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Voluntary Certified Access Specialist (CASp) program

In 2003, Senate Bill 262 required the State Architect (DSA) to establish and publicize a program for voluntary certification by the State of any person who meets the specified criteria as a certified access specialist (CASp). It also requires the DSA to publish and make available to the public a list of certified access specialists who have successfully completed and passed the Candidate Certification Examination, and who have received CASp certification. The program is designed to meet the public's need for experienced, trained, and tested individuals who can render opinions as to the compliance of buildings and sites with the State of California codes and regulations and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for accessibility.

You may access any of the topics listed below to go directly to the information available on this site.


List of Certified Access Specialists

The voluntary Certified Access Specialist program published its first list of Certified Access Specialists on October 29, 2008. Pursuant to Government Code Section 4459.7, this list is continuously updated. To access this list please click on the following link:


Authority

Senate Bill 262 (Chapter 872/Statutes of 2003) authorizes the State Architect to establish and publicize a program for voluntary certification by the state of any person who meets specified criteria as a Certified Access Specialist. This legislation required the Division of the State Architect to make available to the public an updated directory of current Certified Access Specialists before October 31st of each year.


Regulations

The voluntary Certified Access Specialist program regulations became effective July 30, 2008. A copy of the regulations is available through the following link:


Senate Bill 1608

Senate Bill 1608 (Chapter 549, Statutes 2008) added Civil Code section 55.53(c) which states that every CASp who conducts an inspection of a place of public accommodation shall, upon completing the inspection of the site, provide the building owner or tenant who requested the inspection with a notice, which the State Architect shall make available as a form on the State Architect's Internet Web site.

In accordance with Civil Code section 55.53(c), DSA has posted the following notice:


With the passage of Senate Bill 1608, DSA has been receiving numerous inquiries regarding this bill and how it relates to the CASp program. Senate Bill 1608 does not change the requirements or operation of the CASp program. The bill does provide certain legal rights to individuals whose facilities have been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist. SB 1608 also requires local agencies to employ or retain Certified Access Specialists by specified dates. You may review the text of SB 1608 at: http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/sb_1601-1650/sb_1608_bill_20080928_chaptered.pdf


Disability Access Inspection Certificates Available

Senate Bill 1608 (Chapter 549, Statutes 2008) added Civil Code section 55.53(e)(2), authorizing DSA to make available for purchase by any local building department or CASp sequentially numbered Disability Access Inspection Certificates.

The certificates are sold in bundles of 50 each at a cost of $500.00. Orders for less than 50 are available upon request.

All requests for certificates should be directed to CASprogram@dgs.ca.gov. Currently, DSA can only accept checks or money orders as payment. Payment should be made out to "CASp program" and mailed to DSA, 1102 Q Street, Ste 5100, Sacramento, CA 95811 and Attn: CASp.

Please direct all public inquiries regarding the Voluntary Certified Access Specialist program to: CASprogram@dgs.ca.gov


Complaint Process

DSA investigates and takes appropriate disciplinary action when a complaint for alleged misconduct is submitted about a CASp. The purpose of the complaint process is to preserve high standards of practice for a CASp and to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of consumers of the State of California. Acts which are subject to disciplinary action include, but are not limited to, unprofessional conduct, conviction of a substantially related crime, breach of contract, and practicing without valid certification.

To file a complaint, please fill out the DSA form 607 CASp Consumer Complaint (PDF - 534 KB) and send via email to CASprogram@dgs.ca.gov or mail to:

Division of the State Architect
CASp Certification Unit
1102 Q Street, Ste 5100
Sacramento, CA 95811

After DSA receives the complaint, the complainant will be contacted to discuss the complaint. If the issue is not in DSA's jurisdiction to resolve, the complainant will be informed if another state or local agency may be able to help, or if alternative means of redress should be pursued. If the investigation by DSA confirms the alleged misconduct, the CASp will be notified of disciplinary action. Disciplinary Actions and Final Decisions are a matter of public record. The complainant will be notified of the outcome of the case.

As a matter of policy, DSA will not investigate a complaint that addresses the CASp's interpretation of applicable accessibility codes, standards, and regulations to determine site-specific elements or overall compliance of the facility subject to the evaluation.


Becoming a Certified Access Specialist:

STEP 1. Candidate Eligibility Application

Candidate Eligibility Applications for the CASp Program are accepted on a continuing basis. Candidates may complete and submit the application online by visiting: https://www.apps.dgs.ca.gov/casp/casp_main.aspx. If you prefer to apply by mail, you may complete, print, and mail the form DSA 600: Candidate Eligibility and Certification Renewal Application (PDF - 230 KB) || DSA 600 Instructions (PDF - 52 KB) or you may request an application be mailed to you. Eligibility requirements are provided in the Instructions

Form DSA 650 (PDF - 148 KB) must be completed, signed and dated, to be submitted along with form DSA 600 (PDF - 230 KB). Form DSA 650 is associated with Assembly Bill (AB) 1424. Please see DSA’s AB 1424 Notification page for additional application requirements related to collection of social security/tax identification numbers. Your application will not be processed until form DSA-650 is received.

The application fee is $500.00. This fee is non-refundable, payable upon application into the program, and is used to cover the cost of completing the application approval process. You can use our secure pay-on-line system when paying by credit card. The DSA currently accepts Visa and MasterCard. Mail all payments by check to DSA using the address indicated on Page 2 of the Instructions for form DSA-600. Your completed application (form DSA-600) must be included with your check. Effective September 19, 2012, and in compliance with SB1186, the application fee for a California licensed architect, landscape architect, civil engineer, or structural engineer shall be reduced (Statutes of 2012, Chapter 383). The application fee for the four disciplines is now $100.00.

Payment Information:

Payment by credit card: You must complete the online application which is located at https://www.apps.dgs.ca.gov/casp/casp_main.aspx and authorize online fee payment using your Visa or MasterCard.

Payment by check: Print and complete form DSA 600 (PDF - 230 KB) and mail it with your check to DSA, or

Complete the online application, print out a hard copy, and mail it with your check to DSA. Mail all "payment by check" applications to DSA using the address indicated on the form. Form DSA 650 (PDF - 148 KB) must be completed, signed and dated, to be submitted along with DSA 600 (PDF - 230 KB). Form DSA 650 is associated with Assembly Bill (AB) 1424. Please see DSA’s AB 1424 Notification page for additional application requirements related to collection of social security/tax identification numbers. Your application will not be processed until form DSA 650 is received.


Request for Reasonable Accommodation

If you need to request an accommodation to take the written examination or want information on special accommodations, please refer to the links below for information and forms.



You may access the CASp Handbook for more in-depth information on the program, application and examination process at:


STEP 2. Exam Registration

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) has significantly changed the Certified Access Specialist (CASp) examination. Beginning October 16, 2013, the CASp examination is separated into two parts: an “open book” part and a “closed book” part. The open book part will cover plan review.

Also, CASp examination candidates who only pass one part of the examination may retake the remaining part within a two year period. If, after two years, the second part is not passed the entire examination must be retaken. Fees to take the remaining part of the examination will be half of the cost for the entire exam. Candidates are unlimited in the number of times he or she may take the remaining part during the two year period.

The open book part consists of 40 multiple choice questions and has a maximum time allowance of 2 hours. The closed book part contains 60 multiple choice questions with a maximum time allowance of 1.5 hours.

Candidates must register and take both parts of the October 2013 exam. Beginning in 2014 candidates can opt to take only the open book or closed book part of the examination on specified test dates.

These changes are the result of input from clients and DSA’s continuous efforts to improve the level and quality of our services and programs.

The examination fee structure is as follows:

  • Entire CASp (both open and closed book) - $800.00 (non-refundable)
  • Single part option (available 2014) - $400.00 (non-refundable)

Candidates must also submit application fees, and certification fees (upon successful examination completion) to participate in the CASp program.

Exam Dates:

March 12, 2014
June 25, 2014
October 8, 2014

Northern California Exam Site
Sunrise Event Center
11167 Trade Center Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

916.635.2016
Exam hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Southern California Exam Site
Hawthorne Memorial Center
3901 W. El Segundo Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250

310.349.1640
Exam hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm


Applicants who have an approved application with the CASp program will be able to register for an examination. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis with no set deadline; however, any applications with payment submitted online or postmarked the day before or after close of examination registration will be rolled over to the next available examination.

Exam registration for all exams is now open, but will close at 5 p.m. on the following dates:

Exam Date: Registration Closes:
March 12, 2014 February 18, 2014
June 25, 2014 May 28, 2014
October 8, 2014 September 10, 2014


Seating for the exam is limited. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis.

Examination dates, sessions and locations are subject to change. Should changes take place, they will be posted to this site, and all registered candidates will be notified.

Future exam dates will be posted when available.

After application eligibility is confirmed, candidates may register for an available examination by logging back into their account at:
https://www.apps.dgs.ca.gov/casp/casp_main.aspx.

If you prefer to register by mail, you may complete, print, and mail the DSA 601: Exam Registration Form (PDF - 159 KB) or you may request a registration form be mailed to you.

If you have registered for an examination and are unable to attend, you must notify the CASp Unit at least 48 hours prior to the examination date. In case of an emergency, credit towards another examination period may be granted on a case-by-case basis. If you do not notify us and/or do not show up for the examination, you will be considered a "no show" and forfeit your payment.

There are possible sources for training available to assist in the preparation and study for the CASp examination. The possible sources listed below, although not mandated by this program, are provided to use as a resource for further understanding about the many aspects of accessibility.


Payment Information:

Payment by credit card: You must complete the online registration which is located at https://www.apps.dgs.ca.gov/casp/casp_main.aspx and authorize online fee payment using your Visa or MasterCard.

Payment by check: Print and complete form DSA 600 (PDF - 230 KB) and mail it with your check to DSA, or

Complete the online registration, print out a hard copy, and mail it with your check to DSA. Mail all "payment by check" registrations to the DSA using the address indicated on the form.


STEP 3. Certification

Successful examinees will be issued an official CASp Certificate upon payment of the $300.00 certification fee. This fee is non-refundable. CASp certification may be renewed every three years by completing 15 Continuing Education Units in Federal and State regulatory updates, and Universal Design.


Certification Renewal

A CASp becomes eligible for renewal of certification upon completing and submitting form DSA-600, payment of a renewal fee, together with verification of having completed, during each three-year period of certification, a minimum of 15 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) of classes in Federal and State regulatory updates, and Universal Design. Classes should address changes to the laws and regulations identified in Section 134 of the program regulations. Each CEU is equivalent to one-hour of instructional time. When a certificate holder meets all the requirements for renewal, the certificate holder will be certified for an additional three-year period.

All continuing education offerings attended must be completed within the three-year period immediately preceding the effective date of certification renewal. Courses completed as part of a prior renewal requirement cannot be applied to a current renewal application. Applicants who are unsure if a provider's course offerings are approved for CEUs should contact the provider directly for the appropriate information. It is the CASps responsibility to determine if a CE course meets the requirements set for in Title 21 regulations and the Government Code, and that all CE requirements have been met. The DSA does not pre-approve or register providers of CE courses.

Submit any request for CE Equivalent Activity on form DSA 605 Continuing Education Equivalency Petition. You may request an extension of time to complete your CE requirements on form DSA-606 Continuing Education Extension Request if you qualify for an extension. These requests must be submitted with your Continuing Education Course Verification form DSA 604, form DSA 600 Candidate Eligibility and Certification Renewal Application, and the appropriate renewal fees. Form DSA 650 (PDF - 148 KB) must be completed, signed and dated, to be submitted along with DSA 600 (PDF - 230 KB). Form DSA 650 is associated with Assembly Bill (AB) 1424. Please see DSA’s AB 1424 Notification page for additional application requirements related to collection of social security/tax identification numbers. Your certification renewal will not be processed until form DSA-650 is received.

Please follow the directions provided on each of the respective forms before completing the respective forms and submit any questions directly to the CASp Unit.

General Information:

  1. Carefully read all instructions before completing the required forms.
  2. CE courses must include classes in federal and state regulatory updates and Universal Design.
  3. A maximum of 10 CEUs is allowed for all equivalent activity. CEUs for instructing a course shall not exceed the credits given for the course and cannot exceed five CEUs. Instructors may take the CEU credit once during the three-year renewal period.
  4. A minimum of five CEUs must be in instructor led coursework.
  5. Distant learning must include an exam which is graded at the end of the course.
  6. All Continuing Education Course Verifications must include the certificate number and/or course sponsor, date completed, course hours and course title.
  7. Continuing Education extension requests may be granted for a period not to exceed 90 days from the date of certification expiration.

A CASp certification which has expired and has not been renewed will become inactive. If an extension is denied and all conditions of certification renewal have not been met, an applicant will be required to re-qualify through the examination process before he/she can again become a CASp Inspector.

You may now apply for certification renewal online. Log into your account from this site, https://www.apps.dgs.ca.gov/casp/casp_main.aspx, and proceed to MyCASp. Access the link for "My CASp Certification Renewal Application" or you may access the Certification Renewal Application menu located to the far left at the top bar.

Current CASps renewing existing certification are required to complete form DSA 600 and all other forms necessary to verify completion of all Continuing Education Units or to apply for an extension.

You can also bypass the online certification renewal process by printing the following forms, completing them, and mail them with your check for the amount due to:

The Division of the State Architect
CASp Program
1102 Q Street, Suite 5100
Sacramento, CA 95811


If not applying online, you can download, complete, and print the CASp Certification renewal forms here (completed forms cannot be submitted electronically nor saved to a user’s CASp profile on DSA’s website):


The certification renewal fees are as follows:

The total fees for certification renewal are $500.00.

  1. $200.00 Verification of CEU's prior to Certification Renewal. This fee is non-refundable and will cover administration costs for reassessment of qualifications related to renewal of certification, prior to expiration of the current term of certification. Fee is due with the application for certification renewal prior to expiration of current certification.
  2. $300.00 Certification Renewal Fee, for program administration over an additional three-year term of certification; non-refundable. Fee is due upon notification of approval of renewal.

Background and History

Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

Senate Bill 262 directs the State Architect to convene an "ad hoc advisory committee to assist in developing the requirements for access specialist," and requires representation by specific state agencies, the building industry, and by persons with disabilities. Membership of the CASp committee satisfies these requirements.

Agendas, meeting notices, notes and staff reports from meetings that took place on April 2004 which was the initial kickoff of the CASp project; May 11, 2004; July 13, 2004; August 10, 2004; September 14, 2004; December 14, 2004; and four regional Certified Access Specialist (CASp) program workshops in February, March and April 2006 can be viewed on the CASp Archives page.


Contact Information

Certification Program Manager
CASp Program
Division of the State Architect - Headquarters
1102 Q Street, Suite 5100
Sacramento, CA 95811
CASprogram@dgs.ca.gov

Certification Unit Hotline

916.323.2737