2020 BRPELS Year-in-Review by Ken Fuller, P.E., Director


Over the last year and a half, the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (BRPELS) has undergone a few significant changes which I would like to share with all of you.

Legislative Actions

  • During the 2019 legislative session, Washington State legislators paved the way for BRPELS to become a separate state agency.
  • Last legislative session amendments were made to RCW 18.43 changing how the Director is appointed, and language regarding the agreement with the Department of Licensing.

Agency office set up and agency admin activities to date:

  • Eight (8) full time equivalent positions were transferred or hired into our Agency.  We have contracted for .50 FTEs for HR and CPA support from the WA State Department of Enterprise Services (DES) Small Agency HR and Financial Services, and 0.25 FTEs for IT desktop services from the County Road Administration Board (CRAB).  Our head count total is now 8.75 FTEs.  Prior to moving out of DOL, we financed approximately 15 FTEs.
  • We temporarily moved our office out of the DOL Black Lake complex into a shared lease at the Chandler Court, County Road Administration Board (CRAB) office.  This significantly reduced our office foot print. Additionally, we are sharing IT services thru CRAB’s expertise and administration.
  • The Board hired a Director and a Deputy Director (WA State PE and a PLS respectively).
  • We have developed a new website (brpels.wa.gov) with tools for the public and licensees to be engaged.  Our staff web administrator is passionate about making this a great tool.  Board staff is still building many of our planned resources on the Web page.
  • The Licensing and Exam administration team has updated the On-Site Wastewater Designer exam and the State Specific PLS exam. Additionally, as most of you are aware, staff is working with the new on-line licensing system along with our partner, DOL, to improve the functionality and access for our registrants.
  • Our administration team has established an electronic venue for meetings and agency coordination.  We have purchased new office equipment and moved to the Microsoft Office 365 G5 platform, cloud data storage, and electronic office thru Washington State Technical Services.
  • We worked with Governor Inslee’s cabinet team on the Miscellaneous Venue Operations Protocol allowing for administration of the NCEES and State Specific Exams during COVID-19 proclamations.
  • We fully integrated budget and financial reporting thru DES small agency financial support.
  • We fully staffed our agency with the help and services from the DES small agency HR service.
  • Our investigations manger is currently working on improving our complaint processes, that include tracking, reporting, and creating more efficient processes for case management.  The administrative complaint review process has been established and executed.
  • Our regulatory manager is establishing legislation tracking processes and procedures, and is in the process of WAC 196 updates and implementing changes to streamline and update our rules.
  • Our Director and Deputy Director have been meeting/coordinating with our agency partners in regulations, stakeholder teams, informational sharing and networking related to our Professions.
  • We have selected subject matter experts for committees assigned to the PLS and OS professions from our license base.

It has been a great learning experience for me.  I appreciate everyone who has had a part making this agency transition work.  A very sincere thank you to our board members for their dedication and for sharing their great knowledge and guidance as we have progressed in this historic move forward.   There is no question the events of this last year have changed my perspective in many aspects of my life.  The lessons, the mistakes, the successes and the examples of the significance of growing and nurturing relationships have cause for reflection.    For me the most eye opening has been seeing the heroes of our day to day life, the folks who have risen above personal and professional frustration to show empathy and care for others and provide reason to the unreasonable and light within the darkness of despair. Thank you.