Johnson County, KS Contractor Licensing Program Protects Consumers

ARTICLE | May 29, 2013

The Johnson County Contractor Licensing Program, established in 2001, provides 14 Kansas jurisdictions with a common construction contractor’s licensing agency. The purpose of the program is to protect consumers by assuring that those undertaking the construction, alteration, and demolition of structures are qualified to do so. The program does this by working in partnership with the construction industry and regulatory agencies, through the administration of the uniform licensing system, and by providing required continuing education to contractors, inspection professionals, and licensed designers.

The licensing program provides a registration function and acts as a vehicle for the verification of trade skill or license qualification. The continuing education is the key to the development of an increasingly proficient cadre of contractors and building inspectors. Unique to the Johnson County program, is that the agency provides the required continuing education through what has become an annual education spring and fall seminar series.

Throughout the history of the agency, staff has used the education program as a vehicle for distribution of the latest editions of building, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical code books to seminar attendees. In this manner the program has been the cornerstone of a movement to promulgate model codes across the region. Having distributed thousands of code books over the life of the program, the agency has developed an influential relationship with the publishers of the construction codes used in Johnson County. This in turn has enabled staff to leverage the partnership to bring the nation’s finest code education instructors to the Johnson County seminars.

The collaborative spirit fundamental to the program’s development remains an agency hallmark to this day. Five of the nine members of the board responsible for guiding the program are licensed contractors, while nine of the twelve members of the Education Committee are contractors, representatives of construction industry associations, or building inspectors. They encourage qualified contractors licensed by the program and inspection professionals to teach coursework during the education seminars produced by the agency. They also work closely with local construction industry leaders to develop continuing education relevant to the work of all local constituent groups. The staff is actively engaged in the construction code development process, thus assuring the interests of the citizens, builders, and government of Johnson County has a voice heard at the highest levels of the construction industry and in the regulatory process.

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