The North Carolina Legislature recently introduced bills that would require licensed general contractors in that state to complete continuing education every year.
HB 162 and SB 55, entitled "Continuing Education for General Contractors," will require contractors to complete eight hours of continuing education each year as a condition to maintaining their license. Currently, North Carolina contractors in the electrical, plumbing, home inspection, engineering, and other trades are required to complete continuing education as a condition to holding a license.
Contractors should be aware two of the eight credit hours must consist of a mandatory course approved by the licensure board and the remaining six hours can be approved elective courses. Additionally, contractors can only receive credit for courses taught by approved instructors.
Continuing education credits may only be given for courses that are taught live by an approved instructor. However, up to two credit hours of recorded instruction may be permitted if the presentation is "proctored" by an approved sponsor.
The education requirements begin on January 1 of each calendar year and must be completed by November 30 of that year. While there is a 90-day grace period, any failure to timely complete the yearly continuing education credits shall result in the contractor's license being invalidated until the education requirements are met.
SB 55 also provides for contractors to place licenses in inactive status. However, the license will be invalidated while it remains in this dormant state.
This bill has received widespread support. As of mid-February, 36 of the 50 members of the North Carolina Senate are sponsors or co-sponsors of the bill.
There are no cost estimates for approved courses yet, but past legislative reports require the courses be affordable, accessible across North Carolina, and able to be competed in one day.
The most current version of SB 55 can be found here