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RE: Plan stampers

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The NCEES Model Law states that "a successor licensee may take
responsible charge by performing all professional services to include
developing a complete design file with work or design criteria,
calculations, code research, and any necessary and appropriate changes
to the work.  The non-professional services, such as drafting, need not
be redone by the successor licensee but must clearly and accurately
reflect the successor licensee's work.  The burden is on the successor
licensee to show such compliance."   

I think that all jurisdictions should include such provisions to allow a
form of "plan stamping", at least under some circumstances.  (Some
states do have provisions similar to the above.)  The untimely death of
a PE or departure of a PE from a firm before a project is completed are
examples of situations where such should be permitted.  But I'm not sure
that this shouldn't be permitted under a wide range of circumstances, as
long as proper reviews are performed.  Of course, in reality some will
abuse this privilege (as some already abuse "responsible charge"
requirements). 

In my opinion, a PE could do a detailed design check, make any changes
needed, and seal the final drawings - the review should be such that the
PE can take full responsibility for the final work product.  As noted,
the "drafting" need not be redone from scratch, but changes should be
made as dictated by the PE. 

It should also be noted that in large engineering firms with large
design projects, the responsible engineer rarely performs the design
calculations personally and sometimes the calculations are done outside
of their own office.  They still oversee the work, develop design
criteria, respond to design questions, and review final work products.
This gets "close" to the concept of "plan stamping" with adequate
control and review. 


William C. Sherman, PE 
(Bill Sherman) 
CDM, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)cdm.com
 

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