New Program Will Train and Certify Professional Land Surveyors:
Special Emphasis on Providing Cadastral Services in Indian Country
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA),
and Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians have announced
a certification program for licensed land surveyors performing boundary
surveys in Indian Country. The Certified Federal Surveyor (CFedS)
program is a voluntary program to train and certify licensed land surveyors
to perform the commercial activities of boundary surveying and related
services to basic federal surveying standards as established by BLM. The
BIA, Tribes, individual allottees, and other federal agencies will be
encouraged to select surveyors from the CFedS roster when contracting
for boundary surveys or other cadastral services.
The CFedS program is open to all state licensed surveyors, with an emphasis
on Tribal and BIA surveyors. CFedS certification will be a significant
addition to the resume and credentials of the private professional land
surveyor and Tribal surveyors. Registration for the CFedS program will
begin in the fall of 2006.
The program will consist of three components: (1) the initial
training, (2) the certification examination, and (3) advanced continuing
education modules. The initial training will be delivered
by various distance-learning methods, with regularly scheduled question-and-answer
sessions via teleconferencing or e-mail, and will require approximately
120 hours to complete, equivalent to a 3-credit-hour college course.
Passing the certification examination will require upon completion of
the initial training. Completion of the advanced continuing education
modules will be required to retain certification.
In the past, the BLM has offered similar training to the private sector
on a very limited basis, but for the first time the training will be
designed specifically for the professional surveyor executing boundary
surveys of federal-interest lands, with an emphasis on trust lands. The
initial training is designed to provide a basic understanding of the
Public Land Survey System, metes and bounds surveys, the effects of case
law, interpretation of the Manual of Instruction for the Survey of the
Public Lands of the United States, accepted field procedures, and proper
documentation. The continuing education modules will examine more
The CFedS roster, comprising those surveyors who successfully complete
the initial training and certification examination, will report state
registrations and contact information and provide a listing of completed
advanced continuing education modules.
For more information go to the CFedS web site at: www.blm.gov/cadastral/cfeds/cfeds.htm