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RE: Stamping of Plans is common

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-----Original Message-----
From:	Bill Sherman [SMTP:SHERMANWC(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Wednesday, August 26, 1998 8:48 AM
To:	seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject:	Re: Stamping of Plans is common

In general, the PE rules should define 
better what involvement the PE must have in a design

[Bill Polhemus]  

I think the rules such as I have read them in the states in which I am or have been licensed, are pretty clear on this.

[Bill Sherman]  

  - but they should also 
allow for some form of "plan stamping" provided that adequate review is done 
and the PE is allowed to make revisions as deemed necessary.

[Bill Polhemus]  
Well, in that case it wouldn't be "plan stamping"; it would be work done under "responsible charge" of the P.E. who is sealing the work.

We need to get our definitions clear:  "Plan Stamping" means PRECISELY that an engineer simply takes drawings representing the work of another and, without any more than perhaps a cursory review, seals and signs them and receives a fee in return.

There are also some very practical situations which PE rules should allow for: What if the
PE dies or leaves the company just before the final design is to be issued?  Is 
it realistic to expect the design to be completely redone or to just be 
thoroughly reviewed by another PE? 

[Bill Polhemus]  

I have "thoroughly reviewed" the work of another P.E. who left the company.  I made sure that my review was thorough enough so that I was satisfied with the work (or made corrections as necessary to ensure my satisfaction) and then sealed the drawings.  This is not "plan stamping."
[Bill Sherman]  

 By the way, is anyone aware of any state which requires the PE to actually 
perform the calculations?  I am only aware of states which require that the 
design be done under the "direction" or "supervision" of a PE.  

[Bill Polhemus]  

Well, that's the point.  ALL work should be done under the "responsible charge" (the correct term last time I looked) of the P.E. who is sealing the drawings.  Not necessary for the P.E. to actually do the work; that would be confusing beyond belief.

I am currently in responsible charge of three projects, one very large, that will be sealed by me, yet I have a staff of nine professionals including six other engineers, who are doing by far the lion's share of the work.

But the come to me with questions, and I provide the general direction.  In the end, I review the drawings after they have been thoroughly "checked" by the project engineers who work for me.  I have veto power of any and all aspects of the work.

That is "responsible charge."