Latest DPOR News

 

From Kate Nosbisch, Executive Director
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation

June marks my ninth year as your executive director.  We have seen many changes over the last nine years (meeting structure, guidance documents, updates to the apprenticeship program, revisions to the regulations, a new profession added – land surveyor photogrammetrists, continuing education requirements, emeritus status added; NCEES exams transitionicomputer-based based testing, multiple changes to the NCARB ARE exam, restructuring and renaming of the NCARB IDP to AXP, the passing of three sitting board members, Bill Spell, LA, John Combs, PE and Paul Holt, LS,  the addition of the PE Advisory Committee to assist with the review of PE applications with credit going to John Combs, the LARE converting to computer based testing, and board members rotating on and off the board just to name a few. I’m sure there are still many more to come and the Board stands ready to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public and the staff is poised to service our customers – the applicants, licensees, and citizens of the Commonwealth

It is a pleasure to work with the board members who serve the APELSCIDLA Board. Your professions are represented by a dedicated, articulate, professional group of individuals; it is their commitment that keeps the work of the Board moving. Board members write regulation, develop guidance documents, attend board meetings, section meetings, committee meetings, provide consultation, and preside over informal fact finding conferences.  It is rewarding and challenging work.  If you have been teaching or practicing in your profession for ten years, hold a Virginia license, and reside in the Commonwealth, perhaps you may want to consider board service. If so, please visit the board appointments page of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website to complete an application; you may have others access the same page to provide a nomination on your behalf. If you have any questions regarding board service, I welcome the opportunity to speak with you in person.

Bif Johnson and Corey Clayborne conclude their board service in 2017.  I look forward to working with Corey in his new position as CEO of AIA Virginia.  Bif was here when I started with the Board and he has been a mentor to me and he is always willing to assist the Board regardless of the task.  It has been a pleasure working alongside these two gentlemen to accomplish the goals and mission of the Board.

The Board staff is here to assist you, if you have questions about licensure, renewals, continuing education, emeritus status, exam windows, or anything else related to licensure, please contact us at (804) 367-8506 or apelscidla@dpor.virginia.gov.

Read the summer edition of the APELSCIDLA Dimensions newsletter.

Virginia Town Hall Regulatory Action Notice

The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation has made us aware of the opportunity for public participation and comment during a period for regulatory review.  APELSCIDLA Executive Director Kate Nosbisch advises that this is offered on a very limited basis.  Please see, below, the “Virginia Regulatory Town Hall Action Notice” and respond as you deem appropriate.  Note that the deadline for their receipt of comments is April 19, 2017:

The following regulatory stages have been submitted for publication in the Virginia Register

Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects
 Agency Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
 Chapter Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects Regulations (18 VAC 10-20)
 Action General Review 2017
 Stage NOIRA
 Comment Period 03/20/2017 – 04/19/2017
More details on this stage

Please address any questions or comments to Melanie.West@dpb.virginia.gov.

Gubernatorial Appointments 2015

The VSAIA offers its support to candidates who wish to serve the public by leading the various boards that oversee the work of state agencies. All agencies below — and many others — are led by gubernatorial appointees.

While only a few positions are reserved for architects — such as the regulatory board and the Fair Housing Board — many agencies would benefit from an architect’s insight and ability to see several steps ahead, similar to a chess grandmaster. To some, this would appear to be magic. To architects, it remains a daily exercise in rational thought.

For boards requiring architects, the VSAIA is asked to provide a slate of nominees. For other boards, we may support as few or as many as are interested. Board openings beginning July 1, 2015, requiring gubernatorial appointment are as follows:

  • APELSCIDLA — three positions are open, one reserved for an architect. The other two are for a landscape architect and a land surveyor. This board regulates architects, professional engineers, land surveyors, certified interior designers and landscape architects.
  • Board for Professional and Occupational Regulation — one position open, not reserved for an architect. This board oversees the actions of the department that regulates licensed professionals including architects.
  • Board of Historic Resources — two positions are open, none reserved for an architect.
  • Board of Housing and Community Development — two positions open, one each from the 8th and 10th Congressional Districts. No positions are reserved for architects. One of this board’s primary duties is to approve updates to the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.
  • Fair Housing Board — five positions are open one of which is for an architect.
  • Virginia Housing Development Authority — two positions open, none reserved for an architect.

While other boards may be considered, these are more often of interest to architects.

To submit an application to the secretary of the commonwealth, go to the website: https://commonwealth.virginia.gov/va-government/gubernatorial-appointments/ and click on the link. Members who wish to receive the support of the VSAIA must send a resume and a letter of interest to Duncan Abernathy AIA at daber@aiava.org for review by the Government and Industry Affairs Committee.

For more information about the process or an individual board as well as the commitment of time required by each, contact Abernathy as well.

VSAIA Seeking Candidates for Appointments

© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.
© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.

While we have not been notified officially of any gubernatorial appointments for the 2013 vacancies, the VSAIA is moving toward selecting and supporting nominees for openings in 2014.

The VSAIA offers its support to candidates who wish to serve the public by leading the various boards that oversee the work of state agencies.  While only a few positions are reserved for architects — such as the regulatory board and the Art and Architectural Review Board — many agencies would benefit from an architect’s insight and ability to see several steps ahead, similar to a chess grandmaster.  To some, this would appear to be magic.  To architects, it’s a daily exercise in rational thought.

[adrotate banner=”52″]For boards requiring architects, the VSAIA is asked to provide a slate of nominees.  For other boards, one nominee is fine. Board openings beginning July 1, 2014, requiring gubernatorial appointment are as follows:

  • Art and Architectural Review Board – five positions open, one reserved for an architect and one at-large.  Currently two architects serve on this extremely important board, which reviews designs for every state-owned project.
  • Board of Housing and Community Development – four positions open, one each from the 1st, 2nd, 6th, and 11th Congressional Districts.  No positions are reserved for architects.  One of this board’s primary duties is to approve updates to the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.
  • Virginia Housing Development Authority – two positions open, none reserved for an architect.
  • Board for Professional and Occupational Regulation – four positions open, none reserved for an architect.  This board oversees the actions of the department that regulates licensed professionals including architects.
  • APELSCIDLA – no architect positions open, but three other positions are open, one each for a professional engineer, a land surveyor, and a certified interior designer.  This board regulates architects, professional engineers, land surveyors, certified interior designers and landscape architects.
  • Board of Historic Resources – two positions are open, none reserved for an architect.

There are other boards to be considered as well.  These are only the ones most commonly of interest to architects.  Members who wish to receive the support of the VSAIA must send a resume and a letter of interest to Duncan Abernathy AIA at daber@aiava.org for review by the Government and Industry Affairs Committee.  For more information about the process or an individual board as well as the commitment of time required by each, contact Abernathy as well.

Snetter, Gresham Appointed to Boards

Christine Snetter, AIA
Christine Snetter, AIA

Christine Snetter, AIA, of Providence Forge was appointed to the Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects by Governor Bob McDonnell.  She succeeds Michael LeMay AIA, who did not seek a second appointment. The APELSCIDLA Board examines, licenses, and regulates approximately 35,000 individuals and related business entities in Virginia. She will serve with Robert A. Boynton, FAIA, from Richmond, and  Clint Good, chair of the Architect Section, from Purcellville.

Others appointed to the APELSCIDLA Board for the 2013-2017 term are Charles F. Dunlap of Winchester to the surveyors’ section, Daniel J. Santos of Vienna to the engineers’ section, and Andrew Scherzer of Midlothian to the landscape architects’ section.

Dick Gresham, AIA
Dick Gresham, AIA

The Norfolk City Council appointed Richard Wells Gresham, AIA, to the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners. Founded in 1940, NRHA is a national leader in community revitalization and fostering sustainable mixed-income communities. As the largest redevelopment and housing authority in Virginia, NRHA is an important driver of the local economy.

 

Pursuing Unlicensed Practice

Architects serving on the regulatory board received information on unlicensed practice investigations in their May section meeting.

The administration reported that seven complaints of unlicensed practice were investigated in 2012 and four (to date) in 2013.  The disposition of these cases was characterized as follows:

 “For FY12, 7 ‘unlicensed’ files were processed.

The first file was closed because of the Statute of Limitations and the second closed for insufficient evidence of the Respondent Sole Proprietor employing any other licensed professional.  The third file was closed when corrections were made to the Respondent’s website and the fourth closed due to the dissolution of the entity.  The fifth file was closed following the Respondent initiating the licensure process and the sixth closed due to insufficient documentation supporting the allegation of the Respondent engaging in activities for which a license was needed.  The seventh file is pending court action for unlicensed activity.

For FY13 (to date), 4 ‘unlicensed’ files were processed.

The first file was closed for insufficient evidence, noting Complainant failed to provide requested additional documentation.  The second file was closed due to corrections to the website and the Respondent no longer performing activities for which a license was needed.  The third file was closed with the Respondent no longer holding himself out on his resume as an architect and the fourth was closed due to the Respondent being exempt from licensure requirements.”

Anyone wishing to file a complaint against someone who is practicing or offering to practice architecture and who is not licensed may fill out a form and send it to the Board for Architecture, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects.  Complaint forms and directions can be found here:  http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/uploadedFiles/MainSite/Content/FormsandApplications/F701-COMPFRM.pdf.  You also may contact Duncan Abernathy, AIA, at daber@aiava.org

 

The Code of Virginia, Section 54.1-406, paragraph C — http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?000+cod+54.1-406 — states that no one may practice or offer to practice architecture in Virginia without a license from the Commonwealth.  In a related section, the law — http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?000+cod+54.1-402.2 — also states that the regulatory board has the civil authority to issue cease-and-desist orders to those it finds in violation of Section 54.1-406.

For more information, contact APELSCIDLA Board officials at 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400 Richmond, VA 23233-1485. They can be reached by email at complaintanalysis@dpor.virginia.gov  or on the Web at www.dpor.virginia.gov.

Boynton Appointed to APELSCIDLA Board

Robert A. Boynton FAIA, was appointed to the Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects by Gov. Bob McDonnell.  He is a principal with the Richmond architecture firm Boynton Rothschild Rowland Architects, PC.

He was appointed for a four-year term to the seat being vacated by James Boyd, AIA, from Charlottesville.  Boynton has served on the APELSCIDLA Board before, rising to the position of national president of the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards.

Several architects nominated by the Virginia Society AIA for other boards were not selected.  However, staff members working in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth said that their names are on file for 2013.

Solicitations for architects interested in these 2013 vacancies will be sought beginning in November.

Legislative Update: Jan. 30, 2012


All but one of the bills seeking to protect Virginians’ jobs from outside sources were voted down in committee Thursday night, Jan. 25.  But the bills concerning eminent domain still remain.The VSAIA and representatives of several other business organizations have scheduled a tentative meeting with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling for Monday morning.  Our complaint with the constitutional amendment and those bills seeking to modify the amendment is the uncertainty that they engender.Virginia’s eminent domain law worked well for many years.  And in reaction to the 2005 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London, Virginia legislators in 2007 revised existing law.  This law appeared to respond to the inequities revealed in Kelo.  But in the 2011 session, legislators believed a constitutional amendment was necessary.

The amendment, which must pass two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly and be approved by the voters, and the 2012 pending legislation make it impossible to advise architects’ clients on the probable cost and time requirement for their potential projects.  Or even to suggest that one site might be better than two or three others being considered.  The members of the Joint Legislative Committee (JLC) – representing of the VSAIA, the Virginia Association of Professional Engineers, and the American Council of Engineering Companies/Virginia – believe these legislative measures go too far.  Some of this year’s legislation inserts provisions that would compensate land owners for “lost access and lost profits.”  These and other provisions make the construction projects less certain and more expensive, the JLC members believe.

The protectionism bills did not attempt to adjust the existing language that allows Virginia state agencies and localities to mimic the procedures adopted by neighboring states.  For example, protectionist language that exists in North Carolina law will be used against North Carolina vendors who wish to conduct business in Virginia.

The JLC also opposes a bill to require localities to use the e-Virginia (eVA) site to advertise their upcoming projects.  Currently, localities must advertise in a “newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the contract is to be performed.”  Architects on the JLC complained about eVA’s performance and the quality of projects generated.

Within the myriad bills and interests represented in those bills lie a few measures that the VSAIA will support.  The VSAIA will support the high-performance buildings bills introduced by Del. Chris Jones and Sen. Chapman Petersen (HB 1167  and SB 160) and three bills that support procedures already being conducted by the Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects (HB 390HB 937, and HB 938).

Architects representing the VSAIA on the JLC committee are David Puckett, AIA, and William Evans, AIA.  The committee meets weekly during the session to work with our legislative counsel Reggie Jones and Patrick Cushing, both of Williams Mullen.

Practice
Oppose:  Bills would amend constitutional amendment concerning eminent domain

HB 5, HB 597, HB 1145, HJ 3, SB 240, SJ 3, SJ 67, and SJ 117

 

Committees reviewing these bills killed most of them January 25
HB 449, HB 529, HB 530, SB 377, SB 525SB 526, SB 572, SB 589, SB 601

 

Amend:  Bill would provide tax incentives for large firms hiring SWAM businesses. JLC would delete a provision to narrow the “small” definition to those only in underutilized business zones.

HB 228

 

Oppose:  Quality of e-Virginia’s product for architects does not match that found in print media.

HB 1193

 

Regulation

Support:  Would require General Assembly to receive study from DPOR prior to considering regulating any profession.   Would expedite licenses for qualified spouses of military personnel (APELSCIDLA does this for all applicants already).  Would accept qualified military experience in consideration of licensure by comity (APELSCIDLA does this for all applicants already).

HB 390, HB 937, and HB 938

 

Energy

Support:  Would establish specific energy criteria continually updated by Department of General Services and based upon LEED, Green Globes, and other standards.

HB 1167 and SB 160

 

Support:  Would require the Virginia Department of General Services to audit all state-owned buildings 50,000 s.f. or larger to determine their energy footprint and to update that analysis annually.

SB 621

 


APELSCIDLA Update: June-July

Draft legislation concerning unlicensed practice and continuing education was shown to architects serving on the regulatory board at their May meeting.  The architects and board staff had no official comments, but offered some suggestions.

The first of the two proposed measures aims to add flexibility to the continuing education requirements that, if passed, would put Virginia in a good position to accommodate changes being discussed at the national level by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.  The second aims to strengthen the laws identifying unlicensed practice.

Architects serving on the committee are J. Everette “Ebo” Fauber, AIA-E, James Boyd, AIA, and Michael LeMay, AIA.  Boyd was elected as section chairman for the 2011–2012 year.

In discussing continuing education, Fauber explained that the nation’s registration boards are all over the map with their requirements.  For example, Virginia requires 16 hours per biennium.  Fauber said 34 jurisdictions require 12 per year.  Most jurisdictions specifically require hours in health, safety, and welfare.  Virginia does not.  The more critical element to standardizing criteria nationally, he and Boyd agreed, was the reporting period end date. 

NCARB’s model law is being reviewed in an attempt to establish common criteria throughout the country including a single reporting date.  Currently in Virginia, the month an architect received his license is the reporting — or re-registration — date every other year.  In allowing the board to slide architects’ re-registration dates to a single date, those architects licensed in multiple jurisdictions would find it easier to manage their records.  

Delegates to NCARB’s national meeting in June will discuss and vote on the package of resolutions that includes revising its model law.

The proposals concerning unlicensed practice initially have been inserted into the list of unlawful acts that apply to any occupation requiring a license.  To the existing list of nine acts, the VSAIA is suggesting three.  These are:

  1. Entering into a contract to provide a professional or occupational regulated service or offering to provide a regulated service without holding a valid license to provide the regulated service.
  2. Advertising to provide services regulated by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation when the individual or business entity is not certified or licensed to practice the regulated occupation including, but not limited to, telephone directory listings, Internet websites, and radio and television advertisements. 
  3. Including unlicensed persons or business entities in published rosters or lists of persons who offer a regulated service where the person or business entity is not certified or licensed to offer the regulated service, including telephone directories, Internet sites, newspapers and periodicals.   

Both of these proposals were viewed earlier by the Joint Legislative Committee (JLC), which will determine how to refine the drafts prior to the 2012 legislative session.  Along with the VSAIA, the JLC comprises the two statewide engineering societies:  the American Council of Engineering Companies and the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers.