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ROC Rules: Proposed Changes Affect Contractors

Licensed contractors should be aware of three areas of change underway at the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC): complaint processing, solar contractor licensing and general rule changes.

Complaints

Over the next few months, the ROC will be changing how it processes and resolves complaints against contractors, according to a September 5 announcement from ROC director Bill Mundell. The announcement states, in part, that "the ROC will focus its regulatory efforts on ‘problem contractors.’"

Here are some of the changes to expect:

  • "Citations will not be issued solely at the request of the person filing the complaint. The ROC will decide whether the evidence provided by the complainant and gathered by the ROC investigator support the issuance of a citation." Mundell predicts that this change will result in fewer citations.
  • "The ROC will implement an arbitration process. The arbitration process will typically be used for small-dollar disputes involving poor construction on residential property, where the contractor is not the subject of numerous prior complaints." The goal is to resolve claims more quickly and help the ROC focus on "larger disputes and repeat offenders."
  • "The ROC will impose progressive discipline on contractor’s licenses based on the severity and recurrence of violations." The ROC’s "progressive discipline" will consist of letters of concern, suspension for a certain time period, suspension until compliance with an order by the ROC, and revocation of a license.

See the full newsletter, "Transition in Complaint Handling Process," at the ROC website. These changes will be discussed further during the October meeting of the ROC Industry Advisory Council. Expect additional information after the meeting.

Solar Contracting

Proposed changes in the solar contracting rules contain two main provisions: (1) marking or supplementing licenses of those who qualify to work as a solar contractors, and (2) guidelines for solar energy device warranties. See the final draft of the proposed changes in detail.

Rule Changes

Here is a summary of the ROC’s proposed rule changes stemming from its five-year review:

  • Reduce license classifications by reclassifying residential and commercial license classifications into the equivalent dual classification.
  • Clarify common confusion in scopes of work allowed by license classifications.
  • Clarify the meaning of "professional industry standards."
  • Increase dollar limitations of small commercial contracting license and bonds.
  • Add a rule describing unauthorized communication with the ROC.

The ROC predicts these and other changes will result in "more clear and understandable rules" for contractors and "reduced licensing fees." See the final draft of the proposed changes in detail.

Questions?

Matt Meaker is a member of the ROC Industry Advisory Council and is available to address your questions on the proposed changes discussed above. Matt, along with Sharon Shively, David Tierney, Steve Beeghley and Mike Lamb, comprise an experienced team of construction law professionals available to advise and assist you in a wide variety of construction law matters and disputes.

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