CT Service Licenses - What You Need to Know
SERVICE CONTRACTORS LICENSES (SP-1 & SP-2)
1. I perform pool and/or spa service in Connecticut. Do I need a license?
2. What kind of license do I need?
You need a license for pool and spa maintenance and repair
3. What is a license for pool and spa maintenance and repair?
There are 2 types. There is the SP-1 which is a limited spa and pool contractor and a SP-2 which is a limited pool and spa journeyperson.
4. What is the difference between a SP-1 and a SP-2?
The SP-1 is for pool contractors or upper level supervising staff. Read more about the pool and spa scope of work.
The SP-2 is for those working under or for an SP-1 and is called a limited spa and pool journeyperson. Read more about the pool and spa scope of work.
5. The regulations state that an SP-2 must work under the employ of a plumbing contractor. Why?
The SP-1 and SP-2 licenses are governed by the State Plumbers Board and are considered special limited plumbing licenses. Therefore an SP-2 must work under the employ of an SP-1 which is the special limited plumber’s license.
6. How do I become an SP-2?
- You must have one year of “On the Job” Training Hours
- You must be an PHTA Certified Maintenance Specialist (CMS) or higher or have equivalent courses
- Apply through www.psiexams.com
- $ 90 Application Fee is required.
- You must pass a 50 question technical examination.
7. How do I become an SP-1?
- You must be an SP-2 Journeyman for not less than 2 years or have evidence of equivalent experience.
- Apply to www.PSIExams.com. Read and follow the application directions carefully.
- $150 Application Fee is required.
- You must pass an examination (2 part, 50 business questions and 75 technical). Also be aware while the technical portion of this test is closed book, the business law portion is open book. The CT Business Law Book is named in the application and is easy to purchase online. Make sure you have this book with you when you take the test.
8. I work for an out of state company who also does business in CT. Do I need a license? If I do, how do I become licensed?
Yes. You use the same process as in state individuals.
9. I am an SP-2 - do I have to work under the supervision of an SP-1?
Yes. Every SP-2 must work under the supervision of an SP-1. There is no limit on how many SP-2s may work under the supervision of an SP-1.
10. My company holds a Home Improvement Contractors Registration (HIC). Do I need to maintain this registration if I have my SP-1?
- Holders of the SP license are not required to register under the HICA
- This only applies for work done as defined in the “scope of work” allowed in the Pool and Spa Service Contractors License
However, NESPA and CONSPA recommend that you maintain your HIC for any work that you may perform that is not included under the license. Example, if you work on fence latches, decks or door alarms, you need your HIC. Fences, decks and door alarms are not included in the scope of work under the license.
11. I don’t have an PHTA Certification. How do I meet my education requirements to apply for my SP license?
There are 3 ways to obtain the required education for the PHTA certification:
- Take an in-person certification course (PHTA Certified Maintenance Specialist or higher) offered through CONSPA, NESPA, any other NESPA chapter or PHTA.
- Take a correspondence course through PHTA/NESPA – To sign up for a correspondence course through PHTA follow this link.
- Apply to PHTA to take the Certified Service Professional (CSP) examination with proof of having earned 24 hours of specific technical industry education and 5 years of experience doing service and repairs on pools and spas.
For more information on PHTA certifications visit their website.
12. I have met my education requirements how do I obtain my state SP license?
Follow this link.
13. I read on the PSI general information bulletin and in the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) application form that I must submit a copy of my completion of the DCP approved Consumer Protection Trainee Program to apply for an SP-2 license. What is the DCP approved Consumer Protection Trainee Program?
DCP has recently instituted a “Consumer Protection Trainee Program” that will satisfy this requirement. It requires all SP-1 employers to register non SP-2 licensed employees as a “Consumer Protection Trainee”.
14. How do I register for the DCP Consumer Protection Trainee Program?
The new DCP Consumer Protection Trainee program requires all non-licensed service and maintenance employees to register through their employer with the DCP. They will receive an official registration Consumer Protection Trainee Program card which they must have on them at all times. After receiving the card, the Trainee must undergo at least 40 hours on the job training (OJT) given and certified to the DCP by his/her employer of completion. In addition, the Trainee must complete a certain amount of classroom hours, which are not yet determined of technical industry education. After completing the necessary classroom hours and OJT, the Trainee may perform basic pool/spa maintenance such as: vacuuming, emptying skimmer baskets, water testing and applications, and backwashing.
15. Does a registered Consumer Protection Trainee need an SP-1 or SP-2 on site to perform their duties?
Prior to having completed the on the job training (OJT) and education requirements, all registered Consumer Protection Trainees may only perform maintenance duties with direct on-site supervision of an SP-2 or SP-1.
After having successfully completed OJT and classroom instruction a registered Trainee may perform those duties of a Consumer Protection Trainee without direct on-site supervision of an SP-1 or SP-2.
16. What is the fee to register a Consumer Protection Trainee?
It is free.
17. How do I register an employee for the Consumer Protection Trainee Program?
Information to follow. Continue to watch this site for further information.
18. My application through PSI has been approved to take the state exam. How do I schedule my exam?
You can schedule your test in a number of ways: on line through www.psiexams.com; standard mail; or by telephone by calling 1-877-392-6422.
19. I hold a valid SP-1 license. Do I need to renew it at any time?
Yes, you must renew your license every year. You should receive your renewal notice from the state in September. However, it is your responsibility to make sure your license is renewed. If you don’t receive your notice by October, call the Department of Consumer Protection at 1-860-713-6000 License Services Division.
20. Are there continuing education requirements necessary to maintain my license?
Yes, every two years you must take a four hour state approved continuing program. These are given by NESPA and CONSPA and other providers every year. As an SP-1 you must complete your education in even numbered years.
21. I have my PHTA certification. Must I maintain the certification to keep my SP-1 license?
No. But we recommend that you continue your education to keep abreast of all the developments in our industry. Also, should your SP-1 license lapse for any reason you will be required to prove your PHTA certification to the DCP.
22. I hold a valid SP-2 license. Do I need to renew it at any time?
Yes, you must renew your license every year. You should receive your renewal notice from the state in September. However, it is your responsibility to make sure your license is renewed. If you don’t receive your notice by October, call the Department of Consumer Protection at 1-860-713-6000 License Services Division
23. I have my PHTA certification. Must I maintain the certification to keep my SP-2 license?
No. But we recommend that you continue your education to keep abreast of all the developments in our industry. Also, should your SP-2 license lapse for any reason you will be required to prove your PHTA certification to the DCP.
24. I have my license, what are the requirements for displaying my license number?
You must display your SP-1 license number on all:
- Commercial vehicles
- Printed advertisements
- Bid proposals
- Stationery used in business
In addition, if you hold an HIC Registration, you must also display that number as well.
25. Is the state enforcing the license?
Yes, in 2011 the state amended the license law and created a way to enforce the licenses. If you are found by the state to be violating the license law which includes lack of a license, lapsed license, or failure to meet display requirements:
- You can be punished as a Class B misdemeanor
- DCP may impose a civil penalty of not more than $1000 for the first violation, $1500 for the second violation, $3000 for a third violation
- Deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice and can result in license revocation
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SPECIAL PROBLEMS (Service Contractor Licenses)
1. My license expired within the last year. How do I renew?
If your license expired less than 1 year ago you will be charged a late fee plus the regular annual fee.
2. My license expired over a year ago. How do I renew?
If your license expired more than 1 year ago you must re-qualify and retest.
If you do not have the necessary current educational requirements, you must fulfill those requirements and apply to take the state test – the same as any new applicant.
3. I obtained my SP-2 during the grandfathering period without having my PHTA certification. The company I work for does not have an SP-1 on staff. What can I do to become an SP-1?
If you have been an SP-2 for at least 2 years you may apply to take the state SP-1 test.
4. I did not take my continuing education requirements for my license renewal what do I have to do?
SP-2s must take their continuing education requirements no later than October 31 (odd years); SP-1s must take their continuing education requirements no later than October 31 (even years). Continuing education requirements for both licenses are required every two years.
5. I am working for a new company and I do not believe there is an SP-1 on staff. I have a current SP-2 license. Am I in violation of the license law if my employer does not have an SP-1?
Yes, you are in violation of the law. You are not in violation of the law for your employer’s failure to have an SP-1 on staff. Your employer would be liable for any penalties for his failure to have an SP-1. However, the law requires all SP-2s to work under the supervision of an SP-1 and you would be in violation of the law if you knowingly continue to work for an employer who does not have the SP-1 license.
6. I hold a current license but I let my PHTA certification lapse. Am I required to renew my PHTA certification?
No, but if you fail to renew your SP license for more than one year you will be required to show proof of having the PHTA certification before you may be allowed to re-test for your state license.
7. I have my own business and I have an PHTA certification but I do not have a state license. What must I do to apply to take an SP-1 exam?
If you can show valid proof of having been in business for at least two years, such as reference letters from suppliers, your Home Improvement Contractors Registration, and other supporting documentation would suffice that you meet the “other” requirements.
8. I have been in business for several years and am an experienced pool and spa service contractor. I do not have an PHTA CMS certification or higher and I do not have a state license. What must I do to apply to take an SP-1 exam?
You must show proof to the Department of Consumer Protection that you have at least two years of equivalent experience of a properly licensed journeyperson and also produce evidence that you have the equivalent training or take the PHTA CMS or higher certification and earn your certificate.
9. How many Registered Consumer Protection Trainees can work under an SP-1?
There is no limit to how many Registered Consumer Protection Trainees may work under an SP-1.
10. I am an out of state experienced contractor with no SP-1 on staff. How do I become a licensed contractor?
If you have the required educational courses you may apply to the state for special circumstances to allow you to apply for and take the state exam
11. I am a subcontractor; do I need an SP-1 license?
Yes, if you are performing work on a pool or spa that is within the scope of service you must be licensed. Working under an SP-1 will not suffice.
12. I only provide pool opening and closing services. Do I need an SP-1?
Yes, if any of your services include servicing of the filtration system, partial or full draining of the pool, backwashing, etc.