Prime Professional

NSPE Position Statement No. 10-45
July 2018
Latest Revision: 
July 2018
Sunset Date: 
September 2021
NSPE Contact: 
Committee on Policy and Advocacy
Professional Policy Supported: 
10-Professional Practice
Printable Version: 

It is the policy of the National Society of Professional Engineers to work for unity of purpose for the benefit of the engineering profession by vigorously and actively cooperating with engineering and related professional disciplines and societies on the national, state and local levels.

It is the further policy of the NSPE that cooperation with the architectural profession is an important part of professional unity. In the interest of promoting public health, safety, and general welfare, enhancing the quality of the environment, recognizing that the legal rights and obligations of licensed engineers and architects coincide, and in the interest of further defining this cooperation, NSPE adopts the following principles:

  1. Jurisdictional registration and licensure laws for architects and engineers are predicated upon and justified only as a means to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. They should not be used as a means to enhance the standing of one design profession over another.

  2. The two professions must accept the basic premise that there is an overlap in the functions that architects and engineers may be qualified to perform in the design and construction of buildings. Members of either profession are qualified to be the prime professional on building projects of any size and scope.

  3. On projects for the design of buildings it is the prerogative of the client to select and designate the prime professional who may be either an engineer or an architect. The professional so retained for a project should perform only those services for which he or she is competent and should utilize the services of other qualified professionals as required to provide a proper and complete professional service to the client consistent with applicable law.


Position Statement No.10-66—The Engineering Team

Position Statement No.10-50—Interprofessional Relations

Position Statement No. 09-1737—Licensure and Qualifications for Practice