

.01 Purpose.
The State legislature has determined that, in order to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of Maryland citizens, licensed architects must comply with the continuing professional competency requirements as a prerequisite to the renewal of a license.
.02 Definitions.
  A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meaning indicated.
  B. Terms Defined.
    (1) “Authorized activities” means professional development activities that:
      (a) Meet the criteria set forth in Regulation .04 of this chapter; and
      (b) Are approved and accepted for credit by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), or the Board.
    (2) “Board” means the State Board of Architects.
    (3) “Health, safety, and welfare subjects” means technical and professional subjects more specifically described in Regulation .04 of this chapter that the Board deems necessary and appropriate in order to accomplish the following goals:
      (a) To safeguard the public; and
      (b) To properly evaluate, design, construct, and utilize buildings and the built environment.
    (4) “Learning unit (LU)” means one continuous instructional hour spent attending and completing the professional development activity in health, safety, and welfare subjects. One LU means a minimum of 50 minutes of face-to-face or distance learning instruction per 60-minute hour and is equivalent to a comparable single educational unit that may be utilized by AIA or NCARB.
.03 Requirements.
  A. Except as set forth in §B of this regulation, a licensee shall complete at least 12 LUs during each of the 2 preceding calendar years that occur prior to the calendar year in which an applicable license term is set to expire.
  B. In the event a licensee is unable to fulfill the continuing competency requirements in accordance with the criteria described in §A of this regulation, but still completes 24 LUs during the relevant term of the license, the Board may accept such completion as the acceptable fulfillment of the license renewal requirements for a particular licensing term.
  C. A licensee may not carry forward as a credit any of the LUs earned in excess of 12 annual LUs described in §A of this regulation.
.04 Professional Development Activities.
  A. Professional development activity shall meet the following criteria:
    (1) Be a post-licensing educational activity approved by the Board in which at least 75 percent of activity’s content and instructional time is dedicated to health, safety, and welfare subjects, as they relate to the practice of architecture.
    (2) Expand the knowledge of health, safety, and welfare subjects or offer a skill set geared towards maintaining and enhancing professional competency of licensed architects;
    (3) Offer learning experiences relevant to current architectural practices as they relate to the public health, safety, and welfare; and
    (4) Be presented, led, or taught at a professional level by well-qualified professionals in an environment conducive to learning and appropriate for accomplishing learning objectives described in these regulations.
  B. Professional development activity shall fall into one or more of the health, safety, and welfare content areas identified by NCARB, as updated or otherwise amended from time to time.
  C. A professional development activity shall provide for clear outcome measures in the form of a narrative, quiz, test, questions and answers, project, or any other appropriate form or method.
  D. Professional development activity may be presented by the following methods:
    (1) Classroom instruction;
    (2) In-house presentation;
    (3) Distance learning delivery;
    (4) Online instruction; or
    (5) Other formats approved by the Board.
.05 Submissions for Approval.
  A. Entities or individuals, including, but not limited to, professional firms conducting in-house presentations, may submit a specific professional development activity for review and approval by the Board.
  B. During the application process, the Board will evaluate the suitability of the activity and its presenter.
  C. The presenter shall submit adequate information to enable the Board to evaluate the professional development activity. At a minimum, the Board requires the following information to be submitted with each application for approval:
    (1) The types and descriptions of proposed or existing programs intended to be offered;
    (2) The number of LUs to be awarded for each activity;
    (3) The identity and qualifications of the instructors;
    (4) The explanation and sample of outcome measures; and
    (5) The sample course outlines detailing the content of activity to be offered.
  D. The Board may approve an activity only if it meets all of the following criteria:
    (1) The activity’s main content areas are in the health, safety, and welfare subjects; and
    (2) The activity enables a licensee to further the licensee’s competency and professionalism as a licensed architect.
  E. The Board may suspend or revoke its approval of an activity if, in the judgment of the Board, the intent of Business Occupations and Professions Article, §3-309.1, Annotated Code of Maryland, is no longer served or a presenter materially changed the content of the activity without the prior written approval of the Board.
.06 Record Keeping.
  A. Responsibility to Maintain Records.
    (1) The responsibility of maintaining records to be used to support the continuing professional competency credit claim is the responsibility of each licensee.
    (2) A licensee shall maintain the records for a period of at least 2 years from the date of completion of the qualifying program.
  B. Documentation referred to in §A(2) of this regulation, includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    (1) Certificates of participation;
    (2) Transcripts; or
    (3) Any other appropriate evidence acceptable to the Board.
.07 Reporting Requirements for License Renewal.
  A. A licensee shall attest on the license renewal form to the fact that the licensee has completed all applicable CPC requirements set forth in this chapter by the last day of the calendar year preceding the year in which the licensee’s individual license is to be renewed for the following 2-year licensing term.
  B. The Board at its discretion may audit randomly selected licensees to ascertain compliance with CPC requirements.
  C. Licensees who are audited shall provide within 30 days of receipt of electronic notice of audit from the Board any additional documentation required by the Board to complete the audit.
.08 Extenuating Circumstances/Exceptions.
  A. Notwithstanding other requirements set forth in this chapter, a licensee who is granted an initial license may renew a license for the next full term without complying with the CPC requirements.
  B. A licensee who, due to physical disability, illness, military duty, or other extenuating circumstances, is unable to comply with the CPC requirements prior to the license expiration date shall to the extent feasible so notify the Board prior to the license expiration date. If at a later date a licensee whose license lapsed due to noncompliance with the CPC requirements wishes to reinstate the license, the licensee shall fulfill all past due CPC requirements for the previous CPC reporting periods, subject to the maximum amount of required credits as set forth in Regulation .10 of this chapter. The Board may consider waiving, if the extenuating circumstances so warrant, all or part of applicable reinstatement fees and a portion of the required number of LUs.
.09 Failure to Meet the CPC Requirements.
  A. In the event the licensee fails to respond to the Board’s notice within 30 days as described in Regulation .07 of this chapter, the Board shall provide the licensee with the written notice affording the licensee an additional 30 days from the date of the notice to provide evidence acceptable to the Board of compliance with applicable CPC requirements.
  B. In the event the licensee does not respond to the Board’s notice or otherwise fails to comply with the CPC requirements set forth in this chapter, the Board, subject to the hearing provisions of Business Occupations and Professions Article, §3–313, Annotated Code of Maryland, may take any and all available disciplinary actions under Business Occupations and Professions Article, §3–311, Annotated Code of Maryland.
.10 Reinstatement of License.
A licensee who wishes to reinstate a license after failing to complete the CPC requirements shall fulfill past due CPC requirements for the immediately preceding CPC reporting periods up to 24 LUs and pay all applicable fees.
.11 Emeritus Status.
An individual who elected the status of “architect emeritus” shall be exempt from the compliance with the CPC requirements. In the event such individual decides to have the license reactivated, the individual shall fulfill past due CPC requirements up to 24 LUs.
.12 Learning Units Earned in Other States.
The CPC requirements applicable to the renewal of Maryland architectural license shall be deemed to be satisfied by an architect licensed in another state if the following requirements are met:
  A. The state of current residency of an out-of-State licensed architect has a comparable continuing professional competency program; and
  B. The state of current residency accepts Maryland CPC requirements as satisfying its own comparable continuing professional competency program.

DIANE CHO
Chair
State Board of Architects