Guidelines for Professional Engineering Practice in New York State
The New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions and the State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying have produced practice guidelines to provide useful information on good and recommended practices in the profession of engineering. While this information is not a substitute for an understanding of the law, rules and regulations governing the practice of engineering in New York State, it provides a useful supplement that reflects common professional practice issues and concerns. These practice guidelines can help licensed professional engineers to better understand what might lead to professional practice complaints and to take steps to eliminate or minimize those situations.
These practice guidelines have been developed in response to the questions posed most frequently to the offices of the State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying. They are intended to assist in considering appropriate professional practice in those situations which are not addressed specifically in either statute, rules or regulations. They reflect the collective experience of the members of the State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying along with input from a variety of sources, including engineering organizations and Office of the Professions' staff.
Practice guidelines are intended to provide licensees with general guidance to promote good practice and prevent instances of professional misconduct. 1 They can also benefit licensees and consumers by broadening their understanding of the law, rules and regulations that define professional practice.
As is clarified in the March 15, 1999 memorandum from the Deputy Commissioner for the Professions, practice guidelines do not have the force of law. They are not a substitute for, nor do they have the authority of, Education Law, Regents Rules or Commissioner's Regulations. While the guidelines may be a resource in understanding good professional conduct in relation to the professional discipline process, they may not be used as the basis for a charge of or a defense against a charge of professional misconduct. A licensee can only be charged with professional misconduct if there is a violation of the Education Law or Regents Rules. Determinations of which complaints lead to professional misconduct charges are made on a case-by-case basis in accordance with Section 6510 of the Education Law.
For a full understanding of the application of practice guidelines, please review the Deputy Commissioner's March 1999 memorandum regarding the purpose and use of practice guidelines contained in this packet.
Relevant sections of Education Law are available on these pages and elsewhere on the Office of the Professions site. Part 29 of the Rules of the Board of Regents on Unprofessional Conduct is also available. You may access all New York State Law at http://leginfo.state.ny.us .
This is intended to be a working document which may evolve and expand over time. We hope you find these Practice Guidelines useful. If in doubt about the appropriateness of specific practices, you should consult the actual laws, rules or regulations.
For further information and/or clarification, please contact the New York State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying.
1 Practice guidelines are not intended to establish a standard for the evaluation of issues in civil liability lawsuits involving claims of negligence or malpractice. The intent is to provide a frame of reference to be used with other appropriate considerations for assessment of issues relating to professional misconduct and unprofessional conduct as defined by law, rules or regulations.
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