What is a Board Certified Diplomate?

A Diplomate is a Board Certified Professional and is considered one of the highest designations in the field, with less than 200 engineers achieving the status of Diplomate within the Academy. A Board Certified Engineer has had at least twelve years of progressive experience after earning their first engineering degree and has achieved a master's degree (or have graduated with an engineering degree prior to 1986). A Board Certified maritime engineer has demonstrated advanced knowledge in at least one of the four areas of civil engineering. An engineer becomes a Diplomate through achieving advanced experience, licensure, and education, as well as passing a board examination. Although, with enough experience, the exam will be waived.

The Academy has three different types of Diplomates: regular, retired, and Distinguished. 

  • Regular Diplomates must meet all the requirements of a Diplomate be active in the profession.  They need to renew their certification annually and are required to pay the full recertification fee and earn, on average, 20 PDHs per year.
  • Retired Diplomates are those who are no longer active in the profession.  Retired Diplomates pay a lower recertification fee and aren’t required to obtain any PDHs. 
  • Distinguished Diplomates are only nominated by ACOPNE Board members.  However, anyone may contact ACOPNE staff if they have a nomination, which can be then forwarded to the Board for consideration.  Distinguished Diplomates are individuals who have made a significant contribution to the profession and generally do not meet all the requirements of a regular Diplomate, although they may.  Distinguished Diplomates do not pay any fees and are not required to obtain any PDHs, nor are they required to renew their certification.