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The Proper Use of New York Professional Seals

Randall W. Whitesides, PE

Take a look at a collection of acts of misconduct by New York licensees, taken randomly from public records:

Profession: Architect; License No. (removed); Cal. No. 21188; March 23, 2004.
Summary: Licensee admitted to the charge of signing and sealing plans prepared by another individual without preparing his own evaluation and written report.

Profession: Professional Engineer; License No. (removed); Cal. No. 17881; 09/13/2002.
Summary: Licensee did not contest charge of routinely permitting others to proofread his reports and sign and affix his seal to said reports.

Profession: Professional Engineer, Land Surveyor; Lic. Nos. (removed); Cal. Nos. 20051, 20052; September 13, 2002. Summary: On three occasions, licensee did not contest charge of certifying inspection forms for which professional services were not properly performed and failing to maintain documents and records, and certifying a survey map and failing to adequately support the map from fieldwork and failing to maintain documents and records.

This course gets to the source of these and other sealing and certification mistakes; it does so in a clear, concise, and straightforward presentation. Just a few of the topics covered are: (1) The dos and don'ts of sealing and signing certifications, (2) the adoption of work prepared by others, (3) the exemptions, exceptions, and special situations to sealing, (4) the avoidance of sealing improprieties due to practice overlap, (5) the performance of minor, out-of-discipline work, incidental to primary licensed practice.

The course material is limited to New York laws and practices. However, there is remarkable similarity among the various States because of their adherence to model laws and model rules adopted by both the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Therefore, professional practitioners licensed in other States may find the content informative. They may be inspired to examine the substance of their native jurisdiction's rules and regulations, if for no other reason than to contrast it to that of New York's.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.