Responding to Enforcement Request for Proof of Competence
The Texas Engineering Practice Act and Rules Concerning the Practice of Engineering and Professional Engineering Licensure require that licensed professional engineers (PE) only practice engineering in their area of competence. Board records for each PE reflect an area of engineering in which an engineer has demonstrated competence.
§137.59 Engineers' Actions Shall Be Competent
(a) Engineers shall practice only in their areas of competence.
In response to a complaint filed with this agency alleging that a licensed professional engineer has practiced engineering in an area different than what is documented on Board records, and/or if there are allegations of design deficiencies within their area of competence, then the Board may request supporting information from the PE that would demonstrate competence. The Board may also use other technical experts to evaluate the competence of any engineering that might be called into question.
The licensing requirements for listing initial and additional disciplines are outlined in §137.97 (j) and (k), respectively.
§133.97 Issuance of License
(j) The records of the board shall indicate a branch of engineering considered by the board or license holder to be a primary area of competency. A license holder shall indicate a branch of engineering by providing:
(1) a transcript showing a degree in the branch of engineering;
(2) a supplementary experience record documenting at least 4 years of experience in the branch of engineering and verified by at least one PE reference provider that has personal knowledge of the license holder's character, reputation, suitability for licensure, and engineering experience; or
(3) verification of successful passage of the examination on the principles and practice of engineering in the branch of engineering.
(k) A license holder may request that the board change the primary area of competency or indicate additional areas of competency by providing one or more of the items listed in paragraphs (1)-(3) of this subsection:
(1) a transcript showing an additional degree in the new branch other than the degree used for initial licensure;
(2) a supplementary experience record documenting at least 4 years of experience in the new branch verified by at least one PE reference provider that has personal knowledge of the license holder's character, reputation, suitability for licensure, and engineering experience; or
(3) verification of successful passage of the examination on the principles and practice of engineering in the new branch.
If the Board's review and investigation of a complaint results in a request for proof of competence the respondent engineer's proof of competency could be demonstrated with one or more of the above described methods. Depending on complexity of the engineering task, a Supplementary Experience Record (SER) covering an appropriate number of years of experience could be required for determination of competence. Lacking one of these methods, the engineer should provide as much information, such as evidence of education and experience in designs similar to those in question, to allow the Board to consider whether he/she is competent in that discipline. Regardless of the outcome of an investigation, the PE should not assume, for subsequent engineering services, that they are competent in that challenged discipline unless and until the engineer has taken the steps provided by §133.97 (j) & (k) and have added other areas of engineering to their records.