THE North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors and the Professional Engineers Board of the Bahamas executed an historic Memorandum of Understanding on Friday. Travelling to Nassau to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) were North Carolina board chairman David Pond, executive director of the North Carolina Board Andrew Ritter, and executive director of the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES) Jerry Carter. Mr Pond said: "The North Carolina board is both privileged and proud to enter into this historic relationship with the Bahamas board. Engineering has become a global profession and this MOU is an indicator of that. "The state of North Carolina looks forward to this newly formed partnership and is excited about working with the Commonwealth of the Bahamas for many years to come." PEB chairman Michael Moss said: "North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers (NCEES) was contacted by Michelle Gomez, a member of the Bahamas board, to determine if the two organisations could enter into an agreement that would facilitate the licensure process for Bahamian candidates." NCEES is a confederation of all US state and territorial licensure boards authorised to regulate the engineering and surveying profession. A primary mission of NCEES is the development, scoring and maintenance of the licensure exams that are used to determine minimum competence for these professions. The NCEES PE exam is considered the international engineering benchmark for licensure. NCEES gives more than 100,000 exams each year in all 50 states and four territories of the US, and in six foreign countries. NCEES offers 22 different exams and has more than 1,000 licensed professionals who volunteer their time to develop the exams and have a staff of 70 to oversee the process. In order to ensure the security and integrity of the examinations, NCEES has instituted a policy that requires a minimum population of candidates per exam administration at each site. The total number of potential candidates as projected by the Bahamas board did not reach this minimum threshold. Although existing policy prevented NCEES from entering into an agreement with the Bahamas board, it was suggested that the Bahamas board contact one of the NCEES member boards directly to determine the possibility of developing an agreement between the two boards. NCEES provided the contact information for several NCEES member boards whose licensure requirements and application processes might best suit the situation. The Bahamas Board subsequently contacted the North Carolina Board about the possibility of entering into a relationship that would allow Bahamian candidates to take the NCEES PE exam. The NC board administers the PE exam to around 700 candidates a year in all 22 disciplines and currently has more than 23,000 licensed professional engineers, making it the ninth largest licensed engineering population in the United States. Mr Moss said: "The North Carolina board recently amended their statute to allow applicants with foreign experience to be considered for licensure. "This allowed the North Carolina board to consider the request from the Bahamas board. As a consequence, Bahamian Engineers, through application to the Bahamas board, will be allowed to sit the NCEES licensure examination administered by the North Carolina board. "This is the first time the North Carolina board has entered into this type of relationship and as such, truly makes it an historical accomplishment."