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e-CFR data is current as of December 3, 2020

Title 29Subtitle APart 29 → Subpart B


Title 29: Labor
PART 29—LABOR STANDARDS FOR THE REGISTRATION OF APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS


Subpart B—Standards Recognition Entities of Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs


Contents
§29.20   Standards Recognition Entities, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs, Administrator, and Apprentices.
§29.21   Becoming a Standards Recognition Entity.
§29.22   Responsibilities and requirements of Standards Recognition Entities.
§29.23   Quality assurance.
§29.24   Publication of Standards Recognition Entities and Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs.
§29.25   Complaints against Standards Recognition Entities.
§29.26   Review of a Standards Recognition Entity.
§29.27   Suspension and derecognition of a Standards Recognition Entity.
§29.28   Derecognition's effect on Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs.
§29.29   Requests for administrative review.
§29.30   Scope of Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs Recognition by Standards Recognition Entities.
§29.31   Severability.

Source: 85 FR 14388, Mar. 11, 2020, unless otherwise noted.

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§29.20   Standards Recognition Entities, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs, Administrator, and Apprentices.

For the purpose of this subpart, which establishes a new apprenticeship pathway distinct from the registered apprenticeship programs described in subpart A:

(a) A Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) of Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) is an entity that is qualified to recognize apprenticeship programs as IRAPs under §29.21 and that has been recognized by the Department of Labor. The types of entities that can become SREs include:

(1) Trade, industry, and employer groups or associations;

(2) Corporations and other organized entities;

(3) Educational institutions, such as universities or community colleges;

(4) State and local government agencies or entities;

(5) Non-profit organizations;

(6) Unions;

(7) Joint labor-management organizations;

(8) Certification and accreditation bodies or entities for a profession or industry; or

(9) A consortium or partnership of entities such as those above.

(b) IRAPs are high-quality apprenticeship programs, wherein an individual obtains workplace-relevant knowledge and progressively advancing skills, that include a paid-work component and an educational or instructional component, and that result in an industry-recognized credential. An IRAP is developed or delivered by entities such as trade and industry groups, corporations, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, unions, and joint labor-management organizations. An IRAP is an apprenticeship program that has been recognized as a high-quality program by an SRE pursuant to §29.22(a)(4)(i) through (x).

(c) The Administrator is the Administrator of the Department of Labor's Office of Apprenticeship, or any person specifically designated by the Administrator.

(d) An apprentice is an individual training in an IRAP under an apprenticeship agreement.

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§29.21   Becoming a Standards Recognition Entity.

(a) To apply to be recognized as an SRE, an entity (or consortium or partnership of entities) must complete and submit an application to the Administrator for recognition as an IRAP SRE. Such application must be in a form prescribed by the Administrator, which will require the applicant's written attestation that the information and documentation provided is true and correct. This application must include all policies and procedures required by this subpart or addressing requirements in this subpart, which will be reviewed by the Administrator when making a recognition determination.

(b) An entity is qualified to be recognized as an SRE if it demonstrates:

(1) It has the expertise to set competency-based standards, through a consensus-based process involving industry experts, for the requisite training, structure, and curricula for apprenticeship programs in the industry(ies) or occupational area(s) in which it seeks to be an SRE.

(i) The requirements in paragraph (b)(1) of this section may be met through an SRE's past or current standard-setting activities and need only engender new activity if necessary to comply with this rule.

(ii) [Reserved]

(2) It has the capacity and quality assurance processes and procedures sufficient to comply with §29.22(a)(4), given the scope of the IRAPs to be recognized.

(3) It has the resources to operate as an SRE for a 5-year period. As part of its application, an entity must report any bankruptcies from the past 5 years.

(4) Its disclosure of any confirmed or potential partner who will be engaged in the recognition activities and describes their roles, including relationships with subsidiaries or other related entities that could reasonably impact its impartiality.

(5) It is not suspended or debarred from conducting business with the U.S. Federal Government.

(6) It mitigates—via any specific policies, processes, procedures, or structures—any actual or potential conflicts of interest, including, but not limited to, conflicts that may arise from the entity recognizing its own apprenticeship program(s) and conflicts relating to the entity's provision of services to actual or prospective IRAPs.

(7) It has the appropriate knowledge and resources to recognize IRAPs in the industry(ies) or occupational areas in the intended geographical area, that may be nationwide or limited to a region, State, or local area.

(8) It meets any other applicable requirements of this subpart.

(c) The Administrator will recognize an entity as an SRE if it is qualified under paragraph (b) of this section.

(1) An SRE will be recognized for 5 years, and must reapply at least 6 months before the date that its current recognition is set to expire if it seeks re-recognition.

(i) To reapply to continue serving as an SRE, an entity must complete and submit an updated application to the Administrator for re-recognition as an IRAP SRE that is in a form prescribed by the Administrator.

(ii) To determine whether re-recognition should be granted, the Administrator will evaluate the information provided by the SRE in the updated application and the data provided pursuant to §29.22(h), to verify that the SRE's quality assurance processes and procedures were and continue to be sufficient to effect compliance with §29.22(a)(4).

(2) An SRE must notify the Administrator and must provide all related material information if:

(i) It makes any major change that could affect the operations of the program, such as involvement in lawsuits that materially affect the SRE, changes in legal status, or any other change that materially affects the SRE's ability to function in its recognition capacity; or

(ii) It seeks to recognize apprenticeship programs in additional industries, occupational areas, or geographical areas.

(3) An SRE must submit changes as described in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section to the Administrator for evaluation prior to the SRE implementing the changes. In light of the information received, the Administrator will evaluate whether the SRE remains qualified for recognition under paragraph (b) of this section, including its qualification to recognize programs in the new industries, occupational areas, or geographical areas identified under paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section.

(d) The requirements for denials of recognition are as follows:

(1) A denial of recognition must be in writing and must state the reason(s) for denial. The notice must tell the applicant what it needs to do differently before resubmitting its application.

(2) The notice must state that a request for administrative review may be made within 30 calendar days of receipt of the notice.

(3) The notice must explain that a request for administrative review must comply with the service requirements contained in 29 CFR part 18. The Administrator will refer any requests for administrative review to the Office of Administrative Law Judges to be addressed in accordance with §29.29.

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§29.22   Responsibilities and requirements of Standards Recognition Entities.

(a) An SRE must:

(1) Recognize or reject an apprenticeship program seeking recognition as an IRAP in a timely manner;

(2) Inform the Administrator within 30 calendar days when it has recognized, suspended, or derecognized an IRAP, and include the name and contact information of the program;

(3) Provide the Administrator any data or information the Administrator is expressly authorized to collect under this subpart; and

(4) Only recognize as IRAPs and maintain such recognition of apprenticeship programs that meet the following requirements:

(i) The program must train apprentices for employment in jobs that require specialized knowledge and experience and involve the performance of complex tasks.

(ii) The program has a written training plan, consistent with its SRE's requirements and standards as developed pursuant to the process set forth in §29.21(b)(1). The written training plan, which must be provided to an apprentice prior to beginning an IRAP, must detail the program's structured work experiences and appropriate related instruction, be designed so that apprentices demonstrate competency and earn credential(s), and provide apprentices progressively advancing industry-essential skills.

(iii) The program ensures that, where appropriate, apprentices receive credit for prior knowledge and experience relevant to the instruction of the program.

(iv) The program provides apprentices industry-recognized credential(s) during participation in or upon completion of the program.

(v) The program provides a working environment for apprentices that adheres to all applicable Federal, State, and local safety laws and regulations and complies with any additional safety requirements of its SRE.

(vi) The program provides apprentices structured mentorship opportunities throughout the duration of the apprenticeship that involve ongoing, focused supervision and training by experienced instructors and employees, to ensure apprentices have additional guidance on the progress of their training and their employability.

(vii) The program ensures apprentices are paid at least the applicable Federal, State, or local minimum wage. The program must provide a written notice to apprentices of what wages apprentices will receive and under what circumstances apprentices' wages will increase. The program's charging of costs or expenses to apprentices must comply with all applicable Federal, State, or local wage laws and regulations, including but not limited to the Fair Labor Standards Act and its regulations. This rule does not purport to alter or supersede an employer's obligations under any such laws and regulations.

(viii) The program affirms its adherence to all applicable Federal, State, and local laws pertaining to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

(ix) The program discloses to apprentices, before they agree to participate in the program, any costs or expenses that will be charged to them (such as costs related to tools or educational materials).

(x) The program maintains a written apprenticeship agreement for each apprentice that outlines the terms and conditions of the apprentice's employment and training. The apprenticeship agreement must be consistent with its SRE's requirements.

(b) An SRE must validate its IRAPs' compliance with paragraph (a)(4) of this section when it provides the Administrator with notice of recognition under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, and on an annual basis thereafter, and must at that time provide the Administrator a written attestation that its IRAPs meet the requirements of paragraph (a)(4) of this section and any other requirements of the SRE.

(c) An SRE must publicly disclose the credential(s) that apprentices will earn during their participation in or upon completion of an IRAP.

(d) An SRE must establish policies and procedures for recognizing, and validating compliance of, programs that ensure that SRE decisions are impartial, consistent, and based on objective and merit-based criteria; ensure that SRE decisions are confidential except as required or permitted by this subpart, or otherwise required by law; and are written in sufficient detail to reasonably achieve the foregoing criteria. An SRE must submit these policies and procedures to the Administrator with its application.

(e) An SRE's recognition of an IRAP may last no longer than 5 years. An SRE may not re-recognize an IRAP without the IRAP seeking re-recognition.

(f) An SRE must remain in an ongoing quality-control relationship with the IRAPs it has recognized. The specific means and nature of the relationship between the IRAP and SRE will be defined by the SRE, provided the relationship:

(1) Does in fact result in reasonable and effective quality control that includes, as appropriate, consideration of apprentices' credential attainment, program completion, retention rates, and earnings;

(2) Does not prevent the IRAP from receiving recognition from another SRE;

(3) Does not conflict with this subpart or violate any applicable Federal, State, or local law;

(4) Involves periodic compliance reviews by the SRE of its IRAP to ensure compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a)(4) of this section and the SRE's requirements; and

(5) Includes policies and procedures for the suspension or derecognition of an IRAP that fails to comply with the requirements of paragraph (a)(4) of this section and its SRE's requirements.

(g) Participating as an SRE under this subpart does not make the SRE a joint employer with entities that develop or deliver IRAPs.

(h) Each year, an SRE must report to the Administrator, in a format prescribed by the Administrator, and make publicly available the following information on each IRAP it recognizes:

(1) Up-to-date contact information for each IRAP;

(2) The total number of new and continuing apprentices annually training in each IRAP under an apprenticeship agreement;

(3) The total number of apprentices who successfully completed the IRAP annually;

(4) The annual completion rate for apprentices. Annual completion rate must be calculated by comparing the number of apprentices in a designated apprenticeship cohort who successfully completed the IRAP requirements and attained an industry-recognized credential with the number of apprentices in that cohort who initially began training in the IRAP;

(5) The median length of time for IRAP completion;

(6) The post-apprenticeship employment retention rate, calculated 6 and 12 months after program completion;

(7) The industry-recognized credentials attained by apprentices in an IRAP, and the annual number of such credentials attained;

(8) The annualized average earnings of an IRAP's former apprentices, calculated over the 6 month period after IRAP completion;

(9) Training cost per apprentice; and

(10) Basic demographic information on participants.

(i) An SRE must have policies and procedures that require IRAPs' adherence to applicable Federal, State, and local laws pertaining to EEO, and must facilitate such adherence through the SRE's policies and procedures regarding potential harassment, intimidation, and retaliation (such as the provision of anti-harassment training, and a process for handling EEO and harassment complaints from apprentices); must have policies and procedures that reflect comprehensive outreach strategies to reach diverse populations that may participate in IRAPs; and must assign responsibility to an individual to assist IRAPs with matters relating to this paragraph.

(j) An SRE must have policies and procedures for addressing complaints filed by apprentices, prospective apprentices, an apprentice's authorized representative, a personnel certification body, or an employer against each IRAP the SRE recognizes. An SRE must make publicly available the aggregated number of complaints pertaining to each IRAP in a format and frequency prescribed by the Administrator.

(k) An SRE must notify the public about the right of an apprentice, a prospective apprentice, the apprentice's authorized representative, a personnel certification body, or an employer, to file a complaint with the SRE against an IRAP the complainant is associated with, and the requirements for filing a complaint.

(l) An SRE must notify the public about the right to file a complaint against it with the Administrator as set forth in §29.25.

(m) If an SRE has received notice of derecognition pursuant to §29.27(c)(1)(ii) or (c)(3), the SRE must inform each IRAP it has recognized and the public of its derecognition.

(n) An SRE must publicly disclose any fees it charges to IRAPs.

(o) An SRE must ensure that records regarding each IRAP recognized, including whether the IRAP has met all applicable requirements of this subpart, are maintained for a minimum of 5 years.

(p) An SRE must follow any policy or procedure submitted to the Administrator or otherwise required by this subpart, and an SRE must notify the Administrator when it makes significant changes to its policies or procedures.

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§29.23   Quality assurance.

(a) The Administrator may request and review materials from SREs, and may conduct periodic compliance assistance reviews of SREs to ascertain their conformity with the requirements of this subpart.

(b) SREs must provide requested materials to the Administrator, consistent with §29.22(a)(3).

(c) The information that is described in this subpart may be utilized by the Administrator to discharge the recognition, review, suspension, and derecognition duties outlined in §§29.21(c)(1), 29.26, and 29.27.

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§29.24   Publication of Standards Recognition Entities and Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs.

The Administrator will make publicly available a list of recognized, suspended, and derecognized SREs and IRAPs.

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§29.25   Complaints against Standards Recognition Entities.

(a) A complaint arising from an SRE's compliance with this subpart may be submitted by an apprentice, the apprentice's authorized representative, a personnel certification body, an employer, or an IRAP to the Administrator for review.

(b) The complaint must be in writing and must be submitted within 180 calendar days from the complainant's actual or constructive knowledge of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint. It must set forth the specific matter(s) complained of, together with relevant facts and circumstances.

(c) Complaints under this section are addressed exclusively through the review process outlined in §29.26.

(d) Nothing in this section precludes a complainant from pursuing any remedy authorized under Federal, State, or local law.

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§29.26   Review of a Standards Recognition Entity.

(a) The Administrator may initiate review of an SRE if it receives information indicating that:

(1) The SRE is not in substantial compliance with this subpart; or

(2) The SRE is no longer capable of continuing as an SRE.

(b) As part of the review, the Administrator must provide the SRE written notice of the review and an opportunity to provide information for the review. Such notice must include a statement of the basis for review, including potential areas in which the SRE is not in substantial compliance or why the SRE may no longer be capable of continuing as an SRE and a detailed description of the information supporting review under paragraphs (a)(1) or (2) of this section, or both.

(c) Upon conclusion of the Administrator's review, the Administrator will give written notice to the SRE of its decision to either take no action against the SRE, or to suspend the SRE as provided under §29.27.

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§29.27   Suspension and derecognition of a Standards Recognition Entity.

The Administrator may suspend an SRE for 45 calendar days based on the Administrator's review and determination that any of the situations described in §29.26(a)(1) or (2) exist.

(a) The Administrator must provide notice in writing and state that a request for administrative review may be made within 45 calendar days of receipt of the notice.

(b) The notice must set forth an explanation of the Administrator's decision, including identified areas in which the SRE is not in substantial compliance or an explanation why the SRE is no longer capable of continuing as an SRE, or both, and necessary remedial actions, and must explain that the Administrator will derecognize the SRE in 45 calendar days unless remedial action is taken or a request for administrative review is made.

(c) If, within the 45-day period, the SRE:

(1) Specifies its proposed remedial actions and commits itself to remedying the identified areas in which the SRE is not in substantial compliance or the circumstances that render is no longer capable of continuing as an SRE, or both, the Administrator will extend the 45-day period to allow a reasonable time for the SRE to implement remedial actions.

(i) If the Administrator subsequently determines that the SRE has remedied the identified areas in which the SRE is not in substantial compliance or the circumstances that render is no longer capable of continuing as an SRE, or both, the Administrator must notify the SRE, and the suspension will end.

(ii) If the Administrator subsequently determines that the SRE has not remedied the identified areas in which the SRE is not in substantial compliance or the circumstances that render is no longer capable of continuing as an SRE, or both, after the close of the 45-day period and any extensions previously allowed by the Administrator, the Administrator will derecognize the SRE and must notify the SRE in writing and specify the reasons for its determination. The Administrator must state that a request for administrative review may be made within 45 calendar days of receipt of the notice.

(2) Makes a request for administrative review, then the Administrator will refer the matter to the Office of Administrative Law Judges to be addressed in accordance with §29.29.

(3) Does not act under paragraph (c)(1) or (2) of this section, the Administrator will derecognize the SRE.

(d) During the suspension:

(1) The SRE is barred from recognizing new programs.

(2) The Administrator will publish the SRE's suspension on the public list described in §29.24.

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§29.28   Derecognition's effect on Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs.

(a) Following its SRE's derecognition, an IRAP will maintain its status until 1 year after the Administrator's decision derecognizing the IRAP's SRE becomes final, including any appeals. At the end of 1 year, the IRAP will lose its status unless it is already recognized by another SRE recognized under this subpart.

(b) Upon derecognizing an SRE, the Administrator will update the public list described in §29.24 to reflect the derecognition, and the Administrator will notify the SRE's IRAP(s) of the derecognition.

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§29.29   Requests for administrative review.

(a) Within 30 calendar days of the filing of a request for administrative review, the Administrator must prepare an administrative record for submission to the Administrative Law Judge designated by the Chief Administrative Law Judge.

(b) The procedures contained in 29 CFR part 18 will apply to the disposition of the request for review except that:

(1) The Administrative Law Judge will receive, and make part of the record, documentary evidence offered by any party and accepted at the hearing. Copies thereof will be made available by the party submitting the documentary evidence to any party to the hearing upon request.

(2) Technical rules of evidence will not apply to hearings conducted under this subpart, but rules or principles designed to assure production of the most credible evidence available and to subject testimony to test by cross-examination will be applied, where reasonably necessary, by the Administrative Law Judge conducting the hearing. The Administrative Law Judge may exclude irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence.

(c) The Administrative Law Judge should submit proposed findings, a recommended decision, and a certified record of the proceedings to the Administrative Review Board, SRE, and Administrator within 90 calendar days after the close of the record.

(d) Within 20 calendar days of the receipt of the recommended decision, any party may file exceptions. Any party may file a response to the exceptions filed by another party within 10 calendar days of receipt of the exceptions. All exceptions and responses must be filed with the Administrative Review Board with copies served on all parties and amici curiae.

(e) After the close of the period for filing exceptions and responses, the Administrative Review Board may issue a briefing schedule or may decide the matter on the record before it. The Administrative Review Board must issue a decision in any case it accepts for review within 180 calendar days of the close of the record. If a decision is not so issued, the Administrative Law Judge's decision constitutes final agency action.

(f) The Administrator's decision must be upheld unless the decision is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law.

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§29.30   Scope of Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs Recognition by Standards Recognition Entities.

(a) The Administrator will not recognize as SREs entities that intend to recognize as IRAPs programs that seek to train apprentices to perform construction activities, consisting of: The erecting of buildings and other structures (including additions); heavy construction other than buildings; and alterations, reconstruction, installation, and maintenance and repairs.

(b) SREs that obtain recognition from the Administrator are prohibited from recognizing as IRAPs programs that seek to train apprentices to perform construction activities, consisting of: The erecting of buildings and other structures (including additions); heavy construction other than buildings; and alterations, reconstruction, installation, and maintenance and repairs.

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§29.31   Severability.

Should a court of competent jurisdiction hold any provision(s) of this subpart to be invalid, such action will not affect any other provision of this subpart.

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