Enacted: December 28, 2011

Purpose: To provide fair and consistent guidelines for applicants for plumbing or gas fitting licensure in Massachusetts seeking credit for experience and education out of state. As previous Board approvals were only given on a case by case basis, this policy shall be deemed to override any previous precedent.

Background: Massachusetts General Law c. 142 § 4 mandates the Board to “promulgate rules and regulations governing the qualifications of applicants for examination.” Per this requirement, the Board has promulgated 248 CMR 11.02(7) which states the following:

“(a) Education or Experience Waivers and Equivalency. Applicants seeking a Massachusetts license who received their education or work experience in another state or country may submit to the Board a written request petitioning that such experience or education be considered for approval as being substantially equivalent to the experience and education requirements required in Massachusetts. Unless Massachusetts has a reciprocity agreement with the relevant jurisdiction, all applicants will be required to pass the relevant examination for the license being sought.

1. Licenses from another United States Jurisdiction. An applicant who is licensed in another state or jurisdiction who is applying for the equivalent license in Massachusetts shall meet the following requirements:

a. Submit a completed application and the appropriate fee to the Board with documentation sufficient to demonstrate that the out of state license has been active for not less than the three years immediately preceding the date of application and documentation from the issuing jurisdiction that the requirements for obtaining and maintaining the license are substantially equivalent to the requirements in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

b. Submit a statement certified by the Keeper of Records of the issuing jurisdiction that such license is current, in good standing, and that there is no pending disciplinary action relating to the license.

2. Licenses from an International Jurisdiction. An applicant who is licensed in a jurisdiction outside of the United States as a journeyman or master plumber or the equivalent and who is applying for the equivalent licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts shall meet the following requirements:

a. Submit a completed application and the appropriate fee to the Board with documentation, translated into the English language, sufficient to demonstrate that the international license has been active for not less than the three years immediately preceding the date of application and documentation from the issuing international jurisdiction that the requirements for obtaining and maintaining the license are substantially equivalent to the requirements in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

b. Submit a statement translated into the English language and certified by the Keeper of Records of the issuing international jurisdiction that such license or equivalent is current, in good standing, and that there is no pending disciplinary action relating to the license.

3. Individuals holding no licenses but possess out of state or out of country education/work experience. No out of state or out of country education or work experience will be accepted unless the Board determines, in its discretion, that such credentials are substantially equivalent to those in Massachusetts. Individuals seeking such a determination must petition the Board to review those credentials prior to filing an application for any license.

(b) The Board reserves the right to request additional information regarding qualifications and may choose not to grant or grant only in part a request for education or experience waivers.”

Policy: The Board will implement the above requirements as follows:

1. Credit for Out of State/Out of Country with licenses/certifications

A. Applicants who obtained their education and work experience in a jurisdiction that adopts a plumbing and gas fitting code AND have been licensed/certified[1] in that jurisdiction shall be deemed to have substantially equivalent education and work experience and shall be permitted to take the examination.

B. Applicants shall not be given educational credit if the license/certification they were issued was based solely on a working apprenticeship or internship unless granted special Board approval. Applicants must certify having received separate formal education to obtain any credit.

C. All applicants must show that they have achieved a high school diploma or the equivalent.

D. Applicants will be permitted to seek the equivalent license in Massachusetts that they held in their original jurisdiction (master licensees may seek master licensure, otherwise the journeyman level).

E. Applicants who hold an out of country or out of state license/certification which does not allow them to perform unrestricted gas fitting work or is not based on NFPA 54 shall only be eligible to take the examination for licensure (plumbing or gas fitting) after completing Tier 3 of the Massachusetts gas fitting curriculum.

2. Credit for Out of State/Out of Country without licenses/certifications

A. Applicants will not receive credit for education or work experience from another state or country which is incomplete or, if licensure/certification is available, does not meet the full requirements for licensure/certification in that state or country without special Board approval.

B. All applicants must show that they have achieved a high school diploma or the equivalent.

C. No work experience will be granted unless it occurred while being licensed/certified OR is verified by an employer or government authority unless granted special Board approval.

D. Plumbing Applicants

1) No credit will be given to applicants from another state/country who lack licenses/certifications from that state/country unless their education and work experience is based on NFPA 54 AND a plumbing code similar to the Uniform Plumbing Code or the International Plumbing Code unless given special Board approval.

2) Applicants (never licensed in Massachusetts or licensed as a plumbing apprentice since Sept. 1, 2008), upon certifying 110 hours of plumbing education and 1700 hours of work experience, shall be permitted to test only after completing Plumbing Tiers two, three, four, and five as well as 6,800 hours of work experience (1,700 hours a year over four years) as a Massachusetts licensed plumbing apprentice.

3) Applicants who obtained a Massachusetts plumbing apprentice license prior to September 1, 2008, upon certifying 80 hours of plumbing education and one year of work experience, shall be permitted to test only after completing Plumbing Tiers four and five as well as 3,400 hours of work experience (1,700 hours a year over two years) as a Massachusetts licensed plumbing apprentice.

E. Gas Fitting Applicants

1) No credit will be given to applicants from another state/country who lack licenses/certifications from that state/country unless their education and work experience is based on NFPA 54.

2) Applicants (never licensed in Massachusetts or licensed as a gas fitting apprentice since Sept. 1, 2008), upon certifying 110 hours of gas fitting education and 1700 hours of work experience, shall be permitted to test only after completing Gas Fitting Tiers two and three as well as 3,400 hours of work experience (1,700 hours over two years) as a Massachusetts licensed gas fitting apprentice.

3) Applicants who obtained a Massachusetts gas fitting apprentice license prior to September 1, 2008, upon certifying 40 hours of gas fitting education and one year of work experience, shall be permitted to test only after completing gas fitting Tier 3 as well as 1,700 hours of work experience over one year as a Massachusetts licensed gas fitting apprentice.

 

 


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[1] NOTE: Apprentice licenses are not considered licenses/certification for purposes of this policy