Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 22. Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals, and Geologists
5/14/2021

Article 3. Geologists.

§ 54.1-2208.1. Exemptions.

A. The certification program set forth in this article is voluntary and shall not be construed to prevent or affect the practice of geology by uncertified geologists; however, no person may represent himself as a Virginia certified professional geologist unless he has been so certified by the Board.

B. This article shall not prevent or affect the practice of any profession or trade for which licensing, certification, or registration is required under any other Virginia law, including the practice of licensed professional engineers lawfully practicing engineering in its various specialized branches.

1981, c. 132, § 54-968; 1988, c. 765, § 54.1-1401; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 54.1-2208.2. Certification; minimum qualifications.

A. Any person practicing or offering to practice as a geologist or in a geological specialty in this Commonwealth may submit reasonable evidence to the Board that he is qualified to practice and to be certified as provided in this article. The Board shall approve the application for certification of any person who, in the opinion of the Board, has satisfactorily met the requirements of this article and who has paid any applicable fees fixed by the Board.

Certifications shall expire at intervals as designated by the Board. A certification may be renewed by the Board upon receipt of a formal request accompanied by any applicable fees.

B. To be eligible for certification as a professional geologist, an applicant shall meet each of the following minimum qualifications:

1. Be of ethical character.

2. Have a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution of higher education with either a major in geology, engineering geology, geological engineering, or related geological sciences; or have completed at least 30 semester hours or the equivalent in geological science courses leading to a major in geology.

3. Have at least seven years of geological work that shall include either a minimum of three years of geological work under the supervision of a qualified or certified professional geologist or a minimum of three years of experience in responsible charge of geological work. The adequacy of the position and the required supervision and experience shall be determined by the Board in accordance with standards set forth in its regulations. The following criteria of education and experience qualify toward the required seven years of geological work:

a. Each year of full-time undergraduate study in the geological sciences shall count as one-half year of experience up to a maximum of two years, and each year of full-time graduate study shall count as a year of experience up to a maximum of three years. Credit for undergraduate and graduate study shall in no case exceed a total of four years toward meeting the requirements for at least seven years of geological work.

b. The Board may consider, in lieu of the above-described geological work, the cumulative total of geological work or geological research of persons occupying research or post-graduate positions as well as those teaching geology courses at an institution of higher education, provided such work or research can be demonstrated to be of a sufficiently responsible nature to be equivalent to the geological work required in this section.

4. Have successfully passed an appropriate examination approved by the Board and designed to demonstrate that the applicant has the necessary knowledge and skill to exercise the responsibilities of the public practice of geology.

At the discretion of the Board, separate examinations may be prepared for various subspecialities of geology; however, there will be no specialty certification, only certification as a professional geologist.

1981, c. 132, §§ 54-964, 54-965; 1984, c. 51; 1988, c. 765, § 54.1-1403; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 54.1-2208.3. Waiver of examination.

The Board may waive the examination requirement for certification as a professional geologist for an applicant who otherwise meets the requirements of this article and who also meets any of the following conditions:

1. Makes written application to the Board and has at least 12 years of geological work that includes the geological work as specified in subsection B of § 54.1-2208.2.

2. Makes written application to the Board and holds an unexpired certificate of registration, certification, or license to engage in the practice of geology issued to him on the basis of comparable requirements by a proper authority of a state, territory, or possession of the United States or the District of Columbia.

1981, c. 132, § 54-966; 1988, c. 765, § 54.1-1404; 1994, c. 247; 1996, c. 49; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 54.1-2208.4. Professional ethics and conduct.

A. The Board, in coordination with an ad hoc panel of certified professional geologists convened by the Board and representing various geological interests in Virginia, shall have prepared and adopted a Code of Professional Ethics and Conduct that shall be published and made known in writing to every Virginia certified professional geologist and applicant for certification under this article. The Board may revise and amend this code as needed and shall forthwith notify each certified professional geologist in writing of such revisions or amendments.

B. The full Board, by majority vote, shall have the power to suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew the certification of any professional geologist who, after an appropriate formal hearing, is found to have been involved in:

1. Any fraud or deceit in obtaining certification;

2. Any violation of the Code of Professional Ethics and Conduct or other regulations of the Board;

3. Demonstrated gross negligence, incompetence, or misconduct in the practice of geology as a professional geologist; or

4. Any conviction of a felony which, in the opinion of the Board, would adversely affect the practice of geology.

C. The Board, by majority vote of the quorum, may reinstate a revoked or suspended certification to any professional geologist who makes written application to the Board showing good cause for such action.

1981, c. 132, § 54-967; 1988, c. 765, § 54.1-1405; 2012, cc. 803, 835.