Construction using large glulam members on projects under DSA jurisdiction requires continuous inspection by an appropriately qualified individual per the California Building Code (CBC). The individual must be DSA certified in glulam inspection as required in section 1705A.5.4 of the 2016 CBC and section 4-335(f) of the California Administrative Code. DSA Glulam Special Inspectors shall have a thorough knowledge of the building materials associated with glulam and shall be able to read and interpret plans and specifications, and must meet other miscellaneous qualification data.

Glulam Special Inspectors are listed on the DSA Certified Glulam Special Inspector List. Glulam Special Inspectors are required to recertify (renew) every four years. Though an individual may be DSA certified, DSA approval is required for each specific project when glulam special inspectors are hired independently of a DSA certified testing laboratory by a school district.

Glulam Special Inspector exams are scheduled upon request.

A detailed description of the application process is as follows:

Step 1:

  • Applicants must be at least 25 years old.

Step 2:

Applicants shall submit all of the following to DSA as one package to apply to sit for a scheduled exam:

  • Completed DSA 177: Special Inspector Examination Application.
  • Evidence of at least 3 years of relevant experience in the manufacturing of structural wood products. Qualifying experience includes any one or more of the following:
    • Special Inspector of glued laminated products.
    • Auditor of glued laminating manufacture plants.
    • Quality control supervisor or production manager of a glued laminating plant.
    • Applicants may substitute up to 2 ½ years of the required 3 year experience as follows:
      • Quality control supervisor or production manager of laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL), structural glued lumber (SGL), or wood I-joist.
      • Similar engineered structural wood products.

Step 3:

Step 4:

  • Pay the application fee of $490.

Upon approval by DSA to sit for the exam, the applicant will receive a detailed admittance letter. The exam passing score is 70 percent. After passing the exam, DSA will post his/her name on the DSA Certified Glulam Special Inspector List.

The exam will be based on the reference material stated below. The exam is 60 questions, 1.5-hour time limit, and will be open-book format.

Exam References:

  • 2013 California Building Code, California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 1 (especially sections on special inspection, special inspectors, and the reporting requirements)
  • AITC 117-2004
  • AITC 200-2004
  • ANSI/AITC A190.1-2007

Exam Content:

  • Title 24 Administrative Requirements
  • Glulam Fabrication
  • Glulam Test & Inspection Procedures

All DSA certified Glulam Special Inspectors must renew their DSA certification every four years prior to expiring. To apply for certification renewal, follow the same steps outlined above with two exceptions: evidence of work history and resubmittal of the DSA 650 is not required.

Upon approval by DSA to sit for the exam, the applicant will receive a detailed admittance letter. Upon passing the exam, DSA will extend his/her certification for another four years on the DSA Certified Glulam Special Inspector List.

Form DSA 5-SI: Special Inspector Qualification and Approval (project specific)

Note: Glulam Inspectors employed by the Laboratory of Record (LOR) do not file this form.

Approval for a project is only required when the Glulam Special Inspector contracts individually and directly with the school board or design professional. Application for approval shall be made on form DSA 5-SI. The Glulam Special Inspector shall forward a copy of the completed, signed form to the responsible design professional in charge of the project for his/her signature and submission to DSA for approval. A Glulam Special Inspector is not considered approved until such time as his/her completed form bears the signature of the responsible DSA Field Engineer.

Individuals will be evaluated in accordance with the following criteria prior to approval:

  • Shall be listed on the DSA website as currently certified as a Glulam Special Inspector.
  • Shall have met the minimum experience requirements for similar project types.
  • Shall have been approved by the school district, design professional in responsible charge, structural engineer and DSA.

Contact DSA Inspector Programs

Inspector Programs

Headquarters Office
Division of the State Architect

1102 Q Street, Suite 5100
Sacramento, CA 95811


(916) 443-9932