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Decision-making and Ethics in Everyday Practice for Land Surveyors

Patrick C. Garner, PLS

This course examines a series of situations that surveyors may commonly face. The course discusses correct actions in the context of what the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) calls its “Surveyor's Creed and Canons.”

Examining the ethics of an individual’s actions, given a theoretical or “teaching” situation, is a standard method of appraising and judging professional practices. Many State Boards of Registration have promulgated either a “Code of Ethics” or a “Creed and Canons.” These have one intention: to set the bar for professional ethics. These guides are based on moral assumptions considered essential to our culture. They are the standards by which professionals are expected to make decisions, behave and act.

These ethical standards always assume that public protection and safety is foremost in every surveyor’s decisions. As the NSPS Creed and Canons states, “I dedicate my professional knowledge and skills to the advancement and betterment of human welfare.” The Creed goes on to affirm that a surveyor will, “… place service before profit, honor and standing of the profession before personal advantage, and the public welfare above all other considerations.”

The course takes seven situations where land surveyors commonly err in ethical decision-making. It frames each situation around a corresponding NSPS creed or canon. Students are then tested for their understanding of these basic situations.

This course affirms the underlying professional principle that surveyors are guided by a common moral understanding. Ethics encompasses “right conduct and good life.” Upon gaining professional registration, a land surveyor is assumed to be familiar will these basic guidelines. Decision-making and Ethics in Everyday Practice for Land Surveyors is an essential review for both new and experienced professionals.

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