DSA Announces New Project Certification Process for Community College and K-12 Projects

If you’re a design professional, project inspector, or public entity involved in the design or construction of K-12 or community college facilities then you’ll be interested in the following announcement from the California Division of the State Architect (“DSA”) regarding its new project certification process which took effect August 1, 2014.

Are You Ready?

Effective August 1, 2014, California’s Division of the State Architect (DSA) is implementing a new project certification process. Project certification will be achieved through the timely submission of required project documents. To emphasize the importance of the timely submission of documents, DSA reminds all design professionals, inspectors, laboratories, school districts, community colleges, governing boards, and staff that certification starts when construction begins.

The new certification process will include:

  • Elimination of the “90-day Closing Letter.”
  • Requiring certain documents to be submitted during the certification process rather than at the end: failure to submit required documents may result in a stop work order.
  • When a project becomes occupied, in use, or otherwise complete, DSA will review the project file.
  • If the project file is not complete, a deficiency list will be generated and sent to the district and the design professional in general responsible charge.
  • District and design professionals will have 60 days to address outstanding items on the deficiency list.
  • After 60 days, if the project cannot be certified, DSA will issue an updated deficiency list to the district, and the project will be classified as an uncertified project.
  • All uncertified projects are searchable by the public in DSA’s CertificationBox.
  • To certify an uncertified project, the project must be reopened.
  • Additional fees may be required to reopen projects.

Again, this process change commences August 1, 2014. Official procedural documents outlining the new process and forms will be posted to DSA’s webpage as they are made available. For more information, please visit www.dgs.ca.gov/DSA.

What This Means To You

The DSA has emphasized that under the new project certification process, project certification must now take place when construction begins.  The DSA has  issued PR 13-02 – Procedure: Project Certification Process – which describes the new project certification process.


If you have any questions concerning this Legal Alert, please contact the following from our office, or the attorney with whom you normally consult.

Garret Murai is a shareholder and construction attorney at Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard.  He is also the author of the construction law blog California Construction Law Blog, providing an informative yet wry look at construction law in California. He can be reached at (916) 321-4500 or gmurai@kmtg.com