Section 1480.210  Standards of Professional Conduct


In order to safeguard life, health and property, to promote the public welfare, and to establish and maintain a high standard of integrity in the practice of structural engineering, the following Standards of Professional Conduct shall be binding on every person holding a license as a structural engineer and on all corporations and partnerships authorized to practice structural engineering in this State.


a)         Professional Responsibility.  Licensees shall be responsive to the needs of clients and employers, but shall hold paramount life, health, property and the welfare of the public.


1)         Licensees shall at all times recognize that their primary obligation is to protect the life, health, property and welfare of the public. If their professional judgment is overruled under circumstances where the life, health, property or welfare of the public is endangered, they shall notify their client or employer and such authority as may be appropriate (which may include the Division or other law enforcement agencies).


2)         Licensees shall approve and seal only those designs reviewed or prepared by them, and found to be safe for the public health, property and welfare.


3)         Licensees shall not reveal confidential facts, data or information obtained in a professional capacity without the prior consent of the client, except as authorized or required by law.


4)         Licensees shall not permit the use of their name or firm's name, nor shall they be associated in business ventures with persons or firms which they have reason to believe to be engaging in fraudulent or dishonest business practices.


5)         Licensees having knowledge of any alleged violation of any of this Part shall cooperate with the Division, furnishing such information or assistance as may be required to conduct an investigation resulting from a complaint.


b)         Competence.  Licensees shall perform services only in areas of their competence.


1)         Licensees shall undertake assignments only when qualified by education and experience in the specific technical field of engineering involved.


2)         Licensees shall not affix their signature or seal to any plans or documents dealing with subject matter in which they lack competence, nor to any plan or document not prepared or reviewed under their direct supervisory control.


3)         Licensees may accept an assignment outside of their fields of competence to the extent that their services are restricted to those phases of the project in which they are qualified, and to the extent that all other phases of the project will be performed by licensees qualified in those phases.


c)         Professional Integrity.  Licensees shall issue professional statements in an objective and truthful manner.


1)         Licensees shall be completely objective and truthful in all structural engineering reports, statements or testimony.


2)         Licensees may express publicly a professional opinion on technical subjects only when it is founded upon adequate knowledge of the facts and a background of competence in the subject matter.


3)         A licensee, when acting as a representative of an individual or organization, shall issue no statements, criticisms, or arguments on structural engineering matters without first prefacing those comments by explicitly identifying on whose behalf the comments will be made.  When the licensee is acting as a consultant, expressing a professional opinion, such opinion shall be prefaced by complete personal identification as a consultant, without necessarily naming the client.  The licensee shall reveal any personal interest in the matter.


d)         Conflict of Interest.  Licensees shall act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents of trustees and shall avoid conflicts of interest.


1)         Licensees shall conscientiously avoid conflicts of interest with their employers or clients.  Whenever conflicts of interest appear unavoidable, however, licensees shall disclose promptly to their employers or clients any business association, interest or circumstance that may influence judgment or quality of services.


2)         Licensees shall not accept compensation, financial or other, from more than one party for services on a project or for services pertaining to a project unless the licensee makes full disclosure and receives consent of all interested parties.


3)         Licensees shall not solicit or accept financial or other valuable consideration from any material supplier or equipment supplier for specifying the supplier's products except when the licensee is a known employee or agent of the supplier.


4)         Licensees shall not solicit or accept gratuities, directly or indirectly, from any contractor, architect, engineer or other party dealing with the licensee's employer or client in connection with work for which the licensee is responsible.


5)         Licensees shall not solicit or accept a professional contract from a governmental body on which a principal or officer of their firm or organization serves as a member.  Conversely, licensees serving as members, advisors or employees of a governmental body or department, who are the principals or employees of a private concern, shall not participate in decisions with respect to professional services solicited or provided by them or their organization.


e)         Employment Solicitation. Licensees shall avoid improper solicitation of professional employment.


1)         Licensees shall not offer to pay, either directly or indirectly, any commission, political contribution, gift or other consideration in order to secure professional assignments.


2)         Licensees shall not falsity or permit misrepresentation of their, or their associates' academic or professional qualifications.  They shall not misrepresent or exaggerate their degree of responsibility in or for the subject matter of prior assignments.  Brochures or solicitation of employment shall not misrepresent pertinent facts concerning employers, employees, associates, joint ventures or past accomplishments with the intent or purpose of enhancing their qualifications and/or their work.


(Source:  Amended at 34 Ill. Reg. 5669, effective March 30, 2010)