1755 E Plumb Lane Suite 258, Reno, NV 89502

The Nevada Connection – May 2020

CHAIRWOMAN'S MESSAGE

by Karen Purcell, PE

Ms Purcell was elected by the state board to serve as chairwoman effective July 1, 2020.  She was initially appointed to the board by Governor Brian Sandoval July 1, 2015. Governor Sandoval reappointed Karen, July 1, 2018, to serve her second three-year term.

 

COVID-19 has thrown us all an unprecedented curve ball.  For those fortunate to be able to continue to work, it has undoubtedly been a significant adjustment.  Our everyday lives have been upended as we have adapted to government directives to mitigate the virus spread.

The board was well positioned to quickly move to serving the public and its licensees remotely and virtually.  Staff has been providing typical service, albeit remotely, except answering office phones. State offices were directed to not forward phones due to tying up too many phone lines. If you tried to call our office, you would have heard the message to send staff an email that included your phone number so we could return your call.

In recognition that professionals were likely impacted by COVID-19 in meeting continuing education requirements for license renewal, the board has directed staff to grant a six-month grace period for licenses expiring June 30, 2020, last names S-Z.  You are encouraged to renew your license in a timely manner, despite not currently meeting continuing education requirements, acknowledging you will get them in the following six-months.  However if you need more time for renewing your license,  Governor Sisolak’s Directive 009 has enabled the board to extend professional licenses for six-months without incurring late fees.

If you have questions or concerns during these unprecedented times, please feel free to contact board staff.  We exist to serve all of you – the public, engineers, land surveyors, students, legislature, and the governor – we are YOUR Nevada Board.

Remember to follow us on social media, and stay tuned for frequent updates, videos, events and facts.

The board welcomes offers to volunteer your time and talents.  If you would like to be considered as a guest board member or serve on a board advisory committee, please feel free to send an email to the board office, board@boe.state.nv.us.

10-YEAR REVIEW OF REGULATIONS

Every 10-years, the board is required to complete a comprehensive review of all regulations in Nevada Administrative Code Chapter 625.  For the past six-months the board has been reviewing regulations and considering changes. 

A considerable number of updates to regulations have been approved by the board to move forward in the public review process. Thirty-three regulations are proposed to be updated—of those 33, four will be removed, one will be added, and the remaining 29 have a myriad of changes.  The changes remove obsolete outdated language, simplify language, and add clarity where needed, all while maintaining the regulatory requirements to protect the public. 

The next steps are for the board to collect public feedback, determine small business impacts, and hold public workshops.  Next week the board will send a survey e-blast to stakeholders and Nevada professionals to get feedback on the proposed regulatory changes.  The feedback will be used to consider further regulatory changes and to draft small business impact reports.  Please keep a look-out for the survey e-blast and be sure to respond.  The small business impact reports will be available for the public workshops.  We anticipate the public workshop(s) will be held late June 2020.  Prior to the public workshop(s) the proposed regulation changes and the small business impact reports will be available at, nvbpels.org for your review.  We look forward to your comments as we go through the public process to amend the regulations. 

NVBPELS SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT GUIDE

The NVBPELS social media outreach initiative has officially launched to great success early this year. While we have several objectives and goals for the program, we want to generate awareness of the essential role that engineering and surveying licensure have in safeguarding public health, safety and welfare.

But the truth is that we cannot achieve our mission without your participation. We are asking all of you, our partners, to help us get the information out to those who will benefit from it most through the social channels we have created.

When you follow us on any of the platforms, we will follow you back to engage with your content, and we both win!

WHERE TO FOLLOW

Here’s where you can follow us on social media:

LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/compa…

Twitter

https://twitter.com/nvbpels

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/NVBPELS/

WHAT TO DO

Once you’ve followed us on all three platforms, here’s what would be most helpful for us:

Post Reactions
Whether it’s a “like”, “love” or “applaud,”, reactions on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are very helpful.

Comment
Leave us a comment and tell us what you think of our post or add any info that is relevant!

Share
Share our posts with your own network so they can get the value and benefit of our information.

BLUE BOOK UPDATE

Hot off the presses, here is the 2020 Blue Book.  The Blue Book is a reference guide for the public, professionals, and building officials to assist with understanding the laws governing building design and construction in the state of Nevada.  The Blue Book is jointly published by:

  • Nevada State Board of Architecture, Interior Design and Residential Design
  • Nevada State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors
  • Nevada State Board of Landscape Architecture
  • Nevada State Contractors Board
  • Nevada Fire Marshal
  • Nevada Public Works Division
  • Nevada Organization of Building Officials

The reference guide provides basic information and includes frequently asked questions.  Because building requirements may vary by jurisdiction, specific questions should be directed to the appropriate local building official or licensing board.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION RESCINDED - ROBERT COACHE, PE # 011505

Disciplinary action was taken by the board against Mr Coache in November 2017 for violation of NRS 625.410 (4) related to a criminal conviction in the Clark County District Court in November 2016. Mr Coache appealed the conviction, and an Order of Reversal was issued by the Nevada Supreme Court in July 2019.

Following notification to the board of the court’s order to reverse Mr Coache’s conviction, the disciplinary action was rescinded and Mr Coache’s Nevada civil engineering license # 011505 was reinstated to full effect in August 2019.

Notice of the board’s action against Mr Coache was published in the December 2017 Nevada Connection Newsletter. This serves as notification that the disciplinary action against Mr Coache has been fully rescinded.

Governor Appoints New Board Member

NCEES is seeking licensed civil engineers to take part in a professional activities and knowledge study, or PAKS, to help ensure that the PE Civil exam remains relevant to current professional practice. NCEES would appreciate your input by completing an online survey. NCEES requires a cross section of licensed professional engineers practicing civil engineering—including those working in industry, consulting, the public sector, and academia—to complete the survey to update specifications for the exam. The survey will help determine the knowledge and skills required of a licensed civil engineer with four to six years of experience to practice in a manner that safeguards the health, safety, and welfare of the public. The survey can be completed in approximately 40 minutes. For access to the online survey, visit https://www.research.net/r/PE-CIV. Thank you for your support of the PE Civil exam and the engineering profession.

REGISTER EARLY TO TAKE THE OCTOBER NCEES PE EXAMS

If you were registered to take a paper-and-pencil PE exam in April 2020, your exam was cancelled and NCEES processed a refund to you.  To accommodate the impacted April examinees, NCEES has made changes to the exam administration format. 

Registration for the October 2020 paper-and-pencil exam administration will open at 10:00 am EDT on June 1 and close at 3:00 pm EDT on August 20. The exam administration will take place over two days—Thursday, October 22 and Friday, October 23. Please note that exams usually offered once a year during the April administration will be offered in October. Please go to https://ncees.org/october-2020-exam-administration-updates/ for more information.  

Exams will be scheduled on a first come/first serve basis. REGISTER EARLY to be sure you have a seat to take your PE exam in October!

Nevada Board Compliance Actions

December 2019 – April 2020

RICHARD LAPRAIRIE, PE 012970
CASE NUMBER: 20190002
VIOLATION OF NAC 625.545

Mr LaPrairie was hired to design a single-story residence in Washoe County, Nevada. However, Mr LaPrairie did not provide his client with a written contract for work proposed or completed.

Per email discussions with the client, Mr LaPrairie promised plans that were to include a percolation test, structural calculations, heat loss calculations, a truss verification letter, and a soils letter. None of these documents were produced. Civil engineering plans, including grading, utility, and erosion control, were promised as well, but not produced. Mr LaPrairie did provide structural plans to the complainant but they were incomplete.

Mr LaPrairie’s failure to provide a written contract to the complainant is a violation of NAC 625.545 which requires a written contract with each client setting forth the scope of work, cost, and anticipated date of completion of the work.  The purpose of NAC 625.545 is exemplified in this matter, by the frustration exhibited by both the complainant and Mr LaPrairie.   

NRS 625.410(5) authorizes the State Board to take disciplinary action against a licensee for a violation of any provision of NRS Chapter 625 or NAC Chapter 625. Further, pursuant to NAC 625.640(3)(b)(2) this matter may be resolved without a formal hearing by Stipulated Agreement.

Mr LaPrairie and the State Board hereby stipulate to the following terms for the above-referenced violation(s):

  1. Mr LaPrairie’s Nevada license shall be suspended for the twelve (12) months immediately following entry of this Agreement, with the suspension stayed and probation imposed for the duration of that time period.
  2. The licensee shall submit detailed bi-monthly probation reports to the Executive Director of the Nevada Board, which shall report any work completed in Nevada during the previous two (2) month period. A report shall be filed even if no work was performed in Nevada during the previous two (2) month period. The first report shall be due within two (2) months of the effective date of the Stipulated Agreement. Each report shall include a copy of the contract executed for any work in Nevada, including the scope of work.
  3. Mr LaPrairie’s successful completion of probation is expressly conditioned upon his full compliance with the following conditions of probation:
    1. On or before December 31, 2019, Mr LaPrairie shall issue a partial refund of fees to the complainant in the amount of Three Thousand Eight Hundred Fifty and No 00 Dollars ($3,850.00) and provide proof of payment to the State Board.
    2. On or before December 31, 2019, Mr LaPrairie shall pay all legal fees and costs incurred by the State Board in the amount of One Thousand Seven Hundred Seven and 50/100 Dollars ($1,707.50).
JOHN SKWIOT, PE 020561
CASE NUMBER: 20190007
VIOLATION OF NRS 625.410(2), NAC 625.630(1)(A), NAC 625.630(B), AND NAC 625.545.

Mr Skwiot self-reported disciplinary action imposed against his California professional engineer license by the California Board of Professional Engineers (“California Board”).

Mr Skwiot stipulated with the California Board to the following violations: (1) negligence, (2) incompetence, (3) unlicensed practice of land surveying, (4) unlawful use of the term “structural engineer,” (5) failure to provide a written contract, and (6) unprofessional conduct. Pursuant to the California Board Stipulation and Order, Mr Skwiot’s license was revoked, but the revocation was stayed pending the successful completion of three (3) years’ probation, reimbursement of investigative costs in the amount of Ten Thousand Four Hundred Eighty-Nine and 85/100 Dollars ($10,489.85), completion and passage of the California Laws and Board Rules examination, passage of a Board approved ethics course within one (1) year, and completion and passage of two (2) college-level Board approved engineering courses.

NRS 625.410 states that the Board may take disciplinary action against a licensee for discipline by another state or territory if at least one of the grounds for discipline is the same or substantially equivalent to any ground under Nevada law. The Nevada equivalent of the California violations are as follows: NRS 625.410(2); NAC 625.630(1)(a); NAC 625.630(b); and NAC 625.545.

NRS 625.410(5) authorizes the State Board to take disciplinary action against a licensee for a violation of any provision of NRS Chapter 625 or NAC Chapter 625. Further, pursuant to NAC 625.640(3)(b)(2) this matter may be resolved without a formal hearing by Stipulated Agreement.

Mr Skwiot and the State Board hereby stipulate to the following terms for the above-referenced violation(s):

    1. Mr Skwiot’s license shall be revoked following entry of this Agreement, with revocation stayed and probation imposed for a term of three (3) years.
    2. The licensee shall submit detailed bi-monthly probation reports to the Executive Director of the Nevada Board, which shall report any work completed in Nevada during the previous two (2) month period. A report shall be filed even if no work was performed in Nevada during the previous two (2) month period. The first report shall be due within two (2) months of the effective date of this Stipulated Agreement. Each report shall include a copy of the contract executed for any work in Nevada, including the scope of work detail.

Newsletter

Click here for the most recent issue of The Nevada Connection.
For access to the most recent issue of The Nevada Connection, please subscribe to our newsletter.

About Us

The Nevada Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors provides the information and process through which licensing as a Professional Engineer, Professional Land Surveyor, and certification of Engineer Intern and Land Surveyor Intern is possible.

Quick Links

Contact Us

Copyright © 2021 Nevada Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors