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The B.C. government introduced changes to the Homeowner Protection Act Regulation on March 4, 2015, which established an enhanced licensing system for residential builders. The changes were the result of extensive consultation with stakeholders. They reflected the industry’s desire to raise the bar of professionalism and improve the quality of residential construction in B.C., giving homebuyers even greater confidence that their homes have been built to a high standard.
Overview of changes introduced on March 4, 2015:
- There is no additional licence fee associated with the enhanced system.
- The enhanced licensing system applies primarily to general contractors constructing single family homes and small residential buildings under Part 9 of the BC Building Code.
- Licensed residential builders will be classified as general contractors, developers, or both.
- As of March 4, 2016, in light of the new builder qualifications, general contractor applicants who apply for a new licence will be required to demonstrate proficiency in seven areas related to residential construction:
- Relevant enactments
- Construction management and supervision
- Construction technology
- Customer service and home warranty insurance
- Financial planning and management
- Legal issues
- Business planning and management
- Builders who have a licence in good standing will not need to re-qualify under the enhanced system.
- All licensed general contractors with a licence expiry date on or after October 31, 2015, are required to take Continuing Professional Development courses in areas related to the residential construction industry as a condition of renewing their licence each year.
- General contractors building for a developer under part 3 of the BC Building Code (only) are exempt from licensing.
- New licences or renewal of licences are subject to a new consumer protection provision which allows the Registrar to refuse issuance if there has been a history of bad business practices which harms consumers.
- Owner builder applicants will also be required to pass an examination on home building basics set by the HPO.
An Education Registry is available to help Licensed Residential Builders fulfill their qualifications and CPD requirements. It is an online library that builders can use to find upcoming training opportunities.
Read these useful resources for more information
- Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs)
- Watch our Q&A Videos
- Building BC Spring 2015 Special Edition
- News release
- HPO letter to Licensed Residential Builders (March 2015)
- Registrar's Letter to Licensees (August 2015)
- Registrar's Letter to Licensees (Feb 2016)
- Regulatory Bulletin #11 - Consumer Protection Disclosure Requirement
- Regulatory Bulletin #12 - Choosing Your Licence Type: General Contractor or Developer
Get the latest updates
If you have questions about builder qualifications, continuing professional development and other new requirements under the enhanced licensing system for B.C. residential builders, please contact the Licensing department:
Phone: 604-646-7050 (Toll-free 1-800-407-7757) or
- What's New
- Builder Qualifications
- Builders & Developers
- Compliance & Enforcement
- Owner Builders
- Research & Education
- Act & Regulations
- Dispute Resolution
- About the HPO