(1)(a) Any person who is at least 18 years of age may take the certification examination.
(b) Any person desiring to be certified as a contractor shall apply to the department in writing and must meet the following criteria:
1. Be of good moral character;
2. Pass the certification examination, achieving a passing grade as established by board rule; and
3. Meet eligibility requirements according to one of the following criteria:
a. Has, within the 6 years immediately preceding the filing of the application, at least 3 years’ proven management experience in the trade or education equivalent thereto, or a combination thereof, but not more than one-half of such experience may be educational equivalent;
b. Has, within the 8 years immediately preceding the filing of the application, at least 4 years’ experience as a supervisor or contractor in the trade for which he or she is making application;
c. Has, within the 12 years immediately preceding the filing of the application, at least 6 years of comprehensive training, technical education, or supervisory experience associated with an electrical or alarm system contracting business, or at least 6 years of technical experience in electrical or alarm system work with the Armed Forces or a governmental entity;
d. Has, within the 12 years immediately preceding the filing of the application, been licensed for 3 years as a professional engineer who is qualified by education, training, or experience to practice electrical engineering; or
e. Has any combination of qualifications under sub-subparagraphs a.-c. totaling 6 years of experience.
(c) For purposes of this subsection, “supervisor” means a person having the experience gained while having the general duty of overseeing the technical duties of the trade, provided that such experience is gained by a person who is able to perform the technical duties of the trade without supervision.
(d) For purposes of this subsection, at least 40 percent of the work experience for an alarm system contractor I must be in the types of fire alarm systems typically used in a commercial setting.
(2) The board may determine by rule the number of times per year the applicant may take the examination and after three unsuccessful attempts may require the applicant to complete additional college-level or technical education courses in the areas of deficiency, as determined by the board, as a condition of future eligibility to take the examination.
(3)(a) “Good moral character” means a personal history of honesty, fairness, and respect for the rights of others and for laws of this state and nation.
(b) The board may determine that an individual applying for certification is ineligible for failure to satisfy the requirement of good moral character only if:
1. There is a substantial connection between the lack of good moral character of the individual and the professional responsibilities of a certified contractor; and
2. The finding by the board of lack of good moral character is supported by clear and convincing evidence.
(c) When an individual is found to be unqualified for certification because of a lack of good moral character, the board shall furnish such individual a statement containing the findings of the board, a complete record of the evidence upon which the determination was based, and a notice of the rights of the individual to a rehearing and appeal.
(4) The board shall, by rule, designate those types of specialty electrical or alarm system contractors who may be certified under this part. The limit of the scope of work and responsibility of a certified specialty contractor shall be established by board rule. A certified specialty contractor category exists as an optional statewide licensing category. Qualification for certification in a specialty category created by rule shall be the same as set forth in paragraph (1)(b). The existence of a specialty category created by rule does not itself create any licensing requirement; however, neither does its optional nature remove any licensure requirement established elsewhere in this part.
(5) The board shall certify as qualified for certification by endorsement any individual applying for certification who:
(a) Meets the requirements for certification as set forth in this section; has passed a national, regional, state, or United States territorial licensing examination that is substantially equivalent to the examination required by this part; and has satisfied the requirements set forth in s. 489.521; or
(b) Holds a valid license to practice electrical or alarm system contracting issued by another state or territory of the United States, if the criteria for issuance of such license was substantially equivalent to the certification criteria that existed in this state at the time the certificate was issued.
(6) Upon the issuance of a certificate, any previously issued registered licenses for the classification in which the certification is issued are rendered void.
History.—ss. 5, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 4, ch. 85-290; ss. 6, 14, ch. 87-254; ss. 5, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 6, ch. 89-343; s. 11, ch. 91-119; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 66, ch. 92-149; s. 22, ch. 93-166; s. 273, ch. 94-119; s. 491, ch. 97-103; s. 39, ch. 98-419; s. 24, ch. 99-254; s. 31, ch. 2008-240.