Chapter 15.15
CERTIFICATION OF ELECTRICIANS, PLUMBERS, AND BUILDING-RELATED MECHANICAL WORKERS*

Sections:

15.15.010    Definitions.

15.15.020    Application of chapter.

15.15.030    Violations of chapter.

15.15.040    General powers and duties of building official under chapter.

15.15.050    General requirements.

15.15.060    Exemptions.

15.15.070    Levels prescribed.

15.15.080    Application.

15.15.090    Same – For level II.

15.15.100    Examination of applicant.

15.15.110    Issuance of certificate.

15.15.120    Certificate holder to give notice of change of address.

15.15.130    Revocation of certificate.

*State law reference – Authority of city as to the certification provided for in this chapter, Code of Virginia, § 15.1-11.4.

15.15.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

“Building-related mechanical worker” means any person who engages or offers to engage in, for the general public for compensation, the installation, maintenance or alteration of mechanical systems, including heating systems, ventilating systems, cooling systems, steam and hot water heating systems, water heaters, process piping, boilers and pressure vessels and appliances utilizing gas, liquid or solid fuel.

“Certification” means the process whereby the building official issues a certificate to an applicant certifying that person’s ability, proficiency and qualifications to engage in a certain trade in accordance with the standards and procedures established pursuant to Section 15.1-11.4 of the Code of Virginia.

“Electrician” means any person who engages or offers to engage in, for the general public for compensation, erecting, installing or repairing all forms of electric wiring, electrical devices, electrical fixtures, electric motors and electric materials, but who does not engage in the designing of electrical layout or systems.

“Helper (laborer)” means any person who is under the supervision of and assists a plumber, electrician or building-related mechanical worker in the performance of his duties and who, by reason of experience and education, is not able to satisfy the ability and proficiency standards established in this chapter for a journey certification.

“Plumber” means any person who engages or offers to engage in, for the general public for compensation, installing, maintaining, extending and altering piping, fixtures, plumbing appliances, and plumbing appurtenances in connection with sanitary drainage or storm drainage, venting systems and public or private water supply systems, within or adjacent to any building or structure. (Code 1985, § 9-61).

15.15.020 Application of chapter.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to any person who engages in, or offers to engage in, for the general public for compensation, electrical, plumbing or building-related mechanical work in the city, such that his work requires specialized skill or training and the public needs will benefit by assurances of his professional and occupational ability. (Code 1985, § 9-62).

15.15.030 Violations of chapter.

A violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a Class 3 misdemeanor. (Code 1985, § 9-63).

Cross reference – Penalty for Class 3 misdemeanor, SCC 1.05.100.

15.15.040 General powers and duties of building official under chapter.

(1) The building official shall be the city’s agent for the purpose of examining and determining an applicant’s qualifications for certification in his trade pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(2) The building official shall have the power and it shall be his duty to receive applications for certification as plumbers, electricians or building-related mechanical workers, to examine all such applicants, to grant certificates in accordance with the standards established pursuant to Section 15.1-11.4 of the Code of Virginia and to deny certification to those applicants who cannot successfully meet these standards.

(3) The building official shall enforce all the provisions of this chapter and shall utilize the procedures for certification as prescribed in this chapter. (Code 1985, § 9-64).

15.15.050 General requirements.

(1) No person shall engage in, or offer to engage in, for the general public for compensation, electrical, plumbing or building-related mechanical work in the city, unless he is certified pursuant to this chapter or is specifically exempted from such certification.

(2) No license to engage in the business of electrical, plumbing or building-related mechanical contracting in the city shall be issued by the commissioner of revenue, unless the applicant exhibits to him a certificate of competence issued under this chapter or a state exemption certificate.

(3) No helper or laborer shall be employed to assist with any electrical, plumbing or building-related mechanical work that requires a permit, unless supervised by a certified electrician, plumber or building-related mechanical worker. The supervision mandated by this subsection does not necessarily require the constant presence of the certified electrician, plumber or building-related mechanical worker while the work is being performed. (Code 1985, § 9-65).

15.15.060 Exemptions.

The following persons shall not be required to obtain a certificate of competency under this chapter:

(1) Any person holding a valid certification issued after July 1, 1978, by another city or county or town in the commonwealth in accordance with the provisions of Section 15.1-11.4 of the Code of Virginia.

(2) Any person certified or licensed in his trade prior to July 1, 1978, in accordance with provisions made by any local governing body in the commonwealth.

(3) Any person holding a valid Class “A” contractor’s license in the appropriate classification, as duly registered by the state registration board for contractors, pursuant to Title 54, Chapter 7 (Section 54-113 et seq.) of the Code of Virginia.

(4) Any person employed as a helper or laborer.

(5) Any person issued a certificate of journeymanship after completing an apprenticeship program approved by the Virginia Apprenticeship Council.

(6) Any person doing work on his owner-occupied residence.

(7) Any plant, factory or business which regularly employs electricians, plumbers or building-related mechanical workers to perform work on its own premises only. (Code 1985, § 9-66).

15.15.070 Levels prescribed.

There shall be two levels of certification under this chapter as follows:

(1) Level I journeyman: A certificate issued to a person who possesses the necessary ability, proficiency and qualifications to perform the work of installing, repairing and maintaining specific types of equipment and related apparatus and who is capable of performing such tasks, utilizing a working knowledge sufficient to comply with the pertinent provisions of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, according to plans and specifications complying with such code. The holder of a Level I journeyman certificate shall be limited to the type of work and types of equipment and related apparatus for which certification is granted.

(2) Level II master: A certificate issued to a person who possesses the necessary ability, proficiency and qualifications to supervise the work of installing, repairing and maintaining specific types of equipment and related apparatus, utilizing a working knowledge sufficient to comply with the pertinent provisions of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, and to plan and lay out the details of installation of specific types of equipment and related apparatus according to plans and specifications complying with such code. The holder of a Level II master certificate shall be limited to the type of work and types of equipment and related apparatus for which certification is granted. (Code 1985, § 9-67).

15.15.080 Application.

 Every person desiring to engage in plumbing, building-related mechanical or electrical work in the city shall make written application to the building official for certification, unless exempted under provisions of this chapter. An application form, as prescribed by the building official, shall be used. Such application shall be accompanied by an application fee in the amount of $25.00. (Code 1985, § 9-68).

15.15.090 Same – For Level II.

An applicant desiring to obtain Level II master certification shall furnish evidence that he has at least one year of experience in the supervision of the installation or repair of the specific type of equipment involved and related apparatus utilized within the specific area of expertise for which certification is desired and that one or more of the following experience and education standards have been attained:

(1) Four years of practical experience in the specific area of expertise or directly related area of expertise for which certification is desired.

(2) An associate degree in the area of expertise for which certification is desired and two years of practical experience in the specific area of expertise for which certification is desired.

(3) A bachelor’s degree in the study of engineering in a curriculum related to the area of expertise for which certification is desired and one year of practical experience in the specific area of expertise for which certification is desired. (Code 1985, § 9-71).

15.15.100 Examination of applicant.

(1) An applicant for certification under this chapter shall be examined by the building official in order to determine his qualifications. The examination shall be based on current pertinent provisions of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and shall correspond to the level of certification specified in the application.

(2) The examination provided for in this section may be, in the discretion of the building official, in a written or oral format and such examination shall be offered at least once every three months.

(3) An applicant must correctly answer 75 percent of the questions on the examination given pursuant to this section to be deemed qualified. Should the applicant fail the examination, he shall be eligible to retake the examination at the next regularly scheduled testing date, but not sooner than 30 days from the date of the first examination. If the applicant fails the examination on the second attempt, he will not be reconsidered for certification within 12 months of the date of failure. (Code 1985, § 9-72).

15.15.110 Issuance of certificate.

If, upon examination pursuant to this chapter, an applicant fulfills the ability and proficiency and qualification standards within the area and level of certification specified, the building official shall deliver to such person a certificate to that effect. (Code 1985, § 9-73).

15.15.120 Certificate holder to give notice of change of address.

Every person certified pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall give immediate notice to the building official of any change of such person’s address. (Code 1985, § 9-74).

15.15.130 Revocation of certificate.

(1) The building official shall have the power to revoke a certificate issued under this chapter, if the holder thereof is found guilty of any fraud or deceit in obtaining the certificate or of willful violation of any provision of this title.

(2) A certificate revoked under this section shall not be renewed until the person from whom the certificate was revoked has satisfied the building official that breaches of the provisions of this title will not reoccur. Reissuance of such a certificate shall require the successful completion of the certification standards and procedures prescribed by this chapter, including the examination. (Code 1985, § 9-75).