[r63] Rep. Messmer: Bill to update exam procedures passes Senate

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, February 15, 2012

STATEHOUSE—A bill authored by State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) to permit computer-based exams for engineers and land surveyors unanimously passed the Senate Tuesday, February 14.  Before they can be qualified as professional engineers and land surveyors, applicants must take an exam administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).  Many states allow tests to be taken by computer, but current Indiana law requires handwritten exams.  House Bill (HB) 1148 gives the NCEES the option to offer engineering and surveying exams on computers.

“The procedures used to test engineers and land surveyors have been in place for decades, but we need to take advantage of modern technology,” said Rep. Messmer.  “Computer-based testing techniques are far more efficient than handwritten exams and would reduce the costs associated with out-dated methods.”

The legislation also provides the applicant with three chances to pass the exam and removes provisions specifying time limits on the exams.  A computer-based exam would allow for greater flexibility in the types of questions asked of applicants, ensuring the engineers and surveyors certified in Indiana are highly qualified.

“With many other states moving towards computer-based testing, Indiana needs to have this option to make sure our engineers and land surveyors operate with 21st century technology and remain competitive with other states.”

Because the Senate did not make any changes to the bill originally passed by the House of Representatives, HB 1148 will go to the governor to sign.