Approved by the Engineering Practice Policy Committee on February 4, 2021
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on May 6, 2021
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 16, 2021
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) endorses legislation to protect professional engineers from professional liability claims when providing pro bono services to charitable causes and in emergency situations.
ASCE encourages its members, as individuals, to provide pro bono expertise and professional services to domestic and international charitable causes and in emergency situations. Engineers in emergency or other pro bono volunteer situations may be called upon to make recommendations with limited information. Members who provide professional services pro bono for ASCE endorsed programs are covered by the Society’s professional liability insurance. However, pro bono services provided by an individual in emergency situations or in other volunteer situations not endorsed by ASCE are not protected against professional liability claims that may arise as part of furnishing these services.
Professional engineers have the technical ability to provide pro bono services, assist in emergency situations, and aid charitable undertakings These services may not be covered by the engineers’ professional liability insurance or that of their employers. The medical and legal professions have professional liability protections to cover similar situations and professional engineers provide comparable services that warrant similar professional liability protection. Liability protection would not relieve an engineer of the responsibility to act in accordance with the Code of Ethics or to practice within their areas of professional expertise.
ASCE Policy Statement 443
First Approved in 1996