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Engineering and Codes » Code Education Resources

Code Education Resources

CEO - Inspector Pre-qualification Program

Areas and Levels of Certification

The NC Code Officials Qualification Board certifies city and county inspectors who enforce the NC State Building Code. Inspection certificates are issued in the following areas: Building, Electrical, Fire Prevention, Mechanical, and Plumbing. Each certificate is further subdivided into one of three levels: Level I, II, and III.

Building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing inspectors are restricted to a maximum number of stories and square feet in a building generally as follows:

  • Level I: any single family dwelling and one story commercial buildings not exceeding a maximum floor area depending on the occupancy classification.
  • Level II: buildings from two to four stories not exceeding a maximum floor area depending on the occupancy classification.
  • Level III: any building in the State.

Fire prevention inspectors are restricted on the occupancy classification of the building and are not restricted by size except for high rise buildings as follows:

  • Level I: business, small assembly, mercantile, residential, and storage.
  • Level II: large assembly, educational, factory-industrial, and any Level I building.
  • Level III: hazardous, institutional, highrise, and any Level I or II building.

Pre-Qualification Program

The pre-qualification program allows an applicant interested in becoming employed as a city or county inspector to take the Standard Inspection courses and the State examination prior to becoming employed as a code enforcement official. However, the applicant must meet at least one of the experience requirements listed in the Board’s Rules and Regulations. A PQ applicant is not required to start at Level I, but to start at Level II or III, the applicant must document increased levels of education, licenses, and experience.

PQ applicants must complete an "Application for Standard Certificate" and return it with a $20.00 application fee. If the applicant meets the education or experience requirements, he or she must then complete community college courses in the certificate area and level. Applicants must also complete the "Law and Administration" course.

The Board’s rules list the experience requirements in Sections .0706(d) through .0706(r) and will be helpful when completing the "Application for Standard Certificate".

After the courses have been completed, the applicant may register for the State examination. The names of successful applicants will be presented to the NC Code Officials Qualification Board at its quarterly meeting. A letter will be mailed to each applicant stating that he or she has met the requirements for Pre-Qualification. Upon employment as a code enforcement official, a Standard Certificate will be mailed to the applicant.