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Definition of Responsible Charge  

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A Harris
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Responsible Charge is a situation that you have taken the field data and done everything from research, computations and creating a drawing and property descriptions and whatever reports necessary to complete the survey product by yourself.

In other words, you are in complete control of what is done to finalize the survey and have it ready for the client, short of signing and stamping the document.

good luck

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BStrand
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Responsible charge is the guy who stamps things.  Because if shite goes sideways nobody is coming after your cad tech or party chief or equipment dealer or anyone else.

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JKinAK
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Not Necessarily.

You can be in responsible charge without being licensed - an unlicensed person operating quasi-autonomously performing qualifying work under the watchful eye of the licensee stamping the work is also in responsible charge - this is how you get part of the experience necessary to qualify to sit for the exam. See the FL def Paul in PA posted below.

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Rover83
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This.

The term gets thrown around pretty loosely. Responsible charge for a project refers to the licensee who seals and signs the project documents and who is ultimately responsible/liable for the information shown and the project deliverables.

But in regards to obtaining experience toward licensure, the general standard is whether someone is making judgment calls and independent decisions in the course of their daily work, without someone constantly looking over their shoulder. More than mindless drafting or staking out, where the responsible LS will review and discuss the decisions made but trust you enough to not have to check every single step of the way.

Would be nice to differentiate the two a little more easily, it seems to cause a lot of confusion.

 

Also: I have run across a handful of folks who seem to think one cannot accrue responsible charge prior to obtaining their LSIT or passing the FS. I have yet to run across a statute that specifically requires this in the dozen or so states I have researched - although I suppose there may be one out there. If someone is denying you responsible charge that meets the above standard simply because you have not obtained your LSIT, it's time to jump ship...

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Paul in PA
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As I read PA's new law, (for many the old law is still in effect) experience prior to being an LSIT is wiped out when one becomes an LSIT. It is probable that one could request a hearing and argue the point, but I chose to be very careful in applying under the old law.

Paul in PA

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Field Dog
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In PA, can you be a LSIT while completing your 4-year degree or do you have to have earned your 4-year degree first?

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Paul in PA
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"472.000(6), Florida Statutes The term "responsible charge" means direct control and personal supervision of surveying and mapping work, but does not include experience as chainperson, rodperson, instrument person, draftsperson, digitizer, scriber, photo lab technician, ordinary stereo plotter operator, aerial photo pilot, photo interpretor or or other positions of routine work." 

Full text.

Paul in PA

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FL/GA PLS.
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You don't have to be that specific on the FL. surveyors application to sit for the test. For example if you become a CAD tech you are in responsible charge of whatever you are working on. Topo, boundary, etc. Florida Statutes are inconclusive with respect to "responsible charge". Although a senior tech may check your work, technically you are in responsible charge of what was produced. Hope this helps. 😎 

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Field Dog
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Thanks! I feel better now about making a move into the office.

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aliquot
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"Does not include experience as a draftperson" 

Will your new job include decision making exceeding that required from a draftperson? If not it won't count.

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Steven Metelski
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Person in Responsible Charge is the licensed professional who receives the letters from the state board and signs and seals all documents to be issued.

As regards an applicant: you need to log your time which is necessary to fill out your "Report of Professional Experience."

The definition for what you need as a person looking to be licensed is outlined on the application.

Some states start the timer from when you get a job. Some states start the timer after your LSIT. Some states do the latter but will consider the former depending on experience.

Bottom line: a state will not issue a license to someone heavy on CAD documentation, but no field work. Balance your time, keep track of your time. Document any major project you worked on and your duties within it. I used a standard field book.

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JKinAK
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"Bottom line: a state will not issue a license to someone heavy on CAD documentation, but no field work."

Not true.

Alaska is a state and in Alaska field work is NOT a requirement to get licensed. Our definition of land surveying is broad and a person could develop boundaries using GIS software from data acquired by others their entire career - this person would be practicing land surveying per our statutes/regs and IF the work they did was under the direct supervision of a licensed land surveyor (and 3 of those years must be in responsible charge - see 12 AAC 36.065. ELIGIBILITY FOR PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYOR EXAMINATION), that time would count toward licensure. There is no field requirement.

Photogrammetrists are another group of land surveyors who are unlikely to ever get (or need) field experience.

I haven't researched other statutes/regs but I'd be surprised if there weren't quite a few jurisdictions that don't have a field work  requirement.

 

 

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aliquot
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Posted by: JKinAK

"Bottom line: a state will not issue a license to someone heavy on CAD documentation, but no field work."

Not true.

Alaska is a state and in Alaska field work is NOT a requirement to get licensed. Our definition of land surveying is broad and a person could develop boundaries using GIS software from data acquired by others their entire career - this person would be practicing land surveying per our statutes/regs and IF the work they did was under the direct supervision of a licensed land surveyor (and 3 of those years must be in responsible charge - see 12 AAC 36.065. ELIGIBILITY FOR PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYOR EXAMINATION), that time would count toward licensure. There is no field requirement.

Photogrammetrists are another group of land surveyors who are unlikely to ever get (or need) field experience.

I haven't researched other statutes/regs but I'd be surprised if there weren't quite a few jurisdictions that don't have a field work  requirement.

 

 

I haven't read the Alaska regulations in a while. I don't remember the need to be a supervisor to count experience as responsible charge. Is that new? That could make life difficult for some.

 

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JKinAK
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I don't think this reg language has changed in quite some time. The language in the regs is:

“Responsible charge of professional land surveying (P.L.S.)” means work as a supervisor under the responsible control of a land surveyor registered in the United States, and working in the “practice of land surveying” as described in AS 08.48.341.

Supervisor means overseer of work (or people doing that work) but does not mandate that the individual be supervising staff.

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aliquot
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I think to be counted as work as a supervisor, you have to oversee people. Maybe not in charge of hiring and firing, and pay, but you need to have some authority over their work.  This would make it hard to qualify working for a very small operation. 

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JKinAK
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I encourage you to ask the AELS Board if supervision of people is a required element in order to count work experience as responsible charge. I have confidence that the response will state that supervision of people is not a requirement. Black's says Supervision is "The act of managing, directing, or overseeing persons or projects." An individual managing the decisions and actions that they take on a project would qualify as a supervisor under that definition. That's the kind of experience that prepares a person for licensure.

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Steven Metelski
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NJ requires three years experience, but the application makes you break down that experience in tenths of years. It includes, but not limited to: field work, cad, control network, geodetic network, geodesy, photo, flood, riparian, littoral, Tidelands...I could link the app to clarify 

New Jersey would turn an applicant sway and tell them they need more experience before approving them for licensure.

I guess it is a state specific requirement that varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

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