Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Architect Continuing Education Requirement Gets Preliminary House Approval

The House gave preliminary approval today to a measure that will require architects to fulfill continuing education requirements in order to maintain their licenses.

SB 29 would add Colorado to the list of 34 other states that have imposed a similar requirement.

"As you may know, the architects take their registration exam to become an architect, and that's basically it," sponsor Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, said. He said the bill is important to assure that architects are designing buildings as safely as possible.

Democrat Paul Weissman of Louisville argued that former Gov. Bill Owens was correct to veto a similar bill several years ago.

"I generally supported Governor Owens in his position on continuing ed," Weissman said. "What they sometimes become, and this is what Governor Owens talked about, is trips for tax write-offs. I agreed with the Governor in questioning the value."

Balmer, the assistant minority leader, pointed out that the state's architects association and the Department of Regulatory Affairs support the bill. He said DORA suggested changes that would link continuing education to certification requirements and emphasized the public safety implications of continuing education standards.

"Architects are designing buildings that have to be safe," Balmer said. "So I think it is very appropriate that they have continuing education."

Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins, argued that Colorado should extend the requirement to engineers as well.