State of New Jersey
Department of Law and Public Safety
Division of Consumer Affairs


New Jersey Register
Volume 33, Number 21
Monday, November 5, 2001
Rule Proposal

Law And Public Safety
Division Of Consumer Affairs
State Board Of Examiners Of Master Plumbers
Continuing Education

Proposed New Rules: N.J.A.C. 13:32-6

Proposed Amendment: N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1

Authorized By: State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers, Barbara Cook, Executive Director.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:14C-7.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2001-430.

Submit written comments by January 4, 2002 to:

Barbara Cook, Executive Director

New Jersey Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers

PO Box 45008

124 Halsey Street

Newark, NJ 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

Pursuant to its rulemaking authority set forth in N.J.S.A. 45:14C-7, the State Board of Master Plumbers (the "Board") proposes new subchapter N.J.A.C. 13:32-6 establishing continuing education requirements and standards for continuing education programs.

The amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1 sets forth that the continuing education sponsor application fee is $100.00.

New rule N.J.A.C. 13:32-6.1 sets forth the continuing education requirements for licensees. Subsection (a) requires every licensee to take five credits of continuing education every biennial period. The rule, however, exempts licensees who are renewing their license for the first time from the continuing education requirements. Subsection (b) requires a licensee, when renewing a license, to indicate that he or she has completed the continuing education requirements for the previous biennial period. A licensee who fails to meet the continuing education requirements of subchapter 6, or who falsifies any information submitted to the Board, may be subject to disciplinary measures. Subsection (c) states that a licensee who is not practicing and whose license is inactive is not required to meet the continuing education requirement; however, if the licensee wishes to reactivate an inactive license, the continuing education requirements from the preceding biennial period must be completed prior to reinstatement. Subsection (d) requires that every licensee maintain documentation of attendance at education courses taken over the previous four years. A licensee who teaches a continuing education course is considered to have met the continuing education requirements and must maintain records, for a four year period, which indicate that he or she taught a continuing education course during that biennial period. Subsection (e) allows the Board to review a licensee's records to ensure that he or she has completed the continuing education requirements.

N.J.A.C. 13:32-6.2 sets forth standards for the approval of continuing education sponsors. Subsection (a) states that sponsors of continuing education courses must obtain Board approval prior to offering a continuing education course. The Board must keep a list of all approved courses and provide that list to licensees upon request. Subsection (b) requires sponsors who seek Board approval to appear before the Board and submit a course description, curriculum vitae for all instructors and the continuing education sponsor application fee. Subsection (c) requires sponsors to provide every student who attends their course a verification of attendance form. Subsection (d) requires sponsors to maintain an attendance log for every course and send this log to the Board. These logs will be used by the Board to verify that licensees have met the continuing education requirements. Subsection (e) requires course sponsors to maintain course evaluations from attendees and instructors as part of their records. Subsection (f) states the Board may observe an instructor during the presentation of a continuing education course, or may conduct an interview with an instructor during a Board meeting, in order to determine the instructor's qualification or knowledge of the course subject matter. Subsection (g) limits the size of a continuing education class to 50 people.

N.J.A.C. 13:32-6.3 outlines how topics that sponsors will be required to cover in continuing education courses will be determined. Subsection (a) states that three months prior to the beginning of a biennial period, the Board will consider what subjects it wishes sponsors to present during the new biennial period. The Board believes this approach will identify those areas of concern for the Board or licensees. Under subsection (b), the Board will publish a list of the courses decided upon in the New Jersey Register and maintain a copy of this list in the Board offices.

N.J.A.C. 13:32-6.4 sets forth how much credit will be awarded for continuing education courses. Subsection (a) states that one credit of continuing education equals one hour of attendance at a continuing education course. Subsection (b) states that a person who teaches a continuing education course will be given five credits towards the fulfillment of the continuing education requirement.

N.J.A.C. 13:32-6.5 allows the Board to waive continuing education requirements for any individual for reasons of hardship or other good cause. The rule states that any licensee who seeks a waiver must apply to the Board in writing and set forth in specific detail the reasons for requesting the waiver.

The Board has determined that the comment period for this proposal shall be 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this proposal is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.

Social Impact

The proposed new rules and amendment will have a positive impact on consumers who use the services of licensees. The rules ensure that licensed master plumbers maintain continuing proficiency in the use and application of new techniques, advancements in the profession and knowledge of changes to laws and regulations which impact plumbing, to the benefit of the public.

The proposed new rules impact licensees who must now commit time to complete the continuing education requirement and to maintain appropriate documentation. The proposed new rules are, however, of benefit to licensees by assuring that they will be in a position to enhance their knowledge of the professional standards and applicable laws and regulations.

Economic Impact

The Board believes that the proposed new rules and amendment will have an economic impact upon its licensees since they will have to pay a fee for the continuing education courses that these rules require them to take. The Board, however, does not impose nor control the fees for such courses and is unable to estimate what cost the sponsors will impose. The new rules and amendment will also impact those individuals who apply for approval as a sponsor of a continuing education course, as these individuals must pay a fee when applying for approval and incur the administrative costs in applying for sponsorship approval, furnishing verifications of attendance, maintaining and submitting attendance log, and obtaining and maintaining course evaluations.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards statement is not required because there are no Federal standards or requirements applicable to the continuing education requirements of the proposed new rules and amendment.

Jobs Impact

The Board believes that the proposed new rules and amendment may increase jobs in the State in that there may be a need for continuing education sponsors to hire instructors to teach the course topics as determined by the Board each biennial period.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed new rules and amendment will have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., requires the Board to give a description of the types and an estimate of the number of small businesses to which the proposed new rules and amendment will apply. If the approximately 7,000 master plumbers which the Board licenses are considered "small businesses" for the purposes of the Act, then the following analysis applies.

The Act requires the Board to set forth the reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the proposed new rules and amendment including the kinds of professional services likely to be needed to comply with the requirements. The Act further requires the Board to estimate the initial and annual compliance costs of the proposed new rules and amendment with an indication of the varying impact on small businesses of differing types and sizes and to outline the manner in which it has designed the rules to minimize any adverse economic impact upon small businesses.

The Board does not believe that licensees and sponsors will need to employ any professional services to comply with the requirements of the proposed new rules and amendment.

The rule imposes several compliance, reporting and recordkeeping requirements on licensees. N.J.A.C. 13:32-6.1 requires all licensees to take five credits of continuing education every biennial period. The rule also requires a licensee to indicate on the biennial renewal form that he or she has completed the continuing education requirements for the past biennial period and to maintain a record of all verification of attendance forms for a period of four years. N.J.A.C. 13:32-6.5 requires any licensee seeking a waiver to submit a request to the Board in writing which sets forth the reasons for requesting the waiver.

The rule also imposes several compliance, reporting and recordkeeping requirements on sponsors of continuing education programs. N.J.A.C. 13:32- 6.2 requires all sponsors to obtain Board approval prior to offering a continuing education course. Sponsors must appear before the Board for this approval, pay the continuing education sponsor application fee and submit course descriptions and the curriculum vitae of all instructors. The sponsor is required to provide students with verification of attendance forms, to maintain a log of students who attended a course and to submit this log to the Board. The sponsor also must obtain and keep as part of its records student and instructor evaluations. The rule limits class size to no more than 50 people. Costs that may be incurred are discussed in the Economic Impact above.

The Board believes that because the proposed new rules further the welfare and safety of the public in its dealings with licensees by ensuring that licensees take continuing education courses that enable them to practice with greater knowledge and expertise, the rules must be applied uniformly to all licensees and sponsors regardless of their size.

Full text of the proposal follows :

<< NJ ADC 13:32-5.1 >>

13:32-5.1 Fee schedule

(a) The following fees shall be charged by the Board:

1.-13. (No change.)

14. Continuing education sponsor application fee .. $100.00

<<+SUBCHAPTER 6. CONTINUING EDUCATION+>>

<< NJ ADC 13:32-6.1 >>

<<+13:32-6.1 License renewal, continuing education requirement+>>

<<+(a) Every licensee shall successfully complete five credits of continuing education at an approved course per biennial period. Licensees applying for their first biennial renewal are exempt from this continuing education requirement.+>>

<<+(b) A licensee shall indicate on the license renewal form that he or she has completed the continuing education requirements required by this subchapter. Failure to meet the continuing education requirements as set forth in this subchapter or the falsification of any information submitted with the renewal application may result in an appearance before the Board, or the imposition of disciplinary sanctions pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:1-21 et seq.+>>

<<+(c) A person whose license is inactive shall not be required to take continuing education courses during the period of inactive status. A person who wishes to reactivate his or her license shall successfully complete continuing education credits for the biennial period immediately preceding his or her reactivation.+>>

<<+(d) Every licensee shall maintain, for a period of four years, a record of all verification of attendance forms for all continuing education courses the licensee has completed. Licensees who teach a continuing education course during a biennial period shall maintain, for a four year period, records which indicate that the licensee has taught a Board approved continuing education course.+>>

<<+(e) The Board may review the records of any licensee, at any time, in order to ensure that the licensee has complied with the continuing education requirements.+>>

<< NJ ADC 13:32-6.2 >>

<<+13:32-6.2 Continuing education sponsors; Board approval; duties+>>

<<+(a) All sponsors of continuing education courses shall obtain Board approval prior to offering a continuing education course for an upcoming biennial period. The Board shall maintain a list of approved courses at the Board offices and shall furnish this information to licensees upon request.+>>

<<+(b) A sponsor seeking Board approval shall appear before the Board and submit, prior to that appearance, the following:+>>

<<+1. Detailed descriptions of course content and estimated hours of instruction;+>>

<<+2. Curriculum vitae of each instructor, including specific background which qualifies the individual as an instructor in specific areas; and+>>

<<+3. The continuing education sponsor application fee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1(a)14.+>>

<<+(c) The sponsor of a continuing education course shall furnish each attendee a verification of attendance, which shall include the following:+>>

<<+1. The title, date and location of course or program offering;+>>

<<+2. The name and license number of the attendee;+>>

<<+3. The number of hours attended; and+>>

<<+4. The name and signature of the sponsor or instructor.+>>

<<+(d) The sponsor of a continuing education course shall monitor the attendance at each approved course and maintain an attendance log which lists the name and license number of every licensee who attends a course. The program sponsor shall submit the attendance log to the Board upon completion of the course. The log shall document that each licensee has completed the sponsor's course.+>>

<<+(e) The sponsor shall obtain course evaluations from both participants and instructors and maintain these evaluations as part of the sponsor records.+>>

<<+(f) The Board may evaluate the performance of any continuing education instructor through observation of the instructor during the presentation of a course or evaluate the qualifications and abilities of the instructor by conducting an interview during a Board meeting.+>>

<<+(g) A continuing education class shall consist of no more than 50 people.+>>

<< NJ ADC 13:32-6.3 >>

<<+13:32-6.3 Required course topics+>>

<<+(a) Three months prior to the beginning of a biennial period, the Board shall determine which topics shall be provided by program sponsors for the upcoming biennial period. The Board shall determine these topics at a regularly scheduled public Board meeting.+>>

<<+(b) The list of topics which shall be required by the Board for a biennial period shall be published as a public notice in the New Jersey Register and shall be available at the Board offices.+>>

<< NJ ADC 13:32-6.4 >>

<<+13:32-6.4 Credit awarded+>>

<<+(a) One continuing education credit shall equal one hour of attendance at a continuing education course.+>>

<<+(b) A licensee who teaches a continuing education course shall earn five credits of continuing education for the biennial period in which he or she teaches.+>>

<< NJ ADC 13:32-6.5 >>

<<+13:32-6.5 Waiver of continuing education requirement+>>

<<+(a) The Board may waive continuing education requirements on an individual basis for reasons of hardship, such as illness, disability, military duty or other good cause which prevents the licensee from completing continuing education credits during a biennial period.+>>

<<+(b) Any licensee seeking a waiver of the continuing education requirements shall apply to the Board in writing and set forth in specific detail the reasons for requesting the waiver. The licensee shall provide the Board with such supplemental materials as will support the request for waiver.+>>




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Posted November 5, 2001