The practices of engineering and land surveying are regulated in the public interest in order to safeguard life, health and property and to promote the public welfare. This Board accomplishes that goal through evaluating candidates and firms for licensure, administering examinations, and enforcing the Statutes that regulate the Practice of Engineering and Land Surveying found in Title 59 O.S., Sections 475.1 – 475.22, Corner Perpetuation and Filing Act, Title 65 O.S. 3.116-3.123 and Oklahoma Administrative Code 245 Rules of Procedure.
Licensees are expected to know the laws and rules governing their professions and are expected to provide services in accordance with current regulations, codes, ordinances and recognized standards. All licensees shall practice only within their areas of expertise, follow the rules of professional conduct and advise this Board concerning matters of misconduct by others.
The Board has the authority to discipline those individuals and firms (licensed or unlicensed) offering and/or practicing engineering or land surveying in this state; and has the to power to suspend, revoke or refuse to issue, restore or renew a Certificate of Authorization for a firm, or a Certificate of Licensure for an individual, or place on probation, fine or reprimand any firm, professional engineer, professional land surveyor, or individual who is found guilty of violating Oklahoma Statutes and Rules.
Some of the more common violations of our statutes and rules include, but are not limited to:
- Offering and/or practicing engineering or land surveying by a firm without a Certificate of Authorization or an individual without a Certificate of Licensure,
- Aiding and assisting the illegal offering and/or practicing of engineering or land surveying,
- Signing and sealing engineering or land surveying documents not prepared under the licensee’s direct control and personal supervision (plan stamping),
- Any gross negligence, gross incompetence or misconduct,
- Fraud or deceit in obtaining or attempting to obtain or renew a certificate of licensure, or certificate of authorization, including falsely reporting continuing education credit earned
- Violating the Rules of Professional Conduct, and
- Violating the Oklahoma Minimum Standards for the Practice of Land Surveying, and the Corner Perpetuation and Filing Act.
It is not within the Board’s jurisdiction to resolve issues such as boundary disputes, or failure to fulfill contractual obligations. The Board has no statutory authority to order restitution and does not review or establish costs of professional services.
Process of Investigation
After a complaint has been filed, the allegations are reviewed for probable cause to proceed by the Investigation Committee of the Board, consisting of the Executive Director, Board Attorney, Director of Enforcement and Board Investigators.
If further investigation is warranted, the case is assigned to an investigator, who proceeds to gather all relevant information such as plans, plats, pictures, maps, documents and contracts. If specific knowledge about the quality of work is required, experts in land surveying and the various disciplines of engineering are consulted for their expertise. As part of the investigation, the investigator will generally contact the Respondent(s) requesting information and a response to the allegations. Often personal interviews with witnesses and Respondent(s) are conducted.
When the investigation is complete, the Investigator presents his findings to the Investigation Committee, who determines if formal charges will be filed against the Respondent(s). If charges are filed, Respondent(s) are served with a Formal Complaint that outlines the allegations and specific violations against Respondent(s), notice of date and time of the Hearing, and Respondent’s rights including the right to counsel and the opportunity to respond, the right to compel the testimony of witnesses, to present evidence, and to argue all issues involved and Statement of Allegations/Charges Against Respondent(s).
The Respondent(s) may be given the opportunity to sign a Consent Order in order to avoid a formal hearing before the Board. For a Consent Order to be a binding document, it must be signed by the Respondent(s), the Respondent(s) Attorney (if applicable), the Board’s Attorney, approved by the Board and signed by the Chairman of the Board (or designee).
At the formal hearing, the Board is presented the facts by the Board Attorney and the Respondent. The Board is advised by a representative of the State Attorney General’s office and the hearing follows the State of Oklahoma Rules of Procedure. The Board decides on the innocence or guilt of the Respondent(s), and the disciplinary action to be taken. A Final Order which may include Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and terms of disciplinary action is then issued.
Disciplinary action may include in any combination:
- Revocation of Certificate of Licensure and/or Certificate of Authorization,
- Suspension of Certificate of Licensure and/or Certificate of Authorization,
- Place on Probation,
- Cease and Desist if unlicensed practice,
- Levy an administrative fine, and
- Any other action as agreed upon by the Board and Respondent(s) and outlined in a Consent Agreement.
The Oklahoma State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors takes it mission of protecting the health, safety, property, and welfare of the citizens of Oklahoma very seriously. We accomplish this by our commitment to enforcement to ensure that licensees are performing their professional services in conformity with the intent and purpose of the law and related rules of professional conduct and to protect the public from the unlicensed practitioner.