I’m often asked, pretty much daily, what should an applicant do when they are dealing with a critical classification application under review.
If you are applying for the C10 Electrical, B General Building, A General Engineering, C20 HVAC, etc. and your application is under review, this email Q&A and I had with a C10 applicant might also help you or somebody you know.
Q. Based on my application you looked at, what are the odds of them accepting it without requiring more documentation?
A. Slim to none. They’ve been asking all applicants with a critical classification for additional documents.
Q. If the odds are very low they accept as is then what do they increase by if I include documentation (1099s, permits, materials receipts, tax returns) with the application on the first submittal or should I wait for them to ask?
A. You should submit any/all documents you have with the app. If they find it acceptable, they’ll schedule you for the exam. If not, they’ll ask for more documentation.
Q. I have lots of different documentation but not a fully complete timeline record of EVERYTHING. Do they show any leniency to applicants who include lots of information from the start?
A. Not that I’ve experienced.
Q. I do have enough documented experience over the last ten years to get a B but would only consider that if it was a stepping stone which made it easier to get the C-10 later. Do you think this would help me to get the C-10 if I put off applying for 2 to 3 years? Could having a B potentially work against me getting a C-10 in two to three years?
A. To get either you’ll have to provide the written documentation. The B requires experience in framing and at least two unrelated trades. The C10 could be easier to get if your experience is directly and solely related to the c10. If you were to get the B and then apply for a c10 in a couple three years, it might be harder to show at least 4 yrs of c10 experience. Also, if you have the B you cannot bid on or sign contracts for a single trade like the c10.
Q. Would it help to get sign offs on shorter term experience from more B contractors who I have done electrical for? This goes back to the more information included with the original submittal, does it decrease the odds of them requiring more documentation / increase the chances they accept the application as is.
A. Submitting more work experience forms does not generally help or hurt. They’ve made the certifier a moot point because of the documentation requirement.
Q. Does it carry any weight if I include some projects done for homeowners and include their permits, check written to me, materials receipts, and invoice?
A. That would help. But the permit would have to be in your name in order for you to get “credit” for it.
Q. Do you think submitting a 1099 for experience where the employer box is checked is a red flag and should be used as self-employment experience instead? I know that the experience with the C-10 i work for definitely is an employee relationship rather than a contract type, I show up when he tells me to show up and act on his direction under his supervision.
A. How does the CSLB look at 1099s in this regard? As a 1099 “employee” you are working as self-employed. Only if you are on payroll for the company would you be considered an employee.
Q. Based on the letter you attached in your previous email showing request for more info to that applicant, if I were to get a similar letter and respond with not enough documentation then would that void my application or would there be another opportunity to submit more? When does the application usually drop dead?
A. If you did not submit enough documentation to satisfy the licensing department they would send you an “options letter.” This letter gives you the option to withdraw the app, use some other qualified individual to act as the qualifier on your license, or go to a formal investigation. If you choose the formal investigation, they will send you to the exams and an investigator will be assigned. That investigator will ask you for more/the same documentation that the licensing unit asked for. The investigator will also contact your certifiers to verify your experience. If the investigator does not approve of your experience you can either withdraw the app or they will deny your app. A denial means you’d have to wait a year before reapplying, and you’d have a denial flag on your name in their system.
Q. If I do submit my application and it ultimately gets tossed then can I re apply later with other documentation? Does the CSLB keep a copy of previous applications on file and refer back to those in this sort of scenario?
A. As answered in Q6, a denial has a one year waiting period. If you withdraw the app on your own, you can reapply at any time. The new app would be subjected to the same documentation and you’d have to re-submit everything plus any new documentation.
Q. The above question sorta relates to if it helps to apply for a B first and what experience is submitted with that. I would hate to shoot myself in the foot.
A. The issue is… when you apply for an additional classification, they will not accept experience that you submitted previously for the original classification. If your contracts are only for C10 work, you’ll want to apply for the C10 with the initial license.
Q. If I do include lots of documentation with the application before they ask then could this tick off the reviewer by being overwhelmed with paperwork or does it make me look more serious and more well prepared? (sort of already asked this question above)
A. Better to send everything with the initial submittal. Saves them from having to send you a letter requesting the docs and having to sit on the application until you reply to their letter.
Q. How would you approach this if you were in my shoes?
A. Create a chronological binder with all the documentation I had, submit it with the application, cross my fingers.
Q. Do you think I should just suck it up and do another year working for the C-10 guy (1099) or would you suggest a different route to document experience if you think I should wait to have a better documented history?
A. This all depends on the documentation you have now. If you feel it shows a solid four years (minimum) of experience, I’d say apply now. If you went thru the app process and the cslb said you needed one more year, withdraw your app work another year, then resubmit everything.
Q. Guessing you have seen others in my same predicament so what has made the biggest differences for them being able to get their applications accepted?
A. How well prepared your documentation is.
Q. The C-10 guy I work for has mentioned partnering with me a few times. Would there be some mid-term benefits to going this route and getting on his license then applying for my own later? I am not sure how this works but have heard of others getting brought in that way. The guy is a bit hard to work for / with so this would be a last resort but good to know the answers if it comes to that.
A. This scenario is included in the cslb “options” letter. You could use someone else to be your qualifier. After X amount of years, you could apply to replace that qualifier on the license.
So if you find yourself with a critical classification application under review, let me know and we can discuss your specific circumstances. I offer a very affordable consultation service. Click here if you’d like to discuss what you can do.