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Introduced Version Senate Bill 401 History

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sb401 intr
Senate Bill No. 401

(By Senators Snyder and Chafin)

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         [Introduced February 28, 2013; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance           .]            

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A BILL to amend and reenact §30-13-6, §30-13-13, §30-13-15 and §30-13-17 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to compensating members of the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers at same rate as legislative interim pay; providing for registration of engineers generally; adding additional classifications of registration; setting forth qualifications for engineer interns; updating examination provisions to comport with changes at the national level; and clarifying the certificate of authorization requirement.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
    That §30-13-6, §30-13-13, §30-13-15 and §30-13-17 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 13. ENGINEERS.
§30-13-6. Compensation and expenses.
                                            Members of the board shall be compensated not to exceed $50 per diem for time at the same rate as is paid to members of the Legislature for their interim duties as authorized by law for each day or portion thereof spent in actually performing the duties of the board and shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of board related duties.
§30-13-13. General requirements for registration.
                                            
(a) To be eligible for admission to examination for professional engineer, or engineer intern, an applicant must be of good character and reputation and he or she shall submit five references along with the application for registration as a professional engineer. Three references shall be from professional engineers having personal knowledge of the engineering experience of the applicant. or in the case of an application for certification as an engineer intern. The references shall be from three persons knowledgeable of the applicant's character.
                                            
(a) (b) The following are minimum requirements for qualification for registration as a professional engineer are: but the board may require, by rule, additional examination to evidence the applicant's knowledge of statutes, rules and design requirements specific to this state:
                                            (1) Registration by comity or endorsement.
                                            (A) A person holding a certificate of registration to engage in the practice of engineering, issued by a proper authority of a state or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia or any a foreign country, based on requirements that do not conflict with the provisions of this article and were possessing credentials that are, in the judgment of the board, of a standard not lower than that specified in the applicable registration article in effect in this state at the time such certificate was issued, may, upon application, be registered without further examination. in accordance with board rule; or
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(B) A person holding an active council record with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) whose qualifications, as evidenced by the council record, meet the requirements of this article may, upon application, be registered without further examination; in accordance with board rule.
                                            (2) Graduation, experience and examination. -- A graduate of an engineering curriculum of four years or more approved by the board as being of satisfactory standing and with a specific record of an additional four years or more of progressive experience on engineering projects of a grade and a character which indicates to the board that the applicant may be competent to practice engineering, shall be admitted to an eight-hour written examination in the fundamentals of engineering and, if passed, then shall be admitted to an eight-hour written examination in the principles and practice of engineering. Registration by examination -- An engineer intern with a specific record of an addition four years or more of progressive engineering experience as set forth in board rule, if otherwise qualified shall be admitted to the NCEES examination in the principles and practice of engineering. Upon passing such examinations, the applicant shall be granted a certificate of registration to practice engineering in West Virginia, provided the applicant is otherwise qualified. and
                                            
(3) Engineering teaching. -- Engineering teaching of advanced subjects and the design of engineering research and projects in a college or university offering an approved engineering curriculum of four years or more may be considered as engineering experience.
                                            
(b) The minimum requirements for registration as an engineer intern are:
                                            
(1) Graduation from an engineering curriculum of four years or more approved by the board as being of satisfactory standing; and
                                            
(2) Satisfactorily passing a written exam, eight hours in duration, covering the fundamentals of engineering.
____________________________________________(c) A professional engineer may be given the following status which does not allow him or her to practice or offer to practice engineering in this state until his or her registration is reinstated in accordance with section eighteen of this article:
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(1) Professional engineer-retired. -- A registrant may apply for retired status upon certification that he or she is no longer practicing or offering to practice engineering in this state for remuneration.
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(2) Professional engineer-inactive. -- A registrant may request inactive status upon affirmation that he or she is no longer practicing or offering to practice engineering in this state.
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(3) Professional engineer-lapsed. -- A registrant's license is lapsed when the registrant does not respond to renewal notices or pay the required renewal fees.
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(4) Professional engineer-invalidated. -- A registrant's license is invalidated when he or she is unable to provide sufficient proof that any condition of renewal set forth in this article or by board rule was met such as insufficient proof of the requisite number of professional development hours required to demonstrate continuing professional competency.
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(d) Engineer Intern. -- Passing the fundamentals of engineering examination and providing proof of graduation from an engineering program of four years or more accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (EAC/ABET), or the equivalent as set forth in board rule or by board determination, is considered minimum evidence that the applicant is qualified for certification as an engineer intern. If meeting this requirement, the applicant shall be certified or enrolled as an engineer intern, if otherwise qualified. The applicant must be of good character and reputation and of sound mind and must submit references from three persons knowledgeable of the applicant's character, reputation and mental fitness with the application.
§30-13-15. Examinations.
                                            (a) The board shall establish examination criteria including the acceptable passing grade on examinations.
                                            (b) Written examinations shall be given in two sections and may be taken only after the applicant has met the other minimum requirements and has been approved by the board for admission to the examinations which are as follows: The examinations include:
                                            (1) Engineering fundamentals. Fundamentals of Engineering. -- The examination consists of an eight-hour test period on subject matters in the fundamentals of engineering. Passing this examination qualifies the examinee for an engineer intern certificate, provided the examinee has met all other requirements for certification required by this article; and
                                            (2) Principles and practice of engineering. -- The examination consists of an eight-hour test period on subject matters in applied engineering. Passing this examination qualifies the examinee for registration as a professional engineer, provided the examinee has met the other requirements for registration set forth in this article.
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(3) State specific examination. -- The examination consists of subject matters specific to this state and the board may require, by rule, the examination to evidence the applicant's knowledge of state statutes, rules and design requirements including the rules of professional responsibility.
                                            (c) A candidate failing one for registration as a professional engineer who fails one principles and practice examination may apply for reexamination, which may be granted upon payment of a fee established by the board. In the event of a second failure, the examinee may be required to appear before the board to present evidence of having pursued further instruction in deficit areas.
                                            (d) The board shall publish in brochure form and shall make may prepare or adopt specifications for the engineering examination by electronic or other means which shall be available to any person interested in being registered the requirements and specifications of the written examination. as a professional engineer.
§30-13-17. Certificates of authorization required; naming of engineering firms.
     (a) The practice of or offer to practice engineering by consulting engineers registered under this article, through a firm, corporation, copartnership, joint stock association or private practitioner employing others, referred to hereinafter as a firm, is permitted: Provided, That the person in direct control or having personal supervision of the practice and all personnel who act in behalf of the firm in professional matters are registered under this article: Provided, however, That the firm No person or firm is authorized to practice or offer to practice engineering in this state until the person or firm has been issued a certificate of authorization by the board.
     (b) A firm desiring a certificate of authorization must file with the board an application using a form provided by the board and the firm shall provide all the information required by the board. A form as provided by the board is to be filed with the board with the renewal fee and within thirty days of the time any information contained on the form is changed or differs for any reason. If the information contained on the form warrants action, the board, in its judgment, may issue a certificate of authorization for the firm to practice engineering and to contract and collect fees for furnishing this service. A person or firm desiring a certificate of authorization must file with the board all the information required by the board on an application form provided by the board. The required information shall include the sworn statement of the engineer in responsible charge who is a professional engineer registered in this state. The board shall issue a certificate of authorization to an applicant who has met all the requirements and paid the fees set forth in board rules.
     (c) No firm shall be person or firm is relieved of responsibility for the conduct or acts of its agents, employees, officers or partners by reason of its due to compliance with the provisions of this article. No individual practicing engineering under the provisions of this article shall be is relieved of responsibility for engineering services performed by reason of due to his or her employment or other relationship with a person or firm holding an authorization certificate. a certificate of authorization.
     (d) An engineer who renders occasional, part-time or consulting contract engineering services to or for a firm may not for the purposes of this article, be designated as being responsible in responsible charge for the professional activities of the firm unless that engineer is an owner or principal of the firm.
     (e) Effective one year from the effective date of this article, the Secretary of State shall stop issuing a certificate of incorporation to an applicant or a registrant as a foreign firm to a firm which includes, The Secretary of State may not issue a certificate of authority or license to do business to an applicant whose business includes, among the objectives for which it is established, the words engineer, engineering or any modification or derivation thereof unless the board of registration for this profession has issued to the applicant or registrant a certificate of authorization or a letter indicating eligibility to receive the certificate. The certificate or letter from the board shall be filed with the firm's application for incorporation or registration. application filed with the Secretary of State to do business in West Virginia.
     (f) Effective one year after the effective date of this article, The Secretary of State shall decline to register any a trade name or service mark which includes the words engineer, engineering or modifications or derivatives thereof in its firm business name or logotype except those firms holding authorization certificates businesses holding a certificate of authorization issued under the provisions of this article.
     (g) The certificate of authorization may be renewed in accordance with board rule upon payment of the required renewal fee.
_____(h) It is the responsibility of a holder of a certificate of authorization to notify the board of any change in information previously submitted to the board.



     NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to amend the compensation of board members to comport with interim compensation of legislators, to bring the code into compliance with changes occurring at the national level regarding the examination for engineer interns, to allow for emergency rules, to provide flexibility for future changes in the administration of the professional engineering examination and to clarify the requirement for certificates of authorization.

     Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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