With all seats in the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) filled, a new chairman at the helm, and the increasing likelihood plumbing regulation will be extended without major change by the Texas Legislature, the TSBPE is aggressively reviewing their rules. The initial focus is on those rules involving examinations and education.
Chapter 363, Examinations
- The stated goal is to have no exam backlog by the end of 2021.
- This would be accomplished with two major changes:
- Moving the written exams to third-party testing providers with locations state-wide.
- Expanding the practical hands-on exams to at least 6-8 locations scattered state-wide.
- Under the envisioned process, examinees would have to pass the written exam before scheduling the practical.
- The third-party provider would handle that scheduling on the spot.
- The practical exams may be given by retired/volunteer licensed plumbers with no conflicts of interest.
Chapter 365, Education
- “Virtual” education would become a permanent option (after being temporarily approved due to COVID).
- Continuing Education would move to a calendar year, simplifying the reporting and compliance.
- The required training for apprentices seeking a license would be revisited (especially the current CPE components).
- The rules surrounding education publishers, providers, and instructors would be streamlined to provide more options.
As you can see, just these rule changes would represent the greatest changes in over 50 years. We will post links to the draft changes as soon as they are public, along with details to provide public comment before the next Board meeting (in April).
[Constructive comments worthy of licensed professionals are welcomed below.]