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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 39TEXAS BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL GEOSCIENTISTS
CHAPTER 851TEXAS BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL GEOSCIENTISTS LICENSING AND ENFORCEMENT RULES
SUBCHAPTER BP.G. LICENSING, FIRM REGISTRATION, AND GIT CERTIFICATION
RULE §851.22Waivers and Substitutions: Policy, Procedures, and Criteria

(a) Introduction: The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists is charged with the responsibility of issuing a license to engage in the public practice of geoscience in the state of Texas only to those individuals who meet the qualifications for licensure, as provided by Texas law. The successful completion of the required examination for the specific discipline is an essential element in the Professional Geoscientist licensure process and, to date, the Board has found extremely limited circumstances that would cause the Board to consider waiving this requirement.

  (1) The Texas Geoscience Practice Act (TGPA) (Occupations Code, Chapter 1002), §1002.259 provides that "Except for the payment of required fees, the board may waive any of the requirements for licensure by a two-thirds vote of the entire board if the applicant makes a written request and shows good cause and the board determines that the applicant is otherwise qualified for a license."

  (2) An applicant for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist may request a waiver by submitting a copy of "REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF LICENSING REQUIREMENT-BOARD POLICY AND PROCEDURES", along with supporting documentation. Only an applicant for licensure may request a waiver. An applicant must have submitted a complete application, supporting documentation (such as transcripts and qualifying experience record), and applicable fees in order for a waiver request to be considered.

  (3) Once a request for a waiver and all relevant documents and information supporting the request have been received, subject to scheduling logistics, the request will be placed on the next available meeting of the TBPG's Application Review and Continuing Education Committee.

(b) Guidance Policy: The following policy was developed by the TBPG Board and is intended to be guidance for the Application Review and Continuing Education Committee and the Board in consideration of a request for waiver. In accordance with TOC §1002.259, an approval of a waiver request requires a vote of 2/3 of the TBPG Appointed Board (6 affirmative votes), regardless of the number of Board members in attendance. A request for the substitution of experience for education (provided by TOC §1002.255(b)) requires a simple majority vote of a quorum of the TBPG Appointed Board to be approved.

(c) TBPG's Application Review And Continuing Education Committee Review: TBPG's Application Review and Continuing Education Committee will review the request and supporting documentation and recommend to the full TBPG Board whether or not to grant the requested waiver. An applicant should provide a written justification, along with supporting documentation. An applicant may also appear before the Committee and the full Board to provide testimony to support the request. All requests the Committee recommends for approval will be scheduled for review by the full Board. Requests the Committee does not recommend for approval will not be submitted to the full board for review, unless the applicant requests review by the full Board.

(d) TBPG's Board Initial Review: TBPG Appointed Board will review requests the Committee recommends for approval and supporting documentation and will determine whether or not to approve the request (grant the requested waiver). An applicant whose request for a waiver or substitution was denied and who believes that there is additional information that was not available to the Board when it reviewed the request, may submit additional information to staff regarding the current application, along with a written request that the Board reconsider the request. If staff determines that new information has been submitted that may be relevant to the Board's review of an application/request, then staff will schedule the application/waiver request for reconsideration. In the review of a request to reconsider its decision on an application/waiver request, because new information has been submitted, the Board will first determine by a simple majority vote whether to reconsider the application/waiver request, based on whether relevant new information has been submitted. If the Board were to determine by vote that the new information warrants reconsideration of an application/waiver request, the Board would then reconsider the waiver request, including all of the new information available at that time. An applicant may appear before the Board and present information related to the request. The Board will reconsider its decision on a waiver request only once.

(e) Examination Waiver Requirements and Criteria.

  (1) For TBPG's Appointed Board to waive an examination, an applicant must:

    (A) Meet all other qualifications for licensure (qualifying work experience, education, documentation relating to criminal, disciplinary, and civil litigation history);

    (B) Meet the criteria in the policy for the specific examination that is the subject of the waiver request; and

    (C) Have not failed the examination that is the subject of the waiver request.

  (2) Work experience an applicant submits pursuant to the following examination waiver policies must meet the criteria for qualifying work experience under TBPG rule §851.23 regarding qualifying experience record.

  (3) ASBOG® Fundamentals of Geology Examination Waiver. An applicant must have acquired one of the following combinations of education and work experience:

    (A) B.S. and 15 years qualifying work experience;

    (B) M.S. and 13 years qualifying work experience; and

    (C) Ph.D. and 10 years qualifying work experience.

  (4) ASBOG® Practice of Geology Examination Waiver. An applicant must meet Minimum Criteria (a person may qualify for a waiver by meeting either "Generalized" Practice Experience or "Specialized" Practice Experience):

    (A) Generalized practice experience (must meet all four criteria):

      (i) Twenty (20) years of geosciences work experience;

      (ii) Ten (10) years of supervisory experience (three or more individuals under supervision);

      (iii) Coursework in six of the eight following ASBOG® task domains:

        (I) Field geology;

        (II) Mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry;

        (III) Sedimentology, stratigraphy, and palentology;

        (IV) Geomorphology, surficial processes, and quaternary geology;

        (V) Structure, tectonics, and seismology;

        (VI) Hydrogeology;

        (VII) Engineering geology; and

        (VIII) Economic geology and energy resources.

      (iv) Demonstrate the ability to plan and conduct geosciences investigations considering human health and safety.

    (B) Specialized practice experience: The applicant demonstrates twenty years or more of specialized work history in only one or two of the ASBOG® task domains. One factor TBPG will consider is whether the examination is irrelevant or largely beyond the scope of the applicant's specialized experience and the applicant's intended field of practice.

  (5) Council of Soil Science Examination (CSSE) - Fundamentals of Soil Science Waiver. An applicant must have acquired one of the following combinations of education and work experience:

    (A) B.S. and 15 years qualified work experience;

    (B) M.S. and 13 years of qualified work experience; and

    (C) Ph.D. and 10 years of qualified work experience.

  (6) Council of Soil Science Examination (CSSE) - Professional Practice. No waiver is available.

  (7) Texas Geophysics Examination (TGE). No Waiver is available.

(f) Substitution of Work Experience for Educational Requirements. Before the Appointed Board considers an application for substitution of work experience for an education requirement, the applicant seeking approval of the substitution must meet all of the following minimum criteria:

  (1) The applicant must pass, within three (3) attempts, the appropriate qualifying licensing examination (or a substantially similar examination), depending on the discipline in which the applicant seeks to be licensed, as follows:

    (A) Geology discipline: both the Fundamentals and Practice examinations administered by National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG®);

    (B) Geophysics discipline: the Texas Geophysics Examination (TGE); or

    (C) Soil Science discipline: both the Fundamentals and Practice examinations administered by the Council of Soil Science Examiners (CSSE);

  (2) The applicant must have at least 15 years of qualifying work experience;

  (3) The applicant must demonstrate the following:

    (A) Ability to work with others;

    (B) Ability to apply scientific methods;

    (C) Ability to solve problems;

    (D) Honest and ethical behavior;

    (E) Ability to communicate effectively; and

    (F) Relevant continuing education activities that advance knowledge throughout the applicant's professional career.

  (4) The applicant is highly encouraged to appear before the Application Review and Continuing Education Committee for presentation of qualifications.

(g) Waiver of Education Requirement - Generally. Before the Appointed Board considers an application for education waiver, the applicant seeking a waiver of the education requirement must demonstrate mastery of a minimum required knowledge base in geoscience by meeting the following criteria:

  (1) The applicant must demonstrate both of the following:

    (A) A four-year degree in a field of basic or applied science that includes at least 15 hours of courses in geosciences from an accredited institution of higher education or the equivalent of a total of at least 15 hours of courses in geoscience from an accredited institution of higher education and/or other educational sources, as determined by the Appointed Board;

    (B) An established record of continuing education and workshop participation in geoscience fields; and

    (C) The Appointed Board may also determine that an individual applicant has satisfactorily completed other equivalent educational requirements after reviewing the applicant's educational credentials.

  (2) The applicant must have at least eight years of qualifying geoscience work experience;

  (3) The applicant must pass the appropriate qualifying examination, depending on the discipline in which the applicant seeks to be licensed, as follows:

    (A) Geology discipline: both the Fundamentals and Practice examinations administered by National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG®);

    (B) Geophysics discipline: the Texas Geophysics Examination (TGE); or

    (C) Soil Science discipline: both the Fundamentals and Practice examinations administered by the Council of Soil Science Examiners (CSSE).

(h) Education Waiver for License in Geology Discipline - Fundamentals. An individual who plans to apply for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist in the discipline of geology who does not fully meet the education requirement for licensure may take the ASBOG® Fundamentals of Geology examination as long as the applicant:

  (1) Has submitted any other necessary forms, documents, and fees; and

  (2) Has acknowledged that the Appointed Board must approve an education waiver request or approve the substitution of experience for education before the applicant may be licensed as a Professional Geoscientist and that the Appointed Board will not consider an education waiver or a request to substitute experience for education until after both the ASBOG® Fundamentals of Geology and Practice of Geology examinations have been passed.

(i) Education Waiver for License in Geology Discipline - Practice. An applicant for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist in the discipline of geology who does not fully meet the education requirement for licensure may take the ASBOG® Practice of Geology examination as long as the applicant:

  (1) Meets or is within six months of meeting the qualifying experience requirement for licensure;

  (2) Submits the qualifying work experience claimed (or has verified qualifying work experience claimed through an alternate means, as provided by TBPG rules);

  (3) Has submitted a request for an education waiver or a substitution of experience for education;

  (4) Has submitted any other necessary forms, documents, and fees; and

  (5) Has acknowledged that the Appointed Board must approve the education waiver request or a request to substitute experience for education before the applicant may be licensed as a Professional Geoscientist and that the Appointed Board will not consider an education waiver or a request for substitution of experience for education until after both the ASBOG® Fundamentals of Geology and Practice of Geology examinations have been passed.

(j) Education Waiver for License in Geophysics Discipline. An applicant for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist in the discipline of geophysics who does not fully meet the education requirement for licensure may take the Texas Geophysics Examination as long as the applicant:

  (1) Meets or is within six months of meeting the qualifying experience requirement for licensure;

  (2) Submits the qualifying work experience claimed (or has verified qualifying work experience claimed through an alternate means, as provided by TBPG rules);

  (3) Has submitted a request for an education waiver or a substitution of experience for education;

  (4) Has submitted any other necessary forms, documents, and fees; and

  (5) Has acknowledged that the Appointed Board must approve the education waiver request or a request to substitute experience for education before the applicant may be licensed as a Professional Geoscientist and that the Appointed Board will not consider an education waiver or a request for substitution of experience for education until after the Texas Geophysics Examination has been passed.


Source Note: The provisions of this §851.22 adopted to be effective October 31, 2018, 43 TexReg 7140; amended to be effective October 28, 2019, 44 TexReg 6374

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