Vol. 37 Iss. 2 - September 14, 2020

Chapter 21
Proposed Regulation

Title of Regulation: 13VAC5-21. Virginia Certification Standards (amending 13VAC5-21-41, 13VAC5-21-45).

Statutory Authority: § 36-137 of the Code of Virginia.

Public Hearing Information:

September 28, 2020 - 10 a.m. - Google Meet Meeting - The link to access the electronic meeting is, or copy and paste the link into a browser. Additional details and information are available on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall (

Public Comment Deadline: November 13, 2020.

Agency Contact: Kyle Flanders, Senior Policy Analyst, Department of Housing and Community Development, Main Street Centre, 600 East Main Street, Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23219, telephone (804) 786-6761, FAX (804) 371-7090, TTY (804) 371-7089, or email

Basis: The statutory authority to update the regulation is contained in § 36-137 of the Code of Virginia.

Purpose: As recognized in § 36-99 of the Code of Virginia, the purpose of the Uniform Statewide Building Code is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth, while permitting buildings to be constructed in the most economical manner consistent with such pertinent recognized standards relative to construction, health, and safety. Therefore, the certification and associated training and education of the local and nongovernment code enforcement personnel is inherent in and critical to the achievement of this purpose and ensures the technical and professional level of those personnel, including the knowledge and skill gained resultant from the initial training, mandated periodic training, continuing education, and familiarity with and understanding of recent developments within the building codes and construction industry.

Substance: The proposed amendment changes the sentence structure of certification categories and training requirements. The change is editorial and alters the "list of certificates offered and sets out the required training necessary to attend and complete…" to "the list of certificates offered and sets out the training required to be completed to obtain each certificate…" There is an additional editorial change deleting an unnecessary word.

Issues: This regulatory action poses no foreseen disadvantages to the public or the Commonwealth. The amendments provide additional clarity for regulants and the department regarding requirements for training to obtain certifications.

Department of Planning and Budget's Economic Impact Analysis:

Summary of the Proposed Amendments to Regulation. The Board of Housing and Community Development (Board) proposes to amend 13VAC5-21 Virginia Certification Standards to make grammatical changes to improve clarity.

Background. In March 2019, the Board updated 13VAC5-51 Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (fire code) to reference the latest nationally recognized codes and standards.1 These updates included changes to the certifications required for fire officials. Hence, the Board also reviewed the regulation on certification standards to ensure it remained consistent with the fire code requirements. The Board proposes to replace "the required training necessary to attend and complete to obtain a certificate" with "the training required to be completed to obtain each certificate," which simplifies the clause and reiterates that multiple certifications exist with unique requirements.

Estimated Benefits and Costs. The proposed amendment benefits readers of the regulation, especially those interested in obtaining a certification, by improving the clarity of the language. It does not introduce any additional costs.

Businesses and Other Entities Affected. Potential applicants for any certification from the Department of Housing and Community Development stand to benefit from having additional clarity. The proposed amendment does not introduce any new costs for businesses or other entities.

Small Businesses2 Affected. The proposed amendment does not directly affect any small businesses. Individuals seeking certification may be self-employed or employed by a small business, but the number of such individuals is unknown and they would not face any new costs as a result of the proposed amendments.

Localities3 Affected.4 The proposed amendment potentially affects individuals seeking certification in all localities. The proposed amendments are unlikely to introduce new costs for local governments.

Projected Impact on Employment. The proposed amendment is unlikely to cause any changes to total employment.

Effects on the Use and Value of Private Property. The proposed amendment is unlikely to affect the use or value of private property. Real estate development costs are unlikely to be affected.


1There is no associated regulatory action because the fire code regulation is exempt from the Administrative Process Act, as established via email correspondence at the NOIRA stage of this action.

2Pursuant to § 2.2-4007.04 of the Code of Virginia, small business is defined as "a business entity, including its affiliates, that (i) is independently owned and operated and (ii) employs fewer than 500 full-time employees or has gross annual sales of less than $6 million."

3"Locality" can refer to either local governments or the locations in the Commonwealth where the activities relevant to the regulatory change are most likely to occur.

4§ 2.2-4007.04 defines "particularly affected" as bearing disproportionate material impact.

Agency's Response to Economic Impact Analysis: The Department of Housing and Community Development concurs with the economic impact analysis (EIA) prepared by the Department of Planning and Budget for this proposed regulation. As a minor note to the first paragraph of the EIA, the department and the board are currently in the process of updating all of their building and fire related construction and maintenance regulations.


The proposed amendments (i) clarify the contents of a department list and (ii) correct a typo.

13VAC5-21-41. Certification categories and training requirements.

A. The department maintains a list of all certificates offered and the list sets out the required training necessary to attend and complete required to be completed to obtain a each certificate. Alternatives to the training requirements set out in 13VAC5-21-45 shall be considered for all certificates offered except that no alternative shall be accepted for the code academy core module.

B. Applicants for certificates shall attend and complete the code academy core module. After the completion of the core module, applicants are required to attend and complete the code academy training as set out in a list maintained by the department, except as provided for in 13VAC5-21-45. All required training must be completed within no more than six years prior to the date the application is submitted and the requirements for training are based on those in effect at the time of application.

13VAC5-21-45. Alternatives to training requirements.

Upon written request, alternative training or a combination of training, education or experience to satisfy the training requirements of 13VAC5-21-41 may be approved, provided that such alternatives or combinations are determined to be equivalent to that required. However, as provided in 13VAC5-21-41, no substitutions shall be approved for the code academy core module. The types of combinations of education and experience may include military training, college classes, technical schools or long-term work experiences, except that long-term work experiences shall not be approved as the sole substitute to satisfy the training requirements. BCAAC may be consulted with in any such consideration.

VA.R. Doc. No. R19-5980; Filed August 17, 2020, 2:14 p.m.