I think we’ve beat this horse to
death. I think we agree more than you think.
No, I’m not suggesting more bureaucracy.
IMO, it WOULD be nice if CA would tighten up the licensing laws to be more
similar to AZ. That is about the only area where I would like to see the laws “cleaned
I was suggesting that negligence is prosecuted
after the fact when someone takes on a project outside their area of expertise,
but only if something goes wrong. In that case, lack of ethics is regulated.
What I AM suggesting (but I’m
preaching to the choir here) that more character be used and those folks who
are not qualified to take on a project, not to do it, even if they ARE licensed
to do so.
Conclude whatever you wish. Just don’t
put that “more bureaucracy” label on me. It doesn’t fit.
Neither does “Good Guy” (all the time). Don’t like taxes
either. The points I am suggesting I restated above. No more, no less.
And, no Ivory Tower Syndrome here. I can’t
understand how my specific examples have been extrapolated to this extreme
interpretation of my position.
I also am not suggesting that a problem of
any kind is “spiraling out of control”. Don’t know where you
got that. However, there are real world examples to back up my examples.
If everyone had the same position you
stated in your last paragraph, this topic would be a non-issue.
Let’s move on. Shall we?
‘Nuf said. It’s Friday
afternoon and the weather is nice. At least here it’s nice.
From: Keith De Lapp
November 07, 2003 12:04 PM
Subject: SE Test
Bill, we have to be practical here. If obtaining a CE
or SE license doesn't demonstrate some minimum level of competency, then why do
it at all? Are you really suggesting that every sub discipline within
civil and structural (and the other branches mentioned in my earlier email) be
independently classified, tested and regulated? For what purpose?
The current system has checks and balances. The
PE act states you can't practice in areas outside your area of
competency. Therefore, can the hydrologist design a building?
No, not legally nor ethically. Does that stop them from signing
a set of plans? No. If something goes wrong or if the client files
a complaint, there is a system in place to deal with that. Negligence
"is" prosecuted after the fact. It isn't a perfect system but
it seems to work. I don't believe more regulation is necessarily the
Looking at the BORPELS enforcement action publication
the problem while it exists doesn't appear to be spiraling out of control as
your argument suggests. Your comment "...until I (as
well as others) think that I have the necessary background
to do it on my own..." sounds
want a governmental system in place to
regulate competency. If you follow this argument to its logical
conclusion, you would have to take every construction trade out there and
further divide it into sub classifications. An example would be a
concrete contractor who does nothing but tilt-up panels and wants to do a
cast-in-place garage would have to obtain a separate license. Breadth of
practice exists in every profession.
Bill, what concerns me most about conversations like this,
is that we have a certain element within our profession that wants to further
limit the practice of our profession. For what purpose I ask? Is it
to protect the public, or is it to secure ones place in the profession.
If it's the former then I would ask what is the magnitude of the harm?
And how does Bill Allen propose to solve it? If it is the latter, then it
sounds very much like an Ivory Tower syndrome. I would like to know the
motive behind your position and ask that you state it here for everyone to
read. In your previous email you said "...People taking on projects they're not qualified to do hurts
us all. We all know why they do it. Work is light. Can't say "no". The
problem with working in a new material, region, project type, etc. is quantity
of "unknowns" due to lack of experience. This lack of knowledge tends
to drive the fee down
(again, hurting us all)
and problems in the field up (again, hurting us all). I can't say I've never
done it, but I don't plan to do it anymore." This
remark suggest to me that the Ivory Tower syndrome may be at play.
Bill, before you blow a gasket, let me tell you I mean no
disrespect towards you. You seem like a good guy and I (as a lurker) have
followed your, as well as other engineers participation on this forum for many
years and have learned a lot. But for me this topic is a bit like
taxes. We keep raising and creating new taxes for "good causes"
(dubious in my mind) but then some time down the road when we feel we are over
taxed, we turn and look at each other and say "How did this happen,
wasn't anybody watching?"
I believe that the profession and the state has licensed me
as a professional in civil engineering. With that comes a code of conduct
and ethics. I believe that as a professional, I want to maintain the
liberty of deciding which engineering markets I would like to pursue. If
additional expertise is required then I will obtain it. I believe that I
have to satisfy my professional ethics (in regards to competence subject at
hand) that I have responsibly performed my duties in the interests of public
safety and my client. I don't think we need a regulating body further
verifying competence. It is of course true that some engineers will take
advantage of the system. But there is already a system in place to
deal with that. And I believe it works.