RSI Reports Arizona ROC to Implement Background Checks on New License Applicants

August 21, 2013 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The Refrigeration School announces that a new measure has been passed by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC) stating that all new license applicants will be required to be fingerprinted and have their backgrounds checked. Previously, applicants would only be required to take a background check if they checked off having a felony in their application. However, the new measure will put a stricter security policy in place to protect the interests of the general public and other licensees.

Past methods of checking criminal records were lengthy and expensive (6-8 weeks with a $22 application fee), limiting how many checks could feasibly be done. Now by working with a private security company, it's possible to include most applicants in the background checking process, taking just a few days to process for less than $8. Many contractors, including members of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Arizona Chapter (ACCA-AZ), see this as a positive move that will result in greater credibility and accountability within the industry.

A question and answer session was held between the Arizona ROC and the ACCA-AZ on June 25. While the contractors generally feel that background checks are necessary to protect the general public, there are also questions remaining about what parts of an applicant's past will be viewed and how the final decision will be made. Both contractors and construction attorneys have also raised concerns over some of the optional information the ROC may collect, which essentially encompasses any records from banks, credit agencies, government agencies, law enforcement, the military, and college boards. In 6-12 months, contractors applying for renewal HVAC certification may also have to undergo a background check.

The ROC has stated that only crimes related to a contractor's duties, qualifications, or job functions will cause an application to be denied. Even if a conviction points to this, the ROC will also review evidence of rehabilitation, such as counseling, attending a rehabilitation program, employment between the time of conviction and the application date, how much time has passed without repeat violations, etc.

RSI urges any students who plan on applying for a local contractor's license to see Substantive Policy Statement 100 if they would like to know more about the revised policy:

Following contractor concerns, the ROC also released Substantive Policy Statement 103, detailing who must provide a licensing background check:

The Refrigeration School is an HVAC technician school in Arizona with programs for HVAC, solar/pv installation, mechanical maintenance engineering, and refrigeration technologies. For more information about local career opportunities in HVAC contracting, contact an RSI Admissions Representative: