Lawmaker pushes for continuing education of engineers

Democratic state Rep. Derek Stanford says he is encouraged about the prospects for a bill he has introduced to require continuing education for engineers.

Stanford’s bill had a hearing Wednesday before the House committee on business and financial services.

The bill that Stanford has sponsored would require engineers to get 15 hours of continuing education each year.

Stanford said Wednesday that the bill would mean that engineers in Washington would have to meet the same standards as engineers in most other states.

He said Friday that groups like the American Society of Civil Engineers support the bill.

The committee is scheduled to vote on the bill Tuesday.

Stanford said that keeping up with advances in engineering is important because their work can affect public safety.

He said that engineers should continue learning just like other professionals who are licensed by the state, such as architects and land surveyors.

“Continuing professional development is a basic and very important requirement for many professions,” Stanford emphasized.

Currently, a professional engineer’s license in Washington can be renewed forever simply by paying the renewal fee.

“This is a straightforward proposal to bring engineers under the same requirements as land surveyors and architects,” Stanford explained. “Engineers and land surveyors have the same regulator, the state Board of Registration for Engineers and Land Surveyors.”

Stanford, the prime sponsor of the bill, represents the 1st Legislative District, including most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, north Kirkland, unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com

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