By Design

Fall 2012  

Message From the Executive Director

Pam EdwardsSummer has come and gone and brought good things to the Division. We are very pleased to announce that we have brought a new Assistant Executive Director, Mike Miller, and a full-time investigator on board. Mike will concentrate on compliance and enforcement, including complaints and audits.

This presents a perfect segue into providing an update on the implementation of Continuing Professional Competency for professional engineers. As reported in the last issue of By Design, the planned changes have been made to the online renewal screens. Paper renewal forms have been revised, as well. Be prepared to enter the number of Professional Development Hours you have earned in each category. Five percent of renewing licensees will be selected for audit. One hundred percent of engineers applying for reinstatement are subject to audit. If you get audited, please fill out the reporting form and send it along with your certificates, etc.

The retired status license has proven to be a popular option for professional engineers. Approximately 70 licenses have been issued since implementation. On a related note, the Board has proposed a fee of $168 to reactivate to active status from retired status.

The examination application for a professional land surveyor license has been updated and is now available online in a downloadable Word format. The reciprocity application will be available shortly.

Finally, you'll soon see a new tab on your Board's webpage----PROPOSED REGULATIONS. This tab will provide a link to any amendments or new regulations proposed by the Board. This improvement is a result of legislation passed last year.

Feel free to contact the office if you have any questions.



NCEES Holds 91st Annual Meeting

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis The 2012 annual meeting of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) was well-attended by our Maryland Boards for Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors. All professional members of the Engineers' Board and two members of the Surveyors' Board were in attendance in St. Louis, Missouri for the August meeting.

Two NCEES initiatives the Boards examined and voted on were NCEES's plan to expand their offering of computer-based exams to the PE and PS exams, and their intent to push for the elimination of industrial exemptions for licensure:

Computer-Based Testing

Since NCEES offers 25 different PE exams in 17 different engineering disciplines, they do not expect to complete the conversion until 2015 at the earliest. No set timetable was offered for converting the PS exam, but they anticipate that exam candidates will enjoy greater scheduling flexibility and more uniform testing conditions as each phase of the transition is completed. The conversion of the FE and FS exams were approved earlier at the 2010 annual meeting, so their conversion should be finished by January 2014.

Industrial Exemptions

NCEES member boards also approved an amendment to the NCEES Model Law to require responsible charge of a licensed engineer over the engineering design of buildings, structures, products, machines, processes, and systems that can affect public health, safety, and welfare. This new requirement is subject to implementation on the state level, so a task force has been appointed to study jurisdictions like Maryland that have provisions for industrial exemptions in their licensing statutes.
NCEES 2012-2013 Board of Directors
2012-13 NCEES Board of Directors Begin New Term
Howard (Skip) Harclerode II, P.E., Chair, Maryland Board for Professional Engineers Returns as Northeast Zone Vice President

Standing from Left: Von Hill, P.S., Howard (Skip) Harclerode II, P.E., Theodore Sack, P.L.S., Michael Conzett, P.E.
Seated from Left: Patty Mamola, P.E., Gene Dinkins, P.E., P.L.S., Dale Jans, P.E., David Widmer, P.L.S.



Read Carefully Before Signing an RPE or Character Reference Form
by Howard (Skip) Harclerode II, P.E., Chair, State Board for
Professional Engineers

There are distinct differences between unlicensed engineers and licensed professional engineers. One difference is that professional engineers are held to a higher standard of care and ethical practice by way of the Code of Ethics contained within the Regulations of Chapter 3, Subtitle 23 of Title 09 Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Regulation 07 of Chapter 3 Code of Ethics refers to the professional conduct of licensed professional engineers. Section D under this regulation states "A licensee may not assist the application for licensure of a person known by the licensee to be unqualified in respect to education, training, experience or character." Over the past several years, members of the Maryland State Board for Professional Engineers have reviewed a number of applications for licensure that involved questionable endorsements of work experience and character references by licensed professional engineers. When a professional engineer endorses an application for licensure, he or she must read the certification language for the Character Reference Form or the Endorser's Affidavit contained in Section 4 of the Report of Professional Experience (RPE) Form. In both cases, the professional engineer must certify that the information provided by the applicant on his or her RPEs is accurate and/or the applicant is of good character and repute.

Failure to read the language contained in either section of the application by the endorsing professional engineer, and merely signing his or her name to the application, is a definite breach of the Code of Ethics as stated in COMAR Board members rely on the accuracy and testament of the endorsing professional engineer in reviewing applications for licensure, and in almost all cases, accept the information attested to by the professional engineer without question. Therefore, it is imperative that the professional engineer precisely review the credentials and character of the applicant before certifying the information provided as accurate.
New Software Engineering Exam Offered

The first administration of NCEES's new PE Software Engineering exam is scheduled for April 2013. The organization has posted exam specifications on its website, and expects to have study materials posted before the end of this year.

Maryland exam candidates have been calling the Board with questions about the scope of practice of Software Engineering, and the body of knowledge that the new exam will encompass. At the recent 2012 NCEES annual meeting, it was stressed that the discipline relates to areas where software failure might lead to a significant risk to life, health or property. In cases where the health, safety or welfare of the public is concerned, the development of related software would fall under the definition of engineering and must be the responsibility of a licensed professional engineer.

The Board intends to publish a series of Q&As to help Maryland candidates decide if they should take the new exam, or if their education and experience is better suited for one of the other PE exams. The Q&As will be posted on the Board's website and will appear in By Design once they are developed.

Registration for the April exam will begin on December 17.
Industrial Exam Moved to Spring

NCEES has completed the final administration of its fall PE Industrial Exam. All future candidates will be taking the exam during the spring testing window each April. New exam specifications have been developed by NCEES along with the exam's sponsoring technical society, the Institute of Industrial Engineers. NCEES intends to publish updated study materials for the April exam soon.
certified interior design



NCIDQ Examination Undergoes Major Changes

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) has announced the phasing-in of computer-based testing for a large portion of the NCIDQ Examination. The switch to computer-based delivery will affect the multiple choice sections of the exam, Sections 1 and 2. NCIDQ does not plan to convert the remaining Section 3 Practicum----that section will continue to be administered in a paper-and-pencil format.

In order to facilitate the transition, NCIDQ has developed a flowchart for exam candidates to determine how they should proceed based on where they are in the process of taking the exam. It is important to note that both sections of the current multiple choice sections must be completed before the end of 2013, or all scores will be automatically voided and candidates will have to retake both multiple choice sections in the computer-based format. Applications for the upcoming spring exam are due by December 1, 2012. See NCIDQ's website to apply.
landscape architecture pic



Should Maryland Licensed Landscape Architects Use "PLA"?
by Christopher Schein, ASLA, Chair, State Board of Examiners of
Landscape Architects

Nationally, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has embarked on a mission to encourage all licensed Landscape Architects to use the post-nominal letters "PLA," which stands for "Professional Landscape Architect." This topic was discussed at The Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Board's (CLARB) annual meeting, where state regulating agencies from around the nation address the regulation of the profession. As Chair of the Maryland Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects, I felt it appropriate to address this issue as it relates to Maryland statutes and regulations.

The legal term for all licensed design professionals in the state of Maryland is the term "licensed," e.g., Licensed Landscape Architect. This also applies to architects, engineers and surveyors. Our state law does not assign any specific post-nominal letters that licensed landscape architects or other design professionals must use. Many states use PLA, RLA, LLA, or LA to signify licensure of landscape architects. According to the ASLA, the lack of a consistent post-nominal abbreviation makes it difficult for the general public to identify a licensed practitioner. In Maryland, many landscape architects have used the term RLA, for Registered Landscape Architect; and at one time, the State of Maryland rubber stamp included the term "Registered" Landscape Architect, which no longer appears on the seal. The "Registered" terminology is not assigned or required by our state law. This fact aligns with the general discussion at the CLARB Annual Meeting and with ASLA's position that there is currently no nationally uniform way for a licensed landscape architect to indicate that he or she is licensed.

ASLA states on its website that it is not its intention to ask each state to change its statute, but rather use PLA in the same way that Engineers use the term Professional Engineer, or P.E. This comparison also applies in the State of Maryland, as engineers in Maryland use P.E. to indicate licensure, although it is not required by their statute.

Some additional background on ASLA's initiative: Why PLA? To truly establish a designation that can be used universally, it is necessary to avoid words that have specific legal meanings, like the terms "registration" and "licensure." While these terms are often used interchangeably, in reality each has a distinct meaning in the realm of professional regulation. Like the P.E. designation for engineering, PLA can be used in any jurisdiction where a landscape architect is duly licensed. Most importantly, the use of PLA can raise the profile of landscape architecture by creating a universally recognized symbol for licensed landscape architects. The ASLA Licensure Committee chose PLA for two reasons: First, PLA does not conflict with the existing legal terminology (licensure and registration), thereby allowing for universal usage. States that use "registration" or "licensure" may not be comfortable with its licensees using the other term, making PLA a neutral designation that can apply to both terms. Second, PLA is consistent with existing post-nominal abbreviations for related disciplines, such as engineering (P.E.).

To conclude, the Maryland Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects has no intention to change our statute or regulations. However, we see no reason to discourage this ASLA request to use PLA. For a summary of ASLA's intent to use PLA, please see its website.



Becoming a Licensed Architect in Maryland: Setting the (IDP) Record Straight


When the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) established the practice of early eligibility for exam candidates in 2006, it significantly changed the timeline for Maryland applicants who are seeking licensure. Early eligibility meant that individuals who had already satisfied the education requirements could begin taking portions of the A.R.E. while they were still enrolled in the IDP, rather than waiting to complete it. But because of certain provisions present in State law, early eligibility created a unique set of circumstances for some applicants seeking Maryland licensure.

Maryland-Specific Conditions Regarding Early Eligibility

Most states require a candidate to have a NAAB-accredited architecture degree for examination and licensure. Therefore, a candidate who graduates with a NAAB-accredited architecture degree, and who enrolls in the IDP, qualifies for early eligibility and may begin taking the exam.  
Maryland, however, remains one of the last jurisdictions in the country that does not require a NAAB-accredited degree to qualify for licensure. Therefore, candidates with a non-NAAB accredited degree or no degree must "make up" the applicable education credits by having additional qualifying work experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I enroll in the IDP program before I finish the education requirement?
Often candidates without a NAAB-accredited degree in Architecture will enroll in the IDP before they have earned the additional education credits. As a result, the work experience used to document IDP often overlaps with the work experience needed for education equivalency. The candidate ends up having to complete IDP and work several more years before being eligible to take the exam. So while it is possible, it isn't the most efficient way to accrue the required hours.

Can my work experience for IDP also be counted toward my education equivalency credits?
No, the work experience used to document IDP may not be used towards the fulfillment of education credits.  

What if I have a surplus of IDP units/hours? Can it be used in my case?
In some cases, a candidate's IDP record shows an excess of units/hours needed to satisfy the IDP requirements, and also covers more than the three years usually needed to complete the IDP. The Board looks at these files on a case-by-case basis and may allow some of the years of experience documented in the IDP record toward education equivalency credits.  

For detailed instructions on how to fulfill the education, exam, experience and IDP requirements of becoming a licensed Maryland architect, please see the Board's website or call the Board's office at 410-230-6261. An overview of the application process can be found under the exams tab. There is also a table on page four of the Board's application for the A.R.E. that illustrates the equivalency matrix for academic training and work experience required for licensure. If you would like to submit your comments to the Board, please send them to Board of Architects, 500 N. Calvert Street, Room 308, Baltimore, MD  21202. 
Board Establishes Policy Easing Hardship Cases

At the May 2012 meeting of the State Board of Architects, an applicant for licensure appeared before the Board to inquire about an alternative means of providing proof of completion of the IDP. The Board had previously denied her application for reciprocity because it did not contain any verification of IDP. Proof of IDP completion is usually demonstrated through an NCARB Council Record. However, the applicant had not renewed her Council Record for a number of years, and to do so now presented a hardship. In lieu of a Council Record, the applicant asked the Board to consider her original certificate of completion of IDP that she received in 2003.  

After discussion, the Board agreed that the cost and difficulty of obtaining the certified NCARB Record was prohibitive for the candidate. They made the unanimous decision to accept the documents supporting IDP completion as sufficient evidence for approval of the application. Based on the experience, the Board agreed to adopt the decision as policy in future hardship cases.
Intern Think Tank Forming

NCARB has announced plans to form a think tank for exploring the future of the IDP. The think tank will meet December 13-16 in Washington, DC, and the Council is seeking to fill 12 spots for current architectural interns. Interns can apply for the positions by filling out an application and writing a brief essay on "why internship and licensure matter." They must also include one reference who is either on the current NCARB Member Board, is an AIA Component executive or officer, or is an architect. Architects are urged to encourage their interns to apply by downloading the application form from the NCARB website.
Parker Awarded Highest Honor by NCARB

The State Board of Architects congratulates Stephen Parker, AIA, LEED AP on receiving the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards' (NCARB) President's Medal for Distinguished Service. It is the highest honor awarded to architectural professionals by the organization. Mr. Parker, a member of the Maryland Board since 1999, was recognized by NCARB for his volunteer work on the Architect Registration Examination, the NCARB Prize, the Interior Architecture Task Force, and the 2012 NCARB Practice Analysis of Architecture. The medal was awarded to Mr. Parker at the NCARB 2012 Annual Meeting, which took place in June.
land surveyors image



Board Considers Staking of Solar Farms

Recently, the Maryland Board for Professional Land Surveyors was asked to provide an opinion regarding whether a licensed professional land surveyor was needed for construction staking for a solar field. The project is construction of a new "green energy" solar farm and the staking would only consist of solar arrays (post).

The Board responded that while the issue of the appropriate professional responsible for performing construction stakeouts is not necessarily without its challenges, Maryland licensing statute governing professional land and property line surveyors includes those services in the definition of practice of land surveying. In particular, Section 15-101(j) of the Business Occupations and Professions Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, states that "practice land surveying" means any service, work, documentation, or practice, the performance or preparation of which requires the application of special knowledge of the principles of mathematics, the related physical and applied sciences, and the requirements of the relevant law, as applied to... (vi) conducting horizontal and vertical control surveys, layout or stakeouts of proposed construction, and the preparation and platting of as-constructed surveys...."

The Board concluded that since the performance of "layout or stakeouts of proposed construction" is specifically stated in the Maryland licensing statute, it is clearly the role of a licensed surveyor to perform such services.
Major Change to PS Exam Coming April 2013

Exam candidates for professional land surveying will be taking the Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam in a closed-book format beginning in April 2013. The only references allowed at the exam site will be the NCEES-supplied reference material in the exam book, similar to the way the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam is administered now. The new specifications will be posted on NCEES's website soon. An updated edition of the NCEES PS Sample Questions and Solutions, which will include the supplied references for the exam, will be available for purchase in November 2012.
In This Issue
NCEES Holds 91st Annual Meeting
Signing an RPE or Character Reference Form
New Software Engineering Exam Offered
Industrial Exam Moved to Spring
Major Changes to NCIDQ Examination
Should MD Licensed Landscape Architects Use "PLA"?
Setting the (IDP) Record Straight
Board Establishes Policy Easing Hardship Cases
Intern Think Tank Forming
Board Considers Staking of Solar Farms
Major Change to PS Exam Coming
Leadership Changes at DLLR
Staff Updates
Board Updates
L.A.R.E. Administered in Computer-Based Format
Boards' Disciplinary Actions
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Leadership Changes at the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

Leonard J. Howie III

On September 17, 2012, Governor Martin O'Malley named Leonard J. Howie III as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation (DLLR). Mr. Howie most recently served as Deputy Secretary for Operations at the Department of Human Resources (DHR) since November 2011.

Prior to joining DHR, Mr. Howie spent four and half years as DLLR's Deputy Secretary where he worked with previous secretaries Tom Perez and Alexander Sanchez to implement critical departmental initiatives. Mr. Howie has worked extensively within every facet of DLLR's core programs, especially those related to Workforce Development and Adult Education.

Mr. Howie earned a Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center and a Masters in Business Administration from Georgetown University. He is a member of the Maryland Bar.

Michael Vorgetts

Michael Vorgetts joined the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing in August 2012 to serve as Deputy Commissioner after four years with the Maryland Department of Legislative Services. In his capacity with Legislative Services, Michael conducted fiscal and policy analysis on issues related to DLLR and was responsible for "sunset evaluations" of the Maryland Home Improvement Commission, the State Plumbing Board and the Division of Labor and Industry.
Prior to State service, Michael served on a political campaign, researched poverty and homeland security issues as a graduate assistant, and worked for a decade in numerous establishments in the bar and restaurant business. He has a Master of Public Administration degree from Rutgers University and an English degree from East Carolina University in North Carolina. 
Staff Updates

Michael Miller

Michael Miller is the newest member of the Professional Licensing Boards team. He brings 20 years of multiple line insurance claims, cause of loss, as well as investigative and organizational experience to his new career as Assistant Director.

Mike was educated in the Baltimore County public school system, the University of Maryland, Western Maryland College, and Towson University. He has one child, and lives on a farm in Northern Maryland with his wife, Pam. Mike is glad to join the Design Boards as Assistant Director, and looks forward to serving the five boards of design, bay pilots, licensees, and the public.

Michelle Macer 

The Design Boards welcome Michelle Macer  as our new Investigator. 
Board Updates

Board for Professional Land Surveyors   


In July, the Board welcomed Brian M. Dunne as its newest consumer member. Mr. Dunne is a Baltimore County resident and a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.


Board of Certified Interior Designers


In August, the Board welcomed a new certified interior designer, Danielle Bush. She fills an 18 month vacancy on the Board. Ms. Bush is a Baltimore County resident and Director of Interior Design at David S. Brown Enterprises.  

L.A.R.E. Administered in Computer-Based Format

Registration Open for December 

In September, the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) completed the first computer-based administration of the updated Sections 1 and 2 of the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E). For candidates seeking to test for Sections 3 and 4 in December, the registration period is open until midnight EST on Friday, November 23. Starting in 2013, all L.A.R.E. sections will be available for candidates to take during all L.A.R.E. administrations. Information on how to register can be found here. Practice tests, samples and other exam resources are available on the CLARB website.

New Exam Fees 

The changes in the exam format resulted in fee changes. The Board proposed amendments at its June meeting to revise its fee regulations and align them with the fees charged by CLARB. The fees are as follows: Section 1---- $325; Section 2---- $325; Section 3---- $500; Section 4---- $500.

The total is slightly more than the previous amount of $1401 for the 5-part exam. CLARB and the Board feel that the move to a fully-computerized model for delivery of the exam content will improve the relevance and reliability of the exam. 
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

Division of Occupational

and Professional Licensing

Email the Division

500 North Calvert Street,

3rd Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202 


Harry Loleas, Commissioner

Michael Vorgetts, Deputy Commissioner 

Pamela Edwards,  

Executive Director 


Fax 410-333-0021

Michael L. Miller, Assistant Director  


Fax 410-333-0021 

Janet Morgan, Outreach Coordinator

State Board for Professional Land Surveyors


Email the Board for Professional Land Surveyors


John V. Mettee III, Chair, Land Surveyor, Harford County

John Jensen, Consumer Member, Harford County

Daniel P. Lavelle, Land Surveyor, Frederick County

Donald J. Ocker, Property Line Surveyor, St. Mary's County

Thomas M. Orisich, Land Surveyor, Baltimore County

Brian Dunne, Consumer Member

Deborah Heil, Administrative Secretary

State Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects


Email the Board of Landscape Architects


Christopher Schein, Chair, Landscape Architect,  

Anne Arundel County

Charlie Adams, Landscape Architect, Baltimore County

Lisa Keir, Consumer Member, Baltimore County

Beatrice Odom Scott, Consumer Member, Baltimore City

Jeanette Stern-Tansey, Landscape Architect,  

Baltimore County

Deborah Heil, Administrative Secretary

State Board for Professional Engineers


Email the Board for Professional Engineers


Howard (Skip) Harclerode II, P.E., Chair, Chemical Engineer, Baltimore County

Steven A. Arndt, Ph.D., P.E., Vice Chair, Mechanical Engineer, Montgomery County

Pastor Farinas, P.E.,  

Electrical Engineer,  

Montgomery County

David G. Mongan, P.E.,  

Civil Engineer, Carroll County

Sandra J. Murphy, Consumer Member, Baltimore City 

Sallye E. Perrin, P.E.,  

Civil Engineer, Baltimore City

Rosalind L. Yee, Consumer Member, Anne Arundel County

Ruby Courtney, Administrative Secretary

Roberta Watson, Office Secretary  

State Board of Architects 


Email the Board of Architects 


Diane Cho, Chair, Architect, Baltimore County

Gary A. Bowden, Architect, Baltimore City

Paul R. Edmeades, Architect, Harford County

Vacant, Consumer Member

William N. Parham Jr., Consumer Member,  

Anne Arundel County

Stephen L. Parker, Architect, Montgomery County

Magda Westerhout, Architect, Baltimore City

Terry White, Administrative Secretary

State Board of Certified Interior Designers


Email the Board of Certified Interior Designers


Vacant, Chair, Certified Interior Designer

Carla K. Viar, Vice Chair, Certified Interior Designer, Washington County  

Robyn Dubick, Certified Interior Designer, Howard County

H. Christine Pirrung, Consumer Member, Anne Arundel County

Barbara Portnoy, Certified Interior Designer,  

Baltimore County

Karen Zopf, Certified Interior Designer, Baltimore County

Vacant, Architect

Janis Daniels, Administrative Secretary

Disciplinary Actions Taken by the Design Boards

Board for Professional

Land Surveyors 


08-LS-06 - Clarence H. Miller, professional land surveyor's license no. 4011, consented to a 30-day suspension, June 25, 2012 through July 24, 2012, after admitting (1) gross negligence, incompetence, or misconduct while practicing land surveying; and (2) violating the Minimum Standards of Practice and the Code of Ethics.