Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional and Occupational Licensing
Agency 145. Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals, and Geologists
10/23/2020

Chapter 20. Professional Soil Scientists Regulations

Part I
General

18VAC145-20-10. Definitions.

Section 54.1-2200 of the Code of Virginia provides definitions of the following terms and phrases as used in this chapter:

Board

Soil

Soil evaluation

Soil science

Soil scientist

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Application" means a completed application with the appropriate fee and any other required documentation, including but not limited to references, employment verification, degree verification, and verification of examination and licensure.

"CSSE" means the Council of Soil Science Examiners.

"Field study" means the investigation of a site to secure soils information by means of landscape analysis and soil borings, excavations or test pits which are plotted on a base map or other documents (e.g., aerial photographs, topographic maps, scaled site plans, subdivision plans, or narrative description of the location).

"Soil map" means a map showing distribution of soil types or other soil mapping units in relation to the prominent landforms and cultural features of the earth's surface.

"Soil survey" means a systematic field investigation of the survey area that provides a soil evaluation and a system of uniform definitions of soil characteristics for all the different kinds of soil found within the study area, all of which are incorporated into a soil report which includes a soil map.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 1.1, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002; Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

18VAC145-20-20 to 18VAC145-20-50. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 §§ 1.2 through 1.5, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002.

Part II
Entry

18VAC145-20-60. General application requirements.

A. Applicants for licensure shall meet the requirements established in Chapter 22 (§ 54.1-2200 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.

B. All applications and accompanying materials become the property of the board upon receipt by the board.

C. The board may make further inquiries and investigations with respect to applicants' qualifications and documentation to confirm or amplify information supplied.

D. Applicants who do not meet the requirements of this chapter may be approved following consideration by the board in accordance with the provisions of the Virginia Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 2.1, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

18VAC145-20-70. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 2.2, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

18VAC145-20-80. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 2.3, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002.

18VAC145-20-90. Qualifying experience in soil evaluation.

Minimum experience requirements are established in Chapter 22 (§ 54.1-2200 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia. Applicants shall satisfy the length of experience established relative to their education. Applicants shall demonstrate experience in two or more of the following areas:

1. Soil mapping. Compiled soil maps representing at least 5,000 acres as part of a soil survey or surveys with a formal mapping legend under the direct guidance of an experienced technical supervisor. Only maps in a published report, a report scheduled to be published, or a report of a publishable quality shall be deemed as acceptable for this type of experience;

2. Soil evaluation. Conducted at least 20 soil evaluations for specific land uses under the direct guidance of an experienced technical supervisor. Examples of such uses include, but are not limited to, onsite wastewater disposal, residential and commercial development, sanitary landfill sites, forestry or agriculture production, soil erosion and sediment control, shrink-swell, or hydric soils. The finished product must have been submitted to a client or government agency (e.g., Health Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Conservation and Recreation, or local planning commission);

3. Field/Laboratory studies. Conducted at least 10 detailed field or laboratory studies under the direct guidance of an experienced technical supervisor. The field or laboratory study must have resulted in a soil evaluation report that was accepted by the client or government agency;

4. Research/Teaching. Conducted at least one research project as part of a thesis or publication or taught at least one full-time course in a soil science curriculum at an accredited institution of higher education, the quality of which demonstrates to the board that the applicant is competent to practice as a professional soil scientist;

5. Consulting (public/private). Assembled or compiled soil information with existing data or field studies and evaluated data for a specific land use. The work may have been done independently or under supervision. At least three written reports must have been submitted to the client or government agency; or

6. Education. Each year of full-time undergraduate study in a soils curriculum or related natural science may count as one-half year of experience up to a maximum of two years. Each year of full-time graduate study in a soils curriculum may count as one year of experience up to a maximum of two years. One year equals 30 semester credit hours earned or 45 quarter credit hours earned. Any credits used to meet the education requirements established in Chapter 22 (§ 54.1-2200 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia may not be used to meet experience requirements.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 2.4, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002; Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

18VAC145-20-91. Core course requirements.

A. At least 15 semester hours selected from the identified courses in this subsection or the equivalent are required for course work or a degree core to be considered a degree in a soil science curriculum or a related natural science degree.

Intro to Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences

Soil - Plant - Animal Interrelationships in Grasslands

Soil Evaluation

Aluminum Chemistry in the Soil System

Soils

Soil Physics or Physical Properties

Soils Lab

Soil Genesis/Classification

Man and Environment

Soil Fertility/Management

Soil Survey/Taxonomy

Soil Fertility/Management Lab

Soil Microbiology

Soil/Groundwater Pollution

Soil Resource Management

Soils for Waste Disposal

Soil Chemistry

Soil Microbiology Lab

Topics in Soil Genesis

Forest Soils/Hydrology

Soil Seminar

Clay Mineralogy

Special Studies (Soils Based)

Soil Interpretations

Field Studies (Soils Based)

Advanced Concepts in Soil Genesis

Soils and Land Use

Independent Studies (Soil Based)

Soil Physical and Colloidal Chemistry

Soil Biochemistry

Soil Geomorphology

Soil - Plant Relations

Soil Conservation

B. Applicants may petition the board to review the syllabus and other supporting documents of a course not listed in subsection A of this section for academic credit. The course must contain content that enhances applicants' knowledge in the study of soils. Applicants must demonstrate course equivalency in order to receive academic credit. Petitions to the board for such review must be made in writing.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

18VAC145-20-100. Examination.

A. Applicants shall be required to pass all parts of the CSSE-prepared exam.

B. Applicants shall meet all other requirements established in Chapter 22 (§ 54.1-2200 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia in order to be granted board approval to sit for the exam.

C. Completed applications must be received by the board no less than 60 days prior to the exam date or applicants may be deferred to the next exam administration.

D. Applicants approved by the board shall be exam-eligible for a period of three years from the date of their initial board approval. Applicants who do not pass the exam at the end of the three-year period are no longer exam-eligible.

E. To become exam-eligible again, applicants shall reapply to the board and meet all entry requirements current at the time of their reapplication. Upon approval by the board, applicants shall become exam-eligible for another period of three years.

F. Board-approved applicants eligible for admission to both parts of the exam must first pass the Fundamentals in Soil Science exam before being admitted to the Professional Practices in Soil Science exam.

G. Applicants will be notified by the board of whether they passed or failed the exam. The exam may not be reviewed by applicants. Exam scores are final and not subject to change.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 2.5, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002; Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

18VAC145-20-110. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 2.6, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002.

18VAC145-20-111. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 26, eff. October 1, 2009; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

Part III
Renewal/Reinstatement and Fees

18VAC145-20-120. Expiration.

Licenses issued under this chapter shall expire two years from the last day of the month in which they were issued, as indicated on the license.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 3.1, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002; Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

18VAC145-20-130. Procedures for renewal.

A. The board sends a renewal notice to the license holder at the last known address of record at least 30 days prior to expiration of the license. Failure to receive this notice does not relieve the license holder from the requirement to renew the license. License holders shall keep the board informed of their current mailing address. Changes of address shall be reported to the board in writing within 30 calendar days of the change.

B. In addition to the established fee, proof of satisfactory completion of continuing education (CE) shall be required to renew a license. Documentation submitted as proof of completion of CE must demonstrate that the CE meets the requirements established in 18VAC145-20-145.

C. If the renewal fee and proof of completion of CE are not received by the board within 30 days following the license expiration date, a late renewal fee of $25 shall be required in addition to the regular renewal fee. Upon receipt of the requisite fee and proof of completion of CE, the license shall be renewed for an additional two years. A license that is not renewed within six months after its expiration is no longer eligible for renewal. The license may be reinstated pursuant to the requirements of 18VAC145-20-140.

D. The date the fee and documented proof of completion of CE are received by the board or its agent shall determine whether a late renewal fee, the reinstatement fee, or reapplication is required.

E. A license suspended by board order may not be renewed until the period of suspension has ended and all terms and conditions of the board's order have been met. Individuals renewing licenses within 30 days after the suspension is lifted will not be required to pay a late fee.

F. A revoked license may not be renewed. An individual whose license has been revoked shall file a new application and obtain board approval to recover licensure. Examination may not be waived.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 3.2, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002; Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

18VAC145-20-140. Reinstatement.

A. If the renewal fee, late renewal fee, and documented proof of completion of CE are not received by the board within six months following the license expiration date, the license holder shall be required to pay the fee for reinstatement. The fee for reinstatement shall include the regular renewal fee plus the reinstatement fee.

B. If the reinstatement fee and documented proof of completion of CE are not received by the board within one year following the license expiration date, the individual shall no longer be considered a license holder. To become licensed again, the individual shall apply as a new applicant and meet all current education, experience, and examination requirements as established in this chapter.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 3.3, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002; Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

18VAC145-20-145. Continuing education requirements.

A. Licensees shall complete eight contact hours of continuing education (CE) per year for renewal or reinstatement. CE shall be completed pursuant to the provisions of this section.

B. CE must be completed during the time prior to the renewal or reinstatement of a license and shall be valid for that renewal or reinstatement only.

C. CE activities completed by licensees may be accepted by the board provided the activity:

1. Consists of content and subject matter directly related to the practice of soil science;

2. Has a clear purpose and objective that will maintain, improve, or expand the skills and knowledge relevant to the practice of soil science and may be in areas related to business practices, including project management, risk management, and ethics, that have demonstrated relevance to the practice of soil science as defined in § 54.1-2200 of the Code of Virginia;

3. Is taught by instructors who are competent in the subject matter, either by education or experience, for those activities involving an interaction with an instructor;

4. Contains an assessment by the sponsor at the conclusion of the activity that verifies that the licensee has successfully achieved the purpose and objective for any self-directed activity; and

5. Results in documentation that verifies the licensee's successful completion of the activity.

D. Computation of credit.

1. Fifty contact minutes shall equal one hour of CE. For activities that consist of segments that are less than 50 minutes, those segments shall be totaled for computation of CE for that activity.

2. The number of hours required to successfully complete any CE activity must have been predetermined by the sponsor. A licensee shall not claim more credit for any CE activity than was predetermined by the sponsor at the time the activity was completed.

3. A licensee may not receive credit for any CE activity that was not completed in its entirety. No credit shall be given for partial completion of a CE activity.

4. A licensee applying for renewal or reinstatement shall not receive credit for completing a CE activity with the same content more than once during the time period prior to the renewal or reinstatement.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

18VAC145-20-150. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 3.4, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002.

18VAC145-20-151. Fees.

The fees for licensure are listed below. Checks or money orders shall be made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia. All fees required by the board are nonrefundable. In the event that a check, money draft, or similar instrument for payment of a fee required by statute or regulation is not honored by the bank or financial institution named, the applicant or regulant shall be required to remit fees sufficient to cover the original fee plus an additional processing charge as authorized by § 2.2-614.1 C of the Code of Virginia.

Fee Type

When Due

Amount Due

New application

With application

$90

Renewal fee

Prior to license expiration

$70

Late renewal fee

More than 30 days after license expiration

$25

Reinstatement fee

More than six months after license expiration

$90

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 3, eff. December 1, 2004; Volume 26, Issue 22, eff. September 1, 2010; Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

Part IV
Standards of Practice and Conduct

18VAC145-20-160. Professional conduct.

A licensed professional soil scientist:

1. Shall not submit any false statements, make any misrepresentations, or fail to disclose any facts requested concerning any application for initial licensure, renewal, or reinstatement;

2. Shall not engage in any fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in advertising, in soliciting, or in providing professional services;

3. Shall not knowingly sign, stamp, or seal any plans, drawings, blueprints, surveys, reports, specifications, maps, or other documents not prepared or reviewed and approved by him;

4. Shall not knowingly represent a client or employer on a project on which he represents or has represented another client or employer without making full disclosure thereof;

5. Shall express a professional opinion only when it is founded on adequate knowledge of established facts at issue and based on a background of technical competence in the subject matter;

6. Shall not knowingly misrepresent factual information in expressing a professional opinion;

7. Shall immediately notify the client or employer and the appropriate regulatory agency if his professional judgment is overruled and not adhered to when advising appropriate parties of any circumstances of a substantial threat to the public health, safety, or welfare; and

8. Shall exercise reasonable care when rendering professional services and shall apply the technical knowledge, skill, and terminology ordinarily applied by practicing soil scientists.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 4.1, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002; Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

18VAC145-20-170. Sanctions and powers of the board.

A. The board has the power to sanction any license holder at any time after a hearing conducted pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia). Sanctions may include but are not limited to the issuance of fines, the suspension of a license, the revocation of a license, or the levying of an additional requirement for remedial education. Sanctions may be levied against any regulant who has been determined by the board to have:

1. Committed fraud or deceit in obtaining or attempting to obtain initial licensure, renewal, or reinstatement;

2. Performed any act in the practice of his profession likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public;

3. Committed any act of gross negligence, incompetence, or misconduct in the practice of soil science;

4. Been convicted of a felony under the terms specified in § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia; or

5. Violated or cooperated with others having violated any provisions of Chapter 22 (§ 54.1-2200 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia or any regulation of the board.

B. The board may refuse to grant, renew, or reinstate the license of any person for any of the reasons specified in subsection A of this section or in circumstances where an individual fails to comply with the requirements of Chapter 22 (§ 54.1-2200 et seq.) of the Code of Virginia and this chapter.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR627-02-01 § 4.2, eff. June 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 14, eff. May 5, 1993; Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. January 16, 2002; Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2015.

Forms (18VAC145-20)

Professional Soil Scientist License Application (with instructions), A439-3401LIC-v2 (rev. 8/14)

Professional Soil Scientist Experience Log, A439-3401EXP-v1 (rev. 9/13)

Virginia Certified Professional Soil Scientist Application for Licensure, A439-3401GLIC-v2 (eff. 4/14)



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