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Boards and Commissions Under the Department of Consumer Affairs

Helps consumers learn how to protect themselves from unscrupulous and unqualified individuals

By Chris Micheli, August 7, 2020 6:35 am

DCA headquarters in Sacramento. (Photo: Wikipedia)

California’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is charged with “protecting California consumers by providing a safe and fair marketplace through oversight, enforcement, and licensure of professions.” DCA also “helps consumers learn how to protect themselves from unscrupulous and unqualified individuals.” And, DCA “protects professionals from unfair competition by unlicensed practitioners.”

The Department of Consumer Affairs is set forth in Division 1 of the Business and Professions Code, Sections 100 to 472.5. Section 100 establishes DCA in state government within the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. As part of the Department of Consumer Affairs, it is actually comprised of numerous boards and bureaus, pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 101, as follows:

All of these boards, bureaus and commissions within DCA are “established for the purpose of ensuring that those private businesses and professions deemed to engage in activities which have potential impact upon the public health, safety, and welfare are adequately regulated in order to protect the people of California.” This is pursuant to Section 101.6.

Section 101.7 requires each board to meet at least two times each calendar, once in northern California and once in southern California “in order to facilitate participation by the public and its licensees. These boards, bureaus and commission are required to establish minimum qualifications and levels of competency and license persons in these different occupations.

In addition, they are required to register or certify persons to ensure that they are meeting accepted professional standards. Most importantly, there are charged with addressing any grievances filed by consumers regarding alleged unprofessional conduct, incompetence, fraud, or unlawful activity. DCA can institute disciplinary action against those licensed or registered. And, DCA is charged with auditing and investigating licensees in order to ensure compliance with the law.

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