Comity/Reciprocity Question - OCT 2008 - Engineer Boards
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ranger_101

Comity/Reciprocity Question

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Hello All,

Got a question here that I need some guidance on. I took the April PE Exam (Environmental) in Macon, GA. I did not receive a "passing" grade for that exam however, I was close (68 or 69 I believe). After further review the Georgia board did consider my service in the US Army (Capt, 101st Airborne Division with conflict tour in Kosovo) and has issued me a professional license (PEXXXXXX) just as any other, on the website and everything. This was my second attempt, I am authorized two more.

Since then my life has had drastic changes and I have moved to NY and may move to VA one day. My question is, has anyone had any experience in trying to acquire a license in another state with this type of situation? do other states consider Verterans' preference points? I have reviwed other states comity application and I know they specifically request the scores. is a veterans' preference issued license only valid in the state in which it was issued or will other states' boards '"consider" issuing a license on a case basis as it is presented to the board for review. will another state know which attempt you received the license?

Anything, anything on this topic would be greatly appriciated as I am considering taking the exam again in October, as I already have permission from the GA board to proxy the exam in NY. Thank you for your help.

Sincerely,

ranger_101

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Why would you take the exam again if you are already licensed?

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I am kind of in the same boat with SSmith on this one. I think the best way to answer this question is to contact NCEES directly and pose this question to them.

NCEES may tell you to contact the State board that you are going to obtain licensure in, but there may be some underlying "federal" statute that handles this situation.

Good Luck

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I am kind of in the same boat with SSmith on this one. I think the best way to answer this question is to contact NCEES directly and pose this question to them.

NCEES may tell you to contact the State board that you are going to obtain licensure in, but there may be some underlying "federal" statute that handles this situation.

Good Luck

Thanks guys, I'll contact the NCEES and let you know with a re-post here, thanks again.

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I didn't know that applicants got points for military service, is that just the Ga board or nationally? I assume that your Ga license has no conditions on it; meaning, you are licensed just like anybody else regardless of the circumstances. So when you go to get reciprocity in Va or wherever, I would *think* you'd be treated just like any other Ga PE. You have a license, fair and square, so it shouldn't be a major hurdle, hopefully.

Best of luck with your move!

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Check the Georgia Engineering Board's FAQs:

Georgia law currently provides for veteran's preference points to be given when specific criteria are met. In general, the law [General Provisions Volume 30, Title 43-1-9.(1)(2)(3)] provides that veterans meeting certain conditions are eligible for the addition of five or ten percentage points to their examination scores.

...

Q. Are these points transferable to other states?

A. No. If your actual grade was 65, and five (5) veteran's preference points were added which gave you a passing score of 70 in Georgia, most states will determine your score to be 65, which is a failing score.

Edited by Tark62

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I didn't know that applicants got points for military service, is that just the Ga board or nationally? I assume that your Ga license has no conditions on it; meaning, you are licensed just like anybody else regardless of the circumstances. So when you go to get reciprocity in Va or wherever, I would *think* you'd be treated just like any other Ga PE. You have a license, fair and square, so it shouldn't be a major hurdle, hopefully.

Best of luck with your move!

Thanks Sideways, I think you hit it, "is that just the Ga Board or nationally" that is the questions I have to answer. As we know ELSES, LLC is a private org, and the NCEES is a non-profit organization which produces examinations, these exams have been "adopted" by states as thier measuring stick for professionals. In the past, states had different exams and different requirements, but here we are. All I know is that in the prelim of investigation comity on NY, the forms sent to the other state require the "test score" to be written in a space. and my score was "close to" 70...anyways. I guess this question would best fit someone who may have actually had to do this and thier results. Otherwise, if I do move forward, I will cover the applicaiton with a formal letter of my intentions, history and willingness to become a PE in state in order to be a productive citizen, thanks again, i'll keep this thread posted with my findings so another in the future could benefit.

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Thanks Sideways, I think you hit it, "is that just the Ga Board or nationally" that is the questions I have to answer. As we know ELSES, LLC is a private org, and the NCEES is a non-profit organization which produces examinations, these exams have been "adopted" by states as thier measuring stick for professionals. In the past, states had different exams and different requirements, but here we are. All I know is that in the prelim of investigation comity on NY, the forms sent to the other state require the "test score" to be written in a space. and my score was "close to" 70...anyways. I guess this question would best fit someone who may have actually had to do this and thier results. Otherwise, if I do move forward, I will cover the applicaiton with a formal letter of my intentions, history and willingness to become a PE in state in order to be a productive citizen, thanks again, i'll keep this thread posted with my findings so another in the future could benefit.

Actually, I think Tark 62 hit it. The veteran preferance points are only applicable for Georgia. If you want to get licensed in NY, you will have to retake the test.

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Actually, I think Tark 62 hit it. The veteran preferance points are only applicable for Georgia. If you want to get licensed in NY, you will have to retake the test.

I'm a veteran in Arizona. I passed the test here in Arizona in April 08, but in between waiting for the results and the test, I did some research regarding Arizona's policy on veteran preference points. Arizona will allow up to 5 points, but not to make your grade a passing grade. This policy really only benefits people who take the Postal Exam, it may help them get into the hiring bracket. I have read were other states may not honor the license if it was received with out a passing grade, as well with years of experience. For instance, you may have passed the test in a state that only requires 2 years of work experience and receive the license in that state if you have 2 or more years. However, if you move to a state a year later and they require 4 years of service, you would need to wait 1 year until you could become licensed in that state. So unless NY or VA have the exact same policy as GA on preference points, you may not be able to get licensed in those states. Either way, only the board in the state you reside/or trying to become licensed can answer your question specifically. The Arizona Board is very good about answering these types of questions over the phone but not by e-mail, maybe the NY and VA boards are as helpful by phone.

Good job for being licensed in GA though, hopefully everything works out for you. I wish all the other states behaved like this, us veterans should always be given back for making such large sacrifices :unitedstates:

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I can tell you that the VA board will ask for the grade you recieved on the exam and you will not get licensed if it is below 70, they are very through and check everything.

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I just realized that the original poster is considering NY. Doesn't NY have supplemental tests, like CA? For some reason I am thinking they do?

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I am curious of the reasoning behind giving preference points to veterans. Does anybody know why they do this? I am very thankful to all who have served in the military but I don't see why it would justify adding points to the exam.

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I am curious of the reasoning behind giving preference points to veterans. Does anybody know why they do this? I am very thankful to all who have served in the military but I don't see why it would justify adding points to the exam.

Not my intention to open a can of worms, but IMHO application of points to the PE exam is counterintuitive to the intent of the of the exam/registration system in the first place. the test is intended to be a minimum competency exam so that the applicant can demonstrate to the board his knowledge on a particular discipline. "adding points" effectively lowers this standard.

I think it's more appropriate to apply any bonus points to a passing grade (As CivilPEHopeful said is practice in someplaces). This is beneficial for civil service type exams where preferential treatment is gained by moving up in the queue for open positions. I have no problem with that type of beneift.

Obviously bonus points above a passing grade for the PE exam would not have any effect, so it's moot whether or not they are applied if it can't make the difference between passing or failing.

Anyway, thanks to all who served and it's not my intent to minimize that accomplishemnt, but I don't think it's appropriate to use that benefit to create a passing grade from one that would have typically failed.

My 0.02.

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My 0.02.

I'll give my advice ($0.03 given inflation!)... but I recognize that I tend to flip-flop a bit on this issue.

The exam is just one of three parts required to be licenced (in most states)... education, experience, and examination. A few months ago I tried to research the reasoning behind GA's veteran's preference law - no joy. So we're left to guess how they balance the preference with public safety. I suggest this: they recognize the veteran's military experience as supplemental the the engineering experience, which can help balance a *slightly* below-the-cut examination score.

Am I bothered? No... because honestly, I don't see much difference between a first-time 65 and a fifth-time 70. If we are to be so concerned about examination, we'd need to limit attempts (which is quite unpopular among test takers in the states that already do this!) because we can't be sure the passing grade is anything more than statistical anomaly. And I just can't convince myself that there's any real difference between a 65 examinee and a 70 examinee.

Still, it does seem inconsistent. Maybe GA's trying to get veteran's to retire to their state and they're willing to risk public safety to do it! :-)

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A few months ago I tried to research the reasoning behind GA's veteran's preference law - no joy.

Out of curiosity was your research for the law in general or as it relates to Professional Engineering registration?

Is GA alone or do other states recognize it for PEs?

Like I said, if it puts you ahead in a queue that's one thing, but if it lowers standards then that's a form of discrimination (for the other test takers that get 65-69).

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Anyway, thanks to all who served and it's not my intent to minimize that accomplishemnt, but I don't think it's appropriate to use that benefit to create a passing grade from one that would have typically failed.

What happens if your military experience has nothing to do with engineering?

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Out of curiosity was your research for the law in general or as it relates to Professional Engineering registration?

Is GA alone or do other states recognize it for PEs?

Like I said, if it puts you ahead in a queue that's one thing, but if it lowers standards then that's a form of discrimination (for the other test takers that get 65-69).

Here is a link that helps explain ther veteran's preference points process. It looks as though GA does not comply with the federal intent, due to the mention of needing to receive a passing score of 70 before the points can be considered.

http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-b...eference-points

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Here is a link that helps explain ther veteran's preference points process. It looks as though GA does not comply with the federal intent, due to the mention of needing to receive a passing score of 70 before the points can be considered.

http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-b...eference-points

The information on this link has nothing to do with the PE exam. This information is about getting a civil service job in the Federal Gov't, and the veteran's preference points that one can get if eligible. The "score" of 70 is not referring to a PE Exam score. It's referring to the "score" of your civil service application.

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The information on this link has nothing to do with the PE exam. This information is about getting a civil service job in the Federal Gov't, and the veteran's preference points that one can get if eligible. The "score" of 70 is not referring to a PE Exam score. It's referring to the "score" of your civil service application.

I did a quick internet search and it appears that there is no pass/fail on the civil service exam. It merely provides a rating reference for evaluating candidates for job openings. Obviously if someone scores too low they won't get the job, but the exam score is only valid for sonme finite time (say 6 months). If the candidate has not gotten a civil service position by then and wishes to re-apply he must take the test again. The obvious benefit of the veteran's preference is that a higher score pushes the candidate higher on the list for consideration. Is suspect the Fed reference to a score of "70" is because no one scoring below a "70" would be considered for the job anyway.

This examination process is vastly different from the PE registration exam where passing the exam is a requirement for licensing.

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Out of curiosity was your research for the law in general or as it relates to Professional Engineering registration?

Is GA alone or do other states recognize it for PEs?

I was looking at the law in general (it is not specific to PEs...) Here's what I'd found that might get others started:

From Georgia's Title 43. Professions and Businesses:

§ 43-1-9.  Point credit for veterans taking examinations given by professional licensing boards

   Any applicant taking an examination given by any professional licensing board except the State Board of Accountancy shall receive points in the following manner:

   (1) Any applicant who served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States or on active duty in a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, including the National Guard, for a period of one year or more, of which at least 90 days were served during wartime or during any conflict when military personnel were committed by the President of the United States, shall be entitled to a credit of five points. Such points shall be added by the person grading the examination to the grade made by the applicant in answering the questions propounded in any such examination;

   (2) Any applicant who is a disabled veteran and who served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States or on active duty in a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, including the National Guard, during wartime or during any conflict when military personnel were committed by the President of the United States and who was discharged for injury or illness incurred in line of duty shall be entitled to a credit of five points if the disability is officially rated at less than 10 percent at the time of taking the examination. Such points shall be added by the person grading the examination to the grade made by the applicant in answering the questions propounded in any such examination;

   (3) Any applicant who is a disabled veteran who served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States or on active duty in a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, including the National Guard, during wartime or during any conflict when military personnel were committed by the President of the United States and who was discharged for injury or illness incurred in line of duty shall be entitled to a credit of ten points if the disability is rated at 10 percent or above at the time of taking the examination. Such points shall be added by the person grading the examination to the grade made by the applicant in answering questions propounded in any such examination.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1960, p. 1172, § 1; Ga. L. 1964, p. 761, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 1213, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 43; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1706, § 19.

As you can read, it applies to all professional licensing boards *except* Accountancy (odd, huh?) and appears to go back to 1960. Disabled vets get 10 points - which, when you consider how easy it can be for the VA to give at least 30% disability (a friend got 50% at retirement for sleep apnea!), might be shocking to some.

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What happens if your military experience has nothing to do with engineering?

The preference has nothing to do with engineering experience!

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The information on this link has nothing to do with the PE exam. This information is about getting a civil service job in the Federal Gov't, and the veteran's preference points that one can get if eligible. The "score" of 70 is not referring to a PE Exam score. It's referring to the "score" of your civil service application.

Yeah... what he said. Veteran's preference for the civil service is an entirely separate issue - it's about giving hiring preference (above those that score better otherwise) to veterans.

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Like I said, if it puts you ahead in a queue that's one thing, but if it lowers standards then that's a form of discrimination (for the other test takers that get 65-69).

From my perspective, if there's any discrimination to be had, you have it backwards.

Lowering standards for sub-groups happens all the time - the biggest one that comes to mind is the whole ADA... and I doubt anyone would consider *that* discrimination. Just because you help one group doesn't mean you're discriminating against other groups. Otherwise, wouldn't you have to consider the WIC program discriminatory against men?

To hire someone (putting them ahead in a queue) based on veteran's preference might seem discriminatory because the person that loses out can claim they've been treated unfairly.

And, still, the problem with all this might be that discrimination only counts (at least at the federal level) if it's done on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, religion, genetics or sex (gender). There's no provision for discrimination on the basis of not being a veteran.

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That's ridiculous. If they want to give you extra experience credit I'm all for that, but a curve for the military? Just curious, when something you stamp fails, and that one comes out in court, how in the heck do you back that up?

That's like giving you a curve on the SAT- it's standardized for a reason.

Good to know it's not transferable though- that'd really piss me off.

And before I get in big trouble- I work for the military, so reign 'em in.

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That's ridiculous. If they want to give you extra experience credit I'm all for that, but a curve for the military? Just curious, when something you stamp fails, and that one comes out in court, how in the heck do you back that up?

I understand your perspective but I wonder if it's not a little inconsistent. If I accept the concern about increased risk of failure (which I could easily do) what about the licensed engineer that took five times to pass (with a 60, 55, 64, 59, and 70)? Shouldn't that concern you as well? Still, I think it's a red herring - when something stamped fails, it doesn't matter how they got their license... they're liable all the same.

That's like giving you a curve on the SAT- it's standardized for a reason.

It is *NOT* a curve. It's a state board that has applied a standardized test in a different way. It's no different than how some universities use the SATs differently for some groups under the claim of "diversity".

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