In October of 1962 the Surgeon General approved the establishment of the Engineer Career Development Program in PHS and authorized the formation of an Engineer Career Development Committee (ECDC). The principal objectives of the program were to build professional competence, assure effective use of PHS engineers, and improve the recruitment and retention of engineering personnel. Prior to the ECDC, engineer career development was handled by the Chief Engineer and a small number of individuals, the scope of PHS engineering activities being at that time relatively narrow.
The ECDC was operated in a manner similar to programs for other PHS personnel, i.e., nurses, pharmacists, dentists, etc. The ECDC had three major purposes:
- To assist the PHS in determining engineering manpower requirements
- To improve the recruitment and retention of PHS engineers
- To maximize career development for the individual engineer through counseling training, rotational assignments, etc.
In 1983, the Surgeon General revised the objectives of the PHS Career Development Committees and reestablished those objectives under the Engineer Professional Advisory Committee (EPAC). EPAC operating policies were revised again in 1988. EPAC provides advice and consultation to the Chief Engineer, who in turn reports to the Surgeon General on matters relating to the professional activities and personnel issues affecting PHS engineers. EPAC acts in the interest of Civil Service and Commissioned Corps engineers and architects. As a communications link and information source for the distinct PHS engineer disciplines, EPAC also:
- Provides advice and assistance on engineer staffing issues, particularly recruitment
- Acts as a primary resource for engineer career development
- Communicates and encourages the use of awards/recognition systems
Committee members represent each of the major PHS engineer-user programs. They are knowledgeable professionals at all grade levels who represent a cross section of the interests, concerns, and responsibilities of engineers in organizations staffed by PHS personnel. Monthly committee meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month from 15:00 – 16:00 Eastern time. All engineers are encouraged to call in to the meetings. Engineers looking to get more involved are recommended to join a subcommittee by reaching out to the subcommittee chair and asking where they may help. Engineers seeking a leadership role in the EPAC should self-nominate to serve a three year term as an
EPAC voting member. Membership approval is generally required from the agency head, the Chief Engineer, and the Surgeon General's Office.
Page Last Modified on 3/13/2021