Reply to post: Many Comment Miss the Point of The Professional Registration Requirement

When is an electrical engineer not an engineer? When Arizona's state regulators decide to play word games


Many Comment Miss the Point of The Professional Registration Requirement

The reason for the Professional Registration requirement for an individual or company offering "Engineering" services is one of public safety. It ensures that when a member of the public approaches a business offering "Engineering" services, that the person or entity behind the title of "Engineer" is accountable based on the standards set by the state for offering engineering services within that state. It doesn't concern itself with where the dividing line is between what "Engineering" conceivably carries public safety concerns and what "Engineering" doesn't.

The rule ensures that there is a person or persons within that company that are required to meet the state standards for licensing, continuing education and ethics set by the state. It ensures that there is someone present with that qualification that can make the call on whether public safety is implicated and whether that firm or individual is competent to carry out that service based on their accumulated knowledge, training, skill, education and experience. It ensures by requiring professional registration that there is a "measuring stick" by which to measure the conduct of the "Engineer" should harm result from the engineering services offered.

That is why we have rules on the use of the word "Engineer" or "Engineering" in a company name. Does that mean a licensed engineer is any smarter or more capable that someone who lacks that qualification, or that the person in this case cannot do the circuit design as good or better than another -- of course not. It is a simple rule designed to protect the public from companies or individuals offering "Engineering" services or representing themselves as "Engineers" unless they are licensed by that state and meet the minimum qualifications for holding that license. No different than what is required of a Doctor or Lawyer (or plumber, or hair-dresser for that matter...)

David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.

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