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SEAOC's support of Two-Tiered Registration

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I received a draft of SEAOC's intention to support the 2-tiered licensing
for Structural Engineering applicants, including the grand fathering of
existing Civil Engineers who specialize in structures. For the most part, I
am in agreement with the provisions as it serves the public interest.  The
act, which conforms with already existing provisions in many states, will
"help" to reduce the problems cause by unqualified professionals who use the
broad definition of Civil Engineering to provide services at the expense of
the public and insurance industry. I perceived this as a large problem as
far back as the Whittier Earthquake in 1987 and have been outspoken on the
subject ever since.

There are some proposals in the provisions which I do not support. At
present, the initial document - a starting point - attempts to define the
fine line between SE-I and SE-II. I believe this is a mistake. The current
provisions which separate SE's from CE's is sufficiently clear to leave this
fine line to the discretion of the local building department (as far as how
tall a building must be before an SE is required) and the engineers ability
to prove his or her competency.

In the next few days, I will post the documents I have which have been
distributed to SEAOC board members urging them to support the provision and
to unite with the NCSEA on this topic so as to gain unity among all states
chapters. The fine line between SE-I and II currently varies with each

Another provision of the act which I totally support is the requirement for
continuing education including credited courses which may be applied with
work experience to qualify an applicant for the SE-II exams. Specially, I
applaud Bill Warren SE (the author of this document) for his foresight to
include online educational services at nominal fees for engineers who are
not within major metropolitan areas and who are unable to attend seminars so
far from home.

I am hoping to see some discussion on this topic as it is the consensus of
some of the active SEAOC SE's that the Civil Engineers who comprise
approximately half of the SEAOC membership are either apathetic or
uninterested in these issues. I find that difficult to believe and, in my
opinion, think the reason is that the provisions were not made accessible to
the majority of the SEAOC membership.

Please let me know what your thoughts are on this matter. I am not sure if
SEAOC has posted the document, but I will do so today on The
Structuralist.Net website at

Dennis S. Wish, PE
The Structuralist Administrator for:
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