Update on Contractor Registration in Vermont
2018 – 2022 AIAVT INITIATIVE MOVING FORWARD!
by Sandra Vitzthum, AIA
Act 182 became a statute in 2022. Its companion rules are currently being drafted. Please see the FAQ page here.
- The Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) shall create a database and online registry of residential contractors and subcontractors.
- Any person or company doing residential construction work in excess of $10,000 shall register with OPR.
- Certain professional and educational certifications will be recognized and listed in the registry.
- Validated complaints of unprofessional conduct against a person or company may result in their removal from the registry.
WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW?
- The Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) is building the registry application and drafting rules.
- Public hearings for the rules are targeted for November – December 2022.
- “Early Bird Registration” will start in December 2022.
- Full mandatory registration begins in April 2023.
- Enforcement will not begin until July 2024.
OPR is working on an outreach plan, compiling contractor lists through Efficiency Vermont, Vermont’s corporations' database, VBRA, and other resources. They’re considering emails, direct mail, posters at lumber yards, hardware stores, radio talk shows, etc. Click here for an informational poster suitable for posting around jobsites, town offices, hardware stores, and other places frequented by contractors.
WHAT CAN AIAVT DO?
We can help by notifying all contractors and special trades that we work with now, to make sure they are aware and looking for notices. We can help by explaining the background story and reason for this significant change in the way Vermont construction professionals work.
Traditionally, word-of-mouth referrals and local reputation ensured that Vermont contractors were reputable, and we had a reliable path for young people to learn trades. In the last 20 years, however, four major trends in Vermont’s economy have impacted construction:
- Climate change has made building air-tight – safely -- critically important;
- Building technology is expanding exponentially, meaning builders are encouraged to use many new, less familiar materials;
- Vermont’s labor force is fluid with the rest of the United States;
- Extreme boom cycles encourage untrained people to start their own businesses.
With a rising number of homeowner complaints and losses, the need for formal accountability became clear about 15 years ago. AIAVT has worked diligently with the Vermont Builders and Remodelers Association and the Secretary of State’s office to recognize contractors as professionals.
Currently OPR is trying to identify certifications for specific trades. Please help AIAVT compile a list of specialty trades and their certifications to recognize by adding to the list here. OPR is looking for outstanding representatives of each specialty to advise them. See the link for the list and help us fill in the blanks. Or you can contact Gabriel Gilman: Gabriel.firstname.lastname@example.org