Responsible Charge

NSPE Position Statement No. 10-1778
January 2017
Latest Revision: 
September 2019
Sunset Date: 
September 2022
NSPE Contact: 
Committee on Policy and Advocacy
Professional Policy Supported: 
10-Professional Practice
Printable Version: 

Position Statement: It is the position of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) that engineering should be performed by a professional engineer in responsible charge of the work.

The NCEES model law defines “Responsible Charge” as the direct control and personal supervision of engineering work. The Board of Ethical Review has reinforced this definition throughout their case evaluations.

The professional engineer in Responsible Charge is actively engaged in the engineering process, from conception to completion. Engineering decisions must be personally made by the professional engineer or by others over which the professional engineer provides supervisory direction and control authority. Reviewing drawings or documents after preparation without involvement in the design and development process does not satisfy the definition of Responsible Charge.