Point of Beginning

Sight Lines: Is it Time for a National License?

April 1, 2009
Over the past few weeks, I’ve taken part in several conversations in which someone has mentioned the need for a national license or certification for professional surveyors. This is not an entirely new concept, but the changes that are occurring in our profession might force the issue onto center stage.



Over the past few weeks, I’ve taken part in several conversations in which someone has mentioned the need for a national license or certification for professional surveyors. A quick check of RPLS.com reveals that this is not an entirely new concept. But the changes that are occurring in our profession might force the issue onto center stage.

As the economy has contracted, even small firms have begun looking beyond their state borders for potential work. Individuals who hold licenses from multiple states are increasingly in high demand, and the roles of surveyors are shifting so that few differences in practice exist from one state to another. Some have mentioned that the desire for states to continue controlling licensure is primarily a matter of politics and “protectionism” with little remaining practical value.

Is it time to seriously consider a national license, perhaps with areas of expertise in specific states? Or is it unrealistic to think that enough cooperation could be achieved among the state boards to allow a national licensure to carry any weight?

Please share your thoughts below.

For more discussion on this subject, see the related thread on the RPLS.com board.