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RE: Proposed Standard of Care "again"

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In order to clarify the intent of my "Proposed Standard of Care", I would
like to offer the following:

My intent is to provide wording which is to be incorporated into standard
forms of contract for engineering services. It is not currently intended to
be part of a building code or a formal code of ethics. As with any contract,
these provisions could be modified by the parties entering into the contract
as they see fit. It is only intended to provide a means for an Owner to know
what level of quality assurance they are contracting for. 

The portions shown in italics were not intended to be part of the formal
contract but rather to be a guideline on where each level of quality
assurance might be used. I'm not sure exactly how such "guidelines" can be
included with standard forms of contract and could use some advice of how
this could be done. But no one would be "legally bound" to follow these
guidelines in my proposal. 

I would like to thank those who have offered some initial response to my
proposal. (I recognize that it takes some time to develop a complete
response, although I was surprised that my initial post did not at least
generate a little discussion.) 

I recognize that we cannot "legislate ethics" - but we can provide defined
quality assurance procedures. Similarly, we cannot legislate that
contractors provide the best quality in construction but we can require
inspection of their work, which UBC has in fact "legislated" via the
building code's special inspections requirements. I don't see why we can't
do the same in engineering. The proposed checking procedures do not define
ethics but they do provide specific procedures to follow as a means to an
end of achieving better quality. As I stated, I am not "currently" proposing
wording to be included in a building code; however, I must state that I
would not be opposed to doing just that. Nevertheless, I felt that starting
with "optional" contract language would be easier than proposing actual code
requirements. 


Regarding a couple of specific comments by Christopher Wright:

> Not to rain on the parade, but you're not going to be able to redefine
standard of care 
> in an e-mail because it already exists. 

You have a good point that I cannot redefine "standard of care" since it is
a legal term which is already defined. However, this does not prevent a
contract from including defined quality assurance procedures. I will simply
need to modify the wording from "The standard of care for this project shall
also include the specific quality assurance procedures ..." to read "This
project shall include the specific quality assurance procedures ...".  

> As far as the quality levels go you're only addressing existing standards
for engineering 
> practice covered in state engineering law. 

Please clarify this statement. I do not know of any existing written
standards or state engineering laws which explicitly cover the types of
quality assurance procedures I have proposed. 

On a number of occasions I have received contractor submittals of designs
performed by Professional Engineers which were unchecked and which included
significant errors. What standard or law can I point to regarding their
unchecked and erroneous designs? I have also reviewed previous designs by
Professional Engineers for existing structures which also were unchecked and
contained errors. It does not appear to me that there is a consistent
standard of care regarding "checking". If a client purchases engineering
services, how does the client know what level of quality assurance they will
receive from the engineer? Why shouldn't each engineer contracting for such
services be held to the same standard of service?