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Engineering and Codes


Engineering and Codes » CEO Certification Tools

CEO Certification Tools

CEO - Pre-Qualification (PQ) Process

The pre-qualification review 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 a Pre-Qualification Application 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

Board Rule 11 NCAC 08.0706 lists the experience requirements in Sections .0706(d) through .0706(r) and will be helpful when completing the Pre-Qualification Application.

After the required standard courses have been completed the PQ applicant's eligibility to register for the State Examination will be determined by staff. State exams are administered by PSI, Inc. 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.

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.