Three years ago, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed off on legislation creating licensing requirements for pool and spa builders and pool and spa service contractors working in the state.
His signature set in motion the process to formally establish licensing in New Jersey but came to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the last few months, however, there has been some progress in establishing the licenses.
According to Chas Bogardus, CPO, CSP, CBP, and President of the Northeast Spa and Pool Association, New Jersey’s licensing requirements are as follows: Pool and spa builders/installers will be required to hold a PHTA Certified Building Professional designation. The law allows for other equivalent certifications, but none have been specified. Be sure to review PHTA’s new Certified Pool Builder Pathway (www.phta.org/certification/builderdesign). It includes new courses to help you achieve and maintain your builder’s certification. These courses are offered throughout the year at NESPA’s offices, at the Pool & Spa Show and other locations in our region.
Pool and spa service contractors will be required to hold a minimum of a PHTA Certified Service Technician (CST) designation. The PHTA Certified Service Professional (CSP) designation or PHTA Certified Builder Professional (CBP) will also be accepted. Service contractors who only work with hot tubs and spas can get licensed if they hold a PHTA Certified Hot Tub Technician designation.
The law states that employees in the field not under the direct supervision of a licensee will be required to have three years of practical experience and be a PHTA Certified Maintenance Specialist (CMS). Exemptions to this include those employees simply cleaning pool equipment and components, pool vacuuming, sanitation of water, and backwash filtration; the licensee can provide this training. The definition of 'direct' supervision is an area that the licensing oversight committee will need to clarify as they develop the regulations for the license.
For the first 24 months after the regulations are formally approved, individuals who do not hold the required certifications will be able to obtain their initial license if the following can be met:
• References from at least one trade related business and one financial institution to verify business existence;
• Certificate of good standing less than 30 days old from the Secretary of State of New Jersey or state where the company is incorporated; and
• Three current references from PHTA members attesting to knowledge skills as a service contractor or builder/installer.
According to NESPA, it is difficult to predict a timeline for when the requirements will be fully in place. They are hopeful that the licensing advisory committee will begin its work soon. They recommend you review the certification requirements and plan how your company will meet them in the coming months.
Contact the staff at NESPA for assistance if you have any questions regarding how the New Jersey license will impact your business. They can walk you through what is required and your training options. www. NESPApool.org, [email protected],