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Update on the AMENDED Landscape Architecture Act 0960730: (posted 01/07/11)
In early fall of 2009 the Governor of Illinois signed into law the Landscape Architecture Act - 096070. Since that time there have been a number of activities in efforts to finalize our newly upgraded law. While the process is not complete we want to provide you with an update on its status.
As a result of the amendment to our existing Title Act the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) and the Illinois Landscape Architectural Review Board has been working on modifying the landscape architect rules/regulations based on CLARB's model. We currently anticipate JCAR to provide a ruling in June of 2011 at which time we will have 45 days to respond with comments. We should expect the rules making process to be complete by the end of the year, 2011.
One question we receive quite often is in regarding the Continuing Education (CE) mandates. The requirement will be for 16 CE hours for each renewal period. Of those 16 CE's, 10 hours shall be structured educational activities completed in person or with interactive internet seminars. The remaining hours may be fulfilled with any combination of structured educational activities, self-study courses, university and college courses. Presentations or publishing related to the field of landscape architecture may also be considered. CE credits may be provided by:
- CLARB and ASLA endorsed structured educational activities,
- Structured educational activities endorsed by related professional organizations,
- Successful completion of college/university classes, and
- Various presentations, seminars and workshops where a CE credit hour shall entail a minimum of fifty minutes of education. CE credits may be provided in association with social functions but must be held before or after the social component.
Professional Liability Insurance:
The requirement of insurance while not finalized looks to be based on those engaged in actual practice. Landscape architects not engaged in the practice of landscape architecture may not need to have insurance to hold the license of landscape architect. In other words, Registered Landscape Architects are not required to have insurance to maintain their registration. However, Landscape architects and landscape architecture firms may obtain professional liability insurance policies that insure individuals and/or entities against liability imposed by the act in accordance with (225 ILCS 315/4,5).
Landscape Architect Seal:
Licensed landscape architects in Illinois are now required to have a seal. Plans, specifications, and reports related to landscape architectural practice and prepared by the landscape architect or under the LA's supervision are to be stamped with the newly authorized seal with a signature and date when presented to a client, or public/government agency. This not only matches the procedures of neighboring states and our allied professions, but having a uniform seal clears up confusion caused when local jurisdictions require stamped documents. The final design of the seal will be determined by the state in the coming months.
The term "Licensed" has replaced "Registered" in the law. Because licenses are issued by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation rather than registrations, this word change better fits current state procedures.
Initials Used to Designate a Licensed Landscape Architect:
With the Board of Trustees approval, ASLA is encouraging all licensed landscape architects to use the post-nominal letters “PLA” after their names. As an abbreviation of the title “professional landscape architect,” it will better enable potential clients and the general public to identify licensed practitioners. It will also provide consistent recognition for the landscape architecture profession across the nation.
Why PLA? To truly establish a designation that can be used universally, it is necessary to avoid words that have specific legal meanings, like the terms registration and licensure. While these terms are often used interchangeably, in reality each has a distinct meaning in the realm of professional regulation. Like the PE designation for engineering, PLA can be used in any jurisdiction where a landscape architect is duly licensed. Most important, the use of PLA can raise the profile of landscape architecture by creating a universally recognized symbol for licensed landscape architects.
The use of PLA by landscape architects is intended as a customary designation, just as similar abbreviations are used today. No legislative changes or rule development for state licensing is necessary, given that it falls under current title restriction provisions that restrict the use of any title (or abbreviation) that indicates the individual is a landscape architect. Further, no state law or regulation assigns specific post-nominal letters that licensed landscape architects must use.
There will be additional information to come and we will provide you with updates as we receive them; thank you for your support and patience.
VIEW THE TEXT FOR OUR NEW LAW - Public Act (096-0730)
State of Illinois - Division of Professional Regulation for Landscape Architects