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Florida Laws & Rules for Professional Surveyors – Emphasizing MTS

Jonathan Terry, P.L.S.

Course Outline

The Minimum Technical Standards (MTS) governing the procedures and final products of the Florida licensed Professional Surveyor and Mapper both regulate and protect the PSM in the exercise of his or her honorable profession. While only eight or ten pages in length (when printed single-spaced in a small type font), these Standards encompass a well thought out and complete presentation regulating and enabling almost every facet of the PSM’s practice.

This course requires the student to make a thorough review of the Florida MTS Rules of the Board. Due to the fact the MTS are so clearly written and require very little explanation as to their intent, the course features a Question and Answer/Discussion Section presented in a conversational way, designed to focus attention on the details and fine points of the MTS. The course and its quiz are created with the specific purpose of encouraging a careful, line-by-line study of the entire MTS section, Florida Administrative Code, Chapter 5J-17. Together, these learning and review tools focus on “fine points” of virtually every MTS Rule of the Board – in detail.

The course includes references to certain other laws and Rules of the Board as they relate to the MTS, but the MTS are the concentrated focus of the course material you’re about to study.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of reading this course material, reviewing and studying the Florida MTS and working through the quiz designed to cement the MTS in the reader’s mind, you’ll:

Intended Audience

This course, although created specifically for the licensed Florida Professional Surveyor and Mapper, will benefit anyone who desires to understand the requirements of Florida’s Minimum Technical Standards pertaining to Surveying and Mapping. The architect, engineer, landscape architect or contractor who “hires out” surveying and mapping or employs a professional surveyor and mapper will better understand the surveyor and mapper’s role and legal responsibilities. Clients and employers will benefit by knowing what the Florida PSM is REQUIRED to do when performing land surveying, control surveying, mapping or construction layout. It’s frequently the case that professionals specializing in disciplines other than surveying and mapping don’t understand why surveyors must go to such lengths to create their professional products or reach defensible, professional opinions, not just performing their work, but documenting it as well. This course will enhance your understanding in all these matters.

Course Author

In his career of over four decades, your instructor obtained registration as a surveyor in eight eastern U.S. states from Florida to Maine. He’s served as assistant construction superintendent, teacher, writer, civil engineering technician, site planner, and land surveying department head. He established and managed the construction layout division of a large commercial construction management firm in the Washington, DC area. His experience ranges from rural farm surveys in the Green Mountains of Vermont to laying out Interstate highway bridges in Florida. He’s founded successful surveying and construction layout businesses, and also served as an employee of civil, surveying, and architectural firms, developers and state government. As a training consultant, he successfully taught both EFB/CaiCE data collection and office processing to both field and office staff of several Florida firms and taught automation techniques with Land Development Desktop data collection and processing plus CAD standardization for multi-discipline firms. His surveying career began in 1963 and continues to the present.

Course Content

The course consists of material created by your course author, emphasizing points the author deems important to consider. The author’s unique perspective gained from an unusual breadth of exposure to the Standards governing surveying and mapping in numerous states provides insight into (and an appreciation for) Florida’s well thought out and thorough Minimum Technical Standards.

Because the laws, rules, standards, research resources and customs impacting surveying and mapping vary widely from state to state, a working knowledge of these is only gained through dedicated study of each state’s own requirements. Keeping this knowledge fresh in one’s mind requires frequent review. This course focuses on Florida’s Minimum Technical Standards, providing required continuing education credits for Professional Surveyors and Mappers licensed in the state of Florida.

Many of the Board’s disciplinary actions are based on violations of the Minimum Technical Standards. This course, combined with your concentrated and committed effort to complete this course and follow the MTS requirements in your professional practice should go a long way toward you successfully avoiding the cost, consequences and public humiliation of being disciplined for violation of the MTS.

In this course, you need to study
a current version of, Chapter 5J-17.050, 5J-17.051 and 5J-17.052, the Minimum Technical Standards portion of the Florida Administrative Code and the following document:

Florida Laws and Rules Emphasizing MTS for Professional Surveyors and Mappers (5.8 MB, 86 pages,Word format)

Florida Laws and Rules Emphasizing MTS for Professional Surveyors and Mappers (4.7 MB, 86 pages, PDF format)

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Rule Chapter 5J-17
may be downloaded (a 330 KB PDF file) at this link:

Or, you may prefer to download a MS Word DOC version of Chapter 5J-17 (329 KB): 

or you may write to the Board at this address:

          Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
          Division of Consumer Services
          Board of Professional Surveyors and Mappers
          Terry Lee Rhodes Building
          2005 Apalachee Parkway
          Tallahassee, FL 32399-6500

The link to the Board’s web site is:

Course Summary

To safeguard the life, health, property and welfare of the public, licensed Professional Surveyors and Mappers must fully understand the Laws and Rules contained in Chapter 472, Florida Statutes, Chapter 177, Florida Statutes and Chapter 5J-17, Florida Administrative Code. A licensee who violates any provision of the Laws and Rules may be subject to disciplinary action, such as a fine, reprimand, suspension or revocation of his or her license.

To this end, Chapter 5J-17.041, F.A.C. requires that, “At least six (6) credits must be obtained by completing an approved provider’s course or seminar on Florida’s minimum technical standards, and approved provider’s course or seminar on Florida’s laws affecting the practice of surveying and mapping, or an approved provider’s course combining the aforementioned subject matters” [per biennium.] This course provides those credits – and your course author thinks you’ll have a good time studying this material.

Related Links

Chapter 472, Florida Statutes – Land Surveying and Mapping
Chapter 177, Florida Statutes – Land Boundaries
Listing of Florida Statutes
Florida Surveying and Mapping Society – Many links are available on this site


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.