WSR 02-09-011



[ Filed April 5, 2002, 10:05 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-05-079.

Title of Rule: Chapter 308-15 WAC, the law relating to geologists, amending WAC 308-15-040 What are the minimum requirements to be eligible for a geologist or specialty license? and new section WAC 308-15-140 What are the rules of professional conduct?

Purpose: The department has reviewed WAC 308-15-040 and recommends amending for clarification and adding a new section, WAC 308-15-140, to describe rules of professional conduct.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.220.040(1), 18.220.050(1).

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.220.040(1), 18.220.050(1).

Summary: Amend and add new rule for chapter 308-15 WAC for clarification.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: WAC 308-15-040 is unclear and needed to be rewritten for clarification. WAC 308-15-140 is a new section added to implement the rules of professional conduct.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Margaret Epting, 405 Black Lake Boulevard, Olympia, WA 98502, (360) 664-1386.

Name of Proponent: Industry stakeholders, public.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Amend WAC 308-15-040 and add new section WAC 308-15-140.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Amendment of WAC 308-15-040 simplifies and clarifies language.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. There will not be a burden on the industry due to increased fees or increased workloads.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. Department of Licensing is exempt from this law.

Hearing Location: Department of Licensing, 405 Black Lake Boulevard, Second Floor, Conference Room 4, Olympia, WA 98502, on May 23, 2002, at 9:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Susan Colard by May 17, 2002, TTY (360) 586-2788, or (360) 664-1497.

Submit Written Comments to: Geologist Licensing Board, P.O. Box 9045, Olympia, WA 98507-9045, fax (360) 664-2551, by May 17, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: May 24, 2002.

April 5, 2002

Margaret Epting, Administrator

Geologist Licensing Program


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-12-023, filed 5/25/01, effective 6/25/01)

WAC 308-15-040   What are the minimum requirements to be eligible for a geologist or specialty license?   You are eligible for licensure as a professional geologist or specialist if you meet the following minimum requirements:

(1) You are of good moral character, as attested to by two references.

(2) You must meet the following education requirements:

(a) You must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a degree in geology, engineering geology, hydrogeology or one of the related geological sciences((,)); or ((educational equivalents, and))

(b) You must have completed a minimum of 30 semester/45 quarter hours or their equivalent of course work in geological science((. This)), which include((s)) classes in physical geology, historical geology, structural geology, mineralogy/petrology and sedimentary geology/stratigraphy.

(c) If you do not meet these requirements, you must demonstrate to the board that you have completed educational equivalents in WAC 308-15-040 (2)(b).

(d) You must document your college or university educational experience by submitting official sealed transcripts to the board. Educational equivalents must be documented by providing a course syllabus or outline, along with a certificate documenting satisfactory completion.

(3) You have at least five years of professional geological or specialty practice or, if applying for a specialty, five years of specialty practice satisfactory to the board, after receipt of a bachelor's degree. The following education and experience criteria qualify toward accumulation of the required years of professional work:

(a) You will receive up to two years' credit, one year for each year of full time graduate study in geology, engineering geology, hydrogeology or one of the related geological sciences, as documented in the transcripts provided;

(b) You must have at least three years of geological experience under the supervision of state-licensed geologists or specialty geologists or others who, in the opinion of the board, are qualified to have responsible charge as provided by the information supplied on forms provided by the board.

(i) Your geological experience may include geological research or teaching at the university or college level which, in the judgment of the board, is comparable to experience obtained in the practice of geology or a specialty.

(ii) If requested by the board, you may be required to submit one or more reports which were prepared by you or where you contributed to their preparation.

(c) If you are applying under the grandparenting provisions in this chapter, you may comply with this requirement by providing documentation of geological experience where you were the person in responsible charge and meet the requirements in (b) of this subsection.

(4) You must have passed a geologist examination and, if applying for a specialty, a specialty examination, unless you are eligible for licensure by grandparenting. All examinations must be adopted by or acceptable to the board.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 18.220 RCW. 01-12-023, 308-15-040, filed 5/25/01, effective 6/25/01.]

WAC 308-15-140   What are the rules of professional conduct?   (1) What are the general responsibilities of a geologist?

(a) A geologist must undertake professional service or render expert opinion only when qualified by training or experience in the technical areas involved.

(b) When serving as an expert or technical witness before a court, commission, or other tribunal, a geologist must express only those opinions founded upon adequate professional knowledge of the matters at issue.

(c) A geologist must sign and stamp only professional work, including, but not limited to, maps and reports for which the geologist has direct professional knowledge, and for which the geologist is in responsible charge.

(d) A geologist must not take credit for work conducted by others. When using the results of other geologists' work in the performance of the practice of geology, a geologist must give due credit to the other geologists by citation or acknowledgement. Work of other geologists which is proprietary, or was not intended to be made generally available, must not be used without the permission of the other geologist.

(e) A geologist must not knowingly make false statements or misrepresentations, or permit the publication or use of the geologist's name or work in association with any fraudulent activities.

(f) A geologist must make full disclosure to all parties concerned of any conflict of interest in projects or properties on which the geologist performs work.

(g) If a geologist has knowledge or reasonable cause to believe another person or geologist is in violation of the licensing law, chapter 18.220 RCW, or the related administrative rules, the geologist must present such information in writing to the Washington geologist licensing board.

(h) If a geologist's professional judgment is overruled or not adhered to under circumstances where the geologist has reasonable cause to believe there is a clear and present threat to the public health or welfare or property, the geologist must immediately notify the client/employer. If the client/employer does not take appropriate action within a reasonable amount of time under the circumstances, the geologist must notify in writing the agency of local government having jurisdiction, or in the case of state/federal property the state/federal agency having land management responsibility, and the board of the nature of the public threat.

(i) When a geologist issues a statement or document about the geologic work of others, he or she must disclose the name of the client who requested the review.

(j) Geologists must continue their professional development throughout their careers, and must provide opportunities for the professional development of those individuals under their supervision.

(2) What are the specific responsibilities of a geologist to an employer or client?

(a) A geologist must avoid conflict of interest with a client/employer and must disclose the circumstances to the client/employer if a conflict is unavoidable.

(b) A geologist must not, during the time of the geologist's retention or employment by a client/employer, use information developed for, or the resources of, said client/employer for private gain or in any other manner that may conflict with the client/employer's interest without the knowledge and consent of the client/employer, except as specified in subsection (1)(h) of this section. In the case of a former client/employer, a geologist must honor agreements with that former client/employer with regard to proprietary information, except as specified by subsection (1)(h) of this section.

(c) A geologist must either engage or advise a client/employer to engage other experts or specialists if the client/employer's interests are best served by such service.

(d) A geologist must give due notice of withdrawal of service from a client/employer. Due notice must be either thirty days or a time mutually agreed to by the geologist and the client/employer, whichever is less. However, a geologist may withdraw from service without due notice if:

(i) The geologist fails to receive compensation, or has reasonable cause to believe that compensation for services performed must not be received;

(ii) The geologist knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, that continued employment will result in a violation of this code, or will otherwise be illegal;

(iii) The geologist knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, that the client/employer is involved in illegal or fraudulent practices, or practices dangerous to the life, health, property and welfare of the public;

(iv) The geologist knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, that continued employment would result in sickness or injury to the geologist or the geologist's dependents.

(e) A geologist must not accept compensation concurrently from more than one client/employer on a project, unless the circumstances of payment are fully disclosed and agreed to by all financially interested parties.

(f) Geologists must advise their employers or clients when, as a result of their studies, they believe a project must not be successful.

(g) Geologists must negotiate contracts for professional services fairly and on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications for the type of professional service required and not on the basis of cost.

(h) Geologists must not request, propose or accept professional commissions on a contingent basis under circumstances in which their professional judgment may be compromised.

(3) What are the specific responsibilities of a geologist to the board?

(a) A geologist must respond to board formal requests within thirty days of receipt of the request by registered or certified mail.

(b) A geologist, when requested by the board, must present information and assistance to the board in pursuing violations of laws and rules relating to the practice of geology in the state of Washington.

(4) What are prohibited acts? The prohibited acts are found in RCW 18.220.130 and 18.220.170.


Washington State Code Reviser's Office