What's Your Position On…?


December 2012

What's Your Position On??

It's not uncommon for NSPE to receive e-mail from members, asking about the Society's position on important public policy issues. In some cases, NSPE will have a position statement, but in other areas, the Society has not taken an official stand.

The Society's views can be found in position statements and issue briefs, which are developed by NSPE's Legislative and Government Affairs Committee. These statements and briefs are periodically reviewed by the committee and updated as needed.

In July, the board approved the L&GA committee's proposed position statement advocating that federal agencies should require engineers in responsible charge to be licensed in at least one jurisdiction. Some agencies require individuals "in charge" of engineering duties to be licensed in the state where they are working on a project or in one of the states when engineers are working on a regional or national function. However, federal agencies' official policies on engineering licensure are not uniform.

NSPE also recently took a position on licensing in academia. In early 2012, the board approved a position statement recommending that all licensing jurisdictions adopt the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying's Model Law provisions calling for the licensure of educators who teach advanced engineering subjects. The position statement recommends that unlicensed faculty members should practice under the responsible charge of licensed faculty members until they become licensed.

Currently under review by the L&GA committee is the Society's position statement on design-build in the public sector. In a feature ("Caution Ahead") in the October issue of PE, John Martin, P.E., F.NSPE, a member of the committee and chair of the task group that's updating the position statement, explains that NSPE neither favors nor opposes design-build, but instead aims to raise issues that should be addressed when the method is used.

Once the committee proposes a revised position statement, it will require approval from the NSPE Board of Directors.

NSPE has 29 position statements covering areas of business and profitability, education, energy and environment, infrastructure, liability and risk management, and licensure and practice. In addition, 15 issue briefs cover other topics in the same areas.

To learn more, visit www.nspe.org/IssuesandAdvocacy and click on "Take Action."