The Board regulates the public practice of geology pursuant to ORS 672.505 to ORS 672.705 and has adopted administrative rules in OAR Chapter 809 to explain and carry out statutory requirements. The Board helps to protect the public by enforcing the laws and rules
that apply to the public practice of geology in Oregon.
The Board has oversight of the conduct of geologists registered with the Board. Board registrants must follow the laws and rules that apply to the public practice of geology in Oregon. These requirements include a Code of Professional Conduct
adopted by the Board in Oregon Administrative Rule. (See OAR 809, Division 20). The Board works to keep registrants informed of requirements associated with registration, including the Code of Professional Conduct. The Board also conducts investigations of formal allegations of misconduct, incompetence and negligence in geologic practice by Board registrants.
The Board works to inform consumers and others about the regulation of geology practice in Oregon. Consumers should be aware of the legal limitations on geology practice in Oregon by unlicensed individuals. The Board conducts investigations of formal allegations of unlicensed geology practice in Oregon.
The Board has authority to take disciplinary action against and impose civil penalties on registrants found to have violated the laws and rules for geology practice. The Board also has authority to impose civil penalties on individuals found to have publicly practiced geology in Oregon without registration. However, not all Board investigations result in formal charges. Depending on factual information and other variables, the Board can determine that outreach and education is a better method to bring about compliance.
Any person can submit a formal complaint about geologic practice to the Board. Complaints can be submitted in the following ways:
- By completing the Board’s complaint form and submitting to the Board office with signature and date included.
- By submitting a signed letter to the Board which includes:
- name and available contact information (address, phone, e-mail, business) for the person the complaint is against;
- name, address, phone, and e-mail of person(s) submitting the complaint;
- a statement of facts relating to the alleged violation(s); and
- a declaration under penalty of perjury in this format: “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the above statements and information are true to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief and that I am providing these statements and information for purposes of ORS 672.665 to prefer charges against the above-named registrant(s).”
NOTE: For all complaints, the declaration, signature and date are mandatory for the Board to be able to process the complaint. Absent a signed and dated declaration, the complaint will be returned to you.
Board staff will acknowledge receipt of a formal complaint. All formal complaints are considered by the Board. Complaint investigations may include gathering information and records about the allegations, consulting technical reviewers, interviewing witnesses or persons involved, and contacting others as necessary. The Board decides how to proceed, which could include proposing formal disciplinary action, requesting further investigation, seeking settlement, or closing the case. Complaint investigation procedures are addressed in OAR 809, Division 55. See also the Board’s complaint process flowchart
which outlines the typical process.
The Board does not guarantee review of allegations or materials submitted anonymously. While the Board can vote to open an investigation absent a formal complaint, the Board must have enough information to determine that a violation of Board laws and rules might have occurred. Often, allegations or materials submitted anonymously do not contain sufficient information to justify Board action to open an investigation. The Board cannot follow-up to obtain additional information when the party submitting the information has not been identified. In such cases, investigation is solely at the discretion of the Board based on available information.
Inquires about the complaint process or other aspects of the Board’s regulatory enforcement process should be directed to the Board office.
Joint Compliance Committee (JCC)
For complaint investigations that involve engineering geology, the Board also evaluates whether the complaint needs to be brought before the Joint Compliance Committee (JCC). The JCC is comprised of representatives from OSBGE and the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying (OSBEELS). The JCC reviews complaints in the overlap practice area of geotechnical engineering and engineering geology and, as appropriate, makes recommendations to OSBGE and OSBEELS about findings in complaint investigations. The typical JCC process is outlined in the JCC flowchart
. The JCC makes recommendations, not final decisions on complaint investigations. For more about the JCC, see the Memorandum of Understanding
between OSBGE and OSBEELS.