In response to inquiries, we take this opportunity to reprint a policy jointly adopted in July 1962 by the Board of Registration for Engineers and Surveyors and the Board of Architecture regarding “overlap” or “incidental” practice.
In order to clarify the necessary overlap of the practice of Architecture and the practice of Engineering, the S.C. State Board of Architectural Examiners and the S.C. State Board of Engineering Examiners held a joint conference in Columbia, S.C., on July 25, 1962, at which they agreed upon and adopted the following resolution covering rules of procedure in connection with the interpretation and enforcement of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, Chapter 3, Sections 40-3-05 to 40-3-310, governing the practice of Architecture; and Chapter 22, Sections 40-22-10 to 40-22-470, as amended, governing the practice of Engineering in the State of South Carolina.
No Registered Engineer shall undertake a project which is primarily architectural and no Registered Architect shall undertake a project which is primarily engineering; however, no provision of the State Laws referred to above shall be so construed as to prevent any Registered Architect from doing such engineering work, for which he is qualified, as may be incidental and necessary to the completion of any architectural work lawfully undertaken by such Architect; nor so construed as to prevent any Registered Engineer from doing such architectural work, for which he is qualified, as may be incidental and necessary to the completion of any engineering work lawfully undertaken by such Engineer, as defined in the Code of Laws of South Carolina listed above.
The two Boards must be guided and controlled by the definitions contained in their respective registration laws but may use discretion in interpreting them.
If engineering or architectural work is performed by persons who are not full-time employees of the Registered Engineer or Registered Architect employed by the client for the project, those persons shall be registered in the profession concerned and the registered person’s name shall appear on all documents, plans, etc., prepared by them, when issued for that particular project.
Guidelines for Licensure Applicants Submitting Work Experience
One of the areas of greatest inconsistency in applications to the Board for licensure by either comity or by examination is the description of qualifying experience. The following guidelines should help applicants provide appropriate documentation to enable an expedited review and are provided as a supplement to the statutes and regulations.
All periods of time following graduation from an approved engineering program must be accounted for.
Descriptions of work performed must be in sufficient detail to enable the reviewer to evaluate the nature and complexity of the engineering work performed. Generic statements such as “Prepared design documents and specifications” are not sufficient. Documentation should include a description of specific and significant representative projects and specific engineering decisions or actions taken by the applicant in completion of those projects.
Use of the same description of work experience for multiple periods of time is not acceptable.
Where no engineering work was performed during a specific period of time, the applicant should so state and sign the sheet verifying what he/she did during that period. Example: “unemployed” or “worked at Wal-Mart.”
Since qualifying work for approval to take the PE exam requires supervision by a licensed engineer, the person verifying the experience should be licensed and should so indicate on the verification form. For applications for licensure by comity, the person verifying the experience should preferably be licensed, but could also be someone who was closely involved in the work and can verify that the description of the work is accurate. An example would be a contractor, owner, or governmental agency.
For periods of time where the applicant is unable to find someone who can verify the experience, the applicant should state on the form that he/she has made a good faith effort to find someone who could verify the work and personally sign the experience verification form for that period of time. This situation sometimes occurs when many years have passed and prior employers are out of business or are deceased. The documentation of work performed during the period should be as detailed as for other periods of time. Please refer to Regulation 49-200(B)(2)(c): “Experience should be gained by working under the supervision of a registered professional engineer. If the experience was not gained under the direct supervision of a registered professional engineer, then the indirect supervision should be explained with clarification of the degree of supervision received.”
Where possible, verification of experience should not be by individuals who are related to the applicant, who are subordinate to the applicant in their current organization, or who have other alliances that could compromise the individual’s independence as an evaluator. Verification by a clerical or administrative person who works for the applicant is not acceptable.