TITLE 22. EXAMINING BOARDS

PART 8. TEXAS APPRAISER LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION BOARD

CHAPTER 153. RULES RELATING TO PROVISIONS OF THE TEXAS APPRAISER LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION ACT

22 TAC §153.16

The Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB) proposes amendments to §153.16, License Reinstatement. The proposed amendments clarify requirements for applicants who apply for license reinstatement and explain when an applicant for license reinstatement is eligible for an examination waiver.

Kristen Worman, General Counsel, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed amendments are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for the state or for units of local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed amendments. There is no significant impact on small businesses, micro-businesses or local or state employment as a result of implementing the proposed amendments. There is no significant anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendments.

Ms. Worman has also determined that for each year of the first five years the sections as proposed are in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the section as proposed will be clarity for applicants and a requirement that is easier to understand and consistent with state and federal law.

Comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted to Kristen Worman, General Counsel, Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board, P.O. Box 12188, Austin, Texas 78711-2188 or emailed to: general.counsel@talcb.texas.gov. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under Texas Occupations Code §1103.151, which authorizes TALCB to adopt rules relating to certificates and licenses, and §1103.152, which authorizes TALCB to prescribe qualifications for appraisers that are consistent with the qualifications established by the Appraiser Qualifications Board.

The statute affected by these amendments is Chapter 1103, Texas Occupations Code. No other statute, code or article is affected by the proposed amendments.

§153.16.License Reinstatement.

(a) This section applies only to a person who:

(1) previously held an appraiser license issued by the Board that has expired; and

(2) seeks to obtain the same level of appraiser license previously held by the person before its expiration.

(b) A person described in subsection (a) may apply to reinstate the person's former license by:

(1) submitting an application for reinstatement on a form approved by the Board;

(2) paying the applicable fee;

(3) satisfying the Board as to the person's honesty, trustworthiness and integrity;

(4) satisfying the experience requirements in this section; and

(5) satisfying the fingerprint and criminal history check requirements in §153.12 of this title.

(c) Applicants for reinstatement under this section must demonstrate completion of 14 hours of appraiser continuing education for each year since the last renewal of the person's previous license.

(d) Applicants for reinstatement must demonstrate that their appraisal experience complies with USPAP as follows:

(1) Persons who have work files/license expired less than 5 years. A person described in subsection (a) who has appraisal work files and whose previous license has been expired less than five years may apply to reinstate the person's previous license by submitting an experience log as follows:

(A) For reinstatement as a licensed residential appraiser, a minimum of 10 residential appraisal reports representing at least 200 hours of residential real estate appraisal experience.

(B) For reinstatement as a certified residential real estate appraiser, a minimum of 10 residential appraisal reports representing at least 250 hours of residential real estate appraisal experience.

(C) For reinstatement as a certified general appraiser, a minimum of 10 non-residential appraisal reports representing at least 300 hours of non-residential real estate appraisal experience.

(2) Persons who do not have work files/license expired more than 5 years.

(A) A person described in subsection (a) who does not have appraisal work files or whose previous license has been expired for more than five years may apply for a license as an appraiser trainee for the purpose of acquiring the appraisal experience required under this subsection.

(B) An appraiser trainee licensed under this section may apply for reinstatement at the same level of appraiser license that the applicant previously held, after the applicant completes the required number of appraisal reports or hours of real estate appraisal experience as follows:

(i) For reinstatement as a licensed residential appraiser, the applicant must complete a minimum of 10 residential appraisal reports or 200 hours of residential real estate appraisal experience, whichever is more.

(ii) For reinstatement as a certified residential appraiser, the applicant must complete a minimum of 10 residential appraisal reports or 250 hours of residential real estate appraisal experience, whichever is more.

(iii) For reinstatement as a certified general appraiser, the applicant must complete a minimum of 10 non-residential appraisal reports or 300 hours of non-residential real estate appraisal experience, whichever is more.

(C) Upon completion of the required number of appraisal reports or hours of real estate appraisal experience, the applicant must submit an experience log.

(e) Consistent with §153.15, the Board will evaluate each applicant's real estate appraisal experience for compliance with USPAP based on the submitted experience log.

(f) For those persons described in subsection (a) the Board has discretion to [may] waive the following requirements:

(1) Proof of qualifying education;

(2) College education or degree requirement; or [and]

(3) Examination for persons whose appraiser license has been expired for less than five years.

(g) Consistent with this chapter, upon review of the applicant's real estate appraisal experience, the Board may:

(1) Reinstate the applicant's previous appraiser license;

(2) Reinstate the applicant's previous appraiser license, contingent upon completion of additional education, experience or mentorship; or

(3) Deny the application.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 8, 2017.

TRD-201701825

Kristen Worman

General Counsel

Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 18, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3652


PART 11. TEXAS BOARD OF NURSING

CHAPTER 213. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

22 TAC §213.34

Introduction. The Texas Board of Nursing (Board) proposes amendments to §213.34, relating to Deferred Discipline. The proposed amendments reduce the current required period of deferral from five (5) years to three (3) years. The remaining provisions of the section remain unchanged.

Background

In 2009, pursuant to Senate Bill (SB) 1415, the Texas Legislature first authorized the use of deferred discipline, through a pilot program, as an alternative method of resolving minor violations of the Nursing Practice Act (NPA) and Board rules. The Board first adopted rules to implement the requirements of SB 1415 in 2010 (35 TexReg 6077). In 2013, the Texas Legislature made deferred discipline a permanent part of the NPA, and the Board's rules were amended in 2014 to reflect this change (39 TexReg 5753).

Under the Board's current rule, a final disciplinary action against an individual may be deferred if certain conditions are met. If an individual is able to successfully complete all of the required conditions of the order and the period of deferment has run, the originating complaint is dismissed and the deferred order becomes confidential under state law. Currently, the required period of deferment is five (5) years from the date of the effective date of the deferred order.

Period of Deferment

In January 2011, the Board created the Deferred Disciplinary Action Pilot Program Advisory Committee to evaluate and make recommendations regarding the program's efficiency and efficacy, taking into account concerns regarding recidivism and the potential effect of confidential orders on public health and safety . The Committee met six times over the course of a year and a half and reviewed statistical data, employer and nurse survey responses, and extrinsic recidivism data. The Committee's evaluation and recommendations were included in the Board's report to the Legislature in 2012, wherein the Committee and the Board recommended making deferred discipline a permanent part of the NPA.

In its review, the Committee gave considerable attention to recidivism data and the program's period of deferment. At the time the Committee considered the recidivism data associated with the pilot program, the program was just over a year old. While the recidivism data that had been recorded up to that point was encouraging, the pilot program lacked enough longevity to support specific recommendations regarding shortening the period of deferment. However, the Committee recommended that the Board re-evaluate the recidivism data at a future date and, if supported by the data, reduce the period of deferment. The Committee also suggested considering a three year period of deferment for lower level deferred disciplinary orders.

Recidivism

In January 2017, Board Staff evaluated 268 deferred disciplinary orders entered between February 1, 2011, and January 31, 2014, to determine the recidivism rate. Out of the 268 deferred orders, only 29 new cases (new violations of the NPA and/or Board rules) were identified. Of the 29 new cases, 17 occurred within the first year of the deferment period, 9 occurred in the second year of the deferment period, and 1 occurred in the third year of the deferment period, making 93.1% of the recidivism within the first three years of the deferment period. Coupled with the initial data reviewed by the Committee, this data tends to show that the vast majority of recidivism, if any, occurs within the early part of the deferred period (within the first three years).

The Board considered this data at its April 2017 regularly scheduled meeting. While the Board believes it is important for patterns of harmful or risky practice to be identified and successfully remediated, a five year deferred period no longer appears necessary to address these needs. Based upon the most recent data, it appears that a shorter deferred period could reasonably protect the interests of the public, as well as the interests of the individual seeking to remediate his/her prior practice breakdown. As such, the Board determined that it would be appropriate to shorten the deferral period from five (5) years to three (3) years and approved the proposal of the amendments to accomplish this.

Section-by-Section Overview. Proposed amended §213.34(f) provides that a deferred disciplinary order will be available to the public for a minimum of three years and until such time as an individual successfully completes all of the conditions required by the deferred disciplinary order and the originating complaint is dismissed by the Board. After such time, the deferred disciplinary order will become confidential to the same extent that a complaint is confidential under the Occupations Code §301.466.

Fiscal Note. Katherine Thomas, Executive Director, has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments are in effect, there will be no additional fiscal implications for state or local government as a result of implementing the proposal.

Public Benefit/Cost Note. Ms. Thomas has also determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments are in effect, the anticipated public benefits will be the adoption of requirements that are consistent with SB 1415 (2009) and SB 1058 (2013); provide individuals with a less punitive alternative for resolving minor violations of the NPA and Board rules; and ensure the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare.

Deferred discipline provides individuals with an opportunity to resolve minor violations of the NPA and Board rules through a less punitive process than traditional discipline. This is beneficial to individuals because a deferred order, once successfully completed, will become confidential and will not be available for public disclosure. The proposed amendments shorten the deferment period from five (5) years to three (3) years, allowing individuals to realize this benefit sooner. The Board's data further suggests that the vast majority of any recidivism will occur within this time frame, allowing the Board sufficient time to detect and remediate any potential patterns of substandard practice that could result in harm to the public.

There are no anticipated economic costs of the proposal. The proposed amendments shorten the period of deferment from five (5) years to three (3) years. This proposed change does not impose any costs upon individuals subject to the proposal. Rather, the proposed amendments subject an individual to a deferred order for a shorter period of time and afford the individual the benefit of the order becoming confidential two years earlier than under the current rule. Removing this licensure encumbrance two years earlier may actually result in cost savings to the individual.

Economic Impact Statement and Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Small and Micro Businesses. As required by the Government Code §2006.002(c) and (f), the Board has determined that the proposal will not have an adverse economic effect on any small or micro business because there are no anticipated economic costs to any person who is subject to the proposal.

Takings Impact Assessment. The Board has determined that no private real property interests are affected by this proposal and that this proposal does not restrict or limit an owner's right to property that would otherwise exist in the absence of government action and, therefore, does not constitute a taking or require a takings impact assessment under the Government Code §2007.043.

Request for Public Comment. To be considered, written comments on the proposal or any request for a public hearing must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 18, 2017, to James W. Johnston, General Counsel, Texas Board of Nursing, 333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-460, Austin, Texas 78701, or by e-mail to dusty.johnston@bon.texas.gov, or faxed to (512) 305-8101. If a hearing is held, written and oral comments presented at the hearing will be considered.

Statutory Authority. The amendments are proposed under the Occupations Code §301.6555 and §301.151.

Section 301.6555(a) provides that, for any action or complaint for which the Board proposes to impose on a person a sanction other than a reprimand or a denial, suspension, or revocation of a license, the Board may: (i) defer the final action the Board has proposed if the person conforms to conditions imposed by the Board, including any condition the Board could impose as a condition of probation under §301.468; and (ii) if the person successfully meets the imposed conditions, dismiss the complaint.

Section 301.6555(b) states that, except as provided by this subsection, a deferred action by the Board is not confidential and is subject to disclosure in accordance with Chapter 552, Government Code. Further, if the person successfully meets the conditions imposed by the Board in deferring final action and the Board dismisses the action or complaint, the deferred action of the Board is confidential to the same extent as a complaint is confidential under §301.466.

Section 301.151 provides that the Board may adopt and enforce rules consistent with this chapter and necessary to: (i) perform its duties and conduct proceedings before the Board; (ii) regulate the practice of professional nursing and vocational nursing; (iii) establish standards of professional conduct for license holders under this chapter; and (iv) determine whether an act constitutes the practice of professional nursing or vocational nursing.

Cross Reference to Statute. The following statutes are affected by this proposal:

Rule: 213.34

Statute: §301.6555 and §301.151

§213.34.Deferred Discipline.

(a) - (e) (No change.)

(f) A deferred disciplinary order will be available to the public for a minimum of three [five] years and until such time as an individual successfully completes all of the conditions required by the deferred disciplinary order and the originating complaint is dismissed by the Board. After such time, the deferred disciplinary order will become confidential to the same extent that a complaint is confidential under the Occupations Code §301.466.

(g) (No change.)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 8, 2017.

TRD-201701822

James W. Johnston

General Counsel

Texas Board of Nursing

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 18, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 305-6821


PART 17. TEXAS STATE BOARD OF PLUMBING EXAMINERS

CHAPTER 363. EXAMINATION AND REGISTRATION

22 TAC §§363.1 - 363.27

The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (Board) proposes a new 22 TAC Chapter 363, concerning Examination and Registration. The proposed revisions were identified during the rule review for Chapter 363 published in the November 25, 2016, issue of the Texas Register. The new Chapter 363 was initially published in the February 3, 2017, issue of the Texas Register and is re-published below with additional changes. The proposed new chapter largely retains the requirements set forth in the existing chapter, but restructures it to create a separate section for each type of license, registration, and endorsement issued by the Board. The individual, substantive changes made to each section of Chapter 363 as they existed prior to the repeal are explained below.

Proposed §363.1, concerning Definitions, creates new definitions for "Application" and "Directly Related to Plumbing."

The existing §363.1, concerning Qualifications, is replaced with thirteen separate rules.

Proposed §363.2, concerning General Qualifications, includes the provisions from subsections (a) and (b) of the existing §363.1 as well as new language that explains exactly which endorsements each type of license or registration may contain. Provisions from subsections (c)(3), (d)(1)(B), (e)(1)(A), (f)(1), (j)(1), (k)(1), (l)(1), and (m)(1) of the existing §363.1 that prescribe the work status qualifications an applicant must satisfy for each license and registration are also added to proposed §363.2 and deleted throughout the rest of the chapter. New language requiring an employer to automatically provide a completed Employer Certification Form to a Plumber's Apprentice or Tradesman-Limited Licensee upon separation of employment or the end of a contract is added.

Proposed §363.3, concerning Qualifications for Applicants with Military Experience, includes the provisions from subsection (n) of the existing §363.1 as well new language to clarify that the Board will credit verified military service, training, or education toward the apprenticeship requirements for a license despite the provisions of the Plumbing License Law and Board Rules that prohibit an individual from receiving credit for work experience in the trade unless the individual is a registered Plumber's Apprentice or Tradesman Plumber-Limited Licensee. New language to allow the Board to consider an applicant's discharge status from the military when evaluating the competency of a military service member or military veteran for a particular license or registration is also added. Language from the existing §363.1 requiring the Board to expedite the issuance of a license by endorsement or reciprocity to a military service member or military veteran is deleted because the Board does not issue licenses in this manner.

Proposed §363.4, concerning Master Plumber License, reorganizes and rewords the provisions contained in subsection (c) of the existing §363.1 to improve clarity.

Proposed §363.5, concerning Journeyman Plumber License, consolidates all of the provisions related to the eligibility requirements for a Journeyman Plumber License into a single rule. Specifically, proposed §363.5 reorganizes and rewords the provisions contained in subsection (d) of the existing §363.1 to improve clarity and adds new language to exempt applicants for a Journeyman examination who have completed the classroom portion of a training program provided by a person approved by the Board and based on course materials approved by the Board, or hold a current Journeyman Plumber License issued in another state, from the required 48 hours of classroom training. Proposed §363.5 also incorporates the provisions from subsections (b)(2), (c), (d), and (e) of the existing §363.12 that describe the training an applicant must complete to be eligible to take the Journeyman Plumber examination. The reference to "Construction Mandatory Topics Review" in subsection (c) of the existing §363.12 is changed to "Construction Industry Practices" to reflect the current name of the 10-Hour Outreach Training Program offered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Proposed §363.6, concerning Tradesman Plumber-Limited License, consolidates all of the provisions related to the eligibility requirements for a Tradesman Plumber-Limited License into a single rule. Specifically, proposed §363.6 reorganizes and rewords the provisions contained in subsection (e) of the existing §363.1 to improve clarity and adds new language to exempt applicants for a Tradesman Plumber-Limited examination who have completed the classroom portion of a training program provided by a person approved by the Board and based on course materials approved by the Board, or hold a current Master or Journeyman Plumber License issued in another state, from the required 24 hours of classroom training. New language is also added to describe the training an applicant must complete to be eligible to take the Tradesman Plumber-Limited examination.

Proposed §363.7, concerning Plumber's Apprentice Registration, includes the provisions from subsection (m) of the existing §363.1.

Proposed §363.8, concerning Plumbing Inspector License, reorganizes and rewords the provisions contained in subsection (f) of the existing §363.1 to improve clarity.

Proposed §363.9, concerning Medical Gas Piping Installation Endorsement, consolidates all of the provisions related to the eligibility requirements for the Medical Gas Piping Installation Endorsement into a single rule. Specifically, it includes the provisions contained in subsection (g) of the existing §363.1 and also incorporates the provisions from subsection (b) of the existing §363.11 that describe the training an applicant must complete to be eligible to take the Medical Gas Piping Installation Endorsement examination.

Proposed §363.10, concerning Multipurpose Residential Fire Protection Sprinkler Specialist Endorsement, consolidates all of the provisions related to the eligibility requirements for the Multipurpose Residential Fire Protection Sprinkler Specialist Endorsement into a single rule. Specifically, it includes the provisions contained in subsection (h) of the existing §363.1 and also incorporates the provisions from subsection (d) of the existing §363.11 that describe the training an applicant must complete to be eligible to take the Multipurpose Residential Fire Protection Sprinkler Specialist Endorsement examination.

Proposed §363.11, concerning Water Supply Protection Specialist Endorsement, consolidates all of the provisions related to the eligibility requirements for the Water Supply Protection Specialist Endorsement into a single rule. Specifically, it includes the provisions contained in subsection (i) of the existing §363.1 and also incorporates the provisions from subsection (c) of the existing §363.11 that describe the training an applicant must complete to be eligible to take the Water Supply Protection Specialist Endorsement examination.

Proposed §363.12, concerning Residential Utilities Installer Registration, includes the provisions from subsection (j) of the existing §363.1.

Proposed §363.13, concerning Drain Cleaner Registration, includes the provisions from subsection (k) of the existing §363.1.

Proposed §363.14, concerning Drain Cleaner-Restricted Registration, includes the provisions from subsection (l) of the existing §363.1.

Proposed §363.15, concerning Consequences to an Applicant With Criminal Convictions, rewords and restructures the provisions from the existing §363.2 to improve clarity and changes the title to correct omissions. Subsections (a), (f), (g), and (i) of the existing §363.2 are deleted to eliminate redundancies with Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupations Code and other subsections of this rule.

Proposed §363.16, concerning Examination Schedule, rewords and restructures the provisions from the existing §363.3 to improve clarity and adds new subsections (b) and (c) to specify the order in which exam applications will be processed and require the Board to provide an applicant with a written notice of the date, time, and place of examination.

Proposed §363.17, concerning Reporting for Examination, rewords and restructures the provisions from the existing §363.4 to improve clarity.

Proposed §363.18, concerning Description of Examination, rewords and restructures the provisions from the existing §363.5 to improve clarity and adds new language requiring the Board to make information about the scope of each examination available on its website to reflect existing Board policy and procedures.

Proposed §363.19, concerning Non-Standard Examination Accommodations, rewords and restructures the provisions from the existing §363.6 to improve clarity.

Proposed §363.20, concerning Test Score Requirements, is identical to the existing §363.7. This rule was omitted from the proposed new Chapter 363 that was initially published.

Proposed §363.21, concerning Notification, is identical to the existing §363.8. This rule was omitted from the proposed new Chapter 363 that was initially published.

Proposed §363.22, concerning Reexamination, rewords and restructures the provisions from the existing §363.9 to improve clarity.

Proposed §363.23, concerning Disqualification, rewords and restructures the provisions from the existing §363.10 to improve clarity and changes the word "may" to "shall" to require, rather than permit, the Board to deny an applicant who furnishes false information on an application or uses fraudulent means of establishing his or her qualifications the right to receive a registration or the opportunity to take an examination.

Proposed §363.24, concerning Providers and Instructors of Endorsement Training Programs, changes the title of the existing §363.11 and replaces subsection (a) with new subsections (a) through (h), which reword the existing provisions and add new language. Specifically, subsection (a)(2)(B)-(C) of the existing rule is deleted to eliminate duplication of §365.14(c)(2); new subsections (a) and (b) prescribe that only a Course Provider or Instructor who is approved to provide or instruct Continuing Professional Education may provide or instruct a training program for an endorsement issued by the Board; new subsection (d) prohibits a Course Provider or Instructor whose approval to provide or instruct Continuing Professional Education is revoked or suspended from providing or instructing a training program for an endorsement; new subsection (f) requires a Course Provider to keep an electronic copy or record of each certificate of completion issued under this section; new subsection (g) requires a Course Provider to submit a course outline for an endorsement training program to the Board for approval; and new subsection (i) allows the Board to require a Course Provider to resubmit a previously-approved course outline for an endorsement training program at any time. As explained above, subsections (b), (c), and (d) of the existing §363.11 are deleted and moved to proposed §363.9, §363.11, and §363.10 respectively.

Proposed §363.25, concerning Providers and Instructors of Training Programs for Journeyman Plumber and Tradesman Plumber-Limited License Applicants, changes the title and rewords and restructures subsections (f) through (j) of the existing §363.12. New language is added to require the presence of an approved Course Instructor if a Course Provider utilizes a person who is authorized by OSHA, but not Board-approved, to instruct the OSHA 10-Hour Outreach Training Program and to require a Course Provider to keep an electronic copy or record of each certificate of completion issued under this section. As explained above, subsections (b)(2), (c), (d), and (e) of the existing §363.12 are deleted and moved to proposed §363.5 and subsection (b)(1) is deleted and moved to proposed §363.6. As a result of this reorganization, subsection (a) of the existing §363.12 is deleted as redundant.

Proposed §363.26, concerning Training Program for Responsible Master Plumber Applicants, rewords and restructures the provisions from the existing §363.13 to improve clarity and adds new language to require that an approved Course Instructor, governmental entity, educational entity, or individual utilized by a Course Provider to instruct a portion of the Responsible Master Plumber training program have expertise in the subject it will teach. New language is also added to require the presence of an approved Course Instructor if the Course Provider utilizes a governmental entity, educational entity, or individual who is not an approved Course Instructor to provide instruction and to require a Course Provider to keep an electronic copy or record of each certificate of completion issued under this section.

Proposed §363.27, concerning Criminal Conviction Guidelines, deletes subsection (a) from the existing §363.14 because it is redundant and reorganizes and rewords the remaining provisions to improve clarity. The word "felony" is deleted from subsections (c)(15-17) and (c)(22) of the existing §363.14 to align the rule with §53.021(a) of the Texas Occupations Code, which allows a licensing agency to consider both felony and misdemeanor convictions when reviewing an application for a license, exam, renewal, etc. A new subsection (e) is also added to require that applicants with convictions that place them in more than one level of risk are classified using the highest applicable level.

In addition to the specific changes noted above, non-substantive changes to punctuation, capitalization, and grammar appear throughout the proposed amendments to ensure uniformity across all Board Rules.

The proposed revisions were identified during the rule review for Chapter 363 published in the November 25, 2016, issue of the Texas Register.

Lisa G. Hill, Executive Director of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners, has determined that for the first five-year period the new Chapter 363 is in effect, there will be no fiscal impact on state or local government as a result of enforcing this chapter as proposed. Because the Board licenses only individuals and not businesses, there should be no significant fiscal impact on small or micro-businesses.

Ms. Hill has also determined that for each of the first five years the new Chapter 363 is in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing this chapter as proposed will be to have rules that are better-organized, clearer, more consistent, and free of confusing redundancies with other statutes and rules. This new chapter will also update the rules so they more accurately reflect existing Board policy, thereby protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

Written comments regarding the proposed Chapter 363 may be submitted by mail to Lisa G. Hill at P.O. Box 4200, Austin, Texas 78765-4200; or by email to info@tsbpe.texas.gov with the subject line "Chapter 363." All comments must be received within 30 days.

The new rules set forth in 22 TAC Code Chapter 363 are proposed under the authority of Chapter 1301 of the Texas Occupations Code, which requires the Board to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer and enforce this chapter; Chapter 53 of the Occupations Code, which requires a licensing authority to issue guidelines relating to the practices of the licensing authority for determining whether a criminal conviction directly relates to an occupation; and Chapter 55 of the Occupations Code, which requires a state agency that issues licenses to adopt rules regarding the licensure of military service member, military veterans, or military spouses.

No other statute, article, or code is affected by the proposal.

§363.1.Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Application--the information submitted by an individual seeking Board approval to:

(A) obtain a license, registration, or endorsement; or

(B) take a licensing or endorsement examination administered by the Board.

(2) Directly Related to Plumbing--directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the occupation of registered and licensed individuals performing plumbing work and plumbing inspections.

§363.2.General Qualifications.

(a) To be eligible to receive any license or registration issued by the Board an applicant must be:

(1) a citizen or national of the United States; or

(2) an alien or non-immigrant eligible for licensure by the State of Texas.

(b) In order to qualify for any license, registration, or endorsement, an applicant must:

(1) meet all of the requirements of the Board;

(2) remit the appropriate fee; and

(3) successfully complete the appropriate examination (if any).

(c) An applicant may qualify for a Master Plumber License, Journeyman Plumber License, Tradesman Plumber-Limited License, Plumbing Inspector License, or Plumber's Apprentice Registration.

(1) A licensed Plumbing Inspector, Master Plumber or Journeyman Plumber may obtain a Medical Gas Piping Installation Endorsement, Multipurpose Residential Fire Protection Sprinkler Specialist Endorsement, or Water Supply Protection Specialist Endorsement.

(2) A Tradesman Plumber-Limited may obtain a Drain Cleaner Registration.

(3) A registered Plumber's Apprentice may obtain a Residential Utilities Installer Registration, a Drain Cleaner-Restricted Registration or a Drain Cleaner Registration.

(d) A Plumber's Apprentice or Tradesman Plumber-Limited Licensee applying to take an examination must submit an Employer's Certification Form (ECF) showing that the applicant has accrued the required hours of experience working in the plumbing trade.

(1) If the applicant accrued the hours through employment with multiple employers, the applicant must submit a separate ECF completed by each employer the applicant worked for.

(2) The ECF shall be completed by the Responsible Master Plumber (RMP) who was the RMP for the company at the time the applicant worked there or the licensee who supervised the applicant on the job.

(3) If currently employed, the applicant shall:

(A) submit a request for an ECF in writing; and

(B) provide an ECF to the RMP or the licensee who supervised the applicant.

(4) Once a written request for an ECF is received, the RMP or licensee shall return the completed ECF to the applicant within thirty (30) business days.

(5) Upon separation of employment, or the end of a contract, an employer shall automatically provide a completed ECF to a Plumber's Apprentice or Tradesman Plumber-Limited or send it to the Board.

(e) To receive credit for experience working in the trade, the applicant must hold either a valid Plumber's Apprentice Registration or Tradesman Plumber-Limited License at the time the hours were worked.

§363.3.Qualifications for Applicants with Military Experience.

(a) Notwithstanding §363.2(e) of this chapter, the Board shall credit verified military service, training, or education toward the requirements, other than examination requirements, for a license or registration issued by the Board.

(b) In lieu of the standard method(s) of qualifying for a particular license, and based on the applicant's circumstances, the Board may use an alternative method that takes into consideration any combination of the following:

(1) education;

(2) continuing education;

(3) examinations (written and/or practical);

(4) letters of good standing;

(5) letters of recommendation;

(6) work experience; or

(7) discharge status from the military.

(c) This section does not apply to an applicant who:

(1) holds a restricted license issued by another jurisdiction; or

(2) has an unacceptable criminal history according to Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupations Code and §363.15 and §363.25 of this chapter.

(d) The Board shall expedite the issuance of a provisional license under this chapter to an applicant who:

(1) has verified military experience; and

(2) holds a current license issued by another jurisdiction that has license requirements that are substantially equivalent to the license requirements of the Board.

§363.4.Master Plumber License.

(a) To be eligible for a Master Plumber License an applicant must:

(1) have obtained a high school diploma, or the equivalent of a high school diploma; and

(2) have held a Journeyman Plumber License issued in Texas or another state:

(A) for at least four years; or

(B) for at least one year if the applicant has successfully completed a training program approved by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship or another nationally-recognized apprentice training program accepted by the Board.

(b) An applicant who is licensed as a Master Plumber in another state must meet the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this section.

§363.5.Journeyman Plumber License.

(a) To be eligible for a Journeyman Plumber License an applicant must:

(1) have obtained a high school diploma, or the equivalent of a high school diploma; and

(2) have completed forty-eight (48) hours of classroom training provided by a Board-approved instructor in a Board-approved training program in the areas of health and safety, the latest version of all plumbing codes adopted by the Board, and water conservation.

(b) In addition to the requirements in subsection (a) of this section, an applicant must:

(1) have at least 8,000 hours of experience working at the trade under the supervision of a RMP or a Master Plumber licensed in another state; and

(2) hold one of the following:

(A) a current Plumber's Apprentice Registration;

(B) a current Tradesman Plumber-Limited License; or

(C) a current Journeyman Plumber License issued in another state.

(c) Upon written request by the applicant, the Board may credit an applicant with up to 1,000 hours of the work experience required to take the Journeyman Plumber examination if the applicant has completed the classroom portion of a training program that is:

(1) approved by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship; or

(2) provided by a person approved by the Board and based on course materials approved by the Board.

(d) Notwithstanding the training required by subsection (a)(2) of this section, a registered Plumber's Apprentice may apply for and take the Journeyman Plumber examination if the apprentice has received an associate of applied science degree from a plumbing technology program that:

(1) includes a combination of classroom and on-the-job training; and

(2) is approved by the Board and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

(e) An applicant is exempt from the training required by subsection (a)(2) of this section if the applicant:

(1) has completed the classroom portion of a training program provided by a person approved by the Board and based on course materials approved by the Board;

(2) is a Plumber's Apprentice who is enrolled in good standing in a training program approved by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship; or

(3) holds a current Journeyman Plumber License issued in another state.

(f) The training program required by subsection (a)(2) of this section shall include:

(1) two (2) six-hour Continuing Professional Education (CPE) classes as required by §365.14(c) of the Board Rules; and

(2) the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-Hour Outreach Training class on Construction Industry Procedures, including:

(A) Introduction to OSHA;

(B) OSHA Focus on Four Hazards-fall protection, electrical, caught in between, and struck by;

(C) Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment;

(D) Health Hazards in Construction, including hazard communication and silica;

(E) Tools, including hand tools and power tools;

(F) Excavations;

(G) Stairways and Ladders;

(H) Hazardous Materials; and

(I) Introduction to Industrial Hygiene and Blood Borne Pathogens.

(g) In addition to the classes described in subsection (f) of this section, the training required by subsection (a)(2) of this section shall include:

(1) eight (8) hours of classroom training, as follows:

(A) two (2) hours, to include:

(i) reading and understanding residential construction drawings;

(ii) learning the basics of math for plumbing; and

(iii) drawing rough in and riser diagrams;

(B) one (1) hour to review the International Residential Code chapter on Fuel Gas, including:

(i) definitions;

(ii) pipe sizing and layout; and

(iii) testing and inspections;

(C) one (1) hour to review the International Residential Code chapter on General Plumbing Requirements, including:

(i) individual water supply and sewage disposal;

(ii) structural and piping protection, including notching and boring;

(iii) trenching and backfilling;

(iv) workmanship and waterproofing penetrations; and

(v) listed, labeled and approved materials;

(D) one (1) hour to review the International Residential Code chapters on Plumbing Fixtures and Water Heaters, including:

(i) the installation of plumbing fixtures and accessories;

(ii) water heater installation and replacement, including hazards of improper installations; and

(iii) water heater safety devices and alternative methods of existing installations not to code;

(E) one (1) hour to review the International Residential Code chapter on Water Supply and Distribution, including:

(i) understanding and principals of backflow protection for potable water systems;

(ii) water supply systems, including thermal expansion control and water hammer arrestors;

(iii) water conservation and maximum flow for plumbing fixtures;

(iv) sizing and pressures of potable water systems from the meter throughout distribution to fixture connections;

(v) materials and installation of potable water piping;

(vi) demonstration of soldering and brazing according to B-828 standards;

(vii) hangers, anchors and supports; and

(viii) drinking water treatment units;

(F) one (1) hour to review the International Residential Code chapters on Sanitary Drainage and Vents, including:

(i) materials and installation of drainage systems, including proper grade and changes in direction of fittings;

(ii) preparation of piping;

(iii) standards for solvent cementing of pipe and fittings;

(iv) cast iron piping and fittings;

(v) location and installation of cleanouts;

(vi) sumps and ejectors sizing and installation;

(vii) understanding the principals and physics of proper venting;

(viii) installation of different types of venting systems; and

(ix) improper connections and prohibited venting applications;

(G) one (1) hour to review the International Residential Code chapter on Traps, including:

(i) design and prohibited traps;

(ii) sizing and installation of traps and trap arms; and

(iii) trap protection; and

(2) eighteen (18) hours of classroom training in certain chapters of the Uniform Plumbing Code, International Plumbing Code, and International Fuel Gas Code (as appropriate); the Texas Accessibility Standards, the Americans with Disabilities Act; and water conservation, as follows:

(A) one (1) hour to review the chapters on General Regulations;

(B) one (1) hour to review the chapters on Plumbing Fixtures and Fixture Fittings, including:

(i) general requirements and water conservation information for plumbing fixtures;

(ii) commercial plumbing fixtures; and

(iii) location and installation requirements for fixtures and fixture fittings;

(C) two (2) hours to review the chapters on Water Heaters, including:

(i) general regulations for water heater installation and replacement, including hazards of improper installations;

(ii) safety requirements for commercial water heaters;

(iii) different types of water heaters available, including installations; and

(iv) safety devices and alternative methods to bring existing installations into compliance with plumbing codes;

(D) two (2) hours to review the chapters on Water Supply and Distribution, including:

(i) installation of potable water systems; and

(ii) pipe sizing for water supply and distribution;

(E) two (2) hours to review the chapters on Sanitary Drainage, including:

(i) understanding commercial plumbing; and

(ii) pipe sizing for sanitary waste;

(F) one (1) hour to review the chapters on Indirect Wastes, including:

(i) applications accepted for indirect waste systems, both air-gap and air-break; and

(ii) understanding the reason for indirect waste systems;

(G) two (2) hours to review the chapters on Vents, including:

(i) physics and importance of proper venting;

(ii) different venting methods, including vent termination;

(iii) special venting for island fixtures, and combination waste and vent systems; and

(iv) pipe sizing of vents;

(H) one (1) hour to review the chapters on Traps and Interceptors, including:

(i) physics and importance of trap protection;

(ii) grease interceptor design, installation and maintenance according to the Plumbing Drainage Institute; and

(iii) different types of interceptors and applications according to code;

(I) one (1) hour to review the chapters on Storm Drainage, including:

(i) basic design, materials and installation of storm water systems;

(ii) hazards of improper installations; and

(iii) testing procedures for storm drainage systems;

(J) two (2) hours to review the chapters on Fuel Gas Piping, including:

(i) hazards of improperly designed or installed fuel gas piping and appliances;

(ii) approved materials and methods, including pipe and fittings; and

(iii) combustion air requirements;

(K) one (1) hour to review the basic installation of handicapped plumbing fixtures for commercial projects, as required by the Texas Accessibility Standards and the Americans with Disabilities Act; and

(L) two (2) hours to review new technology that promotes water and energy conservation including, rain water harvesting, solar energy, and water smart applications.

§363.6.Tradesman Plumber-Limited License.

(a) To be eligible for a Tradesman Plumber-Limited License an applicant must:

(1) have completed twenty-four (24) hours of classroom training provided by a Board-approved instructor in a Board-approved training program in the areas of health and safety, the latest version of all plumbing codes adopted by the Board, and water conservation;

(2) have at least 4,000 hours of experience working at the trade under the supervision of a RMP or a Master Plumber licensed in another state; and

(3) hold one of the following:

(A) a current Plumber's Apprentice Registration;

(B) a current Journeyman Plumber License issued in another state; or

(C) a current Master Plumber License issued in another state.

(b) Upon written request by the applicant, the Board may credit an applicant with up to 1,000 hours of the work experience required to take the Tradesman Plumber-Limited examination if the applicant has completed the classroom portion of a training program that is:

(1) approved by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship; or

(2) provided by a person approved by the Board and based on course materials approved by the Board.

(c) Notwithstanding the training required by subsection (a)(1) of this section, a registered Plumber's Apprentice may apply for and take the Tradesman Plumber-Limited examination if the apprentice has received an associate of applied science degree from a plumbing technology program that:

(1) includes a combination of classroom and on-the-job training; and

(2) is approved by the Board and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

(d) An applicant is exempt from the training required by subsection (a)(1) of this section if the applicant:

(1) has completed the classroom portion of a training program provided by a person approved by the Board and based on course materials approved by the Board;

(2) is a registered Plumber's Apprentice who is enrolled in good standing in a training program approved by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship; or

(3) holds a current Master or Journeyman Plumber License issued in another state.

(e) The training program required by subsection (a)(1) of this section shall include:

(1) one (1) six-hour CPE class as required by §365.14(c) of the Board Rules;

(2) the OSHA 10-Hour Outreach Training class described in §363.5(f)(2) of this chapter; and

(3) the eight (8) hours of classroom training described in §363.5(g)(1) of this chapter.

§363.7.Plumber's Apprentice Registration.

To be eligible for a Plumber's Apprentice Registration an applicant must be at least sixteen (16) years of age.

§363.8.Plumbing Inspector License.

(a) To be eligible for a Plumbing Inspector License an applicant must:

(1) have obtained a high school diploma, or the equivalent of a high school diploma; and

(2) hold one of the following:

(A) a current Journeyman or Master Plumber License issued in Texas or another state;

(B) a current Plumbing Inspector license issued in another state with licensing requirements substantially equivalent to the licensing requirements of the Board; or

(C) a current professional engineer or a professional architect license issued in Texas.

(b) In addition to meeting the requirements in subsection (a) of this section, an applicant who holds a Journeyman or Master Plumber License issued in another state must take and pass the Journeyman examination developed by the Board.

(c) An applicant is exempt from the licensure requirement listed in subsection (a)(2) of this section if the applicant has completed a total of 500 hours of training or experience in the plumbing industry. An applicant may receive credit toward the 500 hours as follows:

(1) 100 hours of credit for successful completion of a certification in the Uniform Plumbing Code or the International Plumbing Code, issued by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials or the International Code Council plumbing code certification;

(2) 100 hours of credit for successful completion of a Board-approved Medical Gas Piping Installation Endorsement training program;

(3) 100 hours of credit for successful completion of a Board-approved Multipurpose Residential Fire Protection Sprinkler Specialist Endorsement training program;

(4) 100 of hours credit for successful completion of a Board-approved Water Supply Protection Specialist Endorsement training program;

(5) 100 hours of credit for successful completion of an approved Backflow Tester Certification program;

(6) six (6) hours of credit for successful completion of any of the Board-approved CPE for Licensed Plumbers and Plumbing Inspectors courses;

(7) up to 100 hours of credit for hours attending approved, documented and verified plumbing-related training academy or educational sessions;

(8) up to 200 hours of credit for hours working in the trade or an approved, similar plumbing-related trade, as verified by former employers; or

(9) up to 200 hours of credit for documented and verified on-the-job training in the enforcement of plumbing codes under the direct supervision of a licensed Plumbing Inspector.

§363.9.Medical Gas Piping Installation Endorsement.

(a) To be eligible for a Medical Gas Piping Installation Endorsement an applicant must:

(1) hold a current Journeyman Plumber, Master Plumber or Plumbing Inspector License; and

(2) have successfully completed a Board-approved training program in medical gas piping installation, which is based on the standards contained in the latest edition of the National Fire Protection Association 99 Health Care Facilities Code (NFPA 99).

(b) At a minimum, the training program required by subsection (a)(2) of this section shall:

(1) consist of at least twenty-four (24) hours dedicated to classroom presentation, shop demonstration and testing of the enrollee's comprehension of the course material;

(2) address the responsibilities of an endorsement-holder as outlined in the current edition of the NFPA 99, Plumbing License Law and Board Rules;

(3) address the proper installation and testing requirements for medical gas and vacuum piping systems, as outlined in the current edition of the NFPA 99; and

(4) include at least four (4) hours of shop demonstration covering the proper assembly, purging and brazing procedures for horizontal and vertical joints.

§363.10.Multipurpose Residential Fire Protection Sprinkler Specialist Endorsement.

(a) To be eligible for a Multipurpose Residential Fire Protection Sprinkler Specialist Endorsement an applicant must:

(1) hold a current Journeyman Plumber, Master Plumber or Plumbing Inspector License; and

(2) have successfully completed a Board-approved training program that provides the training necessary for the proper installation of a multipurpose residential fire protection sprinkler system as required by the National Fire Protection Association Standard 13D and any other applicable codes and standards recognized by the state.

(b) The training program required by subsection (a)(2) of this section shall be at least twenty-four (24) hours in length, incorporate the training criteria included in the American Society of Sanitary Engineering Series 7000 as it relates to plumbing-based residential fire protection systems installers for one and two-family dwellings, and include:

(1) one (1) hour to review applicable standards, codes, and laws, including the Plumbing License Law, Board Rules and the fire sprinkler rules set forth in 28 Tex. Admin. Code §§34.701 et seq., and their integration and identifying the enforcing authorities;

(2) four (4) hours to study definitions, to identify at a minimum the various types, specific parts, specific terminology and concepts of the system;

(3) four (4) hours to learn the acceptable type, material, location, limitation and correct installation of equipment, including but not limited to: pipe, fittings, valves, types of sprinkler heads, supports, drains, test connections, automatic by-pass valve, smoke alarm devices, and other appurtenances;

(4) two (2) hours to learn the acceptable type, configuration, and material--which may or may not be required for a water supply--including but not limited to: backflow preventers, shut off valves, water meters, water flow detectors, tamper switches, test connections, pressure gages, minimum pipe sizes, storage tanks, and wells including the ability to perform a water flow test of a city water supply;

(5) eight (8) hours to learn which rooms require sprinklers and the correct positioning of a sprinkler head based on its type, listing, temperature rating, and the building structure, including but not limited to: understanding the concepts of the area of coverage, spacing, distance from walls and ceilings, listing limitations, dead air pockets, manufacturer's requirements and obtaining knowledge of how structural features such as flat, sloped, pocket, or open joist ceilings, close proximity to heat sources and other obstructions such as ceiling fans, surface mounted lights, beams, and soffits may adversely influence the location of a sprinkler head;

(6) three (3) hours to learn critical hydraulic concepts for the installer that may adversely affect the original design plan due to field construction changes, including but not limited to: remote area sprinkler operation, flow versus pressure, elevation pressure loss, sprinkler K-factors, fixture units, minimum pipe diameters, additional pipe lengths and understand which household water appliances affect or do not affect the sprinkler hydraulics/performance; and

(7) two (2) hours to learn the required testing, maintenance and documentation, including but not limited to: the final inspection and tests normally required by the local fire official, when permits, working plans, as-built plans or hydraulic calculations are required and who provides for the system maintenance and instructions.

(c) An applicant who holds a current Master or Journeyman Plumber License issued by the Board and a current RME-General or RME-Dwelling License issued by the State Fire Marshal's Office, Texas Department of Insurance, is exempted from completing the training program required by subsection (a)(2) of this section prior to taking the Multipurpose Residential Fire Protection Sprinkler Specialist Endorsement examination.

§363.11.Water Supply Protection Specialist Endorsement.

(a) To be eligible for a Water Supply Protection Specialist Endorsement an applicant must:

(1) hold a current Journeyman Plumber, Master Plumber License or Plumbing Inspector License; and

(2) complete a Board-approved training program based on the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and the Federal Clean Water Act, on-site wastewater and site evaluations and graywater re-use, water quality training and water treatment, water utilities systems and regulations, water conservation, rainwater harvesting systems, xeriscape irrigation, fire protection systems, backflow prevention, and state laws regulating lead contamination in drinking water.

(b) At a minimum the training program required by subsection (a)(2) of this section shall be at least twenty-four (24) hours with a maximum of eight (8) hours of instruction per day and include:

(1) a six (6) hour review of the significance of cross-connections, the principles of back pressure and back siphonage, thermal expansion, the acceptable devices and/or requirements for a public water supply system including, but not limited to, approved backflow protection devices, shut-off valves, water meters, and containment vessels;

(2) a two (2) hour review of the applicable standards, codes, and laws, including but not limited to: the Plumbing License Law, Board rules, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rules relating to a public water supply and water reuse, as described in the Texas Water Development Board's Rainwater Harvesting Manual, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service recommendations;

(3) a four (4) hour review of the specific parts and terminology, and the concepts and components of a rainwater harvesting system, including proper sizing for all water reuse systems;

(4) an eight (8) hour review of the acceptable type, material, location, limitation, and correct installation of equipment related to the treatment and reuse of water;

(5) four (4) hours devoted to the elements of a proper customer service inspection as required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; and

(6) information specific to rainwater harvesting as outlined in the latest edition of the Texas Water Development Board's Rainwater Harvesting Manual.

(c) In addition to the information described in subsection (b)(6) of this section, a training program may include the latest edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code Rainwater Harvesting Seminar Manual, or the latest edition of the International Plumbing Code or the International Green Construction Code.

§363.12.Residential Utilities Installer Registration.

To be eligible for a Residential Utilities Installer Registration an applicant must:

(1) hold a current Plumber's Apprentice Registration;

(2) have completed at least 2,000 hours working at the trade under the direct supervision of a Tradesman Plumber-Limited, Journeyman Plumber, or Master Plumber, and the supervision of a RMP, as verified by employers; and

(3) complete a Board-approved training program.

§363.13.Drain Cleaner Registration.

To be eligible for a Drain Cleaner Registration an applicant must:

(1) hold a current Plumber's Apprentice Registration;

(2) have completed at least 4,000 hours working at the trade as a Drain Cleaner-Restricted Registrant under the supervision of a RMP, as verified by employers; and

(3) complete a Board-approved training program.

§363.14.Drain Cleaner-Restricted Registration.

To be eligible for a Drain Cleaner-Restricted Registration an applicant must:

(1) hold a current Plumber's Apprentice Registration; and

(2) complete a Board-approved training program.

§363.15.Consequences to an Applicant With Criminal Convictions.

(a) The Board shall revoke any and all registrations, licenses, or endorsements held by an individual if the individual is incarcerated due to a felony conviction, felony community supervision revocation, revocation of parole or revocation of mandatory supervision. The Board shall automatically deny an application submitted by an individual who, at the time the application is submitted, is incarcerated because of a felony conviction, felony community supervision revocation, revocation of parole or revocation of mandatory supervision.

(b) The Board shall review the application of an individual that has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor directly related to plumbing to determine whether to disqualify the individual from receiving a registration, license or endorsement, or deny the individual the opportunity to take an examination.

(c) In determining whether a criminal offense is directly related to plumbing, the Board shall consider:

(1) the nature and seriousness of the crime;

(2) the relationship of the crime to the purposes for requiring a license or registration to perform plumbing or plumbing inspections;

(3) the extent to which a license or registration might offer an opportunity to engage in further criminal activity of the same type as that in which the applicant had previously been involved; and

(4) the relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity, or fitness required to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of registered and licensed individuals performing plumbing or plumbing inspections.

(d) In addition to the factors listed in subsection (c) of this section, the Board, in determining whether an applicant who has been convicted of a crime is fit for licensure, shall consider:

(1) the extent and nature of the applicant's past criminal activity;

(2) the age of the applicant when the crime was committed;

(3) the amount of time that has elapsed since the applicant's last criminal activity;

(4) the amount of time that has elapsed since the applicant's release from incarceration;

(5) the conduct and work activity of the applicant before and after the criminal activity;

(6) evidence of the applicant's rehabilitation or rehabilitative effort while incarcerated or after release;

(7) letters of recommendation signed and dated by a current employer, if the applicant is employed, or a previous employer, stating that the employer has specific and complete knowledge of the applicant's criminal history and stating the reasons that the employer is recommending that the applicant be considered fit and not a threat to the public's health, safety and welfare; and

(8) letters of recommendation signed and dated by any other person in contact with the applicant.

(e) An applicant who has been convicted of a felony shall obtain and submit to the Board:

(1) a fully-completed Supplemental Criminal History Information Form signed by the applicant;

(2) the letters of recommendation described in subsection (d)(7) and (8) of this section; and

(3) proof, in the form required by the Board, that the applicant has:

(A) maintained a record of steady employment;

(B) supported the applicant's dependents, if any;

(C) maintained a record of good conduct;

(D) paid all outstanding court costs, supervision fees, fines and restitution ordered in any criminal case in which the applicant has been convicted; and

(E) successfully completed all court-ordered or voluntary rehabilitation classes, courses or programs.

(f) An applicant who has been convicted of a misdemeanor shall obtain and submit a Supplemental Criminal History Form only if requested by the Enforcement Committee.

(g) In addition to the information listed in subsection (e) of this section, an applicant with a conviction of a sexual nature shall obtain and provide to the Board the written results of a standard, nationally-recognized testing and evaluation of the applicant, recently performed by a licensed professional therapist or counselor who is certified as a Registered Sex Offender Treatment Provider in the State of Texas, to determine the level of likelihood for the applicant to commit future crimes of a sexual nature.

(h) If required by the Board, the applicant shall meet all requirements necessary for the Board to access the applicant's criminal history record information maintained by the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including submitting fingerprint information and paying the required fees.

(i) The Enforcement Committee may approve, without Board approval, the application for a license, endorsement or registration of an individual who has a criminal conviction, if the Enforcement Committee finds that the criminal conviction is not directly related to plumbing.

(1) The Enforcement Committee may request an applicant with a criminal conviction to appear before the committee and present information relating to the applicant's criminal conviction.

(2) If the Enforcement Committee determines that an applicant is ineligible for a license, endorsement or registration based on the applicant's criminal conviction, the Enforcement Committee shall give timely notice of the denial to the applicant at the applicant's last known address on file with the Board. The notice shall inform the denied applicant of the applicant's right to request in writing, within twenty (20) days of the mailing of the notice of denial, a hearing before an administrative law judge of the State Office of Administrative Hearings to review the Enforcement Committee's determination.

(3) If a denied applicant fails to submit a timely request for a hearing under paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Enforcement Committee's decision is rendered final. A denied applicant may not apply for a new registration, license or endorsement before the first anniversary of the date the denial becomes final.

(4) If a denied applicant requests a hearing under paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Board shall determine the applicant's eligibility after reviewing the Proposal for Decision issued by the administrative law judge, and provide the denied applicant a written statement containing:

(A) the reason for the suspension, revocation, denial or disqualification;

(B) the judicial review procedure provided by §53.052 of the Texas Occupations Code; and

(C) the earliest date the applicant may appeal the action of the licensing authority.

(5) An applicant who is denied after a hearing held under paragraph (2) of this subsection may not apply for a new registration, license or endorsement before the first anniversary of the date the denial becomes final.

§363.16.Examination Schedule.

(a) The Board shall conduct examinations on a regular basis according to demand.

(b) Applications will be processed and exams will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, unless an application is subject to review under Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupations Code and §363.15 of this chapter. The Board will not process incomplete applications.

(c) Once an applicant is scheduled for an exam, the Board shall provide the applicant with written notification of the time, date and place of examination.

§363.17.Reporting for Examination.

(a) An applicant shall report promptly at the place of the examination.

(b) If an applicant is scheduled for an examination and cannot appear, the applicant must notify the Chief Examiner in writing, postmarked no later than ten (10) business days before the scheduled examination date. An applicant who fails to appear or does not give the required notice shall forfeit the examination fee and must submit a new exam application and fee.

(c) An applicant who fails to appear for an exam due to an excused emergency may reschedule once without having to submit a new exam application and fee.

(1) An applicant must submit a written request to reschedule an exam to the Chief Examiner, postmarked no later than five (5) business days after the original examination date, that includes an explanation of the emergency that caused the applicant's failure to appear.

(2) An applicant who does not submit a request to reschedule within the required time period must submit a new exam application and fee.

(d) The following are considered excused emergencies:

(1) a death in the applicant's family;

(2) illness or hospitalization of the applicant or a member of the applicant's immediate family;

(3) an automobile accident on the day of the examination;

(4) any other unplanned event that is serious enough to prevent the applicant from appearing for the exam if approved by the Chief Examiner.

(e) Emergencies will be subject to verification by the Chief Examiner. Scheduling conflicts due to work will not be considered an excused emergency.

§363.18.Description of Examination.

(a) For each license and endorsement, the Board shall design and conduct a uniform, reasonable examination that includes written questions and practical applications, when appropriate.

(b) In addition to the information described in §363.16(c) of this chapter, the Board shall furnish an applicant with written information explaining the scope of the examination. The Board shall also make the information about the scope of each examination it administers accessible on its website.

§363.19.Non-Standard Examination Accommodations.

(a) An applicant seeking to take an examination with non-standard accommodations shall submit an Applicant Request for Non-Standard Examination Accommodations Form and a Physician or Qualified Licensed Professional Recommendation for Non-Standard Examination Accommodations Form to be used by the Chief Examiner to determine whether the applicant qualifies for non-standard examination accommodations.

(b) Due to the duties and responsibilities of registrants and licensees to protect the health and safety of the public, the Board shall not allow Examiners to provide oral versions of the written components of examinations.

(1) Examiners may give oral instructions and explanations to individuals taking an examination.

(2) An applicant who has been diagnosed by a physician or other qualified licensed professional as having a specific learning or reading disability, such as dyslexia, may request additional time to complete an examination, a separate examination area or other reasonable accommodation.

(c) The Board shall reserve the right to make all final decisions regarding reasonable examination accommodations and may require a consultation by an expert of its choosing for a second opinion, if it determines that it is necessary for a particular applicant.

§363.20.Test Score Requirements.

The board may set and adjust minimum passing scores as it deems appropriate for each license or endorsement category examination.

§363.21.Notification.

The Board shall notify applicants of their examination results within thirty (30) days after the examination is administered, and, if requested within two weeks of notification, shall provide an applicant with an analysis of the applicant's examination performance.

§363.22.Reexamination.

(a) An applicant that fails a single part of a multiple part examination may retake the part that was failed without having to retake the entire examination.

(1) A failing score on a single part of an examination is a score of 69.9 points or less.

(2) A time limit of three (3) hours is allotted for reexamination of the part that was failed.

(3) The applicant must submit a new exam application and fee in order to retake the part that was failed.

(b) An applicant that fails more than a single part of a multiple part examination must retake the entire examination.

(c) An applicant who fails any part or parts of an examination shall complete a training period before the applicant may retake the examination. The length of the required training period is determined by the number of times the applicant has failed as follows:

(1) first failure: 30-day training period;

(2) second failure: 60-day training period; and

(3) third and subsequent failures: 90-day training period.

§363.23.Disqualification.

(a) The Board shall disqualify an applicant from receiving a registration or deny an applicant the opportunity to be examined for a license if it discovers that the applicant furnished false information on an application or used any fraudulent means of establishing the applicant's qualifications.

(b) The Board may initiate disciplinary action against any applicant, registrant or licensee who furnishes false information on any certifications, other forms, or renewals distributed by the Board.

§363.24.Providers and Instructors of Endorsement Training Programs.

(a) Only a Course Provider who is approved to provide CPE courses, under §365.16 of the Board rules may provide or instruct a training program required by §§363.9-363.11 of this chapter.

(1) Once approved under §365.16 of the Board Rules, a Course Provider is automatically approved to provide the training required by §§363.9-363.11 of this chapter and is not required to submit a separate application to the Board.

(2) An approved Course Provider may utilize another governmental or industry-recognized entity to provide a portion of the course instruction so long as an approved Course Instructor is also present.

(b) Only a Course Instructor who is approved to instruct CPE courses under §365.17 of the Board Rules may instruct a training program required by §363.9 of this chapter provided that the instructor:

(1) is licensed as a Master Plumber or Journeyman Plumber; and

(2) holds the Medical Gas Piping Installation Endorsement.

(c) Only a Course Instructor who is approved to instruct CPE courses under §365.17 of the Board Rules may instruct a training program required by §363.10 and §363.11 of this chapter provided that the instructor:

(1) is licensed as a Master Plumber, Journeyman Plumber or Plumbing Inspector; and

(2) holds the endorsement that corresponds to the training program the instructor will teach.

(d) A Course Provider or Instructor whose approval under §365.16 or §365.17 of the Board Rules is suspended or revoked for any reason, may not provide or instruct the training required by §§363.9-363.11 of this chapter.

(e) All Course Providers and Instructors shall:

(1) adhere to the instruction criteria approved by the Board in this section; and

(2) ensure that only students who receive the specified number of contact hours of instruction (excluding any time spent on breaks from instruction) receive credit for completing the training required by §§363.9-363.11 of this chapter.

(f) The training required by §§363.9-363.11 of this chapter may be provided in increments, as appropriate.

(1) A Course Provider or Instructor shall provide a certificate of completion to a student upon completion of the training.

(2) The certificate of completion shall state:

(A) the title of the endorsement training program;

(B) the names of the Course Provider and Course Instructor;

(C) the name and license number of the student; and

(D) the date that the instruction was completed.

(3) A Course Provider shall maintain an electronic copy or record of each certificate of completion for at least two (2) years after the date the certificate was issued.

(g) A Course Provider shall:

(1) notify the Board at least seven (7) days before conducting an endorsement training program or post electronic notice of the class schedule, including the dates(s), time(s) and place(s) class(es) will be held, on the provider's website at least seven (7) days before conducting a class;

(2) perform self-monitoring to ensure compliance with this section and reporting as required by the Board; and

(3) submit a course outline that includes the number of hours of instruction on each topic included in the outline to the Board for approval.

(h) The Board may monitor endorsement training programs to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and Board rules and may deny, suspend or revoke approval of a Course Provider or Instructor who fails to comply.

(i) The Board may require a Course Provider to resubmit a previously-approved course outline for an endorsement training program at any time in order to ensure the program meets the current requirements of the plumbing codes, laws, and administrative rules applicable to the specific training program.

§363.25.Providers and Instructors of Training Programs for Journeyman Plumber and Tradesman Plumber-Limited License Applicants.

(a) Only a Course Provider or Course Instructor who is approved to provide or instruct CPE courses under §365.16 or §365.17 of the Board rules may provide or instruct the classroom training required by §363.5(a)(2) and §363.6(a)(1) of this chapter.

(1) Once approved under §365.16 or §365.17 of the Board rules, a Course Provider or Instructor is automatically approved to provide or instruct the training required by §363.5(a)(2) and §363.6(a)(1) of this chapter and is not required to submit a separate application for approval to the Board.

(2) A Course Provider or Instructor whose approval under §365.16 or §365.17 of the Board Rules is suspended or revoked for any reason, may not provide or instruct the training required by §363.5(a)(2) and §363.6(a)(1) of this chapter.

(b) In addition to the meeting the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, a Course Instructor must be authorized by OSHA to provide the training described in §363.5(f)(2) of this chapter. A person who is authorized by OSHA, but is not approved under §365.17 of the Board Rules, may teach the training described in §363.5(f)(2) of this chapter through an approved Course Provider so long as an approved Course Instructor is also present.

(c) Course Providers and Instructors approved to provide or instruct the training required by §363.5(a)(2) and §363.6(a)(1) of this chapter shall:

(1) adhere to the instruction criteria described in §363.5(f)-(g) and §363.6(e) of this chapter;

(2) ensure that only students who complete the specified number of contact hours of instruction (excluding any time spent on breaks from instruction) receive credit for completing the training required by §363.5(a)(2) and §363.6(a)(1) of this chapter;

(3) provide notice of intent to conduct training required by §363.5(a)(2) and §363.6(a)(1) of this chapter in the same manner required by §365.19(i) of the Board rules; and

(4) abide by the same standards of conduct described in §365.20 of the Board rules when providing the training required by §363.5(a)(2) and §363.6(a)(1) of this chapter.

(d) The training required by §363.5(a)(2) and §363.6(a)(1) of this chapter may be provided in increments, as appropriate.

(1) The Course Provider or Instructor shall provide a certificate of completion to the student for each increment completed.

(2) The certificate of completion shall state:

(A) the names of the Course Provider and Course Instructor;

(B) the name and registration or license number of the student;

(C) the specific instruction and number of hours completed; and

(D) the date that the increment of instruction was completed.

(3) The Course Provider shall maintain an electronic copy or record of each certificate of completion for at least six (6) years after the date the certificate was issued.

(e) An applicant for examination is responsible for the safekeeping of each original certificate of completion earned by the applicant until such time that the applicant:

(1) has completed the training required under §363.5(a)(2) and §363.6(a)(1) of this chapter;

(2) has met all other requirements under §363.5 or §363.6 of this chapter to qualify to take the Tradesman Plumber-Limited or Journeyman Plumber examination; and

(3) has submitted the original certificates of completion along with the appropriate examination application and other required documentation to the Board.

(f) Providing false certificates of completion or any other false information related to the training required by §363.5(a)(2) and §363.6(a)(1) of this chapter to the Board may result in:

(1) the denial of the applicant's examination application;

(2) disciplinary action, as provided by the Plumbing License Law, Board Rules or other laws of this state; or

(3) both.

§363.26.Training Program for Responsible Master Plumber Applicants.

(a) Before a Master Plumber acts as a Responsible Master Plumber (RMP), the Master Plumber must complete a Board-approved training program that includes instruction on the laws and rules applicable to the operation of a plumbing business in this state. The requirements of this section do not apply to a RMP who, on or before January 1, 2012, provided the Board with a Certificate of Insurance that:

(1) met the requirements of §1301.552 of the Plumbing License Law and §367.3 of the Board Rules; and

(2) was effective on January 1, 2012.

(b) The training program required under subsection (a) of this section must be a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours in length and include instruction in the following subjects applicable to the operation of a plumbing business in this state:

(1) finance;

(2) legal;

(3) local, state and federal rules and regulations;

(4) insurance/bonds, including workman's compensation insurance;

(5) OSHA requirements awareness; and

(6) customer service.

(c) Only a Course Provider who is approved to provide CPE courses under §365.16 of the Board Rules may provide the classroom training required by this section.

(1) To provide the training required by this section, an approved Course Provider may utilize:

(A) a Course Instructor who is approved to instruct CPE under §365.17 of the Board Rules and has expertise in the subject described in subsection (b) of this section that the instructor will teach;

(B) a governmental entity, educational entity or individual with expertise in the subject described in subsection (b) that the entity or individual will teach so long as an approved Course Instructor is also present; or

(C) a combination thereof.

(2) Once approved under §365.16 or §365.17 of the Board Rules, a Course Provider or Instructor is automatically approved to provide or instruct the training required by this section and is not required to submit a separate application for approval to the Board.

(3) A Course Provider or Instructor whose approval to provide or instruct CPE courses under §365.16 or §365.17 of the Board Rules is suspended or revoked for any reason, may not provide or instruct the training required by this section.

(d) Course Providers and Instructors approved to provide or instruct the training required by this section shall:

(1) adhere to the instruction criteria in subsections (a) and (b) of this section;

(2) ensure that only students who complete the specified number of contact hours of instruction (excluding any time spent on breaks from instruction) receive credit for completing the training required by this section;

(3) provide notice of intent to conduct training required by this section in the same manner required by §365.19(i) of the Board Rules;

(4) abide by the standards of conduct described in §365.20 of the Board Rules; and

(5) adhere to the class size limitations set forth in §365.19(f) of the Board Rules.

(e) The training required by this section may be provided in increments, as appropriate.

(1) The Course Provider or Instructor shall provide a certificate of completion to the student for each increment completed.

(2) The certificate of completion shall state:

(A) the names of the Course Provider and Course Instructor;

(B) the name and license number of the student;

(C) the specific instruction and number of hours completed; and

(D) the date that the increment of instruction was completed.

(3) The Course Provider shall maintain an electronic copy or record of each certificate of completion for at least six (6) years after the date the certificate was issued.

(f) Prior to the date that the Master Plumber begins acting as a RMP, the Master Plumber shall submit to the Board:

(1) a certificate or certificates of completion of the training required by this section; and

(2) a Certificate of Insurance as required by §1301.3576 of the Plumbing License Law and §367.3 of the Board Rules.

(g) Providing false certificates of completion or any other false information related to the training required by this section to the Board may result in disciplinary action, as provided by the Plumbing License Law, Board Rules or other laws of this state.

§363.27.Criminal Conviction Guidelines.

(a) Licensed individuals are required to exercise independent judgment and carry out their duties and responsibilities without risking the health, safety, welfare and property of the public. It is estimated that the majority of Plumber's Apprentices are working toward licensure; therefore, the Board has determined that the duties and responsibilities listed in subsection (b) of this section apply to both licensees and registrants.

(b) After considering the factors set forth in §53.022 of the Texas Occupations Code, the Board has identified the following, non-exhaustive list of duties and responsibilities of individuals performing plumbing or plumbing inspections:

(1) entering a consumer's home or a place of business, including but not limited to:

(A) private residences;

(B) apartment complexes;

(C) schools;

(D) child care facilities;

(E) elder care facilities;

(F) health care facilities;

(G) financial institutions; and

(H) businesses where valuable merchandise is stored and sold;

(2) making personal contact with consumers and their families, including elderly persons and minor children;

(3) engaging in contractual and financial transactions with consumers;

(4) representing the employer and taking responsibility for vehicles and tools provided by the employer;

(5) ensuring safety when working with hazardous, explosive or volatile materials;

(6) complying with laws, rules, ordinances and codes that regulate plumbing; and

(7) working with officials who are carrying out their duties to enforce laws, rules, ordinances and codes that regulate plumbing, including:

(A) Field Representatives of the Board;

(B) Plumbing Inspectors; and

(C) other law enforcement officers.

(c) Due to the nature of the duties and responsibilities stated in subsection (b) of this section, the Board has determined that the following offenses are directly related to plumbing (list is not exhaustive):

(1) Any crime of a sexual nature that requires the convicted person to be registered as a sex offender under Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, including:

(A) Aggravated Sexual Assault;

(B) Aggravated Rape;

(C) Sexual Assault;

(D) Rape;

(E) Statutory Rape;

(F) Indecency with a Child (including exposure);

(G) Prohibited Sexual Conduct;

(H) Sexual Performance by a Child;

(I) Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography;

(J) Aggravated Kidnapping (with the intent to commit an illegal act of a sexual nature);

(K) Kidnapping (with the intent to commit an illegal act of a sexual nature);

(L) Unlawful Restraint (with the intent to commit an illegal act of a sexual nature);

(M) Burglary (with the intent to commit an illegal act of a sexual nature);

(N) Indecent Exposure;

(O) Public Lewdness; or

(P) Improper Photography or Visual Recording.

(2) Any crime of a sexual nature regardless of whether the convicted person is required to be registered as a sex offender under Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure;

(3) Capital Murder;

(4) Murder;

(5) Criminal Negligent Homicide;

(6) Manslaughter;

(7) Aggravated Kidnapping;

(8) Kidnapping;

(9) Unlawful Restraint;

(10) Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual or Disabled Individual;

(11) Burglary of a Habitation;

(12) Burglary of a Building;

(13) Burglary of an Automobile;

(14) Robbery;

(15) Theft;

(16) Fraud;

(17) Forgery;

(18) Arson;

(19) Aggravated Assault of a Police Officer (or other public official);

(20) Aggravated Assault;

(21) Assault;

(22) Illegal Drug Related Crimes;

(23) Terroristic Threat; or

(24) Any criminal violation of laws or ordinances that regulate plumbing or the practice of plumbing.

(d) The Enforcement Committee shall use the following levels of risk in determining the fitness of an applicant who has been convicted of a crime to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of registered and licensed individuals performing plumbing or plumbing inspections. The levels of risk are listed in order from highest to lowest. The Enforcement Committee shall consider those applicants with convictions of a sexual nature or first degree felony to be the highest risk and those applicants who have a conviction other than that of a sexual nature or first degree felony, and who have completed all required consequences of the conviction more than five years prior to the date of application to be the lowest risk.

(1) Level One - Applicants who have:

(A) a conviction of a sexual nature listed in subsection (c)(1) and (2) of this section; or

(B) a conviction for a first-degree felony.

(2) Level Two - Applicants who have a conviction for a second-degree felony.

(3) Level Three - Applicants who have a conviction other than specified in Level One or Level Two, whose conviction, incarceration, probation, parole, mandatory supervision, court costs or any other fees (including restitution) were completed less than five (5) years prior to the date of application, or are still being completed.

(4) Level Four - Applicants who have convictions other than specified in Level One and Level Two, whose conviction, incarceration, probation, parole, mandatory supervision, court costs or any other fees (including restitution) were completed more than five (5) years prior to the date of application. Written proof of completion from the court, probation or parole officer must be submitted by the applicant.

(e) Applicants with convictions that place them in more than one level of risk, shall be classified using the highest applicable level of risk.

(f) Applicants with multiple convictions will be considered an increased risk, depending on the number and types of convictions.

(g) The Enforcement Committee shall use these guidelines and follow the requirements of §363.15 of this chapter when reviewing applications for registration, examination and renewal of registrations, licenses and endorsements, to determine the fitness of applicants for licensure.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 5, 2017.

TRD-201701816

Lisa G. Hill

Executive Director

Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 18, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-5239


PART 23. TEXAS REAL ESTATE COMMISSION

CHAPTER 533. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

SUBCHAPTER B. GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

22 TAC §533.8

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) proposes amendments to 22 TAC §533.8, Motions for Rehearing, in Chapter 533, Practice and Procedure.

The proposed amendments to §533.8 clarify the ways a motion for rehearing may be filed with the Commission.

Kerri Lewis, General Counsel, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed amendments are in effect there will be no fiscal implications for the state or for units of local government as a result of enforcing or administering the section. There is no significant anticipated impact on small businesses, micro-businesses or local or state employment as a result of implementing the section. There is no anticipated significant economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendments.

Ms. Lewis also has determined that for each year of the first five years the section as proposed is in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the section will be greater variety of elective courses for new agents while maintaining the topic guidance established for better quality and relevance that has been set out in the rule.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Kerri Lewis, General Counsel, Texas Real Estate Commission, P.O. Box 12188, Austin, Texas 78711-2188 or via email to general.counsel@trec.texas.gov. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under Texas Occupations Code, §1101.151, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapters 1101 and 1102; and to establish standards of conduct and ethics for its license holders to fulfill the purposes of Chapters 1101 and 1102 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this proposal are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the proposed amendments.

§533.8.Motions for Rehearing.

(a) The timely filing of a motion for rehearing is a prerequisite to appeal. The motion must be filed with the Commission's Executive Director through:

(1) in-person delivery at the Commission's headquarters;

(2) the email address listed for Administration and Management Services on the Commission's website; or

(3) the fax number listed for Administration and Management Services on the Commission's website.

(b) - (h) (No change.)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 4, 2017.

TRD-201701811

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 18, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


CHAPTER 535. GENERAL PROVISIONS

SUBCHAPTER E. REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSURE

22 TAC §535.56

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) proposes amendments to 22 TAC §535.56, Education and Experience Requirements for a Broker License, in Chapter 535, General Provisions.

The proposed amendments to §535.56 relocate the complete list of course options for the 630 related classroom hours for a broker's license from §535.64(c) for greater clarity for applicants and providers.

Kerri Lewis, General Counsel, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed amendments are in effect there will be no fiscal implications for the state or for units of local government as a result of enforcing or administering the sections. There is no significant anticipated impact on small businesses, micro-businesses or local or state employment as a result of implementing the sections. There is no anticipated significant economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendments.

Ms. Lewis also has determined that for each year of the first five years the sections as proposed are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the sections will be greater variety of elective courses for new agents while maintaining the topic guidance established for better quality and relevance that has been set out in the rule.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Kerri Lewis, General Counsel, Texas Real Estate Commission, P.O. Box 12188, Austin, Texas 78711-2188 or via email to general.counsel@trec.texas.gov. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under Texas Occupations Code, §1101.151, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapters 1101 and 1102; and to establish standards of conduct and ethics for its license holders to fulfill the purposes of Chapters 1101 and 1102 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this proposal are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the proposed amendments.

§535.56.Education and Experience Requirements for a Broker License.

(a) Education requirements.

(1) An applicant for a broker license must provide the Commission with satisfactory evidence of completion of:

(A) 270 hours of qualifying real estate courses as required under §535.55, which must include the 30 hour qualifying real estate brokerage course completed not more than two years before the application date; and

(B) an additional 630 classroom hours of related education from one or more of the following categories: [in related qualifying courses in the subject areas defined under §535.64 or approved continuing education courses.]

(i) qualifying courses defined under §535.64;

(ii) Commission approved continuing education courses; or

(iii) courses taken for credit from an accredited college or university in any of the following areas: accounting, advertising, architecture, business or management, construction, finance, investments, law, marketing, and real estate.

(2) An applicant who has earned a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university will be deemed to have satisfied the related [qualifying] education requirements for a broker license. A copy of the college transcript awarding the degree must be submitted as evidence of completion of the degree.

(b) - (f) (No change.)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 4, 2017.

TRD-201701812

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 18, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER I. LICENSE RENEWAL

22 TAC §535.91

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) proposes amendments to 22 TAC §535.91, Renewal of a Real Estate License, in Chapter 535, General Provisions.

The proposed amendments to §535.91 establish a deadline for submission of an application and supporting documentation to be considered a timely filing. This will allow time for review by staff and the opportunity for curing any deficiencies by the entity prior to the license expiration date. It also clarifies the authorized positions by type of entity and sets out the statutory requirement that the entity be authorized to transact business in Texas in the list of what is required for renewal of an entity license for greater clarity for the license holder.

Kerri Lewis, General Counsel, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed amendments are in effect there will be no fiscal implications for the state or for units of local government as a result of enforcing or administering the sections. There is no significant anticipated impact on small businesses, micro-businesses or local or state employment as a result of implementing the sections. There is no anticipated significant economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendments.

Ms. Lewis also has determined that for each year of the first five years the sections as proposed are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the sections will be greater variety of elective courses for new agents while maintaining the topic guidance established for better quality and relevance that has been set out in the rule.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Kerri Lewis, General Counsel, Texas Real Estate Commission, P.O. Box 12188, Austin, Texas 78711-2188 or via email to general.counsel@trec.texas.gov. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under Texas Occupations Code, §1101.151, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapters 1101 and 1102; and to establish standards of conduct and ethics for its license holders to fulfill the purposes of Chapters 1101 and 1102 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this proposal are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the proposed amendments.

§535.91.Renewal of a Real Estate License.

(a) Renewal application.

(1) A real estate license expires on the date shown on the face of the license issued to the license holder.

(2) If a license holder intends to renew an unexpired license, the license holder must, on or before the expiration date of the current license:

(A) file a renewal application through the online process on the Commission's website or on the applicable form approved by the Commission;

(B) submit the appropriate fee required by §535.101 of this title;

(C) comply with the fingerprinting requirements under the Act;

(D) comply with the policies established by the Texas Education Code, §57.491 regarding default of a student loan; and

(E) except as provided for by this subsection (g) of this section, satisfy the continuing education requirements applicable to that license.

(3) The Commission may request additional information be provided to the Commission in connection with an renewal application.

(4) A license holder is required to provide information requested by the Commission not later than the 30 day after the date the commission requests the information. Failure to provide information is grounds for disciplinary action.

(b) Renewal Notice.

(1) The Commission will deliver a license renewal notice to a license holder three months before the expiration of the license holder's current license.

(2) If a license holder intends to renew a license, failure to receive a license renewal notice from the Commission does not relieve a license holder from the requirements of this subsection.

(3) The Commission has no obligation to notify any license holder who has failed to provide the Commission with the person's mailing address and email address or a corporation, limited liability company, or partnership that has failed to designate an officer, manager, or partner who meets the requirements of the Act.

(c) Timely renewal of a license.

(1) A renewal application for an individual broker or sales agent is [considered to be] filed timely if it is received by the Commission, or postmarked, on or before the license expiration date [of the license].

(2) A renewal application for a business entity broker is filed timely if the application and all required supporting documentation is received by the Commission, or postmarked, not later than the 10th business day before the license expiration date.

(3) If the license expires on a Saturday, Sunday or any other day on which the Commission is not open for business, a renewal application is considered to be filed timely if the application is received or postmarked no later than the first business day after the expiration date of the license.

(d) Initial renewal of sales agent license. A sales agent applying for the first renewal of a sales agent license must:

(1) submit documentation to the Commission showing successful completion of the additional educational requirements of §535.55 of this chapter no later than 10 business days before the day the sales agent files the renewal application; and

(2) fulfill the continuing education requirements of §535.92(a)(1) and (a)(2) of this subchapter and §535.92(a)(3) of this subchapter, if applicable.

(e) Renewal of license issued to a business entity. The Commission will not renew a license issued to a business entity unless the business entity:

(1) has designated a corporate [an] officer, an LLC manager, an LLC member with managing authority, or a general partner who:

(A) is a licensed broker in active status and good standing with the Commission;

(B) completes any applicable continuing education required under of §535.92; [and]

(2) maintains errors and omissions insurance with a minimum annual limit of $1 million per occurrence if the designated broker [person] owns less than 10 percent of the business entity; and

(3) is currently eligible to transact business in Texas.

(f) - (i) (No change.)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 4, 2017.

TRD-201701813

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 18, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092