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Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

  • 1.  Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 05-11-2021 10:31 AM

    After just receiving the noted message below, I thought others might be interested.

    Stay Healthy!     Cheers, Bill

    <>==========================================<>

    The Problem With One-Size-Fits-All 'Universal Licensing'[1]

    Making it easier for professionals to practice across state lines is appealing,

    but if it isn't done right, it can  endanger the public's health and safety.

    Professions like architecture, certified public accounting, engineering, landscape architecture and surveying require rigorous and ongoing education, examination and experience. Universal licensing could undermine the trust and confidence needed for successful interstate practice.

     

    [1] https://www.governing.com/now/the-problem-with-one-size-fits-all-universal-licensing



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 05-13-2021 03:43 PM

    Bill, in my opinion this question is long overdue. We have discussed some aspects of it in previous discussions under different contexts. Contrary to some of the problems highlighted in the referred article – in my judgment engineering licenses should be free from unnecessary layers of bureaucracy associated with multiple jurisdictions within a country.

    Here are my some of thoughts on this:

    • For many reasons, regulation is necessary – but multiple jurisdictional control amounts to nothing but over-regulation. Such a system – to say the least, inhibits one's effort to acquire diverse experience and professional mobility. In the crux of over-regulation – the importance of engineering innovation and excellence is shadowed – and controlled by law practitioners. I came across a paper quite a while ago – attached it for interested engineers. The paper says that progress is being made to foster jurisdictional mobility – in which a Model Law Engineer gets Expedited Comity enabling him or her to have relatively easy pass across boundaries.
    • If one goes through different jurisdictional documents – it is interesting to note that they differ rather marginally. Of course, there are different wordings and some local issues – but in essence they are just copies of one another. Perhaps it makes sense then, that a national body (there are many such bodies in a country) is given the responsibility to administer the licensure. The only thing, the local jurisdictions have to do then – is to develop their own administrative check-list within the umbrella of the national document.

    -----

    Dilip

    Website

    ORCID ID

    Google Scholar



    ------------------------------
    Dr. Dilip Barua, Ph.D, P.Eng, M. ASCE
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 05-13-2021 05:39 PM

    I'm curious if anyone sees a realistic pathway for achieving universal licensing? I see a lot of value in universal licensing but do not think there's a sufficient value proposition in the concept to overcome the status quo.

    I also want  to point out to the community that there was a very spirited discussion on the need for licensure back in 2019. See UNLICENSED ENGINEERS WORKING FOR LICENSURE EXEMPTION ORGANIZATIONS for more information.



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    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
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  • 4.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 05-14-2021 09:02 AM
    You can always choose a way to frame a question to make something look bad. "One Size Fits All" has very cheap and negative connotations and probably isn't an accurate description of the way licensing is or the way it should be. I have always seen licensing as "Minimum Qualifications" for practicing as an Engineer. If you pass the exam, you have the basic knowledge to legally practice. It doesn't necessarily mean that you know everything and can stop learning. Professional societies like ASCE, APWA, and NSPE drill into their members heads that you need to keep learning. The requirement for continuing education credits every year helps to maintain that need to know more.

    I was under the impression that NCEES creates the exams for all states. Which means the standards are pretty much the same.

    Do you want to cringe? Read this thread:

    https://engineerboards.com/threads/easiest-state-to-pass-pe-exam-in.13210/

    ------------------------------
    Yance Marti P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer IV
    City of Milwaukee
    Milwaukee WI
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 05-17-2021 12:02 PM
    Licensing of Professions is a states rights issue.  Many engineers only practice in one state.  Universal licensing mostly benefit large multi-state firms.
    Don Lee, Structural Engineer

    ------------------------------
    Donald Lee M.ASCE
    Struct Engr
    Don Lee Engineering
    Lakewood CA
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 05-24-2021 09:28 AM
    Bill,

    Unique aspects of engineering, specific to location/geography/states suggests to me that a state should maintain control over licensure and that a universal license or easier comity is not entirely consistent with protection of the public.  As stated by others, California & earthquakes are the example that stands out.  Other jurisdictions could also make a point to note earthquake/seismic unique aspects.  Just here in IN (Indiana), seismic issues in far southwest IN are considerably more an issue than most of the state, especially compared to me in the northeast of the state.  Also, snow loads are much different, parts of northwest IN and southwest MI have such unique snow loads from the "lake effect".  Lake Michigan in this situation but I am sure much the same issue around you in Buffalo, NY.   Additionally, I live near the continental divide, the much less north-south continental divide where part of my hometown drains to the great lakes and another part eventually to the Mississippi River.   Water & sewer issues of taking from one basin and putting in (draining) to another basin has significance wider than just a local project.  Regardless,  F = m a  &  Q = V A in all these locations.

    I also have a PS (professional surveyor) license.  The unique local aspects of property issues & history really impact the practice of land surveying a great deal.  Some surveyors limit their practice to certain communities and counties due to familiarity these local matters.  A fair amount of surveying can be done as plane surveying.  The grid & ground distances and t - T corrections are negligible in such instances.  That is not always the case and different geographic locations certainly matter a great deal to such matters.

    The IN  PE Board had the following issue just last week, a licensed PE in another state (who also stated has an SE (structural engineer license), petitions for a PE in Indiana.  The issue was this person never took the FE exam many years ago.  The FE was waived in other states due to this person's other accomplishments, which include a PhD.  The IN PE Board voted to not waive the FE requirement and as such the person does not get an IN PE by comity.  The IN PE Board had no choice because both the IN statutes (laws passed by legislature) and existing board rules do not allow the Board to waive the requirement of having passed the FE.  The person still has an option to take the FE and then can obtain a PE in IN by comity. Over-regulation or protecting the public?   I welcome opinions of others.  Is IN "better protected" due to this person in Illinois who has both a PE & SE there along with substantial experience finally taking & passing the FE exam?   IN WY (Wyoming), a PE can be obtained by oral interview, exempt from both FE & PE, if someone has a PhD [from an institution that grants EAC ABET degrees].  From what I have heard, one reason this was done in WY was to make it easier for faculty to obtain a PE and by extension then shows the value of licensure to students.  In some jurisdictions, having a bachelor degree from a foreign institution is an insurmountable barrier just to be admitted to take the FE exam (& thus to eventually get a PE) regardless of other education or experience, so it is said.  I do not know which jurisdictions have such requirements.  In both states where I have a PE, in IN & next door in OH (Ohio), about 18 miles from where I sit, there are established processes for licensure that differ outside of what I would refer to as a path of least resistance, which is an EAC ABET BS engineering degree, basically the NCEES Model Law Engineer.  Unknown to me when I was in college, EAC ABET accreditation for the degree I earned serves me well across jurisdictions and for Model Law Engineer designation.

    I started teaching at a regional Purdue campus in engineering technology many years ago, associate and bachelor degrees accredited by ETAC ABET (then TAC).  IN PE Board does not permit graduates with any of those degrees to be admitted to the FE.  This same IN PE Board previously did permit that before around 1990.  Some PEs in this area have the ETAC ABET degree from the local Purdue regional campus, done prior to 1990.  Since that time, someone with those degrees has not been permitted to take the FE in IN.  That is unless additional math & science is taken beyond the degree earned.  The OH PE Board accepts the ETAC ABET degree (from Purdue and other locations) with additional work experience requirements to be admitted to the FE.

    Is Ohio less protected and is Indiana better protected by a requirement to just to be admitted to the FE?

    Universal Licensure contributes further to commoditization of the profession.  Additionally, responsible charge becomes less responsible, less of a protection to the public, when licensing across jurisdictions is perfunctory.  A call around a BIG office, "who has a PE in X state ...." to place on the set of plans when such is needed rather than the person doing & directing the engineering work having a valid license to practice in the jurisdiction where the work is done/is being done.



    Cheers,  dpd


    ------------------------------
    David Devine P.E., L.S., M.ASCE
    Fort Wayne IN
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 05-24-2021 09:24 AM
    This is going to sound irrelevant, but stick with me; it's not.

    There is a universal college application.  For schools that "need" more, they can add supplemental applications with additional essays for requirements for additional test scores.  That's a model that I think could work for us.

    Building off the NCEES master record or something equivalent, states could add supplemental requirements that were necessary:  coastal states for tidal issues and saltwater corrosion, California for earthquakes, Alaska for permafrost issues, small supplemental exams for funky regulations, etc.  However, if licensed professional engineers had no disciplinary actions against them for X years, there would be no other barriers.  PDH requirements could be handled the same way:  some universal fulfillment, some state-specific fulfillment.  I think that it's a potentially healthy intersection between self-regulation of the profession and each state's interests.

    Rebecca A. Bowman, Esq., P.E.
    McMurray, PA

    ------------------------------
    Rebecca Bowman P.E., M.ASCE
    Sole proprietor
    Rebecca A. Bowman, Esq., P.E.
    Mc Murray PA
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-07-2021 04:39 PM
    This is a very relevant discussion for engineers today.  You may be aware that ASCE has been doing a lot of work in this area and monitoring progress.  Here is a little more information that might be worth reviewing and/or commenting on.  The recent publication by ARPL on mobility might be of interest to you (see below.)

    ASCE has been closely tracking legislation related to universal licensing over the past several years and does maintain a suite of policies related to the professional licensure of engineers.  Universal licensing legislation is a key reason why ASCE is a founding member of the Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing (ARPL). ARPL was established to promote a responsible, balanced approach to professional licensing. The coalition aims to educate policymakers and the public on the importance of high standards, rigorous education, and extensive experience within highly complex, technical professions, like engineering, which are relied upon to protect public safety and enhance public trust. The coalition also looks to offer best practices and solutions drawn from experience to serve as models that work for the public and members of a given profession.

     

    With this in mind, ARPL advocates for licensing practices within professions that deliver uniform qualifications, standards, safety, and consistency, while also providing individuals with a clear career path and fair opportunities to pursue and maintain that career. As a part of these efforts, ARPL developed Licensed to Move: A Guide to Interstate Practice, which was published late last year. The report provides guiding principles for licensure mobility and illustrates why the drive for universality through a one-size-fits-all approach does not work for highly technical professions like engineering.



    ------------------------------
    Matthew Swenty Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE
    Associate Professor
    Lexington VA
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  • 9.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-07-2021 08:43 PM
    This discussion started with a somewhat ambiguous question as the value or lack thereof of universal licensing. There's been a lot of discussion and mention of qualifications. One of the insightful points from the 2019 discussion was the pointing out the obvious - that the requirements for licensure are a floor and not a celling. I'm all for requirements and recognize that certain regions have unique engineering issues, but also pragmatism. As I've stated before I think the most important part of being a PE is the ethical obligation it entails, e.g., you don't work outside your area of competence. The cynical side of me says that blockers and obstacles in the way of simplification and standardization are simply there to ensure job security.

    ------------------------------
    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
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  • 10.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-08-2021 02:22 PM

    Dudley McFadden, 6/2, also Donald Lee, 5/18, both are right on target with their comments.
    National licensing cannot work. Licensing is a legal issue. It is not about permafrost, nor tidal pools, nor structural engineering, nor electricity, nor engineering discipline, nor education, etc., etc., etc.
    The practice of engineering is a privilege granted by the government. We are the United States of America. The U.S. Constitution does not provide for federal regulation of engineering. That is left to the individual states.
    Much of this discussion indicates a need for stronger education in civics and history for engineers.


    ------------------------------
    Michael Mills P.E., S.E., M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Tulsa OK
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-01-2021 12:28 PM
    Overseeing licensing in each US state and territory is a board of directors, or engineers and land surveyors, and so forth.  A board politically appointed by the territorial or state governor.  If the US constitution were amended to empower the federal government to regulate engineering, the US president would need to appoint a board, likely of his/her cronies.  Congress would grant them rulemaking and enforcement authority.  The way the political winds are blowing now, a uniformed corps of federal agents would be dispatched to every construction site and engineering firm office suspected of impropriety. After all, no price is too high to ensure human life safety.

    Hmm, no thank you!

    ------------------------------
    Dudley McFadden P.E., D.WRE, M.ASCE
    Principal Civil Engineer
    Roseville CA
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-14-2021 09:13 AM
    Interesting article in Wilmington NC Star News yesterday, 6-13-21, front page.  Wilmington degreed, but never licensed retired engineer, (worked under industrial exemption), testified in a court case about some storm drain piping issues.  Clearly stated he was not and never had been a P.E.  Opposing counsel claimed his testimony was illegal, and the degreed engineer was reported to the NC Licensing Board, who concurred with that decision.  The degreed engineer is now suing over First Amendment Free Speech Rights.  Should be interesting.

    I know the man from church and our sons were in scouts together many years ago, so it did pique my interest.

    On another front, it is interesting that in North Carolina, for coastal CAMA permitting, PE's regularly submit permit applications.  But if project or portion of project is rejected and a Variance is requested, a P.E. can not argue for the Variance, even if he or she does all of the engineering analysis and permitting applications.  It is against the law for an engineer to present, as the State Legal Board has ruled that Variances are a matter of Law, not Engineering.

    So how would both of those instances work with Universal Licensing.  Do those become Federal Crimes?  Just a thought.

    ------------------------------
    Bruce Marek P.E., M.ASCE
    Owner
    Marek Yacht & Design
    Wilmington NC
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-14-2021 12:08 PM
    But is a person with a degree in psychology, who say works for a government agency not requiring state licenses, get called or titled as a "psychologist".  Likewise on your federal taxes, our employment category is broadly listed as "engineering", without the more specific category of "professional engineer".
    Note: i have four P.E. Discipline Licenses: Civil, the old Structural I, Ship Design Engineering (Now Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and Mechanical.  And have had 37 state plus Washington DC P.E. Licenses, so I can pretty much say that I have acted within my areas of expertise and per state regulations. And from experience know that if you really need to have a need for a Universal License, that also means that without an available Universal License, your option is to go out an get all 50 states, mainly through reciprocity/comity and with your NCEES Record (in the 90's this was a brutal process opf form filling prior to the NCEES records program).  And most likely you will find states that you really don't have a need to have a license in.  Probably best example for a need for multiple licenses was as a n Engineered Wood Products (Think I-Joists & LVL's/GluLam Beams, being the manufacturer's engineer to decide on  when/how to repair a beam or joist with a non standard size hole.  Sending out a repair drawing requires that  state's seal.

    ------------------------------
    Bruce Marek P.E., M.ASCE
    Owner
    Marek Yacht & Design
    Wilmington NC
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 05-18-2021 06:15 PM

    Being a sample of one (1), in my professional engineering licensing since about 1971 or so,
    the only P.E. license that I had sought, and completed that state's exams for, granted my first P.E. license.
    I was so very proud, I framed it and hung it right in front of my office desk[1] on a column next to my work area.


    At the time, only partners were "allowed" to do such things. "Yes," I know, save your comments.

    Since that time, I was granted P.E. licenses across at least 6 or 7 other states by requesting comity. Each was granted without any additional work on my part.

    If a state had requirements or wanted more information, they simply may ask.

    For example, I learned that the State of California required an additional exam related to engineering knowledge of earthquakes.

    Q. What's wrong with just continuing that system?

    [1] To be clear, at that time only partners could wear a suit jacket and had real desks. All the rest of the senior PMs had the traditional "Green Top"  drafting tables. This is by no means a complaint, just a historical fact of how executive mgt. thought at the time. Now many of our offices have policies for face jewelry. And "Yes," I am like so dated!



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 05-24-2021 10:25 AM
    Thanks to a 1996-1999 stint as an engineered wood products engineer, I once was licensed in 35 states plus DC.  And some of that was before the NCEES Records and before the model law commonalities.  I am now down in my sort of retirement to 10+DC.  Unless you really have a purpose to have many or all 50 states, then the current state by state licensing with comity/reciprocity is still best.  And of course, you have to watch out for the higher structural licensing requirements in California, Illinois, Nevada, Washington and I think Hawaii.  California Civil also has a surveying test section. I have Civil P.E & the old Structural I P.E.  Did me fine for wood, mostly repairs and hurricane engineering east of the Mississippi.  But my former Illinois Civil P.E. wouldn't let me even seal/sign a repair for a garage.  I still basically maintain my licenses along the eastern seaboard,  with NC being my home state.  Maryland requires an extra seal note/certification (as did Minnesota). Florida not only requires Rules and Laws pdh's every renewal cycle, if you do building permit related engineering, you have to have pdh's every time the Building Code updates.  I would say that 99% of Engineers don't need a national license.  And for the Safety, Health and Welfare in a given state, each state might have special emphasis.  Florida and NC have Hurricanes.  NC Bldg Code was one of the first that had a section on docks, piers, wharfs and waterway structures.  Do you make a national license that truly covers all of the structural intricacies, that only a California or Illinois SE can qualify for, and may never need to have more than their own state or a handful of others?  Or do you make a National P.E. tha is basic Civil, but does meet the California or Illinois Codes.  (From what I understand, Illinois SE existed before Illinois P.E., and CA only licenses in Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and SE.  The real issue in my mind is not National Licensing; its the term "Engineer".  Again, most engineers are probably fine with their home state and a few surrounding states.  It is only when you start doing things outside your region, that all of a sudden you have to worry about if you are overstepping some state definition of an "Engineer" needing to be duly licensed in that state.  Its awkward as professional adults to have to qualify that yes we are an engineer, but no we are not an engineer if we are in California, or Nevada, Or Illinois, etc.  Architects have their AIA.  We have our limitations.  P.E.'s should, by definition of their state licensing, understand the limits of their licensing and experience and fields (I also have P.E. Discipline Licenses in Naval Architecture and in Mechanical Engineering.)  It should be okay to not have to qualify who or what an Engineer is.  I liked a Michael Lindburgh statement from PPI License prep on oone of his old cassette courses.  He stated we are engineers, just not yet Professional Engineers.  What is wrong with just someone with a degree in engineering doing engineering being an "engineer" without it being misconstrued as them trying to sneakily indicate that they are Professional Engineers.  Ding them if they say P.E. if they are not, but I think it benefits all engineers if we don't always try to squash the contributions of non-licensed engineers.  Airplanes and automobiles have a lot of engineering, and medical devices (I wear an insulin pump with continuous blood glucose monitoring).  We trust those, and don't require P.E. Licenses for that.  So as my career winds down, and I wouldn't change it, keep the state licensing requirements, loosen up how/who can be called an engineer, and  enjoy where engineering can take you.

    ------------------------------
    Bruce Marek P.E., M.ASCE
    Owner
    Marek Yacht & Design
    Wilmington NC
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 05-25-2021 11:41 AM
    David, I would venture to guess that your last assertion is backwards. If transferring a PE were more straightforward, isn't it more likely that the engineer in charge would have or obtain the correct license needed? When it's a huge hassle I think it's more likely that plans are sealed by someone else who wasn't involved until the projected was ready so sign.
    I like the suggestion elsewhere in this thread to make it more like the common application to colleges where the base is the same but additional items (like the seismic exam) could still be added. My state allows our initial application to be through the NCEES Record, and I think that makes complete sense. Do we really think that aside from some highly specific differences (again, like seismic) that we really have a bunch of licensed engineers in our county that if they crossed the nearest border would suddenly be a danger to the public?
    I'm all for authority to govern staying with the state boards, but I do think a more unified application process to streamline licensure makes sense. I can't think of a reason that you shouldn't be able to apply in multiple states at once with a common application. In places like Kansas City, the state line crosses through the metro area. It would make sense to be able to get both Missouri and Kansas licenses with the same application.

    ------------------------------
    Heidi C. Wallace, P.E., M.ASCE
    Tulsa, OK
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 05-27-2021 12:55 PM
    Hi Dave,
    As usual, you are right on!

    Please consider turning your notes into a brief article for an NSPE pub.

    Stay Healthy!
    Cheers,
    Bill

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 05-25-2021 11:29 AM
    I think this makes complete sense, especially since I'm sure if you laid out the state-by-state requirements, the majority are already duplicated. I'd venture to say that some of the differences that would currently allow someone to be a PE in one state but not another probably don't have much impact on the safety and welfare of the public; they're just a minor difference in the way their regulations were written.

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    Heidi C. Wallace, P.E., M.ASCE
    Tulsa, OK
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-08-2021 07:22 PM

    Dr. Walesh has recently published a book that would be relevant to this conversation. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Engineerings-Public-Protection-Predicament-Education-Licensure-ebook/dp/B08ZKPJ8YS

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Bill


    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-08-2021 03:43 PM
    • It is interesting to note how the definition of an Engineer has evolved over time, and still is evolving (or at least the talk of it). It is healthy, because it shows that the profession is not static – but alive with its dynamism.
    • It all started in 1907 in Wyoming – the sparely populated 10th largest state of USA – when project failures were noted that were implemented by people claiming to be Engineers. As the definition a minimum of Bachelors Degree in Engineering was set as the threshold – and a certain length of experience, to get a license to work in the state as Professional Engineer. Despite this experience of Wyoming, it is also worthwhile to note that there were also many marvels of Civil Engineering across the globe – prior to any talk of licensing.
    • From then onward – all states copied Wyoming – with continuous evolution and adaptation refining the requirements further in search for establishing Commonalities. Thus the requirements of Education, Examination (Ethics and Technical Competence), and Experience were established. Technical competence examination is kind of superfluous – because it has the aura of overriding the degree one acquires from an accredited institution.
    • As with the dynamic nature of things – the necessity of Comity and Mobility was felt and implemented in a limited scale for eligible Engineers. Now the necessity of Universal Engineering Licensure (UEL) is being felt – to consolidate the achievements of Comity and Mobility further. As a parallel, one can think of it, like a Driving License. Once upon a time it was strictly restricted – now licensing is cast into shape to drive across boundaries – across countries around the world.
    • That brings us to realize that there are as many countries that do not require licensing (in the definition as understood in USA; in such countries a minimum of Bachelors Degree in Engineering from an accredited institution and a certain length of successful experience is considered adequate for membership in a Engineering Professional Org) as there are that require licensing. But those that require licensing – that is no uniformity – some have state/province controls, others are administered by the central government. Note that the Engineers using their licensure as a title – do not need to refer to the state where the licensure is issued. For example, a PE in Florida or Washington does not have to write PE (FL) or PE (WA) – and so on.
    • There is another aspect to Licensure. It is the role of Liability Insurance Companies. Among others (less or no claims) – the more an Engineering Firm has licensed Engineers with long length of experience and of advanced degrees – the more it has the leverage to negotiate for less premiums. Therefore it can be speculated that the more a Firm has UEL Engineers, the more leverage it would be able to apply to lower insurance costs. What about the Multinational Wealthy Engineering Firms - how much do they care?

    -----

    Dilip

    Website

    ORCID ID

    Google Scholar



    ------------------------------
    Dr. Dilip Barua, Ph.D, P.Eng, M. ASCE
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-08-2021 05:55 PM
    I'm not sure the Constitutional argument works here.  There are many things regulated by the Federal government based the courts interpretation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that federal standards for engineering could be implemented.  Engineering design standards for state DOTs and DNRs, for example, are impacted by federal regulation.   And specifically, the federal government regulates how states can give out driver's licenses.  And, as someone has already mentioned, state drivers licenses are accepted in other states.   So I don't think this discussion should be dismissed due to the implication that participants lack education in civics or history.



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    Timothy Murphy P.E., M.ASCE
    Professor
    Trine University
    Angola IN
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  • 22.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-08-2021 05:02 PM
    I appreciate your comparison to a driver's license. I hadn't previously put much thought into the fact that drivers licenses are still regulated and issued by the states, but they are accepted across regulatory boundaries.

    If universal acceptance of engineering licenses within the US were allowed, I think there would still be room for states like California to require someone with the seismic certification to sign structural plans, etc. when it impacts public safety and is a regional concern.

    ------------------------------
    Heidi C. Wallace, P.E., M.ASCE
    Tulsa, OK
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-09-2021 09:04 AM
    Mr. Murphy:
    The basis for my comment is the 10th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  To elaborate:
    -----
    States' rights are grounded in the United States Constitution under the 10th Amendment.  The 10th Amendment states that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
    -----
    This is taken from an article which can be found at: https://constitution.laws.com/states-rights
    And of course, the article is titled "States Rights".

    The beauty of our Constitution is that it limits the powers of the Federal Government.  The Founding Fathers knew that an all powerful government was a danger to the liberty of people.  Even today, you can visit the countries of Europe and elsewhere and see that history which influenced our Founders.

    Continuing, state driver's licenses are only temporarily accepted for visitors.  Most states include clauses in their laws that limit the time that a visitor can avoid residency, after which residency must be acknowledged, i.e. get an in-state driver's license.  And yes, this is an example of states' rights, and probably influenced by the commerce clause of the Constitution.




    ------------------------------
    Michael Mills P.E., S.E., M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Tulsa OK
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-09-2021 09:03 AM
    My studies indicate that, because of Article I of the Constitution, the federal government could override state engineering licensure-exemption laws to protect the public. For example, as explained in Appendix I of my book, the FAA could mandate that aircraft design in any state be carried out under the guidance of and with engineering approved by accountable and competent engineers whose paramount responsibility is public protection.

    Stu Walesh

    ------------------------------
    Stu Walesh PhD, PE
    Consultant - Teacher - Author
    219-242-1704
    www.HelpingYouEngineerYour
    Future.com
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-09-2021 03:27 PM

    Given the prior opinions and discussions with competing perspectives, I thought some might be interested in the potential for a discussion "Touchstone." The following brief outline is offered for your consideration, with most points taken from a 1932 text on "Ethics" by John Dewey and James H. Tufts.

    A suggestion:

    The points are arranged as a list of sorts intended to be read, thought about, and then perhaps revisited after a few days or so. Our spontaneous reactions might not have the depth of thought our subject deserves. After all, the foundational elements of what follows are from some 92 years ago.

    ETHICS:

    1. The basic plan remains the same; perspectives and settings have changed.
    2. Ideas and experiences are not substitutes for facts.
    3. Problems and experience lead to the development of a hypothesis, which then allows testing of sorts to arrive at legitimate theories.
    4. To study choice and purpose is psychology; to study choice as affected by the rights of others and judge right or wrong by these criteria is ethics.
    5. To study a corporation may be economics, sociology or law; to study its activities resulting from the purposes of persons or affecting the welfare of persons, and to judge its acts as good or bad from this point-of-view is ethics.
    6. We can not assume our own morality is the only type that needs to be considered.

    Stay Healthy!

    Cheers,

    Bill

     

     

     



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-12-2021 11:32 AM
    I understand your opinion about this is based on your own interpretation of the Constitution.   My point is that the Courts have already interpreted the Constitution more broadly than you would like, which could theoretically allow for some federal oversight on engineering licensing.   So I don't think this topic should be dismissed based on a perceived lack of knowledge of history or civics.

    ------------------------------
    Timothy Murphy P.E., M.ASCE
    Professor
    Trine University
    Angola IN
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-13-2021 10:51 AM
    As noted earlier in this series of messages, I concur with Professor Murphy that the Constitution "could theoretically allow for some federal oversight on engineering licensing."
     
    My principal source is Paul Spinden, Professor of Law, Liberty University. He teaches Administrative Law, which is a subspecies of Constitutional Law and is the law governing the authority of federal and state agencies, such as the FAA.
     
    The logic for the conclusion about a federal role in engineering licensure is presented my book ( Engineering's Public-Protection Predicament, https://www.amazon.com/Books-Stuart-G-Walesh/s?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3AStuart+G.+Walesh ).
     
    More specifically, see the book's Appendix I, which is titled "Can the FAA Override a State's Engineering Licensure-Exemption Law?"
     
     

    Stuart G. Walesh, Ph.D., P.E.
    Consultant - Teacher - Author
    Tel: 219-464-1704
    Cell: 219-242-1704
    Website: www.HelpingYouEngineerYourFuture.com
    www.linkedin.com/in/stuwalesh






  • 28.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-16-2021 09:09 AM
    Mr. Murphy:
    My post is less about opinion and more about what the Constitution says.  But, I will defer to what the Supreme Court Justice once said:
    Rehnquist was not "eloquent." His particular gift was not
    to make phrases, but to make sense.
    He began typically, "Our analysis begins with the language of the statute. ...
    We must give words their ordinary meaning."
    William Rehnquist ~ Chief Justice, Supreme Court


    ------------------------------
    Michael Mills P.E., S.E., M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Tulsa OK
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-14-2021 11:18 AM
    A couple of years ago a bill was introduced in Indiana that stated:

    "An individual who engages in an occupation under this chapter is not required by a state agency or local unit of government to comply with any experience, examination, education, or continuing education requirements or pay any registration fees."  "If an individual is required to have an occupational license to practice an occupation, the individual may practice the occupation without an occupational license if the individual provides a signed disclosure with the consumer before entering into a contract."

    It died in committee, but clearly, there are legislators who think this is a good idea.


    ------------------------------
    Timothy Murphy P.E., M.ASCE
    Professor
    Trine University
    Angola IN
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-14-2021 11:19 AM

    The degreed engineer is now suing over First Amendment Free Speech Rights
    Bruce Marek,  06-14-2021 08:33 AM
      It is against the law for an engineer to present, as the State Legal Board has ruled that Variances are a matter of Law, not Engineering.
    Bruce Marek,  06-14-2021 08:33 AM
    As well, someone with "a degree" in psychology had better not represent him/herself as a psychologist!

    Indeed this entire issue is the purview of the legal profession.  While making our views known we would be wise to remember that licensing itself has nothing whatsoever to do with Engineering.  Viewed by society at large, the question Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing? does not have an engineering solution.  We're part of the technocracy and we are not in charge.

    ------------------------------
    Dudley McFadden P.E., D.WRE, M.ASCE
    Principal Civil Engineer
    Roseville CA
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-15-2021 10:01 AM
    I am a registered engineer but not in Rhode Island where I was once hired as an expert witness for a RI wastewater utility. The defendant filed a petition to disallow me as an expert witness in the case because I was not registered in RI. This petition was quickly thrown out due to the following RI Supreme Court precedent:

    The Rhode Island Supreme Court recently held in Owens v. Payless Cashways, Inc., et al, 670 A.2d 1240 (R.I. 1996) that the lack of an engineering license was not a bar to accepting a person as an expert witness.

    The Supreme Court opined in their decision;

     

    'If we were to adopt defendants' contention made on oral argument, we would in effect preclude expert testimony from, for example, Archimedes himself, the Greek mathematician, physicist, and inventor -- credited with the discovery of the principle of the lever -- had he come to testify in our courts without first obtaining his license to practice engineering in Rhode Island. Wernher von Braun, the father of our national space program, absent a Rhode Island license, would also fall into that category of ineligibility. We do not believe that our Legislature intended that persons of great learning in the engineering field should be barred from testifying in our courts, and assisting the triers of fact, merely because they have not been licensed here in their respective fields of expertise.'"

     

    WOLF v. STATE, C.A. No. 94-1607, 1996 R.I. Super. LEXIS 149, at *12-14 (Super. Ct. June 12, 1996)

     

     



    ------------------------------
    Bevin Beaudet P.E., M.ASCE
    President/Owner
    Bevin A. Beaudet, P.E., LLC.
    Bethlehem PA
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: Q. Might there be problems with "One-Size-Fits-All" Universal Licensing?

    Posted 06-15-2021 08:04 AM
    Mr. McFadden:
    You state the issue well.  It is for reasons that you cite that a person wants to have the minimal government over them.  At the state level, we are more likely to have a say in an issue than if the same were regulated at the federal level.
    People should be careful what the wish for, they might get it.

    ------------------------------
    Michael Mills P.E., S.E., M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Tulsa OK
    ------------------------------