.12 Business Practices.

A. Before undertaking the performance of professional services for which payment or other consideration is expected, a surveyor or a duly authorized agent of the surveyor shall discuss at least the following with the requesting party:

(1) The type of survey required;

(2) The limits to be surveyed;

(3) The specific survey services to be provided;

(4) An approximate completion time schedule; and

(5) An agreement for payment.

B. For mutual protection, it is encouraged that a written agreement be executed by both parties. The agreement may be in the form of a memorandum, services letter, confirmation of work ordered, or any other mutually acceptable form. The agreement may also establish the extent and limitations of the surveyor's responsibilities.

C. If previously unknown factors are discovered during work that significantly affects either cost or completion schedule, the surveyor shall immediately notify the party responsible for the payment of the cost of the surveying services.

D. The surveyor shall make a reasonable effort to maintain adequate records, including names or initials of all personnel, dates of service, references to field data, such as book number, loose-leaf pages, and other relevant data.

E. A licensee may not sign or seal surveys, plats, drawings, certificates, or other professional documents unless the licensee personally prepared the documents or the documents were prepared under the licensee's responsible charge.

F. Licensee In Responsible Charge. A licensee shall be considered to be in responsible charge within the meaning of Business Occupations and Professions Article, §15-101(n), Annotated Code of Maryland, if the licensee:

(1) Has authority to make necessary revisions to surveying documents during their preparation by the licensee's employees or other subordinates;

(2) Provides a detailed review and personal inspection of surveying documents; and

(3) Has authority to direct the surveying tasks and provides actual direction of the specific surveying tasks performed.

G. A licensee in responsible charge shall be readily available to the licensee's employees or other subordinates on a reasonable basis to provide personal direction and direct control, as necessary and appropriate.

H. By signing and sealing surveying documents, a licensee assumes full responsibility for the preparation of the surveying documents described in this chapter and for the accuracy and adequacy of the surveying work reflected in the documents.

I. When signing and sealing surveying documents, a licensee shall indicate the license expiration date on the documents before submitting them in accordance with requirements set forth in Business Occupations and Professions Article, §15-502(a), Annotated Code of Maryland.

J. Types of Signatures.

(1) A surveyor may sign surveying documents by one of the following methods:

(a) A handwritten signature in permanent ink containing the name of person who applied it; or

(b) For electronic or digital documents, an electronic authentication process attached to or logically associated with the document.

(2) A digital signature described in §J(1)(b) of this regulation shall satisfy the following criteria:

(a) It must contain an identification unique to a licensee using it, such as the licensee’s name and license number;

(b) It must be under the exclusive control of the licensee using it;

(c) It must be verifiable; and

(d) It must be linked to the document in such a manner that any subsequent modifications to the document after the digital signature is appended to it will result in the document no longer being prepared or approved by the licensee.

(3) Nothing in this regulation is intended to modify any of the requirements set forth in §I of this regulation.