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E – 1715 Free Speech vs. Regulation of Professional Engineers

Intended Audience: All Engineers.
Credits: 1 PDH Units


This online engineering PDH course discusses the relationship between the actions of a licensing board for professional engineers and the Constitutional right of free speech. The course considers the background and findings of a legal case arising when a state licensing board attempted to restrict the right of an engineer from speaking about a public safety issue. Actual legal documents and associated correspondence are discussed and their implications analyzed.

This course is based on the course document titled, “Free Speech vs. Regulation of Professional Engineers,” by Mark P. Rossow 2019.

Learning Objective:

At the successful conclusion of this course, you will learn the following knowledge and skills:

  • Describe the value of free speech in discovering the best solution to technical problems;
  • Explain the difference between protected and unprotected speech;
  • Describe an example in which the actions of a PE licensing board was limited by the Constitutional right of free speech;
  • Define the meaning of a board letter announcing the opening of an investigation;
  • Describe the meaning and use of a Notice to Impose a Civil Penalty; and
  • Explain the significance of working outside the context of an employment or contractual relationship.

Course Reviews


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  1. Outstanding


    Fascinating. Was not excited about having to take another ethics course but this was excellent. Informative, thought provoking, and very well written. Highly recommend.

  2. E-1715 Free Speech vs. Regulation of Professional Engineers


    Clear, concise and interesting.


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