MORE ON DELEGATING LICENSE HOLDER'S DUTIES AND NEED FOR QUALIFIER AGREEMENT
In response to "give me a break", the delegation of tasks takes place in many licensed and registered professions. For example, in medicine, a physician's assistant (PA) or nurse practitioner (NP) sees patients, writes prescriptions and keeps patient records, all under the "supervision" of a license doctor (MD). A paralegal or legal assistant does research, meets with clients, prepares motions, and performs other legal duties, again, under the direct supervision of a lawyer admitted to the bar. Carrying this one step further, we elect our chief law enforcer (sheriff in most counties in most states) and that person is responsible for all law enforcement duties. He or she appoints as many deputies as needed to do their job, but the sheriff is ultimately responsible (both legally and to the voters) for their performance. So it is in the engineering and architecture fields. An engineer can put out his shingle and have as many "assistants" as he/she chooses, providing the underlings are properly supervised. But, it would be professional suicide for an engineer to supervise (sign and seal) work the engineer is not qualified to do. No different than a licensed physician who specializes in ophthalmology doing heart surgery or allowing his PA to do so.... not a good scenario, both medically and legally. Yes, engineers and architects (and licensed land surveyors) can legally sign and seal fire alarm drawings, but at their peril for a malpractice suit when something goes wrong, if they do not possess the requite knowledge. There are some states (West of the Mississippi) where PE's are not permitted to stamp fire alarm plans, unless they are FPE (fire protection engineers) or NICET Level IV certificate holders. Each state has different requirements and case law, and each should be approached according to the rules.
Regarding license "qualifiers", I would suggest that anyone in our industry who "lends" their license to another have a "hold harmless" and "indemnification" agreement with whoever they are qualifying for...if not, you are placing yourself at serious risk. I think we all know an attorney who can assist in guiding us in the right direction.
Ken, thanks for the forum..
These are my comments to the statements made by "give me a break":
1. In New York State there are special corporation (Professional Corporation – PC or Design Professional Corporation – DPC) required for licensed professional engineering firms. In PC 100% of the shareholders have to be PE or RA, in DPC – 75%. No other corporations are allowed to do engineering work in New York State.
2. Drawings must be created by the PE himself, or by the employees of the licensed engineering firm, and not any other type of a firm. There is NO allowance in NY State for the licensed professional engineer to review drawings created by other companies or by people not under his direct supervision (meaning under his/her employment) as per NY State Education Law. Anything else is “rubber-stamping” which is illegal.
3. If a licensed engineer is hired by a fire alarm contracting firm, such firm cannot mark up the price of their work; that is called fee splitting that is illegal since you they are not in the engineering business. It needs to be broken out as a separate line item in the contractors Proposal and then in the invoice, reflecting exactly what the engineer charged, with no markup.
4. Licensed engineers who act unprofessionally are subject to fines, suspensions , loss of certain privileges and the permanent loss of their license. See the follow link for a listing in NYC as an example of such http://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/industry/professional-engineers-and-registered-architects.page
Zygmunt Staszewski, PE, FSFPE
Z.S. Engineering D.P.C. Consulting Engineers
Floral Park NY
My office has developed the Qualifier Agreement which is the agreement between the license holder and the company for whom the license holder is going to obtain the license. These agreements are "state" specific and "license" specific. The Qualifier Agreement covers the deal between the Qualifier and the Company and their respective duties, responsibilities, liability and other aspects that need to be covered. The Qualifier Agreement is essential for both the Qualifier and the Company. The Qualifier Agreement is handled by our Alarm Licensing Department. For information contact Jennifer Kirschenbaum,Esq at 516 747 6700 x 302, Jennifer@KirschenbaumEsq.com or Jesse Kirschenbaum,Esq at 516 747 6700 x 317, Jesse@KirschenbaumEsq.com
If you are a license holder or company with a license holder [other than the owner of the company] THEN YOU NEED THE QUALIFIER AGREEMENT. Why?
- to clarify your respective roles
- to specify your respective duties and responsibilities
- to limit your duties
- to limit your liability
- to cover all the license activities that the licensing agency expects to see covered in the agreement
- to lend support that the Qualifier's relationship with the Company is real, not sham, and that both Qualifier and Company understand and agree that each have their respective responsibilities