By Design


Fall 2013 / Winter 2014   

In This Issue
design boards divider
Message from the Executive Director
Pam Edwards
So many changes are happening at the design boards this fall and winter. The FE and FS exams are moving to computer; NCARB launched its new exam site for architect candidates; the landscape architects board is working on regulations to implement continuing professional competency; the certified interior designers board approved a new approval process that will expedite CE course approvals; continuing professional competency for engineers kicked in full force on October 1, 2013 and now they're gearing up to write the regulations for firm permits. Whew! Keep reading to learn how these changes will affect you. 
Engineering and Surveying Exam Updates Underway

Maryland exam candidates for examinations in engineering and surveying are starting to see the planned application changes due to computer-based testing (CBT) and other factors. The most current information for applicants is as follows:


Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam


NCEES' registration process for the FE Exam is bifurcated into Automatic Approval and Manual Approval options.


The Automatic Approval Option Applies to individuals with "Approved Degrees"


Individuals who have graduated from a 4-year EAC/ABET engineering curriculum or who will complete a 4-year EAC/ABET engineering curriculum within 6 months after taking the exam can register directly with NCEES without first applying to the Maryland Board. The registration process is detailed below.


The Manual Approval Option Applies to individuals with "Unapproved Degrees"


Individuals who have an "unapproved" degree and have not been previously approved by the Board must submit an application to the Board and be approved before taking the exam.  The following are considered "unapproved" degrees:

  1. 4-year engineering degree from a college or university in the US (not EAC/ABET approved);
  2. 4-year engineering technology degree (either approved or unapproved by EAC/ABET) from a college or university in the US;
  3. degree from a foreign institution;
  4. any other degree.


Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) Exam


The NCEES registration process for the FS Exam is set for Manual Approval. 


Individuals who have not been previously approved by the Board must submit an application to the Board and be approved before taking the exam. After you receive Board approval, initiate the Registration Process detailed below. 


If you have been previously approved by the Board, you do not have to apply to the Board first.  You can initiate the Registration Process detailed below.

Registration Process for Taking the FE and FS Exams


  1. Login into your existing NCEES account, if you have one.  If not, create a new account.
  2. Input your personal and education information,
  3. Register and pay for the exam.
  4. NCEES' system will check its database and determine which option you are subject to based on the state and test you selected.
     a.  Automatic Approval Option ---- NCEES will send you a "ready to schedule" email a few minutes later, and you can schedule your exam with PearsonVue by logging back into the system.  
     b.  Manual Approval Option ----  your  eligibility must be approved by the Board, which is done in NCEES' database by Board staff. This must be done whether you are a first-time test-taker or a repeat test-taker. NCEES will send you a "ready to schedule" email a few minutes after Board approval.  You can then log back into the system and schedule your exam with PearsonVue.



Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the FE and FS Exams


Q.  I have an "unapproved" engineering degree but I was previously approved by the Board.  Do I need to reapply with the Maryland Board?

A.  No. If you have been previously approved by the Board, you do not have to submit an application to the Board. You can register with NCEES. However, your eligibility will have to be approved by the Board and you will not receive the "ready to schedule" email from NCEES until Board staff completes that step.


Q.  Has the exam fee increased?

A.  Yes, it is $225.


Q.  If I register with NCEES and pay the $225 exam fee but get denied by the Board, will my money be refunded?

A.  NCEES will refund $175 but retain $50 as a processing fee.  NCEES' full refund policy is contained in the Examinee Guide.


Q.  If I fail the FE three times, do I have to wait two years before applying again?

A.  No, the Board has eliminated that restriction with the implementation of CBT. 


Q.  What's the first day I can take the exam?

A.  Seat times will be available January 2, 2014 thru February 2014, and then again in April and May, July and August, and October and November.  


Q.  How far in advance can I schedule a seat time?

A.  12 months.


Principles and Practice of Engineering and Structural Engineering Exams


The procedure for applying and taking the test remains basically the same. First-time applicants must apply to the Board and receive Board approval to take the exam. First-time test-takers and repeat test-takers must register with NCEES and pay the exam fee to PCS. The fee for the PE exam is $360.


Principles of Surveying Exam


The procedure for applying and taking the test remains basically the same. First-time applicants must apply to the Board and receive Board approval to take the exam. First-time test-takers and repeat test-takers must register with NCEES. The exam fee is $310 and is payable to the Maryland Board for Professional Land Surveyors.  

License Fees to Increase by $4.25 per Year for All Two-year Terms
During the month of October, four of the five Professional Design Boards held public hearings to formalize, by regulation, a 12.5% increase in license and certificate fees. The remaining public hearing will be held in January 2014, with the expectation of the increase becoming effective for all Boards by early 2014.

In the last issue of By Design, Howard C. (Skip) Harclerode, II, P.E., Chair of the Joint Design Board Chairs, reported on the financial integrity of the fund under which the five Boards operate. He explained that the combination of increased operating costs, a prior reduction and elimination of fees, and a loss of $300,000 due to an action of the Maryland Legislature left the fund with an inadequate surplus. 

By law, the Boards are limited to a 12.5% annual increase on license/certificate fees. All five Boards unanimously agreed to take immediate action by raising the two-year fee from $68 to $76.50 through the regulatory process. Since the Boards meet at staggered intervals, each is at a slightly different phase in that process. Please see the chart below for the planned effective dates for each Board:
Date Final Action Taken by BoardDate of Publication in Maryland RegisterEffective Date of Fee Increase
Professional Engineers
November 14, 2013
December 2, 2013
December 12, 2013
Professional Land SurveyorsDecember 4, 2013
December 27, 2013
January 6, 2014
December 16, 2013
January 10, 2014
January 20, 2014
Landscape Architects
January 21, 2014
February 7, 2014
February 17, 2014
Certified Interior DesignersJanuary 27, 2014
February 7, 2014
February 17, 2014
Certified Interior Designers divider
Board Discusses Seal Requirements
At the October 2013 meeting of the Board of Certified Interior Designers, board members informally polled each other on the subject of signing and sealing documents that do not contain architecture drawings. The discussion that followed led to a clear consensus on how interior design documents should be handled based on what is codified in statute.
Md. Code Ann., Bus. Occ. And Prof. §8-403(a) states:

"Before a certified interior designer issues to a client or submits to a public authority any interior design document, including drawings, plans, schedules, reports, or specifications, the certified interior designer who prepared or approved the document shall sign, seal, and date the document."

It was noted that some permit officials require interior design documents to be signed and sealed by an architect.  However, an interior design document, by legal definition, is "...not an architectural or engineering drawing, specification, or design and is not to be used for construction of any loadbearing column, loadbearing framing, or loadbearing wall or structure." Since that statement is required to be on all interior design documents according to Md. Code Ann., Bus. Occ. And Prof. §8-401, all board members agreed that certified interior designers should follow §8-403(a) and ensure that all interior design documents are signed and sealed.
List of CEU Courses Available
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 410-230-6259.
The Board recently changed its policy on handling course approvals, so licensees should begin to see faster turnarounds for new courses on the website. Previously, all courses were reviewed by a committee of board members, who then presented approved courses to the full Board once every three months at regular meetings. That three-month lag time has now been eliminated for the approval of most courses. With the promotion of Ms. Roberta Watson from Office Secretary to Exam Coordinator and Continuing Education Specialist, the Design Boards now have a dedicated staff person to review courses on a daily basis.
Landscape Architects divider
CPC Committee Formulating Draft Regulations
Maryland licensed landscape architects will begin to phase in continuing professional competency (CPC) requirements beginning October 1, 2015. As a result of the passage of SB 280 in the 2013 Legislative Session, the Maryland Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects is required to adopt CPC regulations for licensees before that date. To read the Act, please click here.
Over the summer, the Board created a working group to draft the regulations. The committee is made up of two Board members, counsel, representatives from industry groups and a representative from an educational institution. A draft of the regulations is nearly complete, and will be reviewed by the Board before being published for the public in the Maryland Register and on the DLLR website. The public will be then be invited to participate in a hearing before the Board prior to the regulations becoming final.
The phase-in period will be from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016, wherein licensees will have to report 12 hours of Continuing Professional Competency, or half of the full requirement. Beginning October 1, 2016, licensees will be required to report the full 24 hours. Licensees will be exempt from the requirement for their first renewal.
Architects divider
NCARB Delegates Set Forth National Agenda to Maryland Board
The September 2013 meeting of the Maryland Board of Architects presented board members and the public with the opportunity to learn, firsthand, what the future of architectural education, training, and examination will eventually look like on the national and global levels. The Board hosted a presentation by three senior staff members of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB): Michael Armstrong, CEO, Stephen Nutt, Senior Advisor to the CEO, and Derek Haese, Assistant Director of Member Board Relations. The purpose of the presentation and resulting discussion was part of an outreach effort by NCARB to visit all of its member jurisdictions to outline its vision of the future of architectural licensing.
NCARB is planning changes to all facets of licensure, from the Architect Registration ExaminationŽ (AREŽ) to the Intern Development Program (IDP) and the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) and Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) programs. In 2016, the AREŽ will transition to a new format, AREŽ 5.0. Examinees will be tested in content more relevant to the actual practice of architecture, using new item types that will replace the current graphic interface. The current AREŽ relies too much on CAD skills to be considered a reflection of real-life architectural skills. The new format will replace the outdated skill set needed to successfully complete the exam.
NCARB has also completely reinvented IDP to make it more inclusive and flexible than before. Internships can now begin immediately after high school graduation, and credit is given for work in areas other than an architect's firm. NCARB's long range goal for IDP is to make it less complex to understand and navigate.
The BEA and BEFA are being redesigned to simplify the fee structure and to cap fees. More changes are planned to revise the programs in the future.
NCARB hopes that a transformation in the path to licensure, coupled with a new commitment to customer service, will make the experience of becoming a licensed architect easier in all US jurisdictions. Representatives explained that the world is moving away from the traditional thinking of a license representing a three-legged stool of education, examination and experience. Instead of completing the steps in a sequential order, all elements are growing more intertwined to avoid repetition and to save time. Mr. Armstrong clarified, "...instead of a three-legged stool, we are moving toward a helix."
Architects Sign New Canadian Agreement
One of NCARB's major objectives for visiting the Maryland Board of Architects was to gain support for a new Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA) and the 54 US member boards of NCARB. The document represents a long-standing agreement between the two countries to facilitate reciprocity for licensed architects. Since the current agreement was signed in 1994, it had outworn its relevance in keeping pace with changes in curricula, internship programs and examinations in the two countries.

At the NCARB 2013 Annual Meeting in June, a new MRA was presented to 50 member boards that were present to vote on its adoption. Maryland was hesitant to become a formal signatory on the agreement, because at the time, board members were not yet convinced that the countries' paths to licensure were still as substantially equivalent as they were in 1994. As a result, Maryland joined two other jurisdictions in voting against signing the agreement.

At the Maryland Board's September meeting, Mr. Armstrong explained that although the individual components of licensure are no longer directly comparable between Canada and the US, the outcome is substantially similar. He assured the Board that NCARB studied the matter in depth, and was confident that the new agreement would not result in jeopardizing the health, safety or welfare of the citizens of Maryland.

After a lengthy discussion, the Board was satisfied with Mr. Armstrong's argument, and reversed its earlier position regarding the agreement. The new MRA was signed by Board Chair Diane Cho, and will become effective beginning January 1, 2014 if ratified by 27 of NCARB's 54 member jurisdictions.
Board Adopts CPC Regulations
The Maryland Board of Architects took final action to adopt new continuing professional competency (CPC) regulations that became effective August 19, 2013. As reported in the last issue of By Design, the regulations were written in order to better align State CPC requirements with national standards proposed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
Maryland will now require 12 Learning Units (LUs) in health, safety, and welfare subjects per calendar year as a condition of license renewal. The LUs must incorporate clear outcome measures (e.g., quizzes, projects, narratives).
The Board departed from the NCARB-recommended model of not allowing more than 12 LUs to be earned each calendar year. As long as renewing architects have accrued a total of 24 LUs within the 2-year term of their licenses, the Board is authorized to renew them. Maryland architects seeking reciprocity in other states will likely have an easier time being granted licenses in states that have adopted the 12 + 12 model, but those that practice solely in Maryland will not have to hold themselves to that time allotment as long as the total requirement is met biennially.
To read the regulations, please click here.
New Service Offered to ARE Candidates
Candidates for examination in architecture can now use NCARB's new service, My Examination, on the NCARB website. The site is now fully operational after the planned blackout period this summer. Using My Examination, candidates with active NCARB records can:
  • Schedule exams
  • Update personal information
  • Receive electronic score reports
  • View their personal rolling clocks
NCARB produced an introductory video to highlight the features of the service. To view the video, click here.
Professional Engineers divider
Is Commissioning Always Engineering?
At the September 2013 meeting of the Board for Professional Engineers, board members reviewed an email regarding the commissioning of buildings and the practice of engineering. The writer asked whether every commissioning is considered within the scope of practice of engineering, and therefore must always be done by a licensed professional engineer.
Several of the board members had extensive knowledge of building commissioning from personal experience. They explained that the scope of services performed is the determining factor in whether or not a commissioning requires the oversight of a professional engineer. If the commissioning involves the evaluation and verification of just one system, or if it involves just the testing and balancing of equipment by a technician (e.g., the balancing of an HVAC system), then a professional engineer need not be involved. However, if the services performed include the evaluation of all integrated systems and subsystems of a building, then those services would fall under the scope of practice of engineering.
Carryforward Adjustments to be Made
When professional engineers' continuing professional competency (CPC) requirements were phased in October 1, 2012, licensees were required to report at least 12 hours of CPC. However, those who reported more than the required 12 did not receive any carryforward of excess hours. It was the intention of the Board when they promulgated the regulations that carryforward would apply to the 12-month phase-in period. That did not happen. 
The Board will be taking steps to remedy this situation. Therefore, if you reported more than 12 hours when you renewed between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013, your licensing file will be adjusted to reflect the appropriate number of carryforward hours (up to 12). 
If you accrued more than 12 hours, but were told you could not report more than 12 due to no carryforward, you may use those excess hours toward your next renewal. Please be assured that staff is committed to ensuring that you receive all hours to which you are entitled, and will work with you to make sure that you receive full credit. If you have any questions or concerns, please call 410-230-6269. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Include Certifications on All Engineering Documents
Recently, it came to the attention of the Board that not all Maryland engineers are consistently including a certification along with the titleblock, seal and signature on every engineering document. At the September 2013 meeting of the Board, members recounted hearing that the prevailing practice in some large firms is to include a certification on plans, but not on specifications, drawings, reports or other documents.
COMAR clearly addresses the matter. If a report or document is required to be signed and sealed, then it must contain a certification. The language should read as follows:
 "Professional Certification.  I hereby certify that these documents were prepared or approved by me, and that I am a duly licensed professional engineer under the laws of the State of Maryland, License No. _______, Expiration Date: _______." 
The certification, seal, and signature must appear close to each other on all engineering documents. If you have any questions about the requirement, please contact Executive Director Pamela Edwards.
Land Surveyors divider
Application for Reciprocity Online
Professional land surveyors licensed in a jurisdiction other than Maryland can now obtain an application for reciprocity online. To download the form, please click here. To read more about Maryland's requirements for qualification and the process of obtaining a reciprocal license, please click here.
2013 Approvals for Continuing Competency Providers and Continuing Education Courses
The Maryland Professional Design Boards have approved the following course providers or courses for having met the criteria for offering qualifying programs to Maryland licensees. Each list represents providers that were not considered pre-authorized by law, and had to undergo an application process to determine the credibility and applicability of their offerings. 
Licensees can view the full lists of providers or courses on each of the Boards' websites using the links below each list. CPC/CEU providers should review the lists periodically to verify that all information is correct and up-to-date.

2013 Approved CPC Providers for Professional Engineers

ACF Environmental
Accurate Infrastructure Data, Inc. t/a A/I.DATA
American Trainco
Ames, Inc.
The Chemical Company
Delaware Technical Community College
Dylan Drudul
EA Engineering
Filtrex Corporation
Greenheck Fan Corporation
Highland Tank
InfraMap Corp
Intelligent Transportation Society of Maryland, Inc.
Johnson Controls
KY Pipe, LLC
Leach Wallace Associates, Inc.
Maryland Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association
Masonry Solutions
McKissock, LP
Michael J. Schreiber, ASLA
Modern Welding
National Precast Concrete Association
Professional Online Educators
SEA Limited
Skyline Steel , LLC
Voith Hydro
Whitman, Requardt & Associates

Pre-approved providers include:
  • National (ABET/EAC), regional, or State accredited academic institutions
  • National, State or regional engineering professional or technical societies or organizations
  • National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
  • American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
  • International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)
  • Entities currently certified as approved providers by the pre-authorized providers listed above

2013 Approved CPC Providers for Professional Land Surveyors

Richard Chinn
Land Pro Seminars

Pre-approved providers include:
  • National, regional, or State accredited academic institutions
  • National, State, or regional land surveying organizations

2013 Approved CEU Courses for Certified Interior Designers
 Staff Update
The Maryland Professional Design Boards welcome Rita Watts as our new office secretary.  Welcome, Rita!
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

500 North Calvert Street,

3rd Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Michael Vorgetts, Acting Commissioner 

Pamela Edwards,  

Executive Director 


Fax 410-333-0021

Roberta Watson, Exam Coordinator and Continuing Education Specialist
Rita Watts, Office Secretary
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, Baltimore County 

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

Charles Adams, Landscape Architect, Baltimore County

Vacant, Consumer Member

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

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 


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


Email the Board of Certified Interior Designers


Carla K. Viar, Acting 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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Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation / Maryland Professional Design Boards

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