In May 2003, the NCEES will distribute over 5,000 questionnaires as part of a land surveying Professional Activities and Knowledge Survey (PAKS). The questionnaire asks recipients to rate the importance of statements describing tasks and knowledge required of a newly licensed land surveyor. Those who complete the survey will also have the opportunity to recommend examination content. A special NCEES committee will use the survey results to develop new specifications for the content of the Fundamentals and the Principles and Practice of Land Surveying examinations. The examinations with updated content are scheduled to be administered in April 2005. Only 10 percent of licensed land surveyors in the United States will receive the questionnaire. It is essential to the validity of this study that as many questionnaires as possible are completed and returned by those who receive them.
This year’s PAKS comes at a crucial time. At the August 2003 NCEES Annual Meeting, the delegate body is expected to approve modifications to the Model Law for Surveying. The changes will result in a Model Law that includes the practice of photogrammetry and the use of Geographical Information Systems as tools to perform professional services that are included in the definition of land surveying. As a result, NCEES will invite individuals such as photogrammetrists and GIS specialists as well as licensed surveyors to participate in this PAKS. Their input will play an important role in the future of surveying licensure examinations for the next 5–7 years. Full participation from all parties is needed to obtain a complete articulation of the important tasks and knowledge of surveying under the proposed new definition of surveying.
The PAKS is an essential part of updating the Fundamentals and the Principles and Practice of Land Surveying examinations. The PAKS enables NCEES volunteers working on land surveying examinations to have information on the important continuing and emerging knowledge needed in modern practice. NCEES uses rosters provided by its member licensing boards and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping to solicit participation from a cross-section of professionals across the United States, aiming for diversity in geography, practice, age, gender, and ethnicity.