CSLB Terms and Definitions

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Term Acronym Definition
Accusation   A public, written statement of charges CSLB has filed with the Office of the Attorney General that specifies statutes and rules a contractor or home improvement salesperson is alleged to have violated. It may result in a hearing to determine whether a licensee has violated the law and whether the license should be revoked, suspended, and/or placed under some type of restriction by the Registrar.
Active License Status   Contractor is licensed and able to perform work
Administrative Law Judge ALJ The hearing officer provided by the Office of Administrative Hearings to decide CSLB disciplinary cases
Advisory Notice   Notification provided to an individual that there is a minor violation and that a future occurrence may result in a disciplinary action
Alternative Dispute Resolution ADR A process to economically and efficiently resolve disputes outside of court, such as arbitration, mediation, conciliation, negotiation, etc.
Application Fee Number App Fee A unique number assigned to an application received by CSLB for which a fee has been paid
Arbitration Program   An informal process in which the people in conflict agree to let a neutral third person or panel make a final decision in a dispute among them
Asbestos Certification ASB The certification required by contractors who perform asbestos-related work (Before performing any asbestos-related work, licensee also must be registered with the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health.)
Asbestos Open Book Examination   A multiple-choice exam that must be completed by the qualifying individual prior to the issuance or renewal of a license
Association Date   The date a person is added to a license
Attorney General, Office of the AG The state agency that represents CSLB in administrative and some criminal matters before trial, appellate, and supreme courts
Automated Call Distributor ACD A system that answers calls and holds all calls on a first-come, first-served basis until a technician becomes available to answer the call
Automated Phone Response System/ Interactive Voice Response APRS/ IVR An automated telephone system that contains pre-recorded messages (Callers may check a license, order forms and publications or transfer to call center staff.)
Bond of Qualifying Individual BQI The bond required for the qualifying individual who is a responsible managing employee (RME) or is a responsible managing officer (RMO) who owns 10 percent or less of the voting stock/equity of the license entity
Business and Professions Code B&P The state code where California Contractors' State License Law can be found
California Code of Regulations CCR The code that includes CSLB rules and regulations
California Licensed Contractor CLC A quarterly newsletter published by CSLB
CAT Site   Computer-assisted testing site: any of eight testing centers statewide where contractor examinations are given on computers
Certification   One of two credentials that are offered to licensed contractors who hold classifications directly related to this type of work (CSLB offers certification for Asbestos Abatement or Hazardous Substance Removal.)
Certificate of Insurance   A certificate issued by a contractor’s insurance company and submitted to CSLB as proof of workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees.
Civil remedies   Usually refers to money damages sought through a lawsuit in civil court (small claims court, municipal court, superior court)
Classification   Refers to the type of trade work a contractor may perform, for example, plumbing, electrical, etc. (CSLB has 43 license classifications.)
Complaint   A written complaint filed with the board alleging failure of a licensed or unlicensed contractor to fulfill the terms of an agreement (Alleged violations in a complaint could involve poor workmanship; requiring a down payment in excess of amount allowed by law; abandonment; failure to pay subcontractors or material suppliers; building code violations; use of false, misleading or deceptive advertising; violations of the Home Improvement Act; violations of the Swimming Pool Act, etc.)
Complaint Disclosure   Process approved by law that allows the board to make information available to the public about contractors with probable violations or a history of violations
Computer-Assisted Testing CAT Proficiency examinations given to contractor candidates on individual computers located at eight testing centers statewide
Contractor Bond CB A bond required from all active licensees (Consumers can claim against the bond for violations of Contractors' State License Law by a licensee.)
Contractors State License Board CSLB Contractors State License Board, one of more than 40 boards, bureaus, commissions, etc. overseen by the California Department of Consumer Affairs
Corporation CP The type of license issued to a business or organization that is registered and in active status with the California Secretary of State
Criminal Action   A misdemeanor or felony filing in which a contractor is charged with a criminal law violation that punishes violators by fine and/or imprisonment, to compel restitution and to deter (discourage) others from committing similar acts
Default   A situation where the respondent fails to appear to provide a defense
Disassociation Date   The date a person is removed as a member of the personnel of record on a license
Disciplinary Bond DB A bond that is required when disciplinary action has been taken against a license
Doing Business As DBA The name under which a licensee will conduct business (Example:  John Smith dba Smith Construction or ABC Associates Inc. dba ABC Construction Services)
Enforcement Representative ER Employment classification of staff that investigates complaints
Entity   Type(s) of business(es) that can hold a contractor license, such as sole owner (individual), partnership, corporation, joint venture, or LLC
Exemption from Workers’ Compensation   The form a contractor who does not hire employees must file with CSLB
Expired License Status   A license that has not been renewed
Extract Date   The date a database record is accessed for information
Failure to Appear FTA Term used when a candidate does not take a scheduled examination, or appear in a court of law
FTA Notice   Letter mailed to candidates informing them that they failed to appear for a scheduled examination, with instructions on how to reschedule (Failure to appear also can refer to a person not appearing in a court of law as ordered.)
Hazardous Substances Removal Certification HAZ The certification required by contractors who perform hazardous substance removal and remedial action (Only contractors holding certain license classifications can obtain HAZ certification.)
Home Improvement   Repairing, remodeling, altering, converting, modernizing, or adding to residential property land or structures; also covers providing home improvement goods and services
Home Improvement Salesperson HIS A person registered by CSLB and employed by a licensed contractor to solicit, sell, negotiate, or execute home improvement contracts
Inactive License Status   The license status in which the contractor is still licensed but is not permitted to perform work
Industry Expert IE Licensed professionals recruited by the board to inspect a job and render an opinion on specific items of a complaint
Informal Settlement Conference   An informal meeting in which the contractor must participate to settle a complaint and avoid a formal hearing
Injunctions   A court order requiring individuals and/or firms to stop doing certain acts on grounds these acts are against the law
Issue Date   The date a license originally was issued
Joint Venture JV The type of license issued to a combination of already licensed companies or individuals (These companies or individuals must hold an active and current license at all times.)
Law and Business Examination   A written exam related to business and construction laws that must be passed by all qualifying individuals to become licensed
Letter of Admonishment   Notification provided to an individual that there is a probable violation, which is publicly disclosable for one year. Recipients of letters of admonishment may request an office conference to contest the letter.
Licensee Citation   A written document that specifies violations of law performed by a licensee (A citation usually contains a civil penalty and/or an order to correct.)
Limited Liability Company LLC They type of license issued to an enterprise that blends elements of partnership and corporate structures
Non-Licensee Citation   A written document that alleges a violation of law by a non-licensee and usually includes an order to stop performing unlicensed work
Non-Licensee Citation Settlement   A settlement with CSLB for less than the original citation amount
Notice to Appear NTA The letter mailed to candidates informing them of the time, date, and location of their examination (A notice to appear also is used when a person is arrested for a misdemeanor and promises to appear in court rather than be taken in front of a magistrate.)
Occupational Analysis OA A description of current work performed by contractors (in terms of important tasks and knowledge) that is used to determine the content of licensing examinations
Office of the Attorney General AG The state agency that represents CSLB in administrative and some criminal matters before trial, appellate, and supreme courts
On-Site Negotiation Program OSN A program that brings together the complainant, the contractor, and an industry expert at the job site where CSLB’s Enforcement Representative attempts to negotiate a resolution to a complaint
Owner-builder   Any individual, or group of individuals, who own the property on which they plan to construct, alter, repair, improve, or remodel a building or structure
Partnership PT The type of license that is issued to a group of individuals or companies
Qualifier   The individual who qualifies a license by demonstrating the necessary experience and knowledge for the classification
Qualifying Individual   The individual who meets the experience and examination requirements for a license (Every active license must have a designated qualifier.)
Qualifying Partner QPT Title of the qualifying individual on a partnership license
Reissue or Reassigned Date   The date a license is reissued or reassigned (Under specific provisions of Contractors' State License Law, a license may be reissued or reassigned.)
Respondent   A licensee or registrant responding to a complaint made to CSLB
Responsible Managing Employee RME Title of an employee who serves as the qualifying individual on a sole owner, partnership, corporate, or limited liability company license
Responsible Managing Manager RMG Title of a manager who serves as a qualifier for an LLC
Responsible Managing Member RMM Title of a member who serves as a qualifier for an LLC
Responsible Managing Officer RMO Title of an officer who serves as the qualifying individual on a corporate or limited liability company license
Social Security Number SSN A Social Security number is required for licensure
Sole Ownership   The type of license issued to an individual
Statement of Issues SOI A written statement that specifies statutes and rules that an applicant for licensure or registration is alleged to have violated (The purpose of a statement of issues is to initiate a hearing to determine whether a license will be issued or denied.)
Sting   Undercover operation where CSLB staff invites suspected unlicensed operators to bid on jobs that ordinarily require licensure (When unlicensed individuals offer to perform work that requires a license, they are issued Notice to Appear misdemeanor citations and ordered to appear in municipal court.)
Structural Defect   According to California Code of Regulations (CCR) 861.5, a "structural" defect is defined as meaning:
  1. A failure or condition that would probably result in a failure in the load bearing portions of a structure,
  2. which portions of the structure are not constructed in compliance with the codes in effect at the time for the location of the structure, provided that,
  3. such failure or condition results in the inability to reasonably use the affected portion of the structure for the purpose for which it was intended.
(Authority cited: Sections 7008, 7091, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 7091, Business and Professions Code.)
Study Guide   Sample examination questions and study resources of CSLB's various licensing examinations
Subject Matter Expert SME A licensed contractor in good standing who provides expertise in examination development for contractor licensing examinations
Sweeps   Operations by SWIFT Enforcement Representatives to verify license status of contractors working in a specific geographical area or active construction sites
SWIFT Unit SWIFT Statewide Investigative Fraud Team: Enforcement Representatives who conduct special investigations and proactive non-licensee investigations
Test Validation and Development Specialist TVDS CSLB Testing division staff who facilitate workshops with Subject Matter Experts to develop licensing examinations
Trade Examination   A written exam related to current trade practice that must be passed by all qualifying individuals
Translator Affidavit   An affidavit completed by translators/candidates requesting the use of a translator during an examination
Underground Economy   A term used to describe businesses that illegally use cash payment transactions to avoid employment taxes, workers' compensation insurance premiums and Labor Code regulations
Undercover Operations/Stings   Investigations by SWIFT representatives at a residential or commercial property seeking bids from unlicensed operators
Workers’ Compensation   Insurance required by all contractors who have employees (All C-39 Roofing contractors must carry workers' compensation insurance even if they do not have employees.)