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Proposed Board Rules

The deadline for comments is October 19, 2013.

The following proposed rule changes are published in the September 20 Version of the Texas Register.
Any comments pertaining to these proposed rules may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to the Texas Board of Professional Engineers at:rules@engineers.texas.gov, 1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§131.63 Self-Directed Semi-Independent Agency [Project Act]

The board shall adopt, monitor, and update policies as required to comply with the Self-Directed Semi-Independent Act (Government Code, Title 4, Subtitle E, Chapter 472) [Agency Project Act (Texas Civil Statutes, Title 132, Article 8930)]. This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency's legal authority to adopt.

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.21 Application for Standard License

(a) - (c)(No change.)
(d)Applicants for a license shall submit: 

(1)an application in a format prescribed by the board and shall:    

(A) list his or her full, legal and complete name without abbreviations, nicknames, or other variations of the full legal name. If applicable, the applicant shall submit proof of a legal name change including but not limited to a marriage certificate, passport, current Driver's License issued by the State of Texas, court documents, or nationalization documents to substantiate other documentation submitted in the application; and
(B)list social security number, as required under the Texas Family Code, §231.302; 

(2)current application fee as established by the board;
(3)proof of educational credentials pursuant to §133.33 or §133.35 of this chapter (relating to Proof of Educational Qualifications);
(4)supplementary experience record as required under §133.41 of this chapter (relating to Supplementary Experience Records);
(5)reference statements as required under §133.51 of this chapter (relating to Reference Providers);
(6)documentation [verification] of passage of examination(s), which may include official verifications from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) or other jurisdictions as required under §133.61(g) of this chapter (relating to Engineering Examinations), if applicable ;
(7)verification of a current license, if applicable;
(8)a completed Texas Engineering Professional Conduct and Ethics Examination as required under §133.63 of this chapter (relating to Professional Conduct and Ethics Examination);
(9)scores of TOEFL, if applicable;
(10)information regarding any criminal history including any judgments, deferred judgments or pre-trial diversions for a misdemeanor or felony provided in a format prescribed by the board together with copies of any court orders or other legal documentation concerning the criminal charges and the resolution of those charges;
(11)documentation of submittal of fingerprints for criminal background check as required by §1001.3035 of the Act; and 
(12) [(11)] if applicable, written requests for waivers of the examinations on the fundamentals and/or principles and practices of engineering, the TOEFL, or a commercial evaluation of non-accredited degrees and a statement supporting the request(s).

(e) - (h)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.23 Applications from Former Standard License Holders

(a)(No change.)
(b)A former standard license holder applying for a license under the current law and rules must have the documentation requested in §133.21 of this chapter (relating to Application) recorded and on file with the board and may request in writing that any transcripts, reference statements, evaluations, supplementary experience records or other similar documentation previously submitted to the board be applied toward the new application. The applicant shall: 

(1)submit a new application in a format prescribed by the board;  
(2)pay the application fee established by the board; 
(3)submit a completed Texas Engineering Professional Conduct and Ethics examination; 
(4)submit a supplementary experience record that includes at least the last four years of engineering experience, which may include experience before the previous license expired; [and]  
(5)submit also at least one reference statement conforming to §133.51 of this chapter (relating to Reference Providers), in which a professional engineer shall verify at least four years of the updated supplementary experience record; and[.]   
(6)documentation of submittal of fingerprints for criminal background check as required by §1001.3035 of the Act, unless previously submitted to the board.

(c) - (d)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.25 Applications from Engineering Educators

(a) - (b)(No change.)
(c)An engineering educator, applying under the alternate process, shall submit:

(1)an application in a format prescribed by the board;
(2)a supplementary experience record:

(A)For tenured faculty (or those approved for promotion), submit a dossier including a comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae containing educational experience, engineering courses taught, and description of research and scholarly activities in lieu of the supplementary experience record;
(B)For non-tenured faculty, a standard supplementary experience record with courses taught and/or other engineering experience shall be submitted;

(3)reference statements or letters from currently licensed professional engineers who have personal knowledge of the applicant's teaching and/or other creditable engineering experience. A reference provider may, in lieu of the reference statement, submit a letter of recommendation that, at a minimum, testifies to the credentials and abilities of the educator. The reference statements or letters of recommendation can be from colleagues within the department, college, or university; from colleagues from another university; or professional engineers from outside academia;
(4)proof of educational credentials pursuant to §133.33 or §133.35 of this chapter (relating to Proof of Educational Qualifications);
(5)a completed Texas Professional Conduct and Ethics Examination;
(6)current application fee as established by the board;
(7)Information regarding any criminal history including any judgements, deferred judgements or pre-trial diversions for a misdemeanor or felony provided in a format prescribed by the board, together with copies of any court orders or other legal documentation concerning the criminal charges and the resolution of those charges; 
(8)documentation of submittal of fingerprints for criminal background check as required by §1001.3035 of the Act;  
(9) [(8)documentation [ verification] of passage of examination(s), which may include official verifications from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) or other jurisdictions as required under §133.61(g) of this chapter (relating to Engineering Examinations), if applicable; and  
(10)
 [(9)] written requests for waivers of the examinations on the fundamentals and/or principles and practices of engineering, if applicable.

(d) - (e)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.27 Application for Temporary License for Engineers Currently Licensed Outside the United States

(a)(No change.)
(b)The applicant applying for a temporary license from Australia, Canada or the United Mexican States shall submit: 

(1)an application in a format prescribed by the board; 
(2)proof of educational credentials pursuant to §133.33 or §133.35 of this chapter (relating to Proof of Educational Qualifications);
(3)a supplementary experience record as required under §133.41 of this chapter (relating to Supplementary Experience Record) or a verified curriculum vitae and continuing professional development record;
(4)at least three reference statements as required under §133.51 and §133.53 of this chapter (relating to Reference Providers and Reference Statements);
(5)passing score of TOEFL as described in §133.21(c) of this chapter (relating to Application for Standard License);
(6)information regarding any criminal history including any judgments, deferred judgments or pre-trial diversions for a misdemeanor or felony provided in a format prescribed by the board, together with copies of any court orders or other legal documentation concerning the criminal charges and the resolution of those charges; 
(7)documentation of submittal of fingerprints for criminal background check as required by §1001.3035 of the Act; 
(8) [(7)] a statement describing any engineering practice violations, if any, together with documentation from the jurisdictional authority describing the resolution of those charges;  
(9) [(8)] submit a completed Texas Engineering Professional Conduct and Ethics examination;  
(10) [(9)] pay the application fee established by the board; and  
11)
 [(10)] a verification of a license in good standing from one of the jurisdictions listed in subsection (a)(3) of this section.

(c)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.61 Engineering Examinations Required for a License to Practice as a Professional Engineer

(a) - (c)(No change.)
(d)The board shall publish [adopt an] examination information [schedule at least once a year,] which shall include at least the following [information ]: 

(1)the places where the examinations shall be held; 
(2)the dates of the examinations;  
(3)[and] the deadline date for an examinee to schedule an examination, if applicable;  
(4)
 [(3)] fees for each examination; and  
(5) [(4)] types of examinations offered.

(e) - (f)(No change.)
(g)Applicants providing an official verification from NCEES or an NCEES member board certifying that they have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering and/or Principle and Practices of Engineering examination(s) in that state shall not be required to take the examination(s) again.
(h) - (l)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.65 Examination on the Fundamentals of Engineering

(a)An undergraduate student who is within two regular semesters (not including summer sessions) of graduating may take the examination on the fundamentals of engineering [at a location prescribed by the board] provided that the student is enrolled in a degree program which [in Texas and the program] is:  

(1)an engineering program accredited or approved by the EAC/ABET;  
(2)a four year baccalaureate technical program accredited or approved by the ETAC/ABET; [or]  
(3)an engineering-related science program of four years or more that has been approved by the board; or  
(4)a non-engineering related curriculum or other degree in which the student has provided evidence acceptable to the executive director as meeting the minimum requirements of §1001.302(a)(1)(A) or (B) of the Act.

(b)Persons who demonstrate that they meet the educational requirements for a license and who have not passed the examination on the fundamentals of engineering [while in college and who are residents of Texas] may apply [to the board] to take the examination in accordance with the applicable examination registration requirements [schedule adopted by the board].
(c)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.69 Waiver of Examinations

(a) - (c)(No change.)
(d)An applicant is not eligible to request a waiver of the examination on the fundamentals of engineering if the applicant has taken and failed any examination on the fundamentals of engineering in any jurisdiction within the previous two years.
(e)An applicant is not eligible to request a waiver of the examination on the principles and practice of engineering if the applicant has taken and failed any examination on the principles and practice of engineering in any jurisdiction within the previous four years.
(f)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.71 Examination for Record Purposes

A licensed engineer may[, upon written request to the board and submittal of the appropriate forms and fees,] take an examination for record purposes [only]. An individual may only take the examination on the principles and practice of engineering if the individual is currently licensed in Texas as a professional engineer or has been given permission by the board to do so. Unless required to do so by the Board, an individual who has passed the examination in a specific discipline may not re-take the examination in that discipline.

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.73 Examination Results and Analysis

(a)For each examinee that has completed the examination on the fundamentals of engineering or the examination on the principles and practice of engineering, the board or NCEES shall provide a numerical score, if applicable, and an indication of whether the person passed or failed the examination.
(b) - (e)(No change.)
(f)An examinee may request manual verification of grading of the examination on [the fundamentals of engineering or] the principles and practice of engineering results only as permitted by the uniform examination procedures set out by NCEES or by the board:  

(1)only at the date(s) and time(s) specified by NCEES in its notification to the examinee of his or her failure of the examination; and 
(2)provided that any costs associated with manual verification by NCEES will be paid by the examinee.

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.75 Examination Irregularities

(a)(No change.)
(b)If the executive director determines that sufficient evidence exists of an examination irregularity related to an examinee, an examinee has knowingly violated NCEES or the board policies and procedures, or an examinee cheated, the examinee may have their exam results invalidated, and may be barred from taking any examination in Texas for a period of up to two years. Any application for licensure pending or approved for examination may be denied and will be evaluated or re-evaluated on that basis. Any examination taken and passed [in another state] while barred from taking an examination in Texas will not be acceptable for licensure purposes in Texas. [Any subsequent examinations administered to the examinee in Texas will be given at the site and time determined by the executive director.]
(c)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.81 Receipt and Processing of Applications by the Board

(a)Upon receipt of an application for licensure and application fee at the board office, the board shall initiate a review of the credentials submitted. Applicants who meet the licensure requirements and pay the Professional Fee in accordance with §1001.206 of the Act shall be issued a license [upon successful passage of the examination on the principles and practices of engineering, having met all examination requirements, or been approved by waiver of examination(s)]. Applicants who fail to meet one or more of the licensure requirements shall be denied a license.
(b) - (g)(No change.)
(h)Pursuant to §55.005, Texas Occupations Code, an application for license from a military spouse shall be processed and reviewed as soon as practicable in accordance with subsection (a) of this section. All other applications will be processed in the order they were received.

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.87 Final Action on Applications

(a)Upon approval of an application by the executive director, the licensing committee, or the board in a manner provided in this subchapter, the executive director shall:  

(1)issue a license subject to the applicant's taking and passing the examination on the principles and practice of engineering according to §133.67 of this chapter (relating to Examination on the Principles and Practice of Engineering) and paying the Professional Fee in accordance with §1001.206 of the Act; or  
(2)issue a license to an applicant who has passed the examination on the principles and practice of engineering or who has had that examination waived and has paid the Professional Fee in accordance with §1001.206 of the Act.

(b) - (e)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.89 Processing of Administratively Withdrawn Applications

(a)To reactivate an administratively withdrawn application, the applicant must submit:

(1)a reactivation fee as established by the board;
(2)a new application form complete with signatures; [and
(3)updated supplementary experience records for the time period since the application was first submitted; and[ .]   
(4)documentation of submittal of fingerprints for criminal background check as required by §1001.3035 of the Act, unless previously submitted to the board.

(b)If the application has been administratively withdrawn for a period of six months, the application shall be denied.

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§133.97 Issuance of License

(a)(No change.)
(b)The Professional Fee paid in accordance with §1001.206 of the Act at the time of license issuance [fee which accompanied the application] is applied toward the required licensing fee for the first partial year of licensure.
(c) - (l)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§137.7 License Expiration and Renewal

(a) - (b)(No change.)
(c)A license holder may renew a license by submitting : 

(1)the required annual renewal fee, including applicable increase in fees as required by §1001.206 of the Act . Payment may be made by personal, company, or other checks drawn on a United States bank (money order or cashier's check), or by electronic means, payable in United States currency;[, and]  
(2)
the continuing education program documentation as required in §137.17 of this chapter (relating to Continuing Education Program) to the board prior to the expiration date of the license; and[. Payment may be made by personal, company, or other checks drawn on a United States bank (money order or cashier's check), or by electronic means, payable in United States currency.]   
(3)documentation of submittal of fingerprints for criminal background check as required by §1001.3535 of the Act, unless previously submitted to the board.

(d) - (g)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§137.13 Inactive Status

(a) - (c)(No change.)
(d)To return to active status, a license holder whose license is inactive must: 

(1)submit a request in writing for reinstatement to active status;[,]  
(2)pay the fee for annual renewal and the fee increase required by §1001.206 of the Act, as applicable;[, and]   
(3)provide documentation of submittal of fingerprints for criminal background check as required by §1001.3535 of the Act, unless previously submitted to the board; and
  
(4)
 [(3)] comply with the continuing education program requirements for inactive license holders returning to practice as prescribed in §137.17(o) of this chapter (relating to Continuing Education Program).

(e) - (h)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§139.31 Enforcement Actions for Violations of the Act

(a)Under the authority and provisions of §1001.201, §1001.202, and Subchapters J, K, and L of the Texas Engineering Practice Act (Act), the board shall take action against a person or entity, upon determination that censure is warranted, for a violation of the Act and/or board rules. An action may be composed of one or more of the following: 

(1)revocation of a license;  
(2)suspension of a license; 
(3)probation of a suspended license; 
(4)refusal to renew a license;  
(5)issuance of a formal or informal reprimand;  
(6)[notice to] cease and desist order;  
(7)voluntary compliance agreement; [or]   
(8)emergency suspension; or  
(9)
 [(8)] assessment of an administrative penalty under Subchapter K the Act.

(b) - (c)(No change.)

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.


§139.35 Sanctions and Penalties

(a)The board, the executive director, an administrative law judge, and the participants in an informal conference may arrive at a greater or lesser sanction than suggested in these rules. The minimum administrative penalty shall be $100 per violation. The maximum administrative penalty shall be $5,000.00 [$3000] per violation. Pursuant to §1001.502(a) of the Act, each day a violation continues or occurs is considered a separate violation for the purpose of assessing an administrative penalty. Allegations and disciplinary actions will be set forth in the final board order and the severity of the disciplinary action will be based on the following factors:  

(1)the seriousness of the violation, including the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the prohibited act and the hazard or potential hazard created to the health, safety, or economic welfare of the public;  
(2)the history of prior violations of the respondent;  
(3)the severity of penalty necessary to deter future violations;  
(4)efforts or resistance to efforts to correct the violations; 
(5)the economic harm to property or the environment caused by the violation; and  (6)any other matters impacting justice and public welfare, including any economic benefit gained through the violations.

(b)The following is a table of suggested sanctions the board may impose against license holders for specific violations of the Act or board rules. NOTE: In consideration of subsection (a)(1) - (6) of this section, the sanction issued could be less than or greater than the suggested sanctions shown in the following table. Also, for those suggested sanctions that list 'suspension', all or any portion of the sanction could be probated depending on the severity of each violation and the specific case evidence.

Attached Graphic

(c)The following is a table of suggested sanctions that may be imposed against a person or business entity for specific violations of the Act or board rules. NOTE: In consideration of subsection (a)(1) - (6) of this section, the sanction issued could be less than or greater than the suggested sanctions shown in the following table.

Attached Graphic

(d)The following is a table of suggested sanctions that may be imposed against a person or business entity for violations of the Act or board rules involving firm registration. NOTE: In consideration of subsection (a)(1) - (6) of this section, the sanction issued could be less than or greater than the suggested sanctions shown in the following table.

Attached Graphic

(e)The following is a table of suggested sanctions that may be imposed against a governmental entity and/or its representative for violations of the Act or board rules. NOTE: In consideration of subsection (a)(1) - (6) of this section, the sanction issued could be less than or greater than the suggested sanctions shown in the following table. Injunctive action could also result from a second or later occurrence of these violations.

Attached Graphic

Any comments pertaining to this proposed rule may be submitted prior to October 19, 2013 to:
Texas Board of Professional Engineers at: rules@engineers.texas.gov
1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741 or faxed to (512) 440-0417.

 

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