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​2019 will be a special year for OSBEELS. It marks the 100 year anniversary of the Board holding its inaugural meeting. Throughout the upcoming year, the Board will be celebrating in a number of ways and registrants and interested parties are encouraged to participate!

The Board will be releasing a commemorative issue of the Oregon Examiner and a special edition 100 year anniversary wall certificate seal that will only be distributed in the upcoming year. The yearlong celebration will also include a special Board meeting and evening event on July 11 to mark the 100 year anniversary.

Keep an eye out for more information to be shared after the New Year! To stay up-to-date on the upcoming activities for the 100 year anniversary, follow OSBEELS on Facebook at facebook.com/OSBEELS.​

​During the January 2018 Board meeting, a registrant submitted a comment requesting the Board to address how it handles the correction of faulty surveys that have been identified through a Law Enforcement investigation, as well as how it notifies the public or clients on record that may be affected by the incorrect survey.

In some instances when an investigative case comes before the Law Enforcement Committee (LEC) that involves an alleged fault survey, following a review by the Board’s Investigation department and LEC, these allegations are deemed to be unfounded and the case is closed. However, in other cases, the allegations of a faulty survey are substantiated and the case may result in a registrant being assessed a civil penalty (a fine) or license discipline. Although the registrant(s) involved in these instances are held accountable, the Board recently discussed methods for addressing the issue of how to notify the public that there were errors in how a filed survey was performed.

The Board does not have authority under the law to change a survey, nor does it have authority to require a registrant to re-survey property or change a survey. At best, in some instances when a settlement agreement is reached between a registered PLS and the Board, the parties may agree that the registered PLS will make corrections.

Because of these limitations, the public will be alerted to the existence of faulty, filed surveys. When a case involving a faulty survey is substantiated and concluded, the Board now informs the client(s) on record in the case, and the County Surveyor in the jurisdiction(s) where that the survey was filed (or should have been filed, via letter. Additionally, ORS chapter 209 provides County Surveyors the ability to fix elements of some surveys, subject to certain legal limitations and individual county policies. The Board provides local County Surveyor offices with this information so that they can review it and decide whether they can and should address errors in that particular survey.​

Applicants May Obtain the Necessary Qualifications for Registration, in any Order They’d Like​

​Prior to 2015 in the state of Oregon, individuals interested in seeking licensure in engineering or land surveying would be required to obtain four (4) years of qualifying experience prior to being eligible to sit for their qualifying exams. During the 2015 Legislative session, OSBEELS introduced Senate Bill 297 (SB 297-A) to modernize the application process and to bring OSBEELS statutes up-to-date with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) examination procedures, which included working toward moving the professional examinations (practice-based examinations) from a semiannual paper examination to a year-round computer-based test (CBT). The Fundamentals examinations have been year-round, computer-based tests since 2014.

The passing of SB 297-A during 2015 did not change the qualifications requirements for registration, but it did allow applicants to obtain the necessary qualifications for registration in any order convenient to the applicant. As outlined in OAR chapter 820, division 10, the most common qualifications for being considered for licensure in the state of Oregon include:

  • ​Earn a degree from an ABET-accredited engineering or land surveying program
  • Pass a Fundamentals examination
  • Gain acceptable work experience (typically a minimum of four years). In most cases, this must be completed under the supervision of a licensed professional
  • Pass a qualifying Principles and Practice examination.

Under the current rules in the state of Oregon, individuals may take their examination(s) whenever they’re ready and no longer need approval from the Board to take an examination. Since the modification to the registration process, the Board has seen a positive response from applicants.

Additional information about the current laws relating to the minimum requirements for registration can be found in OAR chapter 820, division 10.

OSBEELS would advise individuals to review other jurisdiction’s registration laws pertaining to their licensing qualifications and processes as they may differ from Oregon’s.

​For the third year in-a-row, Oregon Tech’s College of Engineering, Technology and Management was awarded the NCEES Surveying Education Award.

In addition to the award, NCEES also donated $15,000 to Oregon Tech to assist with the program’s continued efforts to promote the value of licensure in the land surveying profession. The award committee selected the University of Akron’s Surveying and Mapping program to receive this year’s grand prize award.

“Oregon Tech’s Geomatics Department focuses on preparing graduates for licensure, and a successful career in their industries.” Oregon Tech Department of Geomatics Professor and Chair, Mr. Jack Walker, PLS, explained. “Our department designs it curriculum around this and also through providing support to students, encouraging participation at events, and working with industry professionals.”

The NCEES’s annual award recognizes surveying programs that best reflect the organization’s mission to advance licensure for surveyors in order to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the public. One of seven higher educational institutions to receive the NCEES’s Surveying Education Award, Oregon Tech was recognized for their Geomatics program.

Located in Klamath Falls, Oregon Tech’s Geomatics program offers students four-year degrees in Surveying and Geographic Information Systems. While completing their coursework, students in the Geomatics program are able to gain valuable land surveying experience through hands on fieldwork that prepares them for employment and licensure as professional land surveyors.

“Our program has benefitted significantly from receiving the NCEES awards. We’ve used prize funds to help students attend events like the NSPS Geomatics Student Competition and update our program’s equipment.” Mr. Walker said.​

​The Board and the Board’s legal counsel recently worked with officials from the City of Salem and Marion County to address an issue raised by local surveyors regarding property line adjustments. The issue stemmed from varying city, county, and state regulations overlapping one another, causing confusion amongst the local surveyors and area surveying offices. In some instances, surveyors believed that these overlapping regulations and filing requirements would require them to violate the 45-day filing law of ORS 209.250(1) and delay project delivery.

A surveyor who cannot file within 45 days of establishing or re-establishing a monument can comply with ORS 209.250 by giving notice to the County Surveyor of the delay and the estimated time it will take the surveyor to complete the survey – not to exceed 180 days. However, many surveyors and local officials were not aware of this provision, or were unsure about how to put it into practice.

This is where the OSBEELS team, the City of Salem, and Marion County focused their efforts, which resulted in the development of a 45-day extension form. When a land surveyor is required to establish or re-establish a monument to comply with a local planning ordinance(s), the local planning department will provide the surveyor with the 45-day Extension Request Form to give to the County Surveyor. The form includes a section to mark that the County Surveyor was consulted during the completion of the form, which encourages the local planning department and the County or City Surveyor’s office to communicate with one another during the process.

The form also specifies that the planning map needs to be marked “preliminary,” to distinguish it from a map of survey that is ready to be filed. To be consistent with the form and the law, surveyors should mark the property line adjustment map copy for the planning department as “preliminary” or “temporary” or “for planning department only”, or some other similar phrase. This will help avoid any confusion as to the purpose of the map, and will prevent it from being considered a map of survey to be filed or other final document.

The Board would like to thank the City of Salem and Marion County for their work and cooperation on this project.​

​Earlier this year, OSBEELS submitted a Legislative Concept (LC) for the upcoming 2019 Legislative Session. LC 461 addresses exemption language issues within ORS 672.060 and aims to improve language consistency throughout the law. If you have questions on the proposed LC, please contact OSBEELS Board Administrators at 503-362-2666 or OSBEELS@osbeels.org.

Fall 2018 Oregon Examiner Newsletter



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