Scoring Methodology

Building on our expressed policy of transparency, the DCRA Contractor Rating System uses objective data to assign a rating to licensed building professionals doing business in the District. 

Each building professional – e.g. contractor, home improvement contractor, architect or engineer, etc. is rated individually according to a specific area of responsibility or phase of a project. While the scoring takes into account a variety of factors, generally, building professionals are scored most heavily on the areas where they have the greatest impact on a project as shown below.

Projects are categorized, and professionals are scored in the following ways:

  • Plan Review: During plan review, architects, engineers and design professionals are scored on the quality of the building plans they submit to DCRA. This methodology is more complicated and divides the total number of plan reviews passed by the total number of plan reviews required per project. For example, if 5 reviews are required for a project to be approved and 3 are passed on the first round of review, then the score is 60%, equivalent to 3.5 stars. Two reviews for the project are outstanding. If on the 2nd round of reviews, 1 of the remaining 2 reviews is approved, the score percentage is now based on 4 approved reviews out of 7 total (5 in the first round and 2 in the second round) = 57%, equivalent to 3 stars. The last review necessary to get the project approved results in 5 approved reviews out of 8 total = 62.5% equivalent to 3.5 stars.

    When calculating sores for design professionals, timing out during the review cycles does not factor in as we know that the factors are often beyond a professional’s control, e.g. client financing, awaiting information from other building professionals, etc. Likewise, reviews by sister agencies or quasi-governmental entities, such as the Department of Energy & Environment, the Department of Transportation and DC Water respectively do not impact a professional’s score.
  • Inspections: For general and trade contractors, e.g. electricians, plumbers or mechanical contractors, scores are based on of the percentage of passed inspections during construction.
  • Percentages correlate with the following star ratings:
90-100 =5 stars
80-89 =4.5 stars
70-79 =4 stars
60-69 =3.5 stars
50-59 =3 stars
40-49 =2.5 stars
30-39 =2 stars
20-29 =1.5 stars
<19 =1 stars