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PDFWAC 308-15-140

What are the rules of professional conduct?

(1) What are the general responsibilities of a geologist?
(a) A geologist must undertake professional service or render expert opinion only when qualified by training or experience in the technical areas involved.
(b) When serving as an expert or technical witness before a court, commission, or other tribunal, a geologist must express only those opinions founded upon adequate professional knowledge of the matters at issue.
(c) A geologist must sign and stamp/seal only professional work, including, but not limited to, maps and reports for which the geologist has direct professional knowledge, and for which the geologist is in responsible charge.
(d) A geologist must not take credit for work conducted by others. When using the results of other geologists' work in the performance of the practice of geology, a geologist must give due credit to the other geologists by citation or acknowledgement.
(e) A geologist must not make false statements or misrepresentations, or permit the publication or use of the geologist's name or work in association with any fraudulent activities.
(f) A geologist must make full disclosure to all parties concerned of any conflict of interest in projects or properties on which the geologist performs work.
(g) If a geologist's professional judgment is overruled or not adhered to under circumstances where the geologist has reasonable cause to believe there is an imminent threat to the public health, welfare, or property, the geologist must immediately notify the client/employer of the possible consequences. If the client/employer does not take action in a period of time consistent with the level of danger, the geologist must use best efforts to notify the apparent appropriate regulatory agency.
(h) A geologist must issue no statements, criticisms, or arguments on geological matters that are inspired or paid for by interested parties, unless the geologist indicates on whose behalf the statements are made.
(i) A geologist must continue the geologist's professional development throughout the geologist's career, and must provide opportunities for the professional development of those individuals under the geologist's supervision.
(2) What are the specific responsibilities of a geologist to an employer or client?
(a) A geologist must avoid conflicts of interest with a client/employer and must disclose the circumstances to the client/employer if a conflict is unavoidable.
(b) A geologist must not, during the time of the geologist's retention or employment by a client/employer, use information developed for, or the resources of, said client/employer for private gain or in any other manner that may conflict with the client/employer's interest without the knowledge and consent of the client/employer, except as specified in subsection (1)(h) of this section. In the case of former client/employers, a geologist must honor agreements with former client/employers with regard to proprietary information, except as specified by subsection (1)(h) of this section.
(c) A geologist must either engage or advise a client/employer to engage other experts or specialists if the client/employer's interests are best served by such service.
(d) A geologist must not accept compensation concurrently from more than one client/employer on a project, unless the circumstances of payment are fully disclosed and agreed to by all financially interested parties.
(e) A geologist must advise the geologist's employers or clients when, as a result of their studies, the geologist believes a project will not be viable.
(f) A geologist must negotiate contracts for professional services fairly and on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications for the type of professional service required.
(g) A geologist must not request, propose or accept professional compensation on a contingent basis under circumstances in which the geologist's professional judgment may be compromised.
(3) What are the specific responsibilities of a geologist to the board?
(a) A geologist must respond to formal requests of the board within the time frame and in the manner specified by the board in its request.
(b) Geologists, when requested by the board, must present information and assistance to the board in pursuing violations of laws and rules relating to the practice of geology in the state of Washington.
(c) If a geologist has knowledge or reasonable cause to believe another person or geologist is in violation of the licensing law, chapter 18.220 RCW, or the related administrative rules, the geologist must present such information in writing to the board.
(4) What are prohibited acts? The prohibited acts are found in RCW 18.220.130, 18.220.170 and 18.235.130.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.220.040, 18.220.050. WSR 05-01-174, § 308-15-140, filed 12/21/04, effective 1/21/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.220.040(1), 18.220.050(1). WSR 02-20-072, § 308-15-140, filed 9/30/02, effective 10/31/02.]
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