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Bill, you're really scaring me here!  Engineering is a marketplace.  The client is not a guinea pig.  Haven't you ever had a client who didn't fully appreciate the value of the service you provide and decided to hire another professional for less money.  Hell yes you have!  For the purposes of keeping your fees up, you can't limit competition by claiming an ipso facto threshold for competence.
 
You're wrong about competence and licensing.  When you pass the test and the state issues you a license, you are deemed competent at least to the extent demonstrated by having successfully solved the test questions you responded to.  This doesn't mean of course the engineer who spent their apprenticeship in hydrology can practice in the structural discipline or vice versa.  But it also doesn't preclude an engineer from acquiring the necessary competency to protect life and safety when left to their own devices.
 
As for civil engineering being to broad.  I believe that civil is no different from mechanical, electrical, electronic, chemical, nuclear, petroleum, and yes structural engineering.  I'll bet you lunch at your favorite restaurant that there are as many subsets of expertise in structural as there are in civil.  When we take into consideration the many material factors that influence even the simplest design, it can very quickly extend us beyond our base of practical experience and competence.  Our ability to adapt and respond to these competency situations varies from engineer to engineer.
 
I know licensed engineers who have never done a rigid diaphragm analysis, a grade beam on an elastic foundation analysis, a perforated shear wall design or even know what a masonry boundary member is.  I recognize the competition for what it is, and explain to the client that engineering is a market place just like buying tires for your vehicle.  I ask the client "when shopping for tires, do you buy the tires that cost the least amount of money?"  And then begin to explain the value of our services in terms I hope they understand.  I believe our marketplace is shaped by the buyers as much as it is shaped by the sellers.
 
In my not so humble opinion, you can't legislate prescriptive competency.  Any attempt to do so will result in more harm to the profession than one could possibly hope to solve.
 
 
Keith De Lapp, P.E.
KDL ENGINEERING