The Ohio House State Government Committee took testimony September 30 regarding HB 243 which would make changes governing the architects board and the landscape architects board regarding continuing education requirements.
Ohio Architects Board Executive Director, Amy Kobe testified and David Brehm, AIA, LEED AP, submitted supporting testimony on behalf of AIA Ohio.
During the hearing Kobe said the boards were advised that the sections were to be interpreted “in a more restrictive fashion than in the past” and that they no longer had the authority to change the continuing education requirements themselves.
“The boards feel that a better definition of appropriate continuing education activities is appropriate and would result in greater compliance,” she said, and that “the acquisition of new knowledge that is directly related to the profession should be the primary driver for course selection.”
Amy Kobe said both boards’ national organizations have standardized terminology for continuing education and that when requirements across states are uniform, “record keeping requirements and the renewal process are greatly simplified” for licensees.
“The Ohio Revised Code currently requires the boards to accept certain unstructured activities” that are not in line with national standards, so they are requesting “12 structured health, safety, and welfare hours every calendar year,” she said.
David Brehm submitted written testimony in support of the bill on behalf of the American Institute of Architects, saying the legislation would give the OAB the flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the profession. He said the AIA and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards convened a joint task force to review national continuing education standards. The bill would more easily enable the boards to follow the task force’s recommendations, he said.
“The result was a recommendation for a uniform continuing education regulation that would be adopted by the majority of the states,” according to Brehm. “This requirement is simply for the architect and jurisdictions to process, consistent among jurisdictions, less confusing for architects registered in multiple jurisdictions and an easier process for the state board to process and renew.”
Also testifying as a proponent was Eugenia Martin of the Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
“It is a goal of ours that we provide clear, concise guidelines and application of this uniform policy across jurisdictions to the benefit of all licensees, regulators and most importantly, those who benefit from the professional services of the regulated community,” Martin said. “Our ultimate desire is to make sure that our landscape architect practitioners are accountable and protective of the health, safety and welfare of the communities they serve.” David Brehm submitted written testimony in support of the bill on behalf of the American Institute of Architects, saying the legislation would give the OAB the flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the profession.”