State Board of Architects Update — December 2015

SBOA Report — December 2015

JCorkill_croppedJohn F. Corkill Jr., AIA
Director, MD State Board Liaison

The State Board of Architects heard a report from their Legal Counsel, Milena Trust, Esq., that Governor Hogan’s Regulatory Reform Commission’s preliminary report had been published and that the Design Boards and the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation received comments about two areas. There was a question about whether requiring continuing education credits for re-registration was warranted. The SBOA observed that with most states now requiring CEU’s, were Maryland to abandon them, reciprocity with other states would become difficult or impossible. There was a mention of the Overlapping Practice Panels, as well (of which more later). Legal Counsel Trust said Board Members were not permitted to testify about these matters before the Commission.

In any event, little in the Commission’s report would have any immediate effect, unless specific legislation to make Commission suggestions into law were passed by the legislature.

The SBOA voted approval of the new MATRIX OF WORK YEARS EQUIVALENT TO COLLEGE CREDITS, setting the number of years of work experience necessary to take the ARE in the absence of a NAAB-accredited degree or degrees in architectural studies.

Linda Washington, who had been attending recent SBOA meetings as an observer, will become acting Board Secretary, after Terry White’s retirement. Having gotten through the hiring freeze, DLLR is actively seeking Terry’s permanent successor.

Jim Baseman, currently Assistant Executive Director to the Design Boards, including SBOA, will serve as acting Executive Director upon Pam Edward’s retirement, as DLLR seeks a permanent successor.

Paul Edmeades, AIA, reported on recent National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ Actions:

NCARB has reduced its requirements for the number of college credit hours one must have for a five year degree from 160 hours to 150 hours. This aligns NCARB with the NAAB requirement of 150 credit hours. To accomplish this, NCARB reduced required history hours by 4, electives by 4, and design by 8, for a reduction of 16, while adding 3 additional hours of technical courses and 3 hours of practice, all for a net reduction of 10 required credit hours. All of this is in the effort to reduce the time it takes to become a registered architect.

The Governor’s Regulatory Reform Commission reported that Marylanders testifying before them lamented “an attitude among regulators that has engendered:”

“An environment that is decidedly hostile to the regulated.”
“A focus on what cannot be done, not how business can achieve its goals.”
“An emphasis on punitive enforcement instead of assisting compliance.”
“A “gotcha” environment that seeks to penalize or restrict.”

“Architects and Engineers”
“Architects and engineers are both licensed by the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. Because of overlaps in the professional duties of architects and engineers, the Overlapping Practice Panel was established within the Department to resolve those issues. The Department advises that this panel is a necessary entity, but is rarely used. The policies of the Panel should be published and disseminated to the members of the professions, standards should be adopted, and guidance should be made available on how these issues are to be resolved.”

No mention was made of the lack of due process, the secret Panel meetings, the fact that only County P.E.s may complain to the Panel, and there is no appeal of Panel decisions short of court…No mention was made of the downstream effects in County Permit Bureaus, where architects are now prohibited from sealing even the tiniest hint of “engineering.”  Switch legs, moved ducts, revised toilet layouts for ADA, lintels and beams, all must carry a P.E. seal — a classic restraint of trade. No mention was made of current DLLR doctrine that County Permit P.E.’s can overrule State Registration Laws.


SBOA Report — Fall 2015
SBOA Report — Summer 2015
SBOA Report — Winter/Spring 2015