THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee

FROM:

Johanna Duncan-Poitier

 

 

 

SUBJECT:

Proposed Amendment to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Continuing Education Requirements for Landscape Architects

DATE:

May 30, 2006

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goal 3

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Issue for Discussion

 

Should the Regents amend the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to add a new section 79-1.5, relating to mandatory continuing education requirements for landscape architects?

 

Reason(s) for Consideration

 

Required by State statute.
         

Proposed Handling

 

The proposed amendment is before the Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee for discussion in June 2006 and will be submitted for action at the July 2006 Regents meeting.

 

Procedural History

         

          A Notice of Proposed Rule Making will be published in the State Register on May 31, 2006.  Supporting materials for the proposed amendment are available upon request from the Secretary to the Board of Regents.

 

Background Information

 

The purpose of the proposed regulation is to establish continuing education requirements that licensed landscape architects must complete to be registered to practice this profession in New York State and requirements for approval of sponsors of such continuing education.  The proposed regulation is needed to clarify and implement the requirements of section 7328 of the Education Law, as added by Chapter 683 of the Laws of 2005, which subject licensed landscape architects to mandatory continuing education, effective January 1, 2007. 

 

  As mandated by statute, the regulation requires the licensee to complete 36 hours of continuing education in a three-year registration period.  Of this amount, 24 hours must be in the areas of health, safety, and welfare.  A minimum of 18 hours must be in courses of learning.  The remainder may be in other educational activities prescribed in the regulation.  The statute and implementing regulation provide a phase-in period in which licensees who register during the first three years after January 1, 2007 will be required to complete a portion of the 36 hours, based upon a proration formula.

 

The regulation specifies acceptable continuing education subjects and types of learning activities.  It also establishes continuing education requirements when there is a lapse in practice, requirements for licensees under conditional registration, and standards for the approval of sponsors.  The proposed regulation is modeled after similar mandatory continuing education requirements for architects and professional engineers, professions in which continuing education has been required since 2000 and 2004, respectively.

 

Recommendation

 

N/A

 

Timetable for Implementation

 

The effective date of the proposed amendment is August 17, 2006.

 

 

Attachment

 

AMENDMENT TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION

          Pursuant to sections 207, 212, 6504, 6507, and 7328 of the Education Law

          Section 79-1.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is added, effective August 17, 2006, to read as follows:

          79-1.5 Continuing education for landscape architects.

          (a) Definitions.  As used in this section, acceptable accrediting agency means an organization accepted by the department as a reliable authority for the purpose of accreditation at the postsecondary level, applying its criteria for granting accreditation in a fair, consistent and nondiscriminatory manner, such as an agency recognized for this purpose by the United States Department of Education.

          (b) Applicability of requirement.

          (1) Effective January 1, 2007, each licensed landscape architect, required under Article 148 of the Education Law to register with the department to practice in New York State, shall comply with the mandatory continuing education requirements as prescribed in subdivision (c) of this section, except those licensees exempt from the requirement or who obtain an adjustment to the requirement pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subdivision.

          (2) Exemptions and adjustments to the requirement.

          (i) Exemptions. The following licensees shall be exempt from the continuing education requirements, as prescribed in subdivision (c) this section:

          (a) licensees for the triennial registration period during which they are first licensed to practice landscape architecture in New York State, except those first licensed to practice landscape architecture in New York State pursuant to an endorsement of a license of another jurisdiction;

          (b) licensees who are not engaged in the practice of landscape architecture as evidenced by not being registered to practice in New York State, except as otherwise provided in subdivision (e) of this section to meet the requirements for the resumption of practice in New York State.

          (ii) Adjustments to the requirement.  An adjustment to the continuing education requirement, as prescribed in subdivision (c) of this section, may be made by the department, provided that the licensee documents good cause that prevents compliance, which shall include, but not be limited to, any of the following reasons: poor health certified by a physician; or a specific physical or mental disability certified by an appropriate health care professional; or extended active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States; or other good cause beyond the licensee's control which in the judgment of the department makes it impossible for the licensee to comply with the continuing education requirements in a timely manner.

          (c) Mandatory continuing education requirement.

          (1) General requirement.  

          (i) During each triennial registration period, meaning a registration period of three years' duration, an applicant for registration shall complete at least 36 hours of continuing education acceptable to the department, as defined in paragraph (2) of this subdivision, provided that at least 18 hours of such continuing education shall be in courses of learning, and no more than 18 hours of such continuing education shall be in other educational activities as prescribed in paragraph (2) of this subdivision.  A minimum of 24 hours of such continuing education shall be in the areas of health, safety, and welfare.  Any landscape architect whose first registration date following January 1, 2007 occurs less than three years from that date shall complete continuing education hours on a prorated basis at the rate of one hour of acceptable continuing education per month for the period beginning January 1, 2007 up to the first registration date thereafter.  Such continuing education shall be completed during the period beginning January 1, 2007 and ending before the first day of the new registration period or at the option of the licensee during any time in the previous registration period.

          (ii) Proration. Unless otherwise prescribed in this section, during each registration period of less than three years' duration, an applicant for registration shall complete acceptable continuing education, as defined in paragraph (2) of this subdivision and within the limits prescribed in such paragraph, on a prorated basis at a rate of one hour of continuing education per month for such registration period.   

          (2) Acceptable continuing education.  To be acceptable to the department, continuing education shall meet the requirements of this paragraph.  Such continuing education must be in the subjects prescribed in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph and be the types of learning activities prescribed in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph.

          (i) Subjects.  Acceptable continuing education shall contribute to professional practice in landscape architecture:

          (a) in any one or more of the following curricular areas relating to the health, safety, and welfare of the public:  code of ethics; codes, acts, laws, and regulations governing the practice of landscape architecture; construction administration, including the administration of construction contracts; construction documents; environmental process and analysis; erosion control methods, including storm water management as is incidental and necessary to the practice of landscape architecture; design of environmental systems and use of site materials and methods of site construction; grading and natural drainage; horticulture; irrigation methods; land planning and land use analysis; landscape preservation, landscape restoration and adaptive reuse; natural hazards impact of earthquake, hurricane, or flood related to site design; New York State Building Code as it affects landscape architecture; resource conservation and management; site accessibility, including Americans with Disabilities Act standards for accessible site design; site and soils analysis; site design; site security and safety; specifications writing; surveying methods and techniques as they affect landscape architecture; sustainable design, including techniques related to energy efficiency; vegetative management; wetlands; zoning as it relates to the improvement and/or protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the public; or other matters of law and ethics which contribute to the health, safety, and welfare of the public;  and 

          (b) in other topics which contribute to the professional practice of landscape architecture as such practice is defined in section 7321 of the Education Law.

          (ii) Types of learning activities.  Acceptable continuing education shall be the types of learning activities prescribed in this subparagraph and be subject to the limitations prescribed in this subparagraph.

          (a) Courses of learning.  Acceptable continuing education shall be courses of learning offered by a sponsor approved by the department pursuant to subdivision (i) of this section, which may include, among others, the following courses offered by an approved sponsor: university and college courses, and professional development and technical training courses related to the practice of landscape architecture. 

          (b) Other educational activities.  Acceptable continuing education shall be the following other educational activities, provided that no more than 18 hours of continuing education in a registration period shall consist of such other educational activities:

          (1) preparing and teaching a course offered by a sponsor of continuing education to landscape architects, approved pursuant to subdivision (i) of this section, provided that such teaching shall not be acceptable where the licensee has taught the course on more than one occasion without presenting new or revised material.  Continuing education hours that may be credited for this activity may include actual instructional time plus preparation time which may be up to two additional hours for each hour of presentation;

          (2) authoring an article published in a peer-reviewed journal or a published book.  A licensee shall receive nine continuing education hours for each written work published during the registration period;

          (3) making a technical presentation at a professional conference sponsored by an organization that is a sponsor of continuing education to landscape architects, approved pursuant to subdivision (i) of this section.  Continuing education hours that may be credited for this activity shall include actual instructional time, plus preparation time which may be up to two additional hours for each hour taught;

          (4) obtaining a patent related to the practice of landscape architecture.   A licensee shall receive nine continuing education hours for each patent granted on an invention during the registration period;

          (5) completing a self-study program, meaning structured study, provided by a sponsor approved pursuant to subdivision (i) of this section, that is based on audio, audio-visual, written, on-line, and other media, and does not include live instruction, transmitted in person or otherwise, during which the student may communicate and interact with the instructor and other students; or

          (6) completing an educational tour, meaning a structured tour of an instructional nature provided by a sponsor approved pursuant to subdivision (i) of this section.

          (d) Renewal of registration. At each reregistration, licensed landscape architects shall certify to the department that they have either complied with the continuing education requirements, as prescribed in subdivision (c) of this section; or are subject to an exemption or adjustment to such continuing education requirements, as prescribed in subdivision (b) of this section.

          (e) Requirement for lapse in practice.

          (1) A licensee returning to the practice of landscape architecture after a lapse in practice, as evidenced by not being registered to practice in New York State, whose first registration date after such lapse in practice and following January 1, 2007 occurs less than three years from January 1, 2007, shall be required to complete:

          (i) at least one hour of acceptable continuing education for each month beginning with January 1, 2007 until the beginning of the new registration period, which shall be completed for a licensee who has not lawfully practiced landscape architecture continuously in another jurisdiction throughout such lapse period, in the 12-month period before the beginning of the new registration period; and for the licensee who has lawfully practiced landscape architecture continuously in another jurisdiction throughout such lapse period, in the new registration period or at the option of the licensee in the period beginning 36 months before the commencement of the new registration period and ending at the conclusion of such registration period; and

          (ii) for a licensee who has not lawfully practiced landscape architecture continuously in another jurisdiction throughout such lapse period, at least 12 hours of acceptable continuing education in each successive 12-month period of the new registration period; and for a licensee who has lawfully practiced landscape architecture continuously in another jurisdiction throughout such lapse period, the regular continuing education requirement during the new registration period.

          (2) Except as prescribed in paragraph (1) of this subdivision for registrations therein specified, the licensee who returns to the practice of landscape architecture after a lapse in practice in which the licensee was not registered to practice in New York State and did not lawfully practice landscape architecture continuously in another jurisdiction throughout the lapse period, shall be required to complete:

          (i) the continuing education requirement applicable to the period of time the licensee was registered in the licensee's last registration period; and

          (ii) at least one hour of acceptable continuing education for each month of lapsed registration up to a maximum 36 hours, which shall be completed in the 12 months before the beginning of the new registration period; and

          (iii) at least 12 hours of acceptable continuing education in each succeeding 12-month period, after such registration is reissued, until the next registration date.

          (3) Except as prescribed in paragraph (1) of this subdivision for registrations therein specified, the licensee who returns to the practice of landscape architecture after a lapse in practice in which the licensee was not registered to practice in New York State but did lawfully practice landscape architecture continuously in another jurisdiction throughout the lapse period, shall be required to complete:

          (i) the continuing education requirement applicable to the period of time the licensee was registered in the licensee's last registration period; and

          (ii) at least one hour of acceptable continuing education for each month of lapsed registration up to a maximum of 36 hours, which shall be completed in the new registration period, or at the option of the licensee in the period beginning 36 months before the commencement of the new registration period and ending at the conclusion of the new registration period; and

          (iii) the regular continuing education requirement during the new registration period.

          (f) Conditional registration.

          (1) The department may issue a conditional registration to a licensee who attests to or admits to noncompliance with the continuing education requirements of this section, provided that such licensee meets the following requirements:

          (i) the licensee agrees to remedy such deficiency within the conditional registration period;

          (ii) the licensee agrees to complete the regular continuing education requirement at the rate of one hour of acceptable continuing education per month during such conditional registration period; and

          (iii) the licensee agrees to complete additional continuing education during such conditional registration period, which the department may require to ensure the licensee's proper delivery of landscape architectural services consistent with the licensee's practice of landscape architecture.

          (2) The duration of such conditional registration shall not exceed one year and shall not be renewed or extended.

          (g) Licensee records.  Each licensee subject to the requirements of this section shall maintain, or ensure access by the department to, a record of completed continuing education, which includes: the type of learning activity, title of the course if a course, subject of the continuing education, the number of hours completed, the sponsor's name and any identifying number (if applicable), attendance verification if a course, participation verification if another educational activity, and the date and location of the continuing education.   Such records shall be retained for at least six years from the date of completion of the continuing education and shall be available for review by the department in the administration of the requirements of this section.

          (h) Measurement of continuing education study. Continuing education credit shall be granted only for acceptable continuing education as prescribed in subdivision (c) of this section. For continuing education courses, a minimum of 50 minutes shall equal one continuing education hour of credit.  For credit-bearing university or college courses, each semester-hour of credit shall equal 15 continuing education hours of credit, and each quarter-hour of credit shall equal 10 continuing education hours of credit.  

          (i) Sponsor approval.

          (1) To be approved by the department, sponsors of continuing education to licensed landscape architects in the form of courses of learning or self-study programs shall meet the requirements of either paragraph (2) or (3) of this subdivision.

          (2) The department shall deem approved as a sponsor of continuing education to licensed landscape architects in the form of courses of learning or self-study programs:

          (i) a sponsor of continuing education that is approved by the The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System (AIA/CES), the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), or the Practicing Institute of Engineering, or an equivalent organization determined by the department with assistance from the State Board for Landscape Architecture to have adequate standards for approving sponsors of continuing education for professionals regulated by Title VIII of the Education Law that include but are not limited to standards that are equivalent to the standards prescribed in clauses (3) (ii) (a), (c), and (d) of this subdivision; or

          (ii) a postsecondary institution that has authority to offer programs that are registered pursuant to Part 52 of this Title or authority to offer equivalent programs that are accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency.

          (3) Department review of sponsors.

          (i) The department shall conduct a review of sponsors that apply for approval to offer continuing education to licensed landscape architects in the form of courses of learning or self-study programs that are not deemed approved pursuant to the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subdivision.

          (ii) Organizations desiring to offer courses of learning or self-study programs based upon a department review under this paragraph shall submit, with the fee as set forth in subdivision (j) of this section, an application for advance approval as a sponsor at least 90 days prior to the date of the commencement of such continuing education that documents that the organization:

          (a) will offer courses of learning or self-study programs in any one or more of the subjects prescribed for acceptable continuing education in subparagraph (c)(2)(i) of this section;

          (b) is an organized educational entity or an entity that has expertise in the professional areas that will be taught, including but not limited to, a school of landscape architecture accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency; or a national, State, or local landscape architecture association or organization;

          (c) provides course instructors who are qualified to teach the courses which will be offered, including but not limited to, faculty of a college of landscape architecture accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency; or instructors who are specially qualified authorities in landscape architecture, as determined by the department with assistance from the State Board for Landscape Architecture, to conduct such courses;

          (d) has a method of assessing the learning of participants, and describes such method; and

          (e) will maintain records for at least six years from the date of completion of coursework, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, the name and curriculum vitae of the faculty, a record of attendance of licensed landscape architects in the course if a course, a record of participation of licensed landscape architects in the self-study program if a self-study program,  an outline of the course or program, date and location of the course or program, and the number of hours for completion of the course or program.   In the event an approved sponsor discontinues operation, the governing body of such sponsor shall notify the department and shall transfer all records as directed by the department.

          (iii) Sponsors that are approved by the department pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph shall be approved for a three-year term.

          (iv) The department may conduct site visits of, or request information from, a sponsor approved pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph to ensure compliance with such requirements, and a sponsor shall cooperate with the department in permitting such site visits and in providing such information.

          (v) A determination by the department that a sponsor approved pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph is not meeting the standards set forth in this paragraph shall result in the denial or termination of the approved status of the sponsor.

          (j) Fees.

          (1) At the beginning of each registration period, a mandatory continuing education fee of $45 shall be collected from licensees engaged in the practice of landscape architecture in New York State, except for those exempt from the requirement pursuant clauses (b)(2)(i) of this section.  This fee shall be in addition to the registration fee required by section 7324 of the Education Law.

          (2) Licensees applying for a conditional registration, pursuant to the requirements of subdivision (f) of this section, shall pay a fee that is the same as and in addition to, the fee for the triennial registration required by section 7324 of the Education Law. In addition, such licensees shall pay the $45 mandatory continuing education fee.

          (3) Organizations desiring to offer continuing education to licensed landscape architects based upon a department review, pursuant to paragraph (i)(3) of this section, shall submit an application fee of $900 with the application requesting the issuance of a permit from the department to become an approved sponsor of continuing education to licensed landscape architects in the form of courses of learning or self-study programs.   Application for a three-year renewal of the permit shall be accompanied by a fee of $900.