These requirements are for builders applying for a new residential builder licence as a general contractor in B.C. under Part 9 of the BC Building Code.
General contractor applicants must meet the qualification requirements if they have not previously held a residential builder licence.
Any builder who previously held a residential builder licence must meet these requirements if:
- Their licence was closed
- Their licence was cancelled
- Their licence has expired
- They contravened a condition of their licence within the past five years
Builders who are exempt
Some builders are exempt from meeting the qualification requirements, such as:
- Licensed builders who have maintained their qualified status
- Licensed developers building only under Part 3 of the BC Building Code
- Licensed developers building homes and smaller buildings under Part 9 of the BC Building Code who hire a licensed general contractor to construct homes for them
- Licensed building envelope renovators
Please note that general contractors working for a licensed developer to construct residential buildings under Part 3 of the BC Building Code are exempt from having to obtain a residential builder licence. However, any general contractor who opts to be licensed must qualify, even though it’s not a requirement.
Our Choose Your Licence Type regulatory bulletin explains the different licence types.
Meeting the qualification requirements
The prescribed qualifications for licensing are taken from the Homeowner Protection Act and Regulation. The qualification standard proves you have the necessary knowledge and skills to manage a licensed residential construction company. It states an applicant must:
Provide proof of 24 months of experience managing or supervising residential construction, gained within the past five years
Demonstrate competency in seven core competency areas:
- Relevant enactments
- Construction management and supervision
- Construction technology
- Customer Service and home warranty insurance
- Financial Planning, management and administration
- Legal issues
- Business planning, management and administration
To learn more about the criteria for each competency area, please consult our Core Competency Requirements bulletin.
When providing proof of meeting the qualification requirements, you must cover two areas.
Proof of experience
You must show a minimum of 24 months of experience managing or supervising residential construction within the past five years. Those months don’t have to be consecutive, but if you completed multiple projects at the same time, the time will only be counted once.
Although residential construction of new homes is preferred, we may consider alternate construction experience, such as large residential renovations, commercial or industrial construction, as equivalent.
If your construction experience wasn’t as a construction manager but in another capacity, such as engineer or architect, you may also submit your relevant project experience for review. If you want your experience considered as equivalent, you must provide an explanation for how these projects directly relate to residential construction. You must provide evidence to support your experience, including:
- If you were in business for yourself, copies of building and occupancy permits
- If you were employed, a letter from your employer — this could include a client that employed you to complete a renovation project. We recommend that your employer or client complete the Verification of Employment & Experience Form . It’s important to ensure that all necessary details are included to expedite the review of your application. Your employer must fill out the form in their own words, sign it and provide you with a copy to submit with your licence application.
Proof of training
You can establish your qualifications by successfully completing acceptable training in each of the seven core competencies. All pre-approved qualifications training is listed on our Education Registry. (Use the drop-down menu for Offering Type and choose Qualifications.)
You will be required to pass a proctored exam and must submit the completion certificates showing that you successfully passed the exam for each course for the competency to be met.
If you feel you have the knowledge in a particular area and do not wish to take the full course, you can write a challenge exam in order to demonstrate competency. Not every education provider offers challenge exams so you will need to follow up with them directly.
The Registrar might also recognize equivalent evidence of your competency via the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process.
Using a nominee
Select a nominee to establish your qualifications in the licence application. This person must be an individual who is listed as a person in control of the company, such as:
- An owner of a sole proprietorship
- A partner
- A director or officer of a corporation
- A senior manager or full-time employee responsible for construction for the company
However, the nominee can’t be a contractor who works for the company.
If the nominee is an employee, this person must be such an integral part of the company’s operations that, if he or she were the company’s only employee, they would require their own residential builder licence.
You can use more than one nominee on your application. However, these conditions apply:
- You can only use one nominee to prove your 24 months of management or supervisor experience.
- You can use more than one nominee to establish your educational experience, but together the nominees must cover all seven competencies.
- You cannot divide a competency between two or more nominees. A single individual must successfully complete each competency.
Maintaining qualified status
Persons or companies can lose their qualified status if they no longer have a licence in good standing. This includes expired, closed, and cancelled licenses. They may also lose their qualified status if they have failed to meet a condition of their licence within the past five years. Anyone who loses their qualified status will need to meet the qualification requirements if they apply for a new general contractor licence.
If a nominee who has met the experience and/or competency requirements leaves the company, you must immediately request a licence amendment to remove that nominee. We will then contact you to find out who the replacement nominee will be and start a new qualification assessment. if you fail to inform us of this change it could result in your renewal being delayed or denied, or your licence being suspended.