By the beginning of the 20th century, many kinds of engineering had ceased being a regional endeavor. As the west opened up and efficient transportation systems developed, engineers found it necessary to become licensed in several states. This was a time-consuming process. Engineers had to report to every board and meet the specific requirements for each state. Their laws were often quite different from one another. It became clear some national body was needed to coordinate the various state boards.
In 1920, seven engineering boards sent representatives to a meeting in Chicago on November 8, 1920. They drafted the organization’s first Constitution, which legally constituted the Council of State Boards of Engineering Examiners (CSBEE) as a “permanent organization … to carry out as far as may be practical, a uniformity of practice in examination and registration of engineers.”
NCEES members now include the engineering and surveying boards from all 50 states, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Over its first 100 years, the Council has focused on finding ways to advance licensure and facilitate mobility among the licensing jurisdictions. It provides the Model Law and Model Rules for its member boards to use when enacting legislation, develops uniform exams, and provides many other services to facilitate licensure.