Section 553.841, Florida Statutes 2009
553.841 Building code compliance and mitigation program.--
(1) The Legislature finds that knowledge and understanding by persons licensed in the design and construction industries of the importance and need for complying with the Florida Building Code is vital to the public health, safety, and welfare of this state, especially for mitigating damage caused by hurricanes to residents and visitors to the state. The Legislature further finds that the Florida Building Code can be effective only if all participants in the design and construction industries maintain a thorough knowledge of the code and additions thereto which improve construction standards to protect against storm and other damage. Consequently, the Legislature finds that there is a need for a program to provide ongoing education and outreach activities concerning compliance with the Florida Building Code and hurricane mitigation.
(2) The Department of Community Affairs shall administer a program, designated as the Florida Building Code Compliance and Mitigation Program, to develop, coordinate, and maintain education and outreach to persons required to comply with the Florida Building Code and ensure consistent education, training, and communication of the code's requirements, including, but not limited to, methods for mitigation of storm-related damage. The program shall also operate a clearinghouse through which design, construction, and building code enforcement licensees, suppliers, and consumers in this state may find others in order to exchange information relating to mitigation and facilitate repairs in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
(3) All services and materials under the Florida Building Code Compliance and Mitigation Program must be provided by a private, nonprofit corporation under contract with the department. The term of the contract shall be for 4 years, with the option of one 4-year renewal at the end of the contract term. The initial contract must be in effect no later than November 1, 2007. The private, nonprofit corporation must be an organization whose membership includes trade and professional organizations whose members consist primarily of persons and entities that are required to comply with the Florida Building Code and that are licensed under part XII of chapter 468, chapter 471, chapter 481, or chapter 489. When selecting the private, nonprofit corporation for the program, the department must give primary consideration to the corporation's demonstrated experience and the ability to:
(a) Develop and deliver building code-related education, training, and outreach;
(b) Directly access the majority of persons licensed in the occupations of design, construction, and building code enforcement individually and through established statewide trade and professional association networks;
(c) Serve as a clearinghouse to deliver education and outreach throughout the state. The clearinghouse must serve as a focal point at which persons licensed to design, construct, and enforce building codes and suppliers and consumers can find each other in order to exchange information relating to mitigation and facilitate repairs in the aftermath of a natural disaster;
(d) Accept input from the Florida Building Commission, licensing regulatory boards, local building departments, and the design and construction industries in order to improve its education and outreach programs; and
(e) Promote design and construction techniques and materials for mitigating hurricane damage at a Florida-based trade conference that includes participants from the broadest possible range of design and construction trades and professions, including from those private and public sector entities having jurisdiction over building codes and design and construction licensure.
(4) The department, in administering the Florida Building Code Compliance and Mitigation Program, shall maintain, update, develop, or cause to be developed:
(a) A core curriculum that is prerequisite to the advanced module coursework.
(b) Advanced modules designed for use by each profession.
(c) The core curriculum developed under this subsection must be submitted to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for approval. Advanced modules developed under this paragraph must be approved by the commission and submitted to the respective boards for approval.
(5) The core curriculum shall cover the information required to have all categories of participants appropriately informed as to their technical and administrative responsibilities in the effective execution of the code process by all individuals currently licensed under part XII of chapter 468, chapter 471, chapter 481, or chapter 489, except as otherwise provided in s. 471.017. The core curriculum shall be prerequisite to the advanced module coursework for all licensees and shall be completed by individuals licensed in all categories under part XII of chapter 468, chapter 471, chapter 481, or chapter 489 within the first 2-year period after initial licensure. Core course hours taken by licensees to complete this requirement shall count toward fulfillment of required continuing education units under part XII of chapter 468, chapter 471, chapter 481, or chapter 489.
(6) Each biennium, upon receipt of funds by the Department of Community Affairs from the Construction Industry Licensing Board and the Electrical Contractors' Licensing Board provided under ss. 489.109(3) and 489.509(3), the department shall determine the amount of funds available for the Florida Building Code Compliance and Mitigation Program.
(7) If the projects provided through the Florida Building Code Compliance and Mitigation Program in any state fiscal year do not require the use of all available funds, the unused funds shall be carried forward and allocated for use during the following fiscal year.
(8) The Florida Building Commission shall provide by rule for the accreditation of courses related to the Florida Building Code by accreditors approved by the commission. The commission shall establish qualifications of accreditors and criteria for the accreditation of courses by rule. The commission may revoke the accreditation of a course by an accreditor if the accreditation is demonstrated to violate this part or the rules of the commission.
(9) This section does not prohibit or limit the subject areas or development of continuing education or training on the Florida Building Code by any qualified entity.
History.--s. 52, ch. 98-287; s. 89, ch. 2000-141; s. 59, ch. 2004-357; s. 14, ch. 2005-147; s. 7, ch. 2007-187.