93B-8.6. Recognition of apprenticeships and training.

(a) The following definitions shall apply in this section:

(1) Apprenticeship. - A program that meets the federal guidelines for registered apprenticeships set out in 29 C.F.R. Part 29 and 29 U.S.C. 50. An apprenticeship can be completed under a State-licensed practitioner of that occupation or at a State-licensed school.

(2) Career technical education. - Programs of study, clusters, and pathways approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education or the State Board of Community Colleges.

(3) Licensing. - Any required training, education, or fee to work in a specific profession.

(b) Unless otherwise required by federal law, including requirements pertaining to eligibility for federal grant funding, an occupational licensing board shall grant a license to any applicant who meets the following criteria:

(1) Completed an apprenticeship approved by the North Carolina State Approving Agency or federal Department of Labor, or otherwise permitted under State or federal law.

(2) Passed an examination, if one is deemed to be necessary by the licensing authority.

(3) With the exception of any prelicensing education requirements, has met any other requirements for licensure set forth in the law or rules related to the particular board.

(c) This section shall not apply to occupational licensing boards governing professions requiring advanced knowledge acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual study, including those requiring a bachelor's or advanced degree.

(d) Each occupational licensing board shall establish a passing score for the board's examinations which shall not exceed the passing score that is required under the board's standard licensing processes. If the relevant law or rule does not require an examination for the standard licensing process, no examination may be required for applicants who complete an apprenticeship in that occupation. Except as otherwise required by federal law, apprenticeships for an occupation shall not be required to exceed the number of hours required by the relevant licensing authority or statute for that occupation.

(e) Applicants for licensure shall be permitted to apply training hours earned through career technical education provided by North Carolina public schools and colleges towards the requirements for licensure in the same occupation in accordance with the standards and procedures authorized in accordance with this Chapter.

(f) The State Board of Community Colleges and occupational licensing boards shall adopt rules for the implementation of this section. (2019-91, s. 5.)