Land Surveyor Ethics

Professional land surveyors must follow a strict code of ethics. This ethics code is set by each state’s State Board of Land Surveying. Many professional surveying societies also outline their own code of ethics. Although they vary by group, generally the guidelines outlined are approximately the same.

Land surveyor ethics are needed because land surveying can include an often surprising mix of art along with the science. It is sometimes difficult to know exactly how to survey a piece of property. Plus, a land surveyor is often hired by only one of the parties involved, while the survey results may affect several different parties For these reasons, every land surveyor should approach their work with fairness towards all parties involved. Land surveyors must remain neutral, making the best assessment possible given the evidence, without bending the survey to favor one side or the other.

When dealing with clients, surveyors must disclose any potential conflicts of interests, such as involvement with any parties involved in the survey situation, before accepting any surveying job. Surveyors should also not receive payment from multiple parties for any one project without the knowledge of all parties involved. Even after the completion of the project, a surveyor must keep any personal information received from individual clients completely confidential, even from the other parties involved in the survey.

An ethical surveyor should seek compensation that matches the level of technical complexity and time spent on the project. No surveyor should accept an assignment that is beyond their level of professional competence. Assignments should only be accepted if the expertise and resources of the surveyor allows them to be completed promptly and professionally. Most of the parties seeking a survey have never contacted a surveyor before, and therefore may not know what these services are worth. They should not be taken advantage of. If asked, they should explain how the compensation figure was determined.

Ethical surveyors will not sign any certificates, reports, or plans unless they were prepared under their personal supervision. If the surveyor hires employees, the surveyor must be professionally responsible for their actions. A surveyor should not seek to undermine the reputation or endanger the business prospects of any other surveyor, particularly when advertising their services. A land surveyor should not misrepresent their own qualification, particularly to sign on for a specific project that is outside the scope of the land surveyor’s qualifications.

Because the field of land surveying is constantly changing, many ethics statements include continuing education as one of their components. In fact, this is so important within the industry that it is often included in the requirements for state licensing as a professional land surveyor.

Like with all sets of ethical standards, a good principle is to treat other surveyors and clients the way you would like to be treated. A surveyor must also remember that their actions reflect not only upon themselves, but also upon the entire land surveying industry. Most people do not deal multiple times with land surveyors during the course of their lifetime, so the interaction that they do have with one surveyor can shape their opinion of the entire industry.

We at Point to Point Land Surveyors pride ourselves on accuracy, customer service and quality work delivered on time, guaranteed. Telecommunication land surveys are a specialty.
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