Research Project — Need Serious inputPosted by danmuth on January 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm
I am researching a theory and need serious input from the surveying profession. My research project is to examine if licensure for surveying is ready for “areas of proficiency”? Has GIS, Scanning, Mapping, Machine control, boundary created a need for the surveying license to be restructured and setup to test for areas of proficiency?
Background – Arizona does and has by definition included GIS, Machine Control, Boundary and scanning as the practice of surveying (my interpretation). However the RLS exam (Arizona specific) is heavily weighted toward the practice of boundary surveying. Arizona does not include the other subsets in the testing. As an example a person who specializes in photogrammetry has to study boudary surveying in order to become licensed in Arizona; or hire a RLS.
- 18 Replies
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm
If we look to other professions, such as medicine, law and engineering, they set an example of practicing within your area of expertise. A doctor is an M.D. or D.O. although he may consider himself a cardiologist, oncologist or pediatrician. A lawyer may specialize in real estate, professional liability or defend accused individuals but he is still a lawyer (J.D.). An engineer licensed as a P.E. may be a civil engineer, electrical engineer or mechanical engineer but his stamp still says P.E. A professional knows what areas he is competent to practice in.
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm
> A professional knows what areas he is competent to practice in.
Yes they all get trained as doctors then specialize in something. They dont all have to get trained in brain surgery just to become a doctor, like the powers that be think that surveyors should.
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm
> If we look to other professions, such as medicine, law and engineering, they set an example of practicing within your area of expertise. A doctor is an M.D. or D.O. although he may consider himself a cardiologist, oncologist or pediatrician. A lawyer may specialize in real estate, professional liability or defend accused individuals but he is still a lawyer (J.D.). An engineer licensed as a P.E. may be a civil engineer, electrical engineer or mechanical engineer but his stamp still says P.E. A professional knows what areas he is competent to practice in.
Good point David.
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm
The profession does not need further erosion by dividing it up into segments. We do not need more government regulation, we need less. Take a look at the division of photogrammetry in North Carolina which is included in the definition of Land Surveying. The photogrammetrists are not doing surveying, beyond setting GPS control for their projects and most firms do not even do that. Likewise, most surveyors are not invading the realm of photogrammetry. The existing laws already require that we are proficient in any area we work in. The only real “benefit” of more government regulation is to increase tax revenue and create more government boards to handle each segment. I wonder who is proposing these ideas? I think the answer is clear. Unlicensed individuals who are not able to meet experience or education requirements and government types who see they can make additional revenue. To the first, get experienced, get educated. In today’s world more education is key. To the second, start being a champion to the people, instead of more immoral fees and taxes, find ways to save the taxpayer money. Thats my 2 cents
Cliff Wagner, PLS
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm
> > A professional knows what areas he is competent to practice in.
> Yes they all get trained as doctors then specialize in something. They dont all have to get trained in brain surgery just to become a doctor, like the powers that be think that surveyors should.
Roadhand,according to the original post, Arizona also does not require that the surveyor understand the specialty fields. I agree that the exams should be heavily biased toward boundary. It is the area of boundary surveying that requires the license to protect the public. It sounds like surveying is mirroring the other fields. Note the highlighted parts below. The professional land surveyor should not stamp GIS work if he is not competent in that area.
” Arizona does and has by definition included GIS, Machine Control, Boundary and scanning as the practice of surveying (my interpretation). However the RLS exam (Arizona specific) is heavily weighted toward the practice of boundary surveying. Arizona does not include the other subsets in the testing. “
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm
> A professional knows what areas he is competent to practice in.
Most of the ethics canons I have seen include a sentence or two about not taking on work or performing tasks for which you are not qualified or competent.
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm
Oklahoma LS & PE’s
In 2005 we had public hearings about adding construction staking and photogrammetry to the discipline of Land Surveying, that didn’t happen.
However,Oklahoma Requires Professional Engineers to Declare competency in their disciplines: (and have had several engineers officially “disciplined” and fined for practicing outside of their expertise.)
Beginning May 11, 2009, Board Rule OAC 245:15-9-4(a) was amended to require that professional engineers in the state of Oklahoma declare their discipline(s) of competency. Please read the following information carefully, complete the form, and return it to this office. You may fax, e-mail, or mail the enclosed form as indicated at the top of the form. This information is public record and also will appear on the Board’s website on the online database.
The following criteria must be met to designate a primary or secondary discipline of engineering:
a. A degree in the discipline of engineering, or
b. An experience record documenting at least 4 years of experience in the discipline of engineering verified by at least one PE reference provider that has personal knowledge of the license holder’s character, reputation, suitability for licensure, and engineering experience, or
c. Verification of successful passage of the examination on the principles and practice of engineering exam in the discipline of engineering designated.
Please select in the space below your primary discipline of engineering and up to 4 secondary disciplines of engineering, if applicable, for which you will be offering your services in Oklahoma.
Selecting a discipline of engineering does not necessarily indicate competency to practice all aspects of that discipline of engineering. The licensee is required by law to only practice within the discipline of engineering in areas in which the licensee is competent.
For example, listing “Civil” as your primary discipline does not necessarily mean that you are competent to do all types of civil engineering projects. The civil engineer’s specialty may be in wastewater, but not transportation. In this case, the engineer would simply list “Civil”.
Please choose your discipline(s) from the list below.
9. Control Systems
11. Engineering Physics
13. Fire Protection
20. Mining and Mineral
21. Naval Arch/Marine
25. Structural (without SE)
26. Structural (with SE designation in some state or jurisdiction)
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm
Until a state enacts a 4 yr degree requirement, I think the notion of “area of expertise” is just talking points. As pointed out the true professional won’t try and work outside what they feel competent in, at least they shouldn’t.
It is the practice of boundary determinations that seperate us from the list of other work areas: GIS, photogrammetry, construction surveying, etc, which are more technical in nature. Until those professions require their own license (which I’d support inclusive with a degree requirement), it seems that surveying is where they belong
In AZ, I think you know all to well the hurdle of the BTR. Just look at the CEU bottleneck, and that seems like a no brainer.
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm
Law, Ethics, and Math are basic and constant. These must remain the emphasis of any test. Technology is ever changing. The high tech stuff I learned in college is completely obsolete, though it was someone useful. My college training included a main frame computer with punch cards (I imagine many young folks would not even know what I was talking about or even recognize the equipment if it was placed before them.) All my surveying classes were with mechanical transit and tape. I had extensive programing training in Fortran, Pascal, Cobol not completely obsolete, but pretty close.
Just to give a couple of examples, the basics of using the technology, something ever changing, using GPS equipment, inputing data into a GIS system, is labor/secretary work. Not professional work, so why test for it?
The high science of the technology is also something most of us will never address. Some are interested in it, but, to be honest, I have lost interest in the complexities of the math, honestly I just want good data.
It is how to utilize the data, how to apply to boundary and engineering projects that most affect us in our daily lives and this professional ability has not really changed since the times of George Washington and the Erie Canal. How to get the job done.
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm
I believe as in many other professions that it is up to the ethics of the licensee to practice in the fields that he or she is proficient in. I agree with a previous post that the last thing we need is more government intervention. We already have too many regulations that have been enacted by virtue of the “precautionary principle” or “what if” scenario.
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm
Basically what I am researching is wether or not surveying is ready to declare areas of proficiency like the PE’s do. An Arizona seal for a Professional Engineer says “Professional Engineer (civil)” is the LS ready for Land Surveyor (boundary); Land Surveyor (GIS), Land Surveyor (mapping), Land Surveyor (construction), ect.
I am not researching seperate licences; just the feasibility of adding areas of proficiency under the existing registration.
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm
Mathematical Fields are constant with the exception of statistics.
There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics. – Twain or Clements
I use Least Squares quite often, but I don’t fully trust the statistical component. My undergraduate is in Theoretical Mathematics, I can safely have such concerns.
As far as the licensing question, we need to include some of these GIS fields. http://www.malsce.org/malsce/file/Summer%202011%20MALSCE%20Surveyor.pdf
See page 4 for an article on the missing public protection due to the misuse of GIS. The general public expects the GIS to be accurate and as we all know, the bulk of the information is questionable at best.
We really need Masters and PhD programs made available for our profession to truly rise. I’m looking to get my masters and I’ll be turning to GIS as I cannot find a PLS program online or nearby.
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 7:56 pm
Cal State Fresno has a masters program in Surveying/Geomatics via distance learning, maybe that helps.
There are very few bachelors programs, hardly any masters programs, and basically no PhD programs for surveying or geomatics in North America (Maybe UNB? Calgary?) So to set up new bachelors programs, you need a faculty. Only place you’ll get them is from overseas. Takes funding, too. Most “institutes of higher learning” are looking at the bottom line, and there is no demand for surveying. The few schools that already teach it appear to have it covered, and have to fight for their funding, too.
There just isn’t enough demand to make it work. Easy to say “ought to be” but we need to examine “why it ain’t”!
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm
More power to you Dan!:good:
1. education/training (traditional/OJT)
2. decision making experience
3. examination and references
To be entitled to practice any craft/trade/profession, to the exclusion of others, each person should have some combination of all of the above three items.
in All areas of practice, a minimal competence should be cleary shown thru the examination and reference filtering.
To do less would not protect the public.
the devil is in the details 😉
ok, got that out… carry on.
BTW: I found the reciprocity exam in AZ to be way too superficial, and found the controlling statutes rather vague.
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm
Dan, you’d get my vote for including a “construction surveyor” discipline under PLS. That would be the only deviation I’d consider practical. That could encompass all the machine control, non-boundary site control, topographic surveys, obviously staking, with tolerances similar to what is out there now. Plus a lot more. I’ll add that with the rapid technological advances, I’d be inclined to make us potentially grandfathered geezers take the test if it ever became a reality. Which is doubtfull, at best.
I almost think GIS should be a separate profession and licensing would include all the mapping, database preparation, maybe photogrammetry. Plus a lot more.
Regardless, I feel a 4 yr degree should be required for any professional license.
Whose job is it to protect the public? The public? The legislators? The registrants doing the actual work? Somebody has to be in charge and right now we’re all just chasing money, so I don’t envision much happening for a while.
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 10:26 pm
I am licensed as both a P.E. and an L.S. I tend to support the idea of the actual licensure process being one that confirms you are a “general term” rather than a “specific term”. For example, I have experience in civil, mechanical, chemical, industrial, agricultural and structural engineering. I could ethically submit an offer to perform such work within the realm of my training and experience. Meanwhile, if my license lists only one of those categories, it would be necessary to overcome bias that would tend to steer the potential client to only applicants with “special term” on their license. It should not be necessary for me to have all six of those categories identified on my license.
A while back you may have seen a thread I started on possibly splitting the L.S. into two categories—boundary or construction— and requiring education directly pertaining to the uniquesness of each. That idea went over like a turd in a punch bowl.
- MemberJanuary 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm
The State specific exams should only contain State specific legal questions. Otherwise, there’s no need for the differing license in each State. Math, computers, physics, etc. don’t change when you step over the State line.
The general areas of practice need to be covered under the Nationwide exams.
Surveyors might be better off as just another afternoon exam option under the PE license, coupled with the State specific legal exams.
- MemberJanuary 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm
Thank you for the comments. I will take this data and put it to good use.
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