By Design
 

 

Winter 2013   

In This Issue
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DESIGN BOARDS
Harry Loleas Retires as Commissioner

Harry Loleas At the end of December 2012, DLLR's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing celebrated the extensive and very memorable career of Harry Loleas, who retired as our Commissioner. For over 24 years, Harry was one of the most respected and competent leaders to enter State service. Plus, he delighted his staff on a daily basis with his funny stories, clever insights, and spot-on impressions. He started gathering material for those stories in 1988, when he began as Executive Director for the Division. Back then, he was in charge of 12 of the boards and commissions in the Division, including the design boards. By 1990 he was promoted to Deputy Commissioner, where he served until June 2012, when he was appointed Commissioner.

Harry is as well-known to the Maryland Legislature as he is to DLLR and to local Baltimore politics---- he was a remarkable orator and skilled negotiator in Annapolis for an impressive 38 sessions. He began to hone his political expertise as early as 1973, when he was still a student at Johns Hopkins University. From there, he was Executive Assistant to both the President of the Baltimore City Council and the Mayor of Baltimore. Lucky for us at DLLR, he stayed here for the balance of his career.

There are few leaders these days who can truly be called indispensable, but that's exactly what all 80 of his employees said during his last weeks, as we counted down the days to retirement with him. We hope that you had a chance to meet Harry during his tenure at DLLR, because you undoubtedly would have been as taken with him as we are.

Happy retirement, Harry!
10 Steps to Processing a Complaint
conflict photo illustration
Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Maryland licensing statutes and regulations governing engineers, land surveyors, architects, landscape architects and certified interior designers set high standards for ethical and competent practice. When the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of our State are at stake, there can be no room for substandard work or questionable conduct. If misconduct is suspected, the licensing boards have a well-established procedure in place to ensure that complaints are handled fairly and efficiently. Licensees should be aware of the process and be able to explain it to their clients and others who are affected by their work. Below is a summary of the steps to take if you are considering filing a complaint with one of the licensing boards:

1. Be sure that your complaint is not solely a contract dispute. Monetary disagreements and non-performance allegations are not within the scope of Maryland licensing laws. The boards will handle only those complaints that involve unethical conduct, incompetence, unlicensed practice, misrepresentation, plan stamping or other specific practice issues. Check if an applicable licensing statute provision and/or regulation addresses the matter before you proceed.

2. Confirm the licensing status of the person you believe has violated the law. If the person does not hold a Maryland license, the boards may be able to charge the individual with unlicensed practice or misrepresentation and assess civil penalties. If criminal charges are warranted, the boards will refer the complaint to the Maryland State's Attorney.

3. Download a complaint form, or call each board directly to obtain one. All five boards use the same complaint form. Your complaint must be in writing, on the form provided, and signed under oath. All of the boards are prohibited from considering anonymous complaints of any kind. Board members operate under strict guidelines set forth by the State Ethics Commission, and are prevented from having any involvement with anonymous letters, informal phone calls that may result in a matter before the board, or personal requests to speak on behalf of the board as a whole.

4. After the board receives your complaint, a copy of it will be sent to the individual against whom you filed the complaint. Your identity must be disclosed as required by law. The board will request a timely response to your complaint in writing.

5. Each board's complaint committee reviews the allegations, the response, and all supporting documentation with the Assistant Attorney General assigned to the complaint.

6. After review, the complaint committee recommends an action to the board. Complaints can be dismissed for insufficient merit, referred to a more appropriate jurisdiction, assigned to professional investigators for further inquiry or prepared for legal administrative action.

7. If administrative action is warranted, the board will notify the alleged violator in the form of a charge letter. The letter enumerates the charges and contains notification of a hearing date. Hearings can be held either before each board or before an Administrative Law Judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

8. Hearings are conducted in the same manner as conventional court proceedings. Respondents are afforded the right to counsel, the right to present evidence and the right to cross-examine witnesses. Evidence for the State is presented by an Assistant Attorney General.

9. After the conclusion of the hearing, the board files a written decision based on the evidence presented. Boards can reprimand, suspend or revoke a license, as well as impose substantial fines for each violation of law.

10. As a final recourse, decisions may be appealed to the Circuit Court within a prescribed time period. Directions for proceeding are contained within the final order.
Boards Consider Stormwater Management Policy
One of the most important functions of the State's five design boards is to provide guidance to licensees and local government officials regarding overlapping practice issues. The boards are often asked to interpret State licensing laws with regard to local ordinances, other State laws, and institutional policies that may be divergent.

Recently, the Howard County Department of Public Works asked the Board for Professional Engineers and the Board for Professional Land Surveyors to review the scope of practice of each license in light of new State Stormwater Management regulations. Specifically, the County questioned whether Professional Land Surveyors were qualified to design stormwater management systems, or if those types of designs were better suited to the practice of civil engineers.

Both boards examined the licensing statutes and other related aspects of licensure, and came to the same conclusion: Land surveyors are well-qualified to perform the service. Stormwater management is covered in a land surveyor's education, and is a portion of Maryland's State-specific licensing examinations. In fact, State law specifically cites stormwater management design under a land surveyor's scope of license. Md. Code Ann., Bus. Occ. And Prof. 15-101(i) includes the preparation and design of plans for "(1) road and street grades; (2) sediment and erosion control measures; (3) nonpressurized closed storm drainage and stormwater management systems; and (4) open conduit storm drainage and stormwater management systems."

It is important to note, however, that the field of environmental site design is becoming increasingly specialized. Whether stormwater management design is handled by a professional engineer or a professional land surveyor, it requires a specific skill set and knowledge base. Only those with the necessary experience and education should perform the service.
Transition to CBT Underway
Exam candidates planning to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) or the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam will see significant changes in both format and administration beginning January 1, 2014. NCEES and its exam vendor, Pearson VUE, are slated to complete the transition of both exams to computer-based testing (CBT) by the January target date, and new FE specifications  and FS specifications have been developed and posted on the NCEES website.

The last administration of both exams in pencil-and-paper format will be in October 2013. After that, candidates can begin to register for the January CBT administration on November 4, 2013. Fees must be paid directly to NCEES using a MasterCard or Visa. Four two-month testing windows will be available in 2014 and each year thereafter. Candidates will be able to take the exams one time during each testing window, limited to three times total in a 12-month period. For supplied reference material, list of approved calculators and sample CBT exams, see the NCEES website after the October 2013 administration.
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BOARD OF CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNERS

Prepare for the New NCIDQ Examination
woman with computers

Certified Interior Design candidates can now find updated information about the computer-based NCIDQ Examination on the organization's website. A set of Frequently Asked Questions is available to download, containing information about making reservations, payment and Prometric test center conditions. Additionally, exam candidates will find updated study materials.

Both Sections 1 and 2 of the paper-and-pencil multiple-choice exam 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.
Board Maintains List of CEU Courses
Did you know that the Board of Certified Interior Designers maintains an extensive list of approved continuing education courses? Before calling the Board to inquire about a particular course you want to seek credit for taking, check if it's already listed as approved. If you don't see the course listed, please call the Board at 410-230-6322.
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BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYORS

Land Surveyors Adopt Two New CPC Regulations
At the January 2013 meeting of the Board for Professional Land Surveyors, final action was taken on new regulations that make it easier for licensees to earn Continuing Professional Competency Credits (CPC) through dual licenses and credit earned in other states. COMAR 09.13.08.16 addresses licensees who maintain both a Maryland surveying license and a Maryland engineering license. The State now allows a licensee to renew a surveying license after having completed the CPC requirements of an engineering license renewal, providing a minimum of one third of those credits are obtained from qualifying land surveying programs. COMAR 09.13.08.17 pertains to CPC units earned in other jurisdictions. As long as the activities and programs completed in other states comply with the criteria of the Maryland CPC requirements, the credits will be accepted for license renewal.
PS Exam Materials Available
Candidates who plan to take the Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam are now able to access sample questions and other related study materials for the new closed-book format beginning in April 2013. See the NCEES website exams section for an exam administration schedule, PS exam specifications, reference material, and PS Sample Questions and Solutions.
Form Simplifies CPC Reporting
Professional Land Surveyors and Property Line Surveyors: Keep track of your Continuing Professional Competency (CPC) units on the Board's CPC Worksheet as you earn them during your current license term. Updating it as you go will help you see at a glance what "A" and "B" programs you have completed, and will serve as a reminder of how many units you have yet to complete. Plus, if it's time to renew your license and you happen to be chosen for a CPC audit, you won't be stuck trying to reconstruct all of the CPC activities you've completed over the last two years.
Professional Engineers divider
BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS 

Thinking of Taking the Software Engineering Exam?
Maryland exam candidates who are considering taking NCEES' new PE Software Engineering exam will have their next opportunity to sit for it on April 11, 2014. The deadline for submitting applications to the Board is December 12, 2013. For those currently deciding whether their education and experience is well-suited to qualify for the exam, the Board has developed a short series of Q&As to help clarify the types of experience and education that the Board will be looking for in its evaluation of candidates:

Q. What type of degree do I need to apply for the exam?

A. Like the other PE exams, it all depends on the category you file under, because Maryland evaluates three distinct types of candidates according to Title 14 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article, Annotated Code of Maryland. For 14-305(b) applicants (those with EAC-ABET accredited degrees), the degree can be in Software Engineering or Computer Engineering. Computer Science or other similar degrees that do not specify "engineering" as the main focus will not be accepted for those applicants. 14-305(c) applicants (those with non-EAC-ABET accredited or foreign degrees) can apply according to the same criteria, but without the qualifying accreditation. A degree in higher education is not required for 14-305(d) applicants (those opting to apply under the non-academic option).

Q. What kind of experience can I list on the application?

A. For all three categories of applicants, the only work experience that will be accepted is experience in Software Engineering or Computer Engineering. Experience in Computer Science or other software-related fields will not be accepted.

Q. If I am a 14-305(d) applicant, and therefore required to show five years of experience in responsible charge, what kind of work experience can I report?

A. The only experience that will be accepted for the purpose of evaluating responsible charge is Software Engineering or Computer Engineering. Again, other software-related disciplines will not be counted toward the responsible charge requirement. Md. Code Ann., Bus. Occ. And Prof. 14-101(i) (1) and (2) defines responsible charge as "direct control and personal supervision of engineering that requires initiative, professional skill, and independent judgment." Responsible charge includes responsible engineering teaching.

Q. If I have a Software Quality Engineer Certification (SQE) or other software certification, can I use it toward my education or experience requirements?

A. No. The possession of software certifications will not have any bearing on the evaluation of candidates' qualifications.

For a copy of the exam specifications, please click here. Study materials are expected to be made available soon. See the NCEES website's exams tab for more information.
Launch of CPC Auditing Successful
It's been four months since The Board for Professional Engineers began auditing licensees for  Continuing Professional Competency (CPC), and we're pleased with how smoothly the process has gone so far. Renewing licensees have adapted quickly to the system, as evidenced by the fact that 95% of the first 237 audits were completed successfully online.

Currently, we are in the phase-in period of requiring half of the biennial total of 24 Professional Development Hours (PDH). If your upcoming renewal date is before September 30, 2013, you must complete 12 PDHs. Licensees renewing on or after October 1, 2013 must complete 24 PDHs (including 1 PDH in ethics).

Please remember to download a copy of the CPC Reporting Form to assist you in recording and categorizing your earned PDH units. If you need to research approved CPC providers, under the website's CPC tab you will find a list of pre-authorized providers along with other entities that have been approved by the Board. The Board does not approve individual courses, only providers. If you've earned PDHs from a provider that is not pre-authorized, or you did not receive a PDH form or other record of outcome measure upon completion, you can submit a CPC Assessment Form for the Board's consideration.
Reactivating a Retired Status License
A new fee regulation for individuals holding a retired status license was adopted at the January meeting of the Board for Professional Engineers. COMAR 09.23.04.03 provides that if a retired status licensee wishes to reactivate his or her license in order to re-engage in the practice of engineering, a fee of $168 will be required by the Board at the time of reactivation. Applicants must also meet the CPC requirements of an active license in order to have their licenses reactivated by the Board.
NCEES Names Official Credentials Evaluator
The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) announced an important change affecting NCEES Records applicants who earned their non-accredited degrees outside the United States. As of December 1, 2012, NCEES ceased accepting foreign credential evaluation services from any organization other than its own NCEES Credentials Evaluations service. NCEES Records applicants with degrees from outside the United States that are not accredited by ABET can find more information on the evaluation process here.
Board Updates

Board for Professional Engineers

In December 2012, The Board welcomed Karl Rickert as its newest professional member. Mr. Rickert was appointed as a result of 2011 legislation that expanded the Board by one seat. He is a Baltimore County resident and President of Rickert Engineering, Inc., structural engineering consultants based in Parkville, Maryland.
Disciplinary Actions Taken by the Design Boards

Board for Professional Land Surveyors

13-LS-02 David L. Haller agreed to a Consent Order for violating the Minimum Standards of Practice, COMAR 09.13.06.06C(8)(a)(ii), (iii) and C(9)(a) and (b) regarding location drawings. Haller was assessed a Civil Penalty of $1,000 and further Ordered to take a Minimum Standards of Practice course on location drawings within 90 days of the date of the Consent Order.

Board of Architects

12-AR-02 Tilden H. Cooper was found Guilty by the District Court of Prince George's County - Criminal System for misrepresentation and practicing architecture without a license, in violation of 3-601 and 3-603 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article, Annotated Code of Maryland. The Court Ordered Cooper to pay $1,105 in Restitution and Sentenced him to one year of Supervised Probation.
update email image Licensees: Update Your Email and Mailing Addresses

Please click on the links below to update your personal information with the Design Boards. Your changes will not be saved if you attempt to make them by replying to this message. Thank you!

Architects     Certified Interior Designers     Landscape Architects

Professional Land Surveyors     Professional Engineers
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation 

Division of Occupational

and Professional Licensing

Email the Division

500 North Calvert Street,

3rd Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202 

 
Michael Vorgetts, Acting Commissioner 

Pamela Edwards,  

Executive Director 

410-230-6262

Fax 410-333-0021

Michael L. Miller, Assistant Director  

410-230-6263

Fax 410-333-0021 

Janet Morgan, Outreach Coordinator

Roberta Watson, Office Secretary     
 

 

State Board for Professional Land Surveyors

410-230-6256

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, Baltimore County 

Deborah Heil, Administrative Secretary

State Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects

410-230-6256  

Email the Board of Landscape Architects

 

Christopher Schein, Chair, Landscape Architect,  

Anne Arundel County

Charles 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

410-230-6260

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

Karl J. Rickert, P.E.,  

Structural Engineer, Baltimore County

Rosalind L. Yee, Consumer Member, Anne Arundel County

Ruby Courtney, Administrative Secretary

State Board of Architects 

410-230-6261

Email the Board of Architects 

 

Diane Cho, Chair, Architect, Baltimore County

Gary A. Bowden, Architect, Baltimore City

Paul R. Edmeades, Architect, Harford County

Gary Ey, 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

410-230-6259

Email the Board of Certified Interior Designers

 

Vacant, Chair, Certified Interior Designer

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

Danielle Bush, Certified Interior Designer, Baltimore 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

 


 
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