What you can expect when you are dealing with the CSLB Application Investigation Unit
I received a call today from one of my readers. He told me that his application was sent to the Application Investigation Unit or AIU. He received the AIU letter just days before his test date. Fortunately, he made the correct choice and took the exams… because he passed! Congratulations on passing the State tests your first time.
Just to refresh you, the application is reviewed by a license technician. At this level, the tech can ask for corrections to the app, or additional experience documentation depending on if the classification is considered to be “critical class.” In the reader’s case, he was asked to send them transcripts of his 5 yr Architectural degree. The License Classification Deputy, which is usually at a minimum (or supposed to be) an Enforcement Representative, or ER1 is the person that makes the determination that his 5 yr degree was worth 3 yrs towards the 4 yr minimum requirement. So his app was posted and test date assigned.
Now the Application Investigation Unit steps in.
The investigator assigned is Roland Garcia. ER1 Garcia informs the reader that he now has to provide permits and contracts. The M.O. these days for the CSLB. Mr. Garcia also gave the reader the new party line… withdraw your app or I’ll deny you. Additionally, he told the reader that if he withdrew his application, it would cost him less when he goes to re-apply. I’m thinking? What is Mr. Garcia smoking? Withdrawing an app doesn’t mean you’re going to get your $300 app filing fee back. That is gone forever. So when the reader re-applies, he’ll have to pay that $300 again, plus the $180 initial license fee if his app is accepted. So, he will have paid a total of $780!!
Could it be the CSLB is denying these apps so they can get people to pay the $300 filing fee more than once! As I stated in an earlier post, denying apps decreases the revenue the CSLB takes in. They’ll lose out on renewal fees, etc. So, being a self-funded agency, they are either cutting their own budget, or this is a grand money making scheme.
My opinion is that they didn’t bother to take a second to look far enough down the road to determine what effect their actions might have. Cart before the horse, so to speak.
To continue, Mr. Garcia, who at this point either doesn’t know his job very well or should be working the fry machine, tells the reader that HE will only grant him 2 yrs for his education, instead of the 3 yrs given to him by the Classification Deputy on the Licensing side of the building. Um… I’m sorry Mr. Garcia; you can’t un-ring that bell. Once the licensing department reviews the transcripts and awards the applicant 3 yrs credit, you don’t get to change it! I would love it if someone in the CSLB Application Investigation Unit could give me a Government Code Section or Business and Professions Code Section that gives Mr. Garcia the authority to make that determination and overrule the Classification Deputy.
In conclusion, this reader is unfortunately finding out that the CSLB makes up the rules as they go along, and until someone with some sort of authority takes them to task, they’re going to continue to roll over these hard working people with impunity.
Final thought, I started my business in 2005 (I was still employed by the CSLB, but transferred so that I could start the business) because I saw first-hand how the applicants were being treated by the CSLB. I felt the applicant needed someone on their side. Looking back now, how things were 8+ years ago was nothing compared to how things are now.
My goal, outlook, perspective, desire, was, is and always shall be… as a consumer advocate. I too am a consumer, and I too have dealt with State agencies. Government is here to protect and serve, not dictate or purposefully restrict the ability of a free society to earn a living.
Until next time…