Texas Board of Professional Engineers Professional Practice Update
Texas Board of Professional Engineers Professional Practice Update / Ethics David Howell, P.E. Deputy Executive Director May 2017 http://engineers.texas.gov/outreachsurvey AGENDA About the Board Competence
Legislative Update Decoupling Outreach Website and Social Media http://engineers.texas.gov
Facebook: Texas Board of Professional Engineers Twitter: TBPE_Exec LinkedIn: Texas Board of Professional Engineers RSS Feed on our website: http://engineers.texas.gov YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ channel/UCm0YTnjR3StveBxWhCT4MiA TBPE
Celebrating 80 Years of Engineering a Better Texas 1937 - 2017 History of TBPE Created by Texas Legislature (45R) in 1937 New London School Explosion 300 students and teachers killed Result of improperly designed mechanical and
electrical devices Established a Board to regulate the practice of engineering through licensing and rules of practice 1937 BOARD 1937 TEXAS STATE BOARD OF REGISTRATION FOR PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS
W. W. Trout - Chairman Carl Svensen - Vice Chair F.E. Rightor - Secretary George R. Brown Ed. Connor J.S. Hudnall TBPE HISTORY First Texas PE T. U. Taylor
TBPE HISTORY 867 individuals registered on 1st roster published 02/12/1938 Over 125,000 Texas licenses granted since then TEXAS BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS Nine Members - Appointed by Governor
6 Licensed Professional Engineers 3 Public Members Standard term is 6 years TBPE Daniel O. Wong, PhD, PE Sockalingam Sam Kannappan, PE Sina K. Nejad, D.Eng, PE, PEng Secretary Edward Summers, PhD (public member)
Lamberto Bobby Balli, PE Antonio Catherine Norwood, PE Elvira Reyna (public member) County Kyle Womack, PE Albert Cheng (public member) Houston - Chairman Baytown - Vice Chair
Beaumont Austin - Treasurer San Midland Denton Midland Houston TBPE STAFF 31 Staff members, Austin Lance Kinney, PhD, PE - Executive Director
David Howell, PE Deputy Executive Director Dave Daigle - Compliance & Enforcement Rick Strong, PE - Licensing Janet Sobieski - Operations BOARD PRIMARY FUNCTIONS Since 1937 License Qualified Engineers Enforce Engineering Practice Act Since 2005 Requiring Continuing Education
Now Educate PEs, Officials, Potential PEs, Public COMPETENCE Noun the ability to do something successfully or efficiently. Everybodys got a different circle of competence. The important thing is not how
big the circle is. The important thing is staying inside the circle. Warren Buffett Engineering Competence Protection of Public Health, Safety, Welfare Texas does not license by discipline, but Professional Engineers must not practice outside of their competence. 137.59(a) Engineers shall practice only in their areas of
competence. Competence gained by Education and Experience; Measured by FE and PE examinations Competence is an expectation of the public Competence Scenario Texas licensed PE designed a municipal parking structure.
After construction, significant cracking and other performance issues were observed. The Board opened a staff initiated case based on news articles. Competence Scenario Staff investigators contacted the city to determine the extent of the failures and obtain design
documents. Board records show that the engineer had listed structural engineering competence based on experience and exam. A TBPE Technical Expert was engaged to analyze the designs Design errors were noted, which, if not remedied would created an unsafe structure. Competence
Scenario The city, contractors and engineering company worked together to remedy and resolve design issues and make the structure functional and safe. The PE involved no longer works for the firm. So What should the TBPE do??? Competence Potential Actions
A. Consider the matter resolved. B. Pursue enforcement against the design engineer. C. Pursue enforcement action against the firm. D. Pursue enforcement actions against the engineer and firm for PSPA violations. E. None of the above. Competence Potential Actions
B - Pursue enforcement against the design engineer. The design engineer is ultimately responsible. Competence and Protection of the Public are expectations regardless of legal action or ultimate remediation. No Firm violations or PSPA issues were noted. Competence Enforcement Rules
Which rules do you think were violated? 137.55(a) - Engineers shall be entrusted to protect the health, safety, property, and welfare of the public in the practice of their profession. Yes. The engineer did not adequately consider the Health Safety and Welfare of the public. Competence Enforcement Rules
Which rules do you think were violated? 137.55(b) - Engineers shall not perform any engineering function which, when measured by generally accepted engineering standards or procedures, is reasonably likely to result in the endangerment of lives, health, safety, property, or welfare of the public. Yes. The Board determined during its investigation that the engineers design was inadequate, which created a situation that could harm the public.
Competence Enforcement Rules Which rules do you think were violated? 137.59(a) - Engineers shall practice only in their areas of competence. No. Although the design was flawed, the engineer had, during the licensure process demonstrated minimum competence in structural engineering.
Competence Enforcement Rules Which rules do you think were violated? 137.59(b) - The engineer shall not perform any engineering assignment for which the engineer is not qualified by education or experience to perform adequately and competently. Yes. The design contained errors which, when assessed by experts,
should not have been made by someone competent in structural engineering. Competence Enforcement Rules Which rules do you think were violated? 137.63(b)(6) - The engineer shall practice engineering in a careful and diligent manner. Yes.
Enforcement - Filing A Complaint Mail, email, phone, facsimile all are acceptable for initial contact Anonymous complaints are accepted A complaint form or detailed letter/email is needed to cover all the bases Forms can be found Online Provide specific instances of violation Provide evidence to show probable cause
Board Actions Reprimands (Formal and Informal)
Suspension (possible probation) Refuse to Renew Revocation $5,000 per violation per day Cease and Desist Orders Emergency Suspension Additional Enforcement Options Ethics Courses National Institute for Engineering Ethics (Texas Tech)
Technical Courses Restitution Practice limitations Civil or Criminal cases
Assisting Jurisdictional Authorities Enforcement By law, all violations, except informal reprimands, must be published On TBPE website by Board Meeting Date Added to NCEES Enforcement Exchange (national database) Published in the newsletter which is mailed at least annually and quarterly E-newsletter emails
Preventing Complaints CLEAR: Communication (between all parties) Contract (expectations and responsibilities) Calculations and designs (be prepared to support) Keep your Documentation Most importantly know the law, and contact us if you have a question!
Enforcement Ethical Behavior 62,900 licensed PEs 83% Active (05/01/2017) ~600 Cases opened last year About 65% resolved with Voluntary Compliance Less than 10% Dismissed
Board action includes range of action up to revocation Professionalism scenario - misleading You work for a multi-discipline engineering firm The firm has worked numerous large projects across Texas involving civil, mechanical, electrical and structural
Professionalism scenario - misleading Your former co-worker who worked in the civil area started a new sole practitioner firm. In his advertising, he mentions working for the previous firm and all of their big projects. He claims to be a full service engineering
provider. Offers multi-discipline engineering. Professionalism scenario - misleading Possible Options: A. He can do it. He was part of those projects. As long as he has friends he can call for other disciplines, he can offer it. B. He can say that he worked on the projects, but not
imply that he and the new firm can do it all. C. He shouldnt refer to their work at all. It would be a conflict of interest. D. He should only offer civil engineering work. E. None of the above. Professionalism scenario - misleading A. He can do it. He was part of those projects. As long as he has friends he can call for other disciplines, he
can offer it. B. He can say that he worked on the projects, but not imply that he and the new firm can do it all. C. He shouldnt refer to their work at all. It would be a conflict of interest. D. He should only offer civil engineering work. Educate PEs, Officials, Potential PEs, Public
What is a P.E.? / What do they do? Public Perception The Value of Licensure How does the TBPE fit in? Educate
Engagement Outreach Presentations, webinars, publications Advisory Groups Working with customer groups directly Government, Academia, Industry, Future Engineers Engagement
Professional and Technical Organizations Rule 137.63(a) [Engineers] should attempt to enhance societys awareness of engineers responsibilities to the public and encourage the communication of these principles of ethical conduct among engineers.
Training and Continuing Education Engineering Policy Latest Technical Information Engineering Networking / Mentoring / References Outreach Publications Working with Government Government Advisory Group
State agencies, Cities, Counties, School Districts TBPE Outreach Building Officials Texas Municipal League, etc. What we can do for them When PE is required on projects / public works Better understanding of State Laws The role of a Professional Engineer Professional Services Procurement Act
(PSPA) Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) for engineering on public projects Responsibilities of Professional Engineers Responsibilities of Public Officials in RFQ / RFP process PSPA - Question Which of the following are under PSPA requirements?
A. B. C. D. E. Pavement aggregate lab testing. Design of a national hamburger franchise. Building design on a US Air Force Base in Texas. Environmental Assessment for city development
None of the above PSPA - Answers A. Pavement aggregate lab testing Maybe. Depends on if it is ONLY testing or includes engineering recommendations. B. Design of a national hamburger franchise.
No. C. Building design on a US Air Force Base in Texas. No. Engineering done on federal land is covered by different law (Brooks Act)
D. Environmental Assessment for city development Maybe. Depends on scope. Phase 1, Phase 2 or Phase 3. Continuing Education 15 hours Must include 1 hour of Ethics May include up to 5 hours of self-study May include up to 3 hours of Educational Outreach
Random audits ongoing Keep documentation for 3 years Fines as high as $5,000; separate violations for claiming Continuing Ed without documentation or not responding to Board. Continuing Education Exemptions - must be claimed when you renew 1st renewal after passing the PE exam for licensure
Active duty military deployment Disability Inactive status Being over 65 is not an exemption for Continuing Ed Continuing Education New NCEES system for Continuing Professional Competence (CPC) tracking and reporting No fee to register and create an account Upload documentation
Report as needed for different Boards http://ncees.org/cpc/ LICENSING Protection of the Public Ethical Competent Initial Qualifications Staying Current
Professionalism Licensing Did you know??? Only about 20% of US engineers are licensed. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016) 146,400 engineers in Texas Civil 26,500 Petroleum - 18,000
Industrial 16,000 Conflict of Interest scenario You are a Texas PE and project manager for a large firm. You get a contract for an addition at a local church building. When it is time to select a contractor, you prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP). Conflict of Interest
scenario Your Brother-in-Law, who is also a Texas PE, runs one of the best construction contracting businesses in the county and wants to get this contract. Conflict of Interest scenario Possible Options: A. Go ahead without any additional actions. B. Notify the client verbally of the potential conflict.
C. Notify all parties in writing of the potential conflict. D. Tell your brother in law not the bid on the project. E. None of the above. Conflict of Interest Answer C - Notify all parties in writing of the potential conflict. 137.57(d) client must acknowledge the potential conflict in writing.
Can you proceed with the RFP? Yes. Can your brother-in-law do the work? Yes. If properly selected. Sealing scenario You are a Texas PE that is lead on a project overseeing all aspects of the design and construction. There is a deadline for preliminary plan submission.
The city requires an engineering seal on all plans submitted for review. Sealing scenario True or False? The City is in violation of Board Rules by asking for a seal on a preliminary document. False A city or local government can ask for more than the minimum requirements in the Act and Rules.
Sealing scenario True or False? You are in violation of Board Rules if you put a seal on a preliminary document. False Board Rule 137.33(e) requires that preliminary documents be marked as such. They do not prohibit the use of the seal.
Sealing scenario After the project is complete, the city requires an official, final digital copy of the plans without a seal. Can they do that? No. As stated previously, a city can add requirements, but cannot reduce Board requirements. Seals Which of These is Correct?
A B C D Best answers? A or B
137.33(f) License holders shall affix their seal and original signature or electronic seal and signature with the date on the final version of their engineering work before such work is released from their control. (1) The signature and date shall not obscure the engineer's name or license number in the seal. Firm name and number are required on sealed documents, but do not have to be part of the seal itself. Law and Rules
Board is authorized by the Texas Engineering Practice Act Board interprets and implements the statute to create Rules Other statutes and rules also apply to engineering (PSPA, Windstorm, Architectural Barriers/ADA, etc.) Texas Professional Engineers are expected to know the Act, Board Rules, applicable state laws and local codes. Engineering for a better
Texas Policy Advisory Opinions Provision Added to TEPA in 2003 Allows Board to develop formal written interpretations of law and rules for specific or hypothetical Gray Areas Over 30 interpretations for a variety of subjects http://engineers.texas.gov/policy.htm
How to submit PAO Request / Forms at: http://engineers.texas.gov/Policy_Advisory.htm Legislative News and Rulemaking Legislation 84 Session (2015) th
Session ended June 1, 2015 Bills affecting engineering or the Engineering Practice Act were tracked on the TBPE website.
Professional Fee repeal Windstorm Roster repeal PE Indemnification related to state contracts Applications from engineers with Military Service Unmanned Aerial Vehicles used for engineering Structural Engineering (filed but not passed) SDSI changes (filed but not passed) Legislation 85 Session (2017)
th Bill filing began November 14, 2016
Session started January 10, 2017 Last filing date March 10, 2017 Regular session adjournment May 29, 2017 TBPE tracks filing and activity Will post any bills affecting the engineering community on its website. Recent Rules - Decoupling Adopted February - Effective May, 2016 Allows PE exam to be taken while experience is
being obtained. Must be a Texas EIT. Increased flexibility for applicants Does not reduce licensing requirements. October 2016 PE Exam is the first affected Almost 3000 registered, over 1,600 EITs NCEES expanded Texas sites Decoupling NCEES
Decoupling More states, expanded exam sites NCEES Records Changes CPC activity tracking system CBT Computer Based Testing Fundamentals of Engineering exam 2014 6 Hour Exam / year-round starting in 2016 PE exams to be converted starting in 2018 (Chemical)
Engagement - Webinars PE Ethics March, June, September, December Sign up online FE Exam / Why become a PE? (Students) How to Apply (EITs) Engagement
Outreach Fiscal Year Attendees Presentations 2013 11,559
177 2014 14,866 155 2015
19,751 150 2016 19,429 138
Quarterly Webinars Includes K-12 / E-Week Thank You 1917 S Interstate 35, Austin, TX 78741 Phone: 512-440-3054 [email protected] http://engineers.texas.gov/outreachsurvey
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