Policies: Geologist Licensing Board

Board policies direct activities in the following areas:

Activities not considered the practice of geology

RCW 18.220.190: Permitted activities — Certificate of licensing not required

The Washington State Geologist Licensing Board will not pursue complaints of unlicensed practice for the following activities:

  • Underground storage tank (UST) site assessment for the sole purpose of determining whether leakage has occurred, if conducted by a certified UST site assessor. This does not include geologic interpretation of the physical environment.
  • Collection of storm water and sediment data and construction site monitoring solely for construction site erosion control, if conducted by a Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Lead (CESCL).

Washington State Geologist Licensing Board, 12/2012, Policy 190-1.

Archiving incomplete applications

If a licensing applicant fails to complete the licensing process and his/her records show no activity for five consecutive years, the board will consider the application abandoned. No activity includes, but is not limited to:

  • Failure to submit the required documents within five consecutive years from the receipt of the most recent information submitted.
  • Failure to provide the board with any written communication during five consecutive years indicating the applicant is attempting to complete the licensing process

If the application is considered abandoned, it will be archived and destroyed according to the retention policy in effect at the time. The applicant will then be required to reapply for licensure and comply with the licensing requirements in effect at the time of reapplication.

Washington State Geologist Licensing Board, 6/2012, Policy 70-1.

Education requirements to qualify for a license and take the Fundamentals of Geology Examination

The Washington State Geologist Licensing Board will allow candidates to sit for the National Association of State Boards of Geology’s Fundamentals of Geology examination if they meet the following educational requirements:

A candidate has graduated from a Regionally accredited college or university with:

  1. A degree in the geological sciences, or a related degree approved by the board and have either:
    1. Twenty-four semester or thirty-six quarter hours of upper division geology courses that include 14 semester or 21 quarter credits (unduplicated) from the following list:
      • Earth Materials (combination of mineralogy and petrology)
      • Economic Geology
      • Engineering Geology
      • Field Camp
      • Geomorphology
      • Geophysics
      • Geochemistry
      • Hydrogeology
      • Mineralogy
      • Petrology
      • Sedimentology
      • Stratigraphy
      • Structural Geology
      or
    2. Successfully completed coursework that is determined by the board to be educationally equivalent in content and rigor to the classes listed above. You must submit documentation that demonstrates your coursework is equivalent to the requirements of this policy acceptable to the board. Examples of documentation include course syllabi, copies of study materials, and the tables of contents of books used in the course.

Candidates may sit for the Fundamentals of Geology examination without a degree if they meet the coursework requirements listed above in 1(a).

Washington State Geologist Licensing Board, 10/2012, Policy 060-1.

Military training or experience

RCW 18.220.211: Military training or experience

The Washington State Geology Licensing Board will evaluate applicants with military training or experience on a case by case basis to determine if the experience/training meets the licensing requirements.

Washington State Geologist Licensing Board, 3/2012, Policy 211-1.

Order of succession for appointment of a presiding officer for adjudicative matters

RCW 18.235.030: Disciplinary authority —Powers

The Board, in its role to regulate the practice of geology, shall adopt the following pre-established order of succession for appointment of a presiding officer for adjudicative matters:

  1. Board Chair (unless unavailable because he or she is already the appointed reviewing Board member, or is unavailable for other reasons — conflict of interest, out of town etc.). If the Board Chair is unavailable, the role defaults to:
  2. Board Vice Chair (unless unavailable because he or she is already the appointed reviewing Board member, or is unavailable for other reasons — conflict of interest, out of town etc.). If the Board Vice Chair is unavailable, the role defaults to:
  3. Board Secretary

Board staff shall designate a person outside of the program to act as clerk of the court.

Washington State Geologist Licensing Board, 12/2007, Policy 030.

Reciprocity for candidates who took state exams developed before the ASBOG exam

RCW 18.220.100: Licensure or certification without examination — requirements

Upon review by a board member, the Washington State Geologist Licensing Board may approve for licensure candidates who:

  • Are currently licensed in another jurisdiction, and
  • Have passed that jurisdiction’s geology exam equivalent to the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) exam, and
  • Meet all other licensing requirements.

Washington State Geologist Licensing Board, 3/2011, Policy 100-2.

Reciprocity for examinations developed prior to ASBOG

RCW 18.220.100: Licensure or certification without examination — Requirements

It is the policy of the Washington State Geologist Licensing Board that the qualifications of applicants for licensure who have passed the licensing examinations given by Oregon, Idaho and California prior to the development of the ASBOG examination meet the requirements of RCW 18.220 and will be considered for Washington licensure pursuant to RCW 18.220.100 without exam.

Washington State Geologist Licensing Board, 3/2007, Policy 100-1.

Signatures on stamps/seals

The term “signature” or “signed” as used in chapters 18.220 RCW and/or 308-15 WAC, means the following:

  • A handwritten identification or a digital representation of your handwritten identification that represents the act of putting your name on a document to attest to its validity. The handwritten or digital identification must be:
    • Original and written by hand, or a scanned image of an original, handwritten identification;
    • Permanently affixed to the document(s) being certified;
    • Applied to the document by the identified licensee;
    • Placed across the seal/stamp of the licensee.
  • A digital identification that is an electronic authentication process attached to or logically associated with an electronic document. The digital identification may include a scanned or digitized signature. The digital identification must be:
    • Unique to the licensee using it;
    • Capable of independent verification;
    • Under the exclusive control of the licensee using it.

Washington State Geologist Licensing Board, 6/2012, Policy 90-1.

Stamping requirements

Final reports and documents prepared pursuant to regulatory compliance shall be stamped consistent with WAC 308-15-075, and are not considered exemptions under RCW 18.220.190(4).

Washington State Geologist Licensing Board, 6/2012, Policy 90-2.

Wetland delineation and the practice of hydrogeology

The delineation of a wetland by a qualified wetlands professional, specifically the observation of water-saturated soils or shallow groundwater and other field indicators of wetland hydrology when applied according to the wetland delineation methods adopted by state law (RCW 90.58.380 and WAC 173-22-035), shall not be considered the practice of hydrogeology.

The interpretation and application of hydrogeologic data, beyond the observation of shallow groundwater, used to inform the multidisciplinary wetland delineation process is included in the practice of hydrogeology as adopted by state law (RCW 18.220 and WAC 308-15).

Washington State Geologist Licensing Board, 12/19/2012, Policy 190-2

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