Section 54.1-2200 of the Code of Virginia provides definitions of the following terms and phrases as used in this chapter:
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.
"Board" means the Board for Professional Soil
Scientists as established by Chapter 22 (§ 54.1-2200 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of
the Code of Virginia.
"CSSE" means the Council of Soil Science Examiners.
"Department" means the Department of Professional
and Occupational Regulation.
"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).
"Practice of soil evaluation" means the
evaluation of soil by accepted principles and methods including, but not
limited to, observation, investigation, and consultation on measured, observed
and inferred soils and their properties; analysis of the effects of these
properties on the use and management of various kinds of soil; and preparation
of soil descriptions, maps, reports and interpretive drawings. "Soil" means the groups of natural bodies
occupying the unconsolidated portion of the earth's surface which are capable
of supporting plant life and have properties caused by the combined effects, as
modified by topography and time, of climate and living organisms upon parent
materials. "Soil evaluation" means plotting soil boundaries,
describing and evaluating the kinds of soil and predicting their suitability
for and response to various uses.
"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 earth's surface. "Soil science" means the science dealing with the
physical, chemical, mineralogical, and biological properties of soils as
natural bodies. "Soil scientist" means a person having special
knowledge of soil science and the methods and principals of soil evaluation as
acquired by education and experience in the formation, description and mapping
"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.
Qualifications for certification General
A. Applicants for
shall meet the education, eligibility, experience and examination
requirements specified 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).
Qualifications for examination. (Repealed.) An applicant shall satisfy one of the following criteria in
order to qualify for the examination: 1. Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of
higher education in a soil science curriculum (see 18VAC145-20-91) which has
been approved by the board and have at least four years of experience in soil
evaluation, the quality of which demonstrates to the board that the applicant
is competent to practice as a professional soil scientist; or 2. Hold a bachelor's degree in one of the natural sciences
and have at least five years of experience in soil evaluation, the quality of
which demonstrates to the board that the applicant is competent to practice as
a professional soil scientist; or 3. Have a record of at least eight years of experience in
soil evaluation, the quality of which demonstrates to the board that the
applicant is competent to practice as a professional soil scientist; or 4. Have at least four years of experience in soil science
research or as a teacher of soil science curriculum in an accredited
institution of higher education which offers an approved four-year program in
soils and at least two years of soil evaluation experience, the quality of
which demonstrates to the board that the applicant is competent to practice as
a professional soil scientist.
18VAC145-20-90. Qualifying experience in soil evaluation.
An applicant 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.
Compiling of Compiled soil maps
representing at least 5,000 acres as a part of a soil survey or surveys
with a formal mapping legend under the direct guidance of an experienced
technical supervisor. Acceptable maps shall be 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.
Conducting 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, on-site 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 shall 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.
at least 10 detailed field or laboratory studies under the direct guidance of
an experienced technical supervisor. The field or laboratory study shall
must have resulted in a soil evaluation report that was accepted by the
client or government agency;
Conducting Conducted at
least one research project as part of a thesis or publication or teaching
taught at least one full time 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).
Assembling or compiling Assembled
or compiled soil information either with existing data or field
studies , and evaluating evaluated data for a specific land
use. The work may be either have been done independently or under
supervision. At least three written reports shall 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
With a passing grade, 30 semester credit hours or 45 quarter
credit hours is considered to be one year One year equals 30 semester
credit hours earned or 45 quarter credit hours earned. Credits 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.
18VAC145-20-91. Core course requirements.
A. At least 15 semester hours selected from the identified
below in this subsection or the equivalent are required
for course work or a degree core to be considered a degree in a soil
science degree curriculum or a soil science related natural
Intro to Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Soil - Plant - Animal Interrelationships in Grasslands
Aluminum Chemistry in the Soil System
Soil Physics or Physical Properties
Man and Environment
Soil Fertility/Management Lab
Soil Resource Management
Soils for Waste Disposal
Soil Microbiology Lab
Topics in Soil Genesis
Special Studies (Soils Based)
Field Studies (Soils Based)
Advanced Concepts in Soil Genesis
Soils and Land Use
Independent Studies (Soil Based)
Soil Physical and Colloidal Chemistry
Soil - Plant Relations
An applicant Applicants may petition the
board in writing to review the syllabus and other supporting documents
of a course not listed in subsection A of this section for academic credit. The
course shall must contain content to enhance the that
enhances applicants' knowledge of the applicant in the study of
soils. The applicant Applicants must demonstrate course
equivalency in order to receive academic credit. Petitions to the board for
such review must be made in writing.
A. A board-approved examination shall be administered at
least twice a year, at a time designated by the department. B. An applicant must meet all eligibility requirements as
of the date the application is filed with the department. C. A candidate who is unable to take the examination at the
time scheduled must notify the department in writing prior to the date of the
examination; such a candidate will be rescheduled for the next examination
without additional fee. Failure to so notify the department will result in
forfeiture of the examination or reexamination fee. D. A candidate approved to take an examination shall do so
within one year of the date of approval or submit a new application and fee in
accordance with these regulations. E. Candidates will be notified of passing or failing the
examination. F. Upon payment of the reexamination fee, a candidate who
fails the examination or any part thereof shall be allowed to retake the failed
examination or any part thereof within one year of the date of initial failure
notification. After the one-year period has elapsed, an applicant shall be
required to submit a new application and fee in accordance with this chapter in
order to take the 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.
Waiver from examination through reciprocity.
(Repealed.) An applicant qualified to take the examination may be
granted a Virginia certificate without written examination, provided that the
applicant holds an unexpired professional soil scientist certificate or
equivalent issued on the basis of equivalent requirements for certification in
Virginia, by a regulatory body of another state, territory or possession of the
United States and is not the subject of any disciplinary proceeding before such
regulatory body that could result in the suspension or revocation of his
certificate, and such other regulatory body recognizes the certificates issued
by this board.
Renewal/Reinstatement and Fees
Certificates 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 certificate license.
18VAC145-20-130. Procedures for renewal.
department shall mail board sends a
renewal notice to the certificate 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 certificate license
holder from the requirement to renew the certificate license. If
the certificate holder fails to receive the renewal notice, a copy of the
certificate shall be submitted with the required fee in lieu of the renewal
notice. A certificate holder License holders shall keep the department
board informed of his their current mailing address. Change
Changes of address shall be reported to the department 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
is and proof of
completion of CE are not received by the department board
within 30 calendar days following the license expiration date noted
on the certificate, a late renewal fee of $25 shall be required in addition
to the regular renewal fee. If the certificate is renewed after 30 days from
the expiration date and prior to 180 days of the expiration date, the effective
date of the renewal shall be the original renewal date Upon receipt of
the requisite fee and proof of completion of CE, the license shall be renewed
for an additional two years. No certificate may be renewed more than 180
days following the date of expiration noted on the certificate 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. C. D. The date a the fee is
and documented proof of completion of CE are received by the department
board or its agent shall determine whether a late renewal fee or,
the requirement for reinstatement fee, or reapplication is applicable
required. D. E. A certificate license
suspended by board order shall 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 certificates licenses
within 30 days after the suspension is lifted will not be required to pay a
late fee. E. F. A revoked certificate cannot license
may not be renewed. An individual whose certificate license
has been revoked must shall file a new application and obtain approval
of the board board approval to recover certification licensure.
Examination shall may not be waived.
A. If the renewal fee
and, late renewal fee,
and documented proof of completion of CE are not received by the department
board within 180 days six months following the license
expiration date noted on the certificate, the certificate license
holder shall no longer be considered a certificate holder and will be
required to apply for certificate pay the fee for reinstatement. The
applicant shall meet the current eligibility standards for certification as a
professional soil scientist. The applicant may apply by examination or by
reciprocity. The board may require reexamination. The fee for reinstatement
shall include the regular renewal fee plus the reinstatement fee.
B. If the reinstatement fee
is and documented proof
of completion of CE are not received by the department board
within 360 days one year following the license expiration
date noted on the certificate, the applicant, 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 may be required by the board established
in this chapter.
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.
The fees for
certification 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.
Late renewal fee
Standards of Practice and Conduct
18VAC145-20-160. Professional conduct.
certified licensed professional soil
1. Shall not submit any false statements, make any
misrepresentations, or fail to disclose any facts requested concerning
any application for
certification or recertification. initial
licensure, renewal, or reinstatement;
2. Shall not engage in any fraud, deceit, or
misrepresentation in advertising, in soliciting, or in providing
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
the certificate holder.
4. Shall not knowingly represent a client or employer on a
project on which
the certificate holder 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
the certificate holder's 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.
Grounds for suspensions, revocation, denial
of application, renewal or other disciplinary action Sanctions and
powers of the board.
A. The board has the power to
fine any certificate holder
or to revoke or suspend any certificate 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 , when the
person is found to have:). 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
certification. 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 The board may suspend or revoke a certificate or may fine a
certificate holder when the certificate holder has been found to have violated
or cooperated with others in violating any provisions of Chapter 22 (§
54.1-2200 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia or any regulation of
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
, in its discretion, refuse to grant,
renew, or reinstate a certificate 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.
[ FORMS (18VAC145-20)
Professional Soil Scientist Certification Application (with
instructions), 3401CERT (rev. 9/10). Professional Soil Scientist Experience Log, 3401EXP (rev.