Florida Administrative Rule
Grounds for Disciplinary Proceedings--
(1) Pursuant to Section 471.033(2), F.S., the Board, to the extent not otherwise set forth in Florida Statutes, hereby specifies that the following acts or omissions are grounds for disciplinary proceedings pursuant to Section 471.033(1), F.S.
(2) A professional engineer shall not advertise in a false, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading manner. As used in Section 471.033(1)(f), F.S., the term “advertising goods or services in a manner which is fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading in form or content” shall include without limitation a false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive statement or claim which:
(a) Contains a material misrepresentation of facts;
(b) Omits to state any material fact necessary to make the statement in the light of all circumstances not misleading;
(c) Is intended or is likely to create an unjustified expectation;
(d) States or implies that an engineer is a certified specialist in any area outside of his field of expertise;
(e) Contains a representation or implication that is likely to cause an ordinary prudent person to misunderstand or be deceived or fails to contain reasonable warnings or disclaimers necessary to make a representation or implication not deceptive;
(f) Falsifies or misrepresents the extent of his education, training or experience to any person or to the public at large, tending to establish or imply qualification for selection for engineering employment, advancement, or professional engagement. A professional engineer shall not misrepresent or exaggerate his degree of responsibility in or for the subject matter of prior assignments;
(g) In any brochure or other presentation made to any person or to the public at large, incident to the solicitation of an engineering employment, misrepresents pertinent facts concerning a professional engineer’s employer, employees, associates, joint ventures, or his or their past accomplishments with the intent and purpose of enhancing his qualifications and his works.
(3) A professional engineer, corporation or partnership shall not practice engineering under an assumed, fictitious or corporate name that is misleading as to the identity, responsibility or status of those practicing thereunder or is otherwise false, fraudulent, misleading or deceptive within the meaning of subsection 61G15-19.001(2), F.A.C. When an individual is practicing engineering as a sole proprietor under a combination of his own given name, and terms such as “engineering,” “and associates” or “and company,” then said person is practicing engineering under a fictitious name, and must obtain a certificate of authorization pursuant to Section 471.023(2), F.S. The name of a corporation or partnership, if otherwise authorized, may include the name or names of one or more deceased or retired members of the firm, or of a predecessor firm in a continuing line of succession. An engineering firm may not offer services to the public under a firm name which contains only the name of an individual not licensed as a professional engineer, registered architect, land surveyor, landscape architect, or professional geologist, in any state.
(4) A professional engineer shall not be negligent in the practice of engineering. The term negligence set forth in Section 471.033(1)(g), F.S., is herein defined as the failure by a professional engineer to utilize due care in performing in an engineering capacity or failing to have due regard for acceptable standards of engineering principles. Professional engineers shall approve and seal only those documents that conform to acceptable engineering standards and safeguard the life, health, property and welfare of the public.
Failure to comply with the procedures set forth in the Responsibility Rules as adopted by the Board of Professional Engineers shall be considered as non-compliance with this section unless the deviation or departures therefrom are justified by the specific circumstances of the project in question and the sound professional judgment of the professional engineer.
(5) A professional engineer shall not be incompetent to practice engineering. Incompetence in the practice of engineering as set forth in Section 471.033(1)(g), F.S., shall mean the physical or mental incapacity or inability of a professional engineer to perform the duties normally required of the professional engineer.
(6) A professional engineer shall not commit misconduct in the practice of engineering. Misconduct in the practice of engineering as set forth in Section 471.033(1)(g), F.S., shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) Expressing an opinion publicly on an engineering subject without being informed as to the facts relating thereto and being competent to form a sound opinion thereupon;
(b) Being untruthful, deceptive, or misleading in any professional report, statement, or testimony whether or not under oath or omitting relevant and pertinent information from such report, statement or testimony when the result of such omission would or reasonably could lead to a fallacious conclusion on the part of the client, employer or the general public;
(c) Performing an engineering assignment when not qualified by training or experience in the practice area involved;
1. All professional engineer asbestos consultants are subject to the provisions of Sections 455.301-.309, F.S., Chapter 471, F.S., and Rule 61G15-19, F.A.C., and shall be disciplined as provided therein.
2. The approval of any professional engineer as a “special inspector” under the provisions of Chapter 553, F.S., does not constitute acceptance by the Board that any such professional engineer is in fact qualified by training or experience to perform the duties of a “special inspector” by virtue of training or experience. Any such professional engineer must still be qualified by training or experience to perform such duties and failure to be so qualified could result in discipline under this chapter or Chapter 471, F.S.;
(d) Affixing a signature or seal to any engineering plan of document in a subject matter over which a professional engineer lacks competence because of inadequate training or experience;
(e) Offering directly or indirectly any bribe or commission or tendering any gift to obtain selection or preferment for engineering employment with the exception of the payment of the usual commission for securing salaried positions through licensed employment agencies;
(f) Becoming involved in a conflict of interest with an employer or client, without the knowledge and approval of the client or employer, but if unavoidable a professional engineer shall immediately take the following actions:
1. Disclose in writing to his employer or client the full circumstances as to a possible conflict of interest; and
2. Assure in writing that the conflict will in no manner influence the professional engineer’s judgment or the quality of his services to his employer or client; and
3. Promptly inform his client or employer in writing of any business association, interest or circumstances which may be influencing his judgment or the quality of his services to his client or employer;
(g) Soliciting or accepting financial or other valuable considerations from material or equipment suppliers for specifying their products without the written consent to the engineer’s employer or client;
(h) Soliciting or accepting gratuities directly or indirectly from contractors, their agents or other parties dealing with the professional engineer’s client or employer in connection with work for which the professional engineer is responsible without the written consent of the engineer’s employer or client;
(i) Use by a professional engineer of his engineering expertise and/or his professional engineering status to commit a felony;
(j) Affixing his seal and/or signature to plans, specifications, drawings, or other documents required to be sealed pursuant to Section 471.025(1), F.S., when such document has not been personally prepared by the engineer or prepared under his responsible supervision, direction and control;
(k) A professional engineer shall not knowingly associate with or permit the use of his name or firm name in a business venture by any person or firm which he knows or has reason to believe is engaging in business or professional practices of a fraudulent or dishonest nature;
(l) If his engineering judgment is overruled by an unqualified lay authority with the results that the public health and safety is threatened, failure by a professional engineer to inform his employer, responsible supervision and the responsible public authority of the possible circumstances;
(m) If a professional engineer has knowledge or reason to believe that any person or firm is guilty of violating any of the provisions of Chapter 471, F.S., or any of these rules of professional conduct, failure to immediately present this information to FEMC;
(n) Violation of any law of the State of Florida directly regulating the practice of engineering;
(o) Failure on the part of any professional engineer or certificate holder to obey the terms of a final order imposing discipline upon said professional engineer or certificate holder;
(p) Making any statement, criticism or argument on engineering matters which is inspired or paid for by interested parties, unless the professional engineer specifically identifies the interested parties on whose behalf he is speaking, and reveals any interest he or the interested parties have in such matters;
(q) Sealing and signing all documents for an entire engineering project, unless each design segment is signed and sealed by the professional engineer in responsible charge of the preparation of that design segment;
(r) Revealing facts, data or information obtained in a professional capacity without the prior consent of the professional engineer’s client or employer except as authorized or required by law.
(7) A professional engineer who performs building code inspector or plans examiner duties in accordance with Section 471.045, F.S., or Sections 468.603(6), (7), F.S., shall be subject to disciplinary action for commission of the following:
(a) Violating or failing to comply with any provision of Chapter 471, F.S., or the rules of the Board of Professional Engineers;
(b) Having been convicted of a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of building code inspection or plans examination;
(c) Making or filing a false report or record, inducing another to file a false report or record, failing to file a report or record required by state or local law, impeding or obstructing such filing, or inducing another person to impede or obstruct such filing.
(8) A professional engineer shall not be negligent in the practice of engineering while performing duties as a special inspector. Negligence is herein defined as the failure by a professional engineer to utilize due care in performing in an engineering capacity or failing to have due regard for acceptable standards of engineering and special inspection principles. Failure to comply with the procedures set forth in the Responsibility Rules for Professional Engineers Providing Threshold Building Inspection, as adopted by the Board of Professional Engineers, shall be considered non-compliance with this section unless the deviation or departures therefrom are justified by the specific circumstances of the project in question and the sound professional judgment of the engineer.