Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rep. Bigelow wants to eliminate continuing education for contractors - but why stop there?

Rep. Ron Bigelow (R-West Valley) has proposed H.B. 249, which would eliminate the yearly continuing-education requirement for licensed contractors in Utah. Presently, that requirement is 6 hours of continuing education over a 2-year period.

Continuing education requirements in Utah are a hodgepodge of micromanagement. Plumbers have no such requirements. Electricians do (16 hours per year). Mortgage officers do (14 hours every 2 years). Real estate agents do (12 hours every 2 years). Lawyers do (27 hours every 2 years). Psychologists do (48 hours every 2 years). Licensed social workers do (40 hours every 2 years). Occupational therapists don't. Speech therapists do (24 hours every 2 years). Certified dieticians don't. Professional engineers do (20 hours every 2 years). Pest control professionals do (24 hours every 3 years).

Some of these requirements can be met by home study, some can't. Some can use online courses, some can't. Some have ethics requirements, some don't. Some have content requirement - for example, electricians have to take instruction on the latest code requirements, but lawyers can attend classes on any legal subject they find interesting.

The contractor requirement is the laxest CE requirement we've seen imposed under Utah law. 3 hours a year is too much for these guys, especially as learning about new (greener) technologies becomes increasingly important in reducing our dependence on foreign oil? But if the issue is whether the legislature is operating counter to its "free market" mantra, that's a different question. Should professionals keep up to date in their fields? Yes. Should that be market-driven, rather than a requirement? One would assume that Republicans would think so.

And if the legislature is going to decide continuing education requirements, how about some consistency? Why do social workers have to have a whopping 40 hours when real estate agents only have to have 12? And letting Utah lawyers go to any CLE that suits their fancy seems pointless. Frankly, we think much of the CE industry is just a money maker for companies that provide it, and it may be a time for a review of the whole concept. How about it, Rep. Bigelow?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am all for removing the CLE requirement for lawyers. (It should be precluded by the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment anyway.)

Chayce Clark

Prof. Cortez said...

Amen!

melissa said...

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Jared said...

The basics of Plumbing have not changed in 100 years. As a plumber, even looking at the newest green technologies like tankless water heaters, I still hook them up using the same methods I use for a water softener. Law, electical and many other contracting groups can't say the same.

Mack said...

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john carlos carlos said...

We all know that Contractor Continuing Education is not only a state requirement for license holders but also to give updated knowledge and developments in this industry. This will also help contractors to maintain their license in the state where they work in.