On the Level with NSPS: What Your National Society Does for You…

A 168Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

Last time I borrowed and paraphrased part of a challenge delivered by President John F. Kennedy when I wrote, "Ask Not What Your Profession Can Do for You…" It was a challenge like that of the late president that our success depends more on what we contribute collegially than what the organization and its officers can do without you. But, of course you want to know what your association NSPS does for you. If you are a professional surveyor, then it is (or should be) given that you belong and support your local surveying society. In all but two of the state jurisdictions, one benefit of membership in your state society is joint membership with the national, NSPS. NSPS has been around since 1981 and is heir to the legacy of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping, ACSM. that had its founding in 1941. The corporate transition was completed in 2012.

The missions of ACSM and NSPS might be encapsulated as striving to establish and further common interests, objectives, and political efforts that would help bind the surveying profession into a unified body in the United States. and to improve the techniques and expand the knowledge of surveying and mapping to help those who use and make maps worldwide and to develop and support programs abetting surveying and mapping. Membership is open to all professional surveyors and to persons trained, registered, or interested in the profession of surveying and mapping.

NSPS provides the platform by which members can participate through conferences, committees, and student chapters and provides a forum for other groups such as the American Association of Geodetic Surveyors, Geographic and Land Information Society, County Surveyors, boards of registration, the Surveying Society Executives, NCEES, governmental agencies and many others.

NSPS affiliates with many related national and international organizations, including: International Federation of Surveyors, Accreditation Organization for Surveying Degree Programs, National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, International Right of Way Assoc., Professional Surveyors Canada, Bureau of Land Management, and The Russian Association of Private Land Surveyors.

NSPS sits on the NCEES Participating Organizations Liaison Council, and have been active participants in the proceedings associated with the revised Model Law definition for surveying. NSPS is also the U.S. organization tasked with the development of a Mutual Recognition Document with Canada and Mexico as a result of NAFTA.

NSPS administers certification programs, including Certified Survey Technician–CST, Hydrographic Surveyor Certification, Certified Flood Plain Surveyor (a FEMA pilot program), Certified Federal Surveyor (CFedS) Program. Under development or in the near future are Certified Geodetic Surveyor and Certified ALTA/NSPS Surveyor.

NSPS members. have access to excellent insurance programs: Life Insurance, Health Insurance, Accident Insurance, and Professional Liability/Errors and Omissions.

The NSPS FOUNDATION is a, non-profit corporation (technically separate from NSPS) that seeks to preserve the past and invest in the future of surveying and mapping by administration of more than a dozen scholarship programs each with criteria set by its benefactor.

NSPS has produced Model Standards for surveys and works continuously with ALTA to maintain the standards for ALTA/NSPS Surveys. NSPS produces several programs; reaching out through TrigStar, National Surveyors Week, Boy Scouts Surveying Merit Badge Program, and communicating through, NSPS News and Views, NSPS Radio Hour, Facebook, Twitter, NSPS Blog.

NSPS maintains legislative and agency contact through it Government Affairs Committee, Political Action Committee (PAC), the Executive Director and a lobbying consultant in Washington D.C. along with monthly member updates.
Tony Cavell is President of NSPS, a consulting surveyor, and works day-to-day at the Louisiana State University Center for GeoInformatics.

A 168Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE