The State Electrical Board (SEB) and the Division of Professions and Occupations are required by law to be reviewed periodically to determine if certain industries and occupations should be subject to governance and licensure. This happens by the Colorado legislature through a process called Sunset Review.
These review processes focus on creating the least restrictive form of regulation consistent with protecting the public. The reviews consider the public’s right to consistent, high quality professional or occupational services like electrical contracting.
“As we know quite well, electricians and electrical contractors who install and repair electrical wiring and systems must do so according to designs and codes designated or approved by the State Electrical Board,” says Marilyn Stansbury. “As an industry, we must be proactive about educating parents, families, businesses, the community and even our elected officials about the true complexity of knowledge and talent required to be in this profession.”
The National Electrical Code (Code) provides the basis for electrical training and installations in Colorado. Oversight and licensure of wiremen, journeymen electricians, or master electricians must be mandated. In Colorado, practitioners are required to demonstrate a combination of Code knowledge through examination, and proven ability through required training and on-the-job electrical experience – all of which are based on the Code.
The State Electrical Board provides this oversight in Colorado and ensures that safety, proper practice and installation are ensured. “The good news is that DORA has completed its analysis of the board and has submitted a report recommending that the Board continue through 2032, or 13 years,” says Marilyn. “IECRM will make sure our voice is heard as the General Assembly takes DORA’s recommendation under advisement and legislation is drafted to continue this Board.”
The report from DORA cites that “The need for electricity in modern society is obvious. Electricity powers the machines that make quality of life better. Because electricity is such an everyday component of life, some people fail to grasp the dangers to health and safety that can be associated with electricity…There is extreme danger to the public when unqualified people install electrical wiring…” Please visit the DORA website for a full copy of the report.
“We must ensure this extension is approved and passes. We may use it more efficiently but we will not be using less electricity in the future; coupled with innovations and technology changes we will continue to have need for thoughtful oversight of training and licensure.” says Marilyn. “The State Electrical Board is a critical and fundamental public protection because it empowers regulators to ensure that only qualified people install and modify electrical systems. It also mandates inspections ensuring that electrical systems have been installed according to Code and by a licensed practitioner.”
Through its policy and advocacy, IECRM will take part in making sure that the extension of the Board occurs. “We need our members, however, to review the recommendations, get involved and be part of the overall conversation to support this outcome,” Marilyn continues.
Count on this being part of the agenda when the 2019 General Assembly convenes in January. Contact Marilyn at email@example.com to lend your voice to the effort to see this successfully through.