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RE: SECB Certification Program for SE's

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Nels:
 
Most structural engineers would certainly like to have uniform SE licensing in all states.  That would require consensus in the thinking of 55 state and territorial legislatures, both with respect to the need for separate (from PE) SE licenses as well as the specific requirements for earning and maintaining those licenses.  These are lofty goals that probably are not attainable in our lifetimes.  Nationwide certification by the profession is being offered as an alternate and interim step toward uniformity and recognition.
 
Stan
 
PS:  Look for an all-new NCSEA website next month!

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-----Original Message-----
From: Nels Roselund, SE [mailto:njineer(--nospam--at)att.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 4:35 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: SECB Certification Program for SE's

Thanks, Stan for the thorough explanation.
 
On first reading, the notice that I received from the SECB did not seem to make a clear distinction between licensure and certification in the way that you explained it.  It requests support for Certification, but the stated goals deal with licensing.  However, as I it read carefully, I guess that that is the intent -- it will use the influence of Certificated SE's to work for national uniformity of SE licensing standards.
 
Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA
njineer(--nospam--at)att.net
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2004 1:25 PM
Subject: RE: SECB Certification Program for SE's

Nels:
 
Structural engineering certification should eventually be a broadly supported program.  It was approved by a 2/3 vote of the NCSEA member organizations on 12/15/03 after several years of debate and development.  Several western states were particularly strong proponents, including: Texas, California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and Hawaii.  Illinois was the leading opponent.  SECB was subsequently created by NCSEA as an entirely separate non-profit organization.  The SECB board of directors includes representatives from NCSEA, SEI, and CASE.
 
Certification should not be confused with licensure.  Professional licenses are issued by state agencies and are required of all practitioners.  That will never change.  Certification is a separate and supplemental process of self-regulation directly by the profession.  Doctors, lawyers, accountants, and many other professions have had certification programs in place for decades.  Structural engineering certification will not seek, and will not require, endorsement by state PE boards.  However, over time, the certification program should serve to encourage both uniformity and specialization of SE licensure by the states.
 
Certification is voluntary, and the need will be client-driven.  Eventually, it is hoped that most "quality" clients will prefer to use certified structural engineers.  As this occurs, most good structural engineers will want to be certified.  Of course, the smart ones will do so at the earliest opportunity and thereby take advantage of what is expected to be a broad grandfathering program.
 
HTH,
 
Stan R. Caldwell, P.E., F.ASCE, F.AEI
Chair, NCSEA Advocacy Committee
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Vice President
Halff Associates, Inc.
8616 Northwest Plaza Drive
Dallas, Texas  75225
Phone:  (214) 346-6280
Fax:  (214) 739-0095
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I've received an announcement that NCSEA has voted to establish an independent national SE certification board [SECB] to help establish SE licensing in all 50 states; establish uniform standards for examinations, licensure and practice throughout the U.S.; and define education and training levels for SE Licensure.
 
The letter is from SECB and requests prepayment of certification fees, projected to be $350; as initial capitalization for SECB.
 
Is this a broadly supported effort?  Is it likely to be endorsed by State Boards of Registration?  Is this an program that all good SE's should support, ignore, or wait and see?
 
Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA
njineer(--nospam--at)att.net