Title 28
Labor and Labor Relations

Chapter 45
Apprenticeship Programs in Trade and Industry

R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-45-9

§ 28-45-9. Standards of apprenticeship programs.

An apprenticeship program, to be eligible for approval and registration with the department of labor and training, shall conform to regulations issued by the department of labor and training and 29 C.F.R. Part 29 and 29 C.F.R. Part 30 and shall conform to the following standards:

(1) The program is an organized, written plan embodying the terms and conditions of employment, training, and supervision of one or more apprentices in the apprenticeable occupation, as defined in this chapter and subscribed to by a sponsor who has undertaken to carry out the apprentice training program.

(2) The program standards contain the equal opportunity pledge prescribed in 29 C.F.R § 30.3(b) and, when applicable, an affirmative action plan in accordance with 29 C.F.R. § 30.4, a selection method authorized in 29 C.F.R § 30.5, or similar requirements expressed in a state plan for equal employment opportunity in apprenticeship adopted pursuant to 29 C.F.R. Part 30 and approved by the United States Department of Labor, and provisions concerning the following:

(i) The employment and training of the apprentice in a skilled occupation;

(ii) A term of apprenticeship not less than two thousand (2,000) hours of work experience, consistent with training requirements as established by industry practice, which for an individual apprentice may be measured either through the completion of the industry standard for on-the-job learning (at least two thousand (2,000) hours) (time-based approach), the attainment of competency (competency-based approach), or a blend of the time-based and competency-based approaches (hybrid approach):

(A) The time-based approach measures skill acquisition through the individual apprentice’s completion of at least two thousand (2,000) hours of on-the-job learning as described in a work process schedule;

(B) The competency-based approach measures skill acquisition through the individual apprentice’s successful demonstration of acquired skills and knowledge, as verified by the program sponsor. Programs utilizing this approach must still require apprentices to complete an on-the-job learning component of registered apprenticeship. The program standards must address how on-the-job learning will be integrated into the program, describe competencies, and identify an appropriate means of testing and evaluation for such competencies;

(C) The hybrid approach measures the individual apprentice’s skill acquisition through a combination of specified minimum number of hours of on-the-job learning and the successful demonstration of competency as described in a work process schedule; and

(D) The determination of the appropriate approach for the program standards is made by the program sponsor, subject to approval by the registration agency of the determination as appropriate to the apprenticeable occupation for which the program standards are registered;

(iii) An outline of the work processes in which the apprentice will receive supervised work experience and training on the job, and the allocation of the approximate time to be spent in each major process;

(iv) Provision for organized, related, and supplemental instruction in technical subjects related to the trade. A minimum of one hundred forty-four (144) hours for each year of apprenticeship is recommended. This instruction in technical subjects may be accomplished through media, such as classroom, occupational or industry courses, electronic media, or other instruction approved by the department of labor and training; every apprenticeship instructor must:

(A) Meet the Rhode Island department of elementary and secondary education requirements for a vocational-technical instructor, or be a subject matter expert, which is an individual, such as a journey worker, who is recognized within an industry as having expertise in a specific occupation; and

(B) Have training in teaching techniques and adult learning styles, which may occur before or after the apprenticeship instructor has started to provide the related technical instruction;

(v) A statement of the progressively increasing scale of wages to be paid the apprentice consistent with the skill acquired, the entry wage to be not less than the minimum wage prescribed by the federal and state labor standards act, where applicable, unless a higher wage is required by other applicable federal law, state law, respective regulations, or by collective bargaining agreement;

(vi) A provision for periodic review and evaluation of the apprentice’s progress in job performance and related instruction, and the maintenance of appropriate progress records;

(vii) The numeric ratio of apprentices to journeypersons consistent with proper supervision, training, safety, and continuity of employment, and applicable provisions in collective bargaining agreements, except where the ratios are expressly prohibited by the collective bargaining agreement. The ratio language shall be specific and clear as to application in terms of jobsite, work force, department, or plant;

(viii) A probationary period reasonable in relation to the full apprenticeship term, with full credit given for the period toward completion of apprenticeship; the probationary period shall not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the length of the program or one year, whichever is shorter;

(ix) Adequate and safe equipment and facilities for training and supervision, and safety training for apprentices on the job and in related instruction;

(x) The minimum qualifications required by a sponsor for persons entering the apprenticeship program, with an eligible starting age not less than sixteen (16) years;

(xi) The placement of an apprentice under a written apprenticeship agreement that conforms to the requirements of this chapter. The agreement shall directly, or by reference, incorporate the standards of the program as part of the agreement;

(xii) The granting of advanced standing or credit for demonstrated competency, previously acquired experience, training, or skills for all applicants equally, with commensurate wages for any progression step so granted;

(xiii) The transfer of an apprentice between apprenticeship programs and within an apprenticeship program must be based on agreement between the apprentice and the affected apprenticeship committees or program sponsors, and must comply with the following requirements:

(A) The transferring apprentice must be provided a transcript of related instruction and on-the-job learning by the committee or program sponsor;

(B) Transfer must be to the same occupation; and

(C) A new apprenticeship agreement must be executed when the transfer occurs between program sponsors;

(xiv) Assurance of qualified training personnel and adequate supervision on the job;

(xv) Recognition for successful completion of apprenticeship evidenced by an appropriate certificate issued by the department of labor and training;

(xvi) Program standards that utilize the competency-based or hybrid approach for progression through an apprenticeship and that choose to issue interim credentials must clearly identify the interim credentials; demonstrate how these credentials link to the components of the apprenticeable occupation; and establish the process for assessing an individual apprentice’s demonstration of competency associated with the particular interim credential; further, interim credentials must only be issued for recognized components of an apprenticeable occupation, thereby linking interim credentials specifically to the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with those components of the apprenticeable occupation;

(xvii) Identification of the department of labor and training as the registration agency;

(xviii) Provision for the registration, cancellation, and deregistration of the program, and requirement for the prompt submission of any modification or amendment to the department of labor and training for approval;

(xix) Provision for registration of apprenticeship agreements, modifications, and amendments; notice to the department of labor and training of persons who have successfully completed apprenticeship programs; and notice of transfers, cancellations, suspensions, and terminations of apprenticeship agreements and a statement of the reasons therefor;

(xx) Authority for the cancellation of an apprenticeship agreement during the probationary period by either party without stated cause. Cancellation during the probationary period will not have an adverse impact on the sponsor’s completion rate;

(xxi) Compliance with 29 C.F.R. Part 30, including the equal opportunity pledge prescribed in 29 C.F.R. § 30.3(b); an affirmative action plan complying with 29 C.F.R. § 30.4; and a method for the selection of apprentices authorized by 29 C.F.R § 30.5, or compliance with parallel requirements contained in a state plan for equal opportunity in apprenticeship adopted under 29 C.F.R. Part 30 and approved by the department. The apprenticeship standards must also include a statement that the program will be conducted, operated, and administered in conformity with applicable provisions of 29 C.F.R. Part 30, as amended, or if applicable, an approved state plan for equal opportunity in apprenticeship;

(xxii) Name and address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if applicable) of the appropriate authority under the program to receive, process, and make disposition of complaints;

(xxiii) Recording and maintenance of all records concerning apprenticeship as may be required by the office of apprenticeship or the department of labor and training and other applicable law.

History of Section.
P.L. 1967, ch. 133, § 1; P.L. 1979, ch. 75, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 164, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 179, § 1.