One of the responsibilities of the Florida Board of Professional Engineers is managing and updating the rules that guide our licensees in the practice of their profession. Engineering practice in the state is regulated by the Engineering Practice Act found in Chapter 471 of the Florida Statutes. That statute guides all rule-making that pertains to the licensure and practice of engineering. Rule 61G15 of the Florida Administrative Code are the rules that affect engineering education, licensure, and practice.
Our rules are not static and must be revised as often as necessary to stay effective and relevant to changes in society, commerce and technology in order to best protect the safety and welfare of the citizens of Florida. The Board regularly seeks and appreciates input from the state’s Licensees in this process. All Board and Committee meetings are open to the public and offer an opportunity for anyone with a legitimate interest to be heard.
Recently, practitioners have inquired to the Board regarding the intent of certain parts of CHAPTER 61G15-33 RESPONSIBILITY RULES OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS CONCERNING THE DESIGN OF ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS. The Chapter has not been modified in eight years. The Board determined that a review was in order, and the Chairman created an Electrical Rules Committee to do that. Rule 61G15-33 has been re-examined for applicability to current practices and to see about reducing undue burdens for practitioners.
The Committee consists of three active Board members as well as four non-voting public members. Other Professionals and interested individuals have offered input by serving as advisory Committee Members, corresponding with the Board offices, or interfacing with the FBPE website.
The objectives of the Committee are to ensure that the electrical rules do not conflict with the practice act or other chapters of F.A.C. 61G15, that definitions and terms are meaningful, and that the rules are reflective of present day industry practices and technology. Also, the Board has committed to incorporation of the Florida Building Code by reference within 61G15-33 in order to streamline the revision process for future updating.
FBPE sought comments, questions, and concerns from licensees and other interested individuals regarding 61G15-33 using a brief questionnaire delivered by email. This questionnaire could also be accessed via the FBPE website. Licensees and any interested individual had opportunity to state concerns or relevant information that applied to the body of Florida Administrative Code Chapter 61G15-33. Response was substantial; a lot of thoughtful ideas and suggestions have been put to the Committee by way of the questionnaire.
The revised language is now being prepared for public comment. Significant changes have been made to applicability of requirements and the engineering decision making process. The Florida Building Code is incorporated by reference to clarify exactly what Codes and Standards will be enforced and to make revisions more streamlined. Terms and language consistent with industry and recognized codes replaced non-standard phraseology. Some language was removed altogether, while other was added to address current day concerns for safety and performance in the electrical engineering field.
The revised Chapter 61G15-33 is now more useful to practitioners, building officials, and the public. These revisions will clarify the standards and expectations that Florida Licensees will be held to, and assist those Licensees protect the safety and welfare of the citizens of Florida.
To review the revised version of Chapter 61G15-33, F.A.C. go to (View Rule Chapter: 61G15-33)