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RE: Direct Supervision in Texas

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You can read the TBPE Rules at:

Section 131.166(c) states:

"Engineers shall only seal work done by them or performed under their direct supervision, except as provided in subsection (m) of this section concerning standards. Upon sealing, engineers take full professional responsibility for that work."

Section 131.18(9) states:

"Direct supervision--Critical watching, evaluating, and directing of engineering activities with the authority to review, enforce, and control compliance with all engineering design criteria, specifications, and procedures as the work progresses. Direct supervision will consist of an acceptable combination of: exertion of significant control over the engineering work, regular personal presence, reasonable geographic proximity to the location of the performance of the work, and an acceptable employment relationship with the supervised persons. Engineers providing direct supervision of engineering under the Texas Engineering Practice Act, 18(b), shall be personally present during such work."

Note that this wording, which is intended as an official definition, is the same as that in the guidance document that I quoted yesterday.

Like most professional licensing boards, TBPE publishes one-paragraph summaries of its disciplinary actions.  Presumably, the summaries describe the essence of each matter.  A number of Texas PEs have been found guilty of various forms of plan stamping.  You can read about all of them at:  Mr. Perge appears in the disciplinary actions taken at the 01/09/03 meeting.  I included the entire published account of this matter yesterday.  I do not know Mr. Perge personally, and do not know any other details of this case.  According to the online database at the TBPE website, Mr. Perge is a civil engineer.

Finally, you should know that Texans are a healthy bunch.  We do not succumb to the flu <grin>.

I hope that this adequately addresses your various questions.  


Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas, Texas 


Charley wrote:

It seems like "regular personal presence" could reasonably be interpreted to mean that the EOR routinely is available to the project engineer for questions and consultation during the development of the project. When the EOR is away, I would guess that "exerting significant control" could take place, by either delegation to a trusted subordinate (senior engineer) or restriction of scope of work (e.g. "Don't send these layouts and details to drafting before I get back and review them.").

I agree, however, that the final sentence seems to contradict the prior sentence by stating the supervising engineers must be personally present at all times.  Unless that last sentence is actually Board Rule 131.18(9) and the prior sentences are the clarification.  Stan?

Question for Stan:

Does the enforcement action give any details regarding the cause for complaint?  Was Mr. Perge not present *at any time* during preparation of the design (i.e on vacation the whole time), or was he simply absent periodically during the design?  If the latter, I agree with Jim.  If you have to be physically present at all times, how does any work get done when the Principals all get the flu?


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