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RE: Its official MD Board of Engineers doesn't care

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Title: RE: Its official MD Board of Engineers doesn't care

In response to Ben's and Fred's comments:

There was strong resistance to the original BORPELS Policy Resolution coming mainly from CALBO (The orginization of California Building Officials).  This may have been due to: 1) Many building officials in small jurisdictins not being registered or not having registered staff; and 2) An undefined responsibility of what a plan check is. 

BORPELS considered some revised wording to the original Resolution (Published as Revision 1, dated Auguste 25, 1995) that included the phrase:  "The extent to which a final plan checking report manifests or documents professional egineering decisions determines whether said report is required to be prepared under the responsible charge of a registered professional engineer".

When plan checking involves engineering decisions ("Your lateral analysis is flawed") the plan checker should be licensed.  When it involves non-engineering decisions ("Provide a shear panel schedule in accordance witht he calculations"), probably not.  The ultimate responsibility is with the engineer of record and plan checking should recognize this.

Steve Widmayer

-----Original Message-----
From: Fred M. Turner [mailto:fturner(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, October 22, 2002 9:34 AM
To: seaint
Subject: RE: Its official MD Board of Engineers doesn't care

Ben Yousefi said:

California considers the act of reviewing another licensed engineer's work,
as professional engineering duty. Therefore the board requires the review of
all plans done by a licensed profession to be done by a licensed
professional. You can obtain more info about this by contacting the board

Ben, et al - I think this policy is still in flux in California.
California's Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (BOPELS) did
have such a policy back in 1995. However, the Board withdrew this policy in
1999 after receiving advice from their lawyers who, based on a 1996 Supreme
Court decision, recommended that such policies should be withdrawn because
the Board had not intended for its policy to be treated as a uniformly
applicable Board Rule. Since then, the Board has not pursued the creation of
a Board Rule to address this matter. BOPELS did say they would consider such
matters on a case by case basis as complaints arise. To my limited
knowledge, I have not seen BOPELS rulings on complaints regarding
individuals that deal with the practice of plan reviewing. Many, if not
most, local building departments and some state agencies - particularly
small agencies - throughout California continue to review engineered plans
without licensed professionals.

BOPELS does have a Board Rule that allows structural plan reviewing as
acceptable experience for candidates qualifying to take the SE exam provided
that such plan reviews are supervised by an SE.

On a related note, the CA Seismic Safety Commission identified this concern
about unlicensed plan reviewers as an initiative 7.3.6 in the 2002 CA
Earthquake Loss Reduction Plan: "Require every building department to have
an appropriately licensed design professional, on staff or under contract,
to provide advice on structural and seismic safety issues." No action has
been taken to implement this initiative. FYI,

Fred Turner, Staff Structural Engineer, California Seismic Safety
Commission, a public policy advisory agency, fturner(--nospam--at), 1755
Creekside Oaks Dr. #100 Sacramento, CA 95833 916-263-0582 Phone 916-263-0594

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