Lesson 12 – Professional Licensing & Ethics

In this lesson we introduce the laws that govern professional licensure and we also discuss our ethical responsibility within our profession. The US Federal statutes do not certify someone as a professional – that authority rests with each individual state, so each state has their own laws that define the profession and set the minimum level for entry into the profession as well as boundaries on the conduct of professionals. We focus on California in this conversation but if you plan to work as a professional in another state then you should become acquainted with the laws of that state. Step 1. Start by reading the Rules of the Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (located in the course text). Specifically, Sections 404, 404.1, 404.2 and 415. Step 2. Complete task 1 from the homework lesson. Step 3. Read the Professional Engineer’s Act, 2017 – PE Act, also located in the course text. Read the following specific sections. Article 1 in its entirety, Article 2 Section 6701.1, & Article 3 Sections 6730 – 6731.4, 6732, 6735, 6735.1, 6735.5- 6737.3, 6749. Step 4. Read each of the following documents. ASCE Code of Ethics (this is the same document from Lesson 1 so this should be a review). ACSE Code of Ethics – 2012 Study (attached) Article on “Unwarranted Traffic Controls” Step 5. Complete the second question from the homework assignment. Description : 1. Responsible Charge: Read the Board Rules section on responsible charge; 404.1, and address the following situations (we will discuss in class). Write a brief paragraph explaining/supporting your position for each scenario citing the appropriate passages from the reading material. Should you sign plans for work outside your area of competence if the work is performed by others fully competent in that area? Should you perform work/sign plans for work in application of new principles, techniques, ideas, or technology? Should you sign plans for work in your area of competence if this work is performed by another professional not fully competent in that area? 2. Professional Ethics: Look back at your answers to this question in Lesson 1. Revisit your answer and indicate if your response to either question would be the same or if you would now change your response. Elaborate on why you either did or did not change your response using material from the class. After reading the ASCE Code of Ethics, can you identify an action you have taken that would be in violation of one of the Canons of this code. If so, identify the Canon (and sub-canon), describe the incident, and discuss what you learned from this experience and what you would do differently. After reading the ASCE Code of Ethics, identify a Canon (and sub-canon) that you believe may be too restrictive / difficult to govern / unrealistic to meet / other? You must thoroughly explabcqin and support your position.

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