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Inspection Process for Verifying Ratios

Please be aware that, on any construction inspection in Denver, a Community Planning and Development (CPD) inspector or other staff member may review the number of apprentices, electricians, and plumbers to ensure compliance with both the Denver Building and Fire Code and the Colorado Revised Statutes Sections 12-23-105 and 12-23-110.5. 

Job sites in Denver may not exceed a ratio of three apprentices to one journeyman, master electrician, or plumber.

Every CPD inspector or staff member has the authority to ask any person on a job site appearing to do electrical or plumbing work to provide their license information. Appropriate documentation can be either a physical copy of an apprenticeship registration or license card or an electronic copy along with a valid driver’s license. Should the person not be able to provide that evidence, the CPD inspector or staff member will take their name.

CPD may request documentation from all individuals on site to confirm compliance with the required ratio of apprentices to electricians/plumbers working on a job site. If the site does not meet the correct ratio, the inspector will issue a "stop work order" for the electrical or plumbing permit.

If you have received a stop work order:

Immediately cease all electrical or plumbing work onsite and contact Denver's Building Inspections group. Request to speak with the Building Official to discuss the appropriate course of action moving forward as outlined in Denver Building and Fire Code Section 127.


Denver Building and Fire Code

Visit the building codes webpage to access the Denver Building and Fire Code, our adopted national and international codes, and all building department policy documents (which clarify certain code sections).


License Ratio Verification Procedure

When conducting a license inspection, the inspector will get in contact the electrical and plumbing foreman once they arrive on-site. From there, they will inspect the site by walking a representative sample of the jobsite - based on the size of the job.

Inspectors will:

  1. Visit sites on days an inspection has not been requested,
  2. Take a picture of the roster (if applicable),
  3. Speak to individuals who appear to be performing electrical or plumbing work,
  4. Ask for names to verify the roster, or ask what company they are working with and what their role is,
  5. View master, journeyman, or apprentice license,
  6. Take a picture of valid cards, and
  7. Get a total of workers on-site to establish the ratio.

What to expect based on your project size:

  1. High-rise building:
    • Inspectors will ask to see the roster/sign-in sheet for that day,
    • They will ask to visit the floors that are currently being worked on, and
    • Spot check three floors - or a representative sample depending on the size and stage of construction.
  2. Mid-size construction project:
    • Inspectors will ask if a roster is available,
    • They will walk a representative sample of the site, and
    • View all employee license or apprentice cards.
  3. Single-family residential project: 
    • Inspectors will walk the entire site, and
    • View all employee license or apprentice cards.

Violation Response

When a contractor is found to be in violation of the 3 to 1 supervisor ratio requirement, the inspector will document the violation.

The violation actions are as follows:

  • First violation

A written warning letter will be sent to the company license holder from Contractor Licensing. Inspectors will explain to the foreman that they have failed to meet the 3 to 1 standard ratio and that the license holder will be receiving a letter.

  • Second violation

A meeting with the Building Official and second written warning letter will be sent to the company license holder from Contractor Licensing. Contractor Licensing will setup a meeting with the contractor, chief trade inspector, and Building Official. Further inspections for that jobsite may also be put on hold until this meeting has taken place.

  • Third violation

Contractor Licensing will put a hold on the company License and/or Certificate. This suspension will not allow the company to continue to pull any new permits on the corresponding license and/or certificate until the contractor can demonstrate proper compliance.