Chapter 4703:1-3 Seals and Firm Names

4703:1-3-01 Seal requirements.

(A) Each landscape architect shall be authorized to use a seal as hereinafter directed in paragraphs (B) and (C) of this rule on all documents prepared by the landscape architect or under the landscape architect's direct supervision for use in the state of Ohio, for the purpose of properly imprinting the drawings, specifications, and other contract documents as required by section 4703.32 of the Revised Code. The seal shall be circular in shape and two inches in diameter. Concentric with the outside of the seal there shall be a circle one and three eighths inches in diameter. In the annular space between the circle and the outside of the seal shall be the words "state of Ohio" at the top and "landscape architect" at the bottom. The name of the landscape architect and the landscape architect's registration number shall be placed horizontally within the inner circle. The seal shall be either an individual embossing seal, rubber stamp seal, electronically generated seal or other reproducible facsimile.

(B) The application of the seal over an ink or electronic signature to the first sheet of bound sets of drawings (with index of drawings included), title page of specifications and to other drawings and contract documents shall constitute the landscape architect stamp as referred to in division (D) of section 4703.32 of the Revised Code.

The term signature as used herein shall mean a handwritten identification containing the name of the person who applied it; or for electronic or digital documents shall mean an electronic authentication process attached to or logically associated with the document. The digital signature must be unique to, and under the sole control of the person using it; it must also be capable of verification and linked to a document in such a manner that the digital signature is invalidated if any data on the document is altered.

(C) An electronic seal and signature are permitted to be used in lieu of an original seal and signature when the following criteria, and all other requirements of this rule are met:

(1) It is a unique identification of the professional;

(2) It is verifiable;

(3) It is under the professional's direct and sole control;

(4) It is linked to a document in such a manner that changes are readily determined and visually displayed if any data contained in the document file was changed subsequent to the electronic seal and signature having been affixed to the document, and

(5) Changes to the document after affixing the electronic seal and signature shall cause the electronic seal and signature to be removed or altered in such a way as to invalidate the electronic seal and signature.

(6) In addition, once the electronic seal and signature is applied to the document , the document shall be available in a view only format if the document is to be electronically transmitted;

(7) The graphic image of the electronic seal and signature shall be readily available and produced in a manner acceptable to the board. It shall contain the same words as and shall have substantially the same graphic appearance and size as required above when the image of the electronically transmitted document is viewed at the same size as the document in its original form.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 09/26/2012 and 12/10/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4703.33
Rule Amplifies: 4703.32
Prior Effective Dates: 12/10/02, 10/25/05, 1/9/06, 1/9/11

4703:1-3-02 Landscape architecture firms.

(A) Firm certificate of authorization required.

All firms, partnerships, associations, corporations or limited liability companies legally formed for the purpose of providing landscape architecture services are required to obtain a certificate of authorization from the board.

Each firm authorized by the board to provide such services shall meet all of the following requirements:

(1) More than fifty per cent of the partners, members, shareholders, or trustees of an employee stock ownership plan trust, and more than fifty per cent of the directors, in the case of a corporation or professional association, shall be professional engineers, surveyors, architects or landscape architects currently registered in this or any other state.

(2) More than fifty percent of the interests or shares of a firm, partnership, association, corporation or limited liability company shall be held by professional engineers, surveyors, architects or landscape architects currently registered in this or any other state.

(3) Each firm, partnership, association, corporation or limited liability company shall designate one or more landscape architects, currently registered in the state of Ohio, as being in responsible charge of the landscape architecture activities and decisions of the firm.

(4) Each landscape architect designated as being in responsible charge of the firm's landscape architecture activities shall be currently registered in the state of Ohio and shall file a notarized affidavit of responsibility with the board.

(5) A professional association formed under the provisions of Chapter 1785. of the Revised Code shall meet the ownership requirements defined in Chapter 1785. of the Revised Code in addition to the requirements of this chapter.

(6) Each landscape architect designated as being in responsible charge shall be a full time employee, working a minimum thirty hours a week, of the firm applying for the certificate of authorization.

(B) New applications.

Applications for new firm certificates of authorization shall be made to the board on forms provided for that purpose and shall include the following information and documents:

(1) Name address and professional status of each partner, manager, officer, member, director, trustee or shareholder, and, if applicable, the state in which they are currently registered and the registration number.

(2) Name and address of each landscape architect, actively registered in the state of Ohio, and who is designated as being in responsible charge of the firm's professional landscape architecture activities and decisions.

(3) Notarized affidavit of responsibility from each landscape architect, currently registered in the state of Ohio, and who is designated as being in responsible charge of the firm's professional landscape architecture activities and decisions.

(4) In the case of a corporation or professional association, the number of shares of stock issued and the number of shares owned by each shareholder. In the case of a partnership, the per cent of ownership held by each partner, manager or member.

(5) Copy of the firm's articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, certificate of partnership, employee stock ownership trust plan or statement of limited partnership association and any amendments.

(6) Required application fee.

(C) Annual renewal.

All firm certificates of authorization expire annually on June thirtieth. Renewals shall be for a period of one year.

Applications for renewal shall be made on forms provided by the board and shall include the following:

(1) Name, address and professional status of every partner, manager, officer, member, director, trustee or shareholder and the percentage of ownership or number of shares held by each.

(2) Name and address of each landscape architect designated as being in responsible charge of the firm's professional landscape architecture activities and decisions. Each landscape architect in responsible charge shall be currently registered in the state of Ohio.

(3) Notarized affidavit of responsibility from each landscape architect, currently registered in the state of Ohio, and who is designated as being in responsible charge of the firm's professional landscape architecture activities and decisions.

(4) Required renewal fee.

(D) Changes requiring a new application.

A firm, partnership, association, corporation, employee stock ownership plan trust or limited liability company which has been issued a certificate of authorization in the following situations:

(1) Upon a change in the name of the firm.

(2) Upon the failure of a firm holding a certificate of authorization to renew the certificate in accordance with paragraph (C) of this rule.

(E) Changes requiring notice to the board.

A firm shall notify the board, in writing, within thirty days, when any of the following occur:

(1) Change in the name of the firm.

(2) Change of directors, members, partners, shareholders or trustees.

(3) Change in the landscape architect designated in responsible charge.

(4) Change in distribution of ownership.

(5) Change of the firm's address.

(F) Display of certificate.

The certificate of authorization shall be displayed at the firm's principal place of business where it can readily be viewed by the public.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 09/26/2012 and 12/10/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4703.33
Rule Amplifies: 4703.331
Prior Effective Dates: 8/1/74, 1/4/76, 11/25/77, 3/4/83, 4/4/85, 7/5/85, 1/1/95, 12/2/02, 10/1/08, 11/10/11

4703:1-3-03 Firm names.

When personal names of landscape architects are used in the name of the firm, only names of living registrants or former registered members of the firm, now retired or deceased, may be used. When the name of a retired or deceased member of a firm or sole proprietorship is to be retained in the firm's name, the status of such member shall be clearly shown on the firm's or sole proprietorship's letterheads by the use of the words "retired" or "deceased" or the dates of the years of the member's birth and death. This must be done within one year after severance or death. Any reference in the firm name to other persons of a firm, partnership, association or corporation shall be permitted only when such persons are registered landscape architects, architects, professional engineers or surveyors and their identity is made known specifically on letterheads of the firm.

A sole proprietorship, firm, partnership, association or corporation otherwise qualified to practice in Ohio is permitted to practice under a name which does not include the names of registered principals. Names which tend to deceive or confuse the public or which are unreasonably similar to the name of another sole proprietorship or firm will not be permitted.

Any non-resident firm legally engaged in the practice of landscape architecture in the jurisdiction of its origin is granted the right to retain its identity upon obtaining a certificate of authorization to provide landscape architecture services in Ohio.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 09/26/2012 and 12/10/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4703.33
Rule Amplifies: 4703.331
Prior Effective Dates: 8/1/74, 1/14/76, 11/25/77, 3/4/83, 4/4/85, 7/5/85, 1/1/95, 12/1/02, 11/6/07, 4/1/08

4703:1-3-04 Code of conduct.

Preamble.

In order to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the public and the state of Ohio, to maintain integrity and high standards of skills and practice in the profession of landscape architecture, the following rules of professional conduct, promulgated in accordance with Chapter 4703. of the Revised Code, shall be binding upon every person holding a certificate of qualification as a registered landscape architect.

The registered landscape architect, who holds a certificate of qualification from the board, is charged with having knowledge of the existence of the rules and regulations hereinafter provided for his or her professional conduct as a registered landscape architect, and also shall be deemed to be familiar with their several provisions and to understand them.

Such knowledge shall encompass the understanding that the practice of landscape architecture, is a privilege, as opposed to a right, and the registrant shall be forthright and candid in statements or written responses to the board or its representatives on matters pertaining to professional conduct.

(A) Competence.

(1) In practicing landscape architecture, a landscape architect shall act with reasonable care and competence and shall apply the technical knowledge and skill which is ordinarily applied by landscape architects of good standing, practicing in the same locality.

(2) In designing a project, a landscape architect shall take into account all applicable state and municipal construction laws, zoning codes and other applicable regulations. While a landscape architect may rely on the advice of other professionals (e.g., attorneys, architects, professional engineers and other qualified persons) as to the intent and meaning of such regulations, once having obtained such advice, a landscape architect shall not knowingly design a project in violation of such laws and regulations.

(3) A landscape architect shall undertake to perform professional services only when the landscape architect, together with those whom the landscape architect may engage as consultants, is qualified by education, training and experience in the specific technical areas involved.

(4) No person shall be permitted to practice landscape architecture if, in the board's judgment , such person's professional competence is substantially impaired by physical or mental disabilities.

(B) Conflict of interest.

(1) A landscape architect shall not accept compensation for the landscape architecture services from more than one party on a project unless the circumstances are fully disclosed and agreed to (such disclosure and agreement to be in writing) by all interested parties.

(2) If a landscape architect has any business association or direct or indirect financial interest which is substantial enough to influence the landscape architect's judgment in connection with the landscape architect's performance of professional services, the landscape architect shall fully disclose in writing to the landscape architect's client or employer the nature of the business association or financial interest, and if the client or employer objects to such association or financial interest, the landscape architect will either terminate such association or interest or offer to give up the commission or employment.

(3) A landscape architect shall not solicit or accept compensation from material or equipment suppliers in return for specifying or endorsing their products.

(4) When acting as the interpreter of landscape contract documents and the judge of contract performance, a landscape architect shall render decisions impartially, favoring neither party to the contract.

(C) Full disclosure.

(1) A landscape architect, making public statements on landscape architectural questions, shall disclose when the landscape architect is being compensated for making such statements.

(2) A landscape architect shall accurately represent to a prospective or existing client or employer the landscape architect's qualifications and the scope of their landscape architect's responsibility in connection with work for which the landscape architect is claiming responsibility.

(3) If, in the course of the landscape architect's work on a project, a landscape architect becomes aware of a decision taken by the landscape architect's employer or client, against the landscape architect's advice, which violates applicable federal, state or municipal construction laws, zoning codes and other applicable regulations and which will, in the landscape architect's judgment , materially affect adversely the safety to the public of the finished project, the landscape architect shall:

(a) Report the decision to the local authorities or other public official charged with the enforcement of such laws and regulations,

(b) Refuse to consent to the decision, and

(c) In circumstances where the landscape architect reasonably believes that other such decisions will be taken notwithstanding the landscape architect's objection, terminate the landscape architecture services with reference to the project.

In the case of a termination in accordance with paragraph (C)(3)(c) of this rule, the landscape architect shall have no liability to the client on account of such termination.

(4) A landscape architect shall not deliberately make a materially false statement or fail deliberately to disclose a material fact requested in connection with an application for registration or renewal.

(5) A landscape architect shall not assist the application for registration of a person known by the landscape architect to be unqualified in respect to education, training, experience or character.

(6) A landscape architect possessing knowledge of a violation of these rules by another landscape architect shall report such knowledge to the board.

(7) If a registered landscape architect is found guilty of a felony in any jurisdiction or has been disciplined by another jurisdiction, the registered landscape architect shall notify the board in writing within sixty days.

Disciplinary action includes, but is not limited to, reprimands, fines, probation, suspension, supervised practice, revocation, surrender, cease and desist or consent orders, settlement agreements or stipulations.

(8) If a registered landscape architect is registered with the Ohio Civil Child Sexual Abuse Registry under section 4799.01 of the Revised Code, the registered landscape architect shall notify the board in writing within sixty days.

(D) Compliance with laws.

(1) A landscape architect shall not, in the conduct of the landscape architect's practice, knowingly violate any state or federal criminal law.

(2) A landscape architect shall neither offer nor make any payment or gift to a government official (whether elected or appointed) with the intent of influencing the official's judgment in connection with a prospective or existing project in which the landscape architect is interested.

(3) A landscape architect shall comply with the registration laws and regulations governing the professional practice in any lawful jurisdiction. A landscape architect may be subject to disciplinary action if, based on grounds substantially similar to those which lead to disciplinary action in this jurisdiction, the landscape architect was disciplined in any other lawful jurisdiction.

(4) A registered landscape architect shall not have been found by a court or administrative tribunal to have violated any applicable federal or state law protecting the rights of persons working for the employer with respect to fair labor standards or with respect to maintaining a workplace free of discrimination.

(5) Each registered landscape architect shall cooperate with the board in its investigation of complaints or possible violations of Chapter 4703 of the Revised Code. This cooperation shall include responding to written communications from the board, providing information or documents requested within thirty days of the date on which the communication was mailed, and appearing before the board or its designee upon request.

(E) Professional conduct.

(1) A landscape architect shall not sign or seal drawings, specifications, reports or other professional work for which the landscape architect does not have direct professional knowledge and direct supervisory control and over which the landscape architect has legal authority; provided, however, that in the case of the portions of such professional work prepared by the landscape architect's consultants, registered under this or another professional registration law of any lawful jurisdiction, the landscape architect may sign or seal that portion of the professional work if the landscape architect has reviewed such portion, has coordinated its preparation, and intends be responsible for its adequacy.

(2) A landscape architect shall neither offer nor make any gifts, other than gifts of nominal value (including, for example, reasonable entertainment and hospitality), with the intent of influencing the judgment of an existing or prospective client in connection with a project in which the landscape architect is interested.

(3) A landscape architect shall not engage in conduct involving fraud.

Effective: 01/21/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 10/19/2009 and 11/10/2014
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4703.33
Rule Amplifies: 4703.33
Prior Effective Dates: 7/3/90, 12/2/02, 4/1/08

4703:1-3-05 Injunctions.

The state board of landscape architect examiners is authorized, pursuant to section 4703.46 of the Revised Code, to apply for relief by injunction or restraining order to enjoin or restrain a person, firm, corporation, partnership, or any other group or combination of persons from the commission of any act which is prohibited by sections 4703.30 to 4703.52 of the Revised Code or by rules adopted by the board under sections 4703.30 to 4703.49 of the Revised Code that govern the standards of service, conduct, and practice to be followed in the practice of landscape architecture.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/30/2012 and 11/10/2016
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4703.33
Rule Amplifies: 4703.76
Prior Effective Dates: 12/10/2002

4703:1-3-06 Resident landscape architect required.

A landscape architect or landscape architecture firm maintaining more than one place of business for the practice of landscape architecture shall have a resident registered landscape architect in responsible charge of the landscape architecture activities of each office in this state.

"Resident," as used in this rule, shall mean one who spends a majority of their normal working time in said office. A "majority of normal working time" shall mean at least thirty hours per week. The firm shall inform the board of the name of the resident landscape architect in charge of the professional landscape architecture activities of each separate place of business.

Effective: 01/21/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 10/19/2009 and 11/10/2014
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4703.33
Rule Amplifies: 4703.331
Prior Effective Dates: 4/1/08

4703:1-3-08 Prohibition of improper contacts.

(A) Prior to the filing of an application, and after final board action on an application, verbal and written communication with individual board members or any member of the board's staff shall be freely permitted; provided, however, that in no event is any member of the board or staff authorized to give any indication what specific action the board may take upon the merits of any application which may be filed with it.

(B) General advice, however, may be given as to the manner of completing or submitting applications, the procedures to be followed in processing applications, and the nature of the standards applied by the board in evaluating applications.

(C) While an application for registration or enforcement is pending before the board, no one shall initiate any written or oral communications with individual board members concerning the matter; but inquiries may be made orally or in writing to the board staff or in writing to the board.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 09/26/2012 and 12/10/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4703.33
Rule Amplifies: 4703.41
Prior Effective Dates: 04/01/2008