Idaho Creates Professional Building Contractor License Review Board and Announces Voluntary Licensure Program

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Idaho does not currently require building contractors to be licensed. The Professional Building Contractor License Review Board was created to implement and oversee a voluntary licensure program -- the Professional Building Contractor -- that can certify building professionals based on minimum requirements for training and experience. Under current Idaho law, contractors are only required to be registered with the state and show proof of liability and worker's compensation insurance.

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Under current Idaho law, building contractors are required to be registered with the state, but are not required to be licensed in most areas. In 2007, the Professional Building Contractor License Review Board (PBCLRB) was created to implement and oversee a voluntary licensing program that will act to certify building professionals that participate as "Professional Building Contractors." "The current system provides virtually no assurance of competency or ethics," says Dallin Mortimer, president of the PBCLRB Board of Directors. "Our program is intended to assure consumers that building contractors meet minimum requirements for training and experience that are not currently required for registration." Participants in the Professional Building Contractor (PBC) program are still required to be registered with the state.

Under the Idaho Contractor Registration Act, registration is mandatory for contractors who earn more than $2,000 per year from their work. Registration requires only that contractors show proof of liability and worker's compensation insurance. There are no requirements for experience or training, and anyone who meets the insurance requirements can be registered. Consumers have no recourse for their complaints under this system that, regardless of its good intentions, does not ensure that contractors are qualified to perform the work they are contracted for. "Recent events, such as the Joe Ramsey debacle in Nampa, Idaho, for example, show the far reaching impact of unscrupulous contractors," says Mortimer. "Since we have been unable to change the current law surrounding contractor licensure, we felt that a voluntary program would provide at least some minimal protection for both the consumer and the industry, both of which suffer when one disreputable person gets into trouble."

With the Professional Building Contractor program, contractors must meet training and/or experience criteria in order to become licensed. Training and experience criteria include completion of a bachelor's degree in engineering, architecture or construction science, having completed 32 hours of approved code-related education, and, depending on the class of license, from 5 to 15 years of experience in the field. Classes of contractors include General Contractor (Class A), Building Contractor (Class B), Residential Contractor (Class C), and Sub-Contractor (Class D).

Oversight of the program is provided by CLRB's seven member panel, which consists of four licensed contractors, two building officials, one architect or engineer and one member of the public. The panel will also oversee non-disciplinary matters and complaints, including contested matters, such as approval, issuance, reinstatement or educational issues related to the licensure program.

For more information on the Contractor License Review Board and the Professional Licensed Contractor program, please visit http://www.idahoclrb.org

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