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18 Essential Questions to ask when considering licensure

Page history last edited by Regina Claypool-Frey 11 years, 8 months ago


DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is presented on an "as is" basis, and does not claim to present definitive information, make recommendation or to represent any official policy or opinion of any official body or organization, such as the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Users of this site are urged to consult relevant organizations directly, to verify stated information, and agree that the owner of the site or authors of pages and articles are indemnified against legal liability





Has the public been harmed because the occupational group has not been regulated?

a.To what extent has the public's health, safety, or economic well-being been harmed?

b.Can the claims of proponents of regulations be documented?



Who are the users of services offered?

a. Are they members of the general public who lack knowledge necessary to evaluate qualifications of those offering services?

b. Are they institutions or qualified professionals who have the knowledge to evaluate credentials?



What is the extent of autonomy of practitioners?

a. Is there a high degree of independent judgment required of practitioners?

b. How much skill and experience are required in making these judgments?

c. Do practitioners customarily work on their own or under supervision?

d. If supervised, is supervisor covered by regulatory statute?



Has the occupational group established a code of ethics?

a.To what extent has it been accepted and enforced?




Has the occupational group established complaint-handling procedures for resolving disputes between practitioners and the public?




Has a nongovernmental certification program been established to assist the public in identifying qualified practitioners?




Could the use of applicable laws or existing standards solve problems? Please address:

a. Use of unfair and deceptive trade practices laws.

b. Use of civil laws, such as, injunctions, cease and desist orders.

c. Use of criminal laws, such as, prohibitions against cheating, false pretenses, deceptive advertising.

d. Use of existing standards, such as construction codes, product safety standards.




Would strengthening existing laws or standards deal with the problem?




Have alternatives to licensure been considered? Please address:

a. Use of an existing agency under legislative control.

b. Regulation of business employer rather than individual practitioners, e.g., licensing restaurants rather than cooks or wait persons.

c. Registration of practitioners coupled with minimum standards set by state agency.

d. Certification of practitioners, thereby restricting use of title to those who have demonstrated competence.



Why would be licensing be more effective?




How will regulation help the public identify practitioners?



How will regulation assure that practitioners are competent?

a. What standards are proposed for granting credentials?

b. Are all standards job-related?

c. How do these standards compare with those of other states?

d. If standards differ from those of other states, can the difference be justified?

e. Are there training and experience requirements?

--1.Are these requirements of equal duration when compared with other states?

--2.Does training include supervised field experience? Is so, is an additional experience requirement justified?

f.Are there restrictions on where or how experience may be acquired? Why?

g.Will alternative routes of entry be recognized?

--1.Will applicants who have not gone through prescribed training/experience be eligible for licensure or certification?

--2.Will licensure or certification in another state automatically allow an individual to be credentialed in this state?

h.Will applicants for licensure or certification be required to pass an examination?

--1.Does an examination already exist?

--2.Does it meet professional and legal testing standards?

--3. If no test exists, who will develop it and how will development costs be met?

i. Is there a "grandparent" clause in the licensing bill?

--1.Is it necessary?

--2.Will such practitioners be required to take a test at a later date? 



What assurances will the public have that the individuals credentialed by the state laws maintain their competencies?

a.Will license of certificate carry expiration dates?

b.Will renewal be based solely on payment of fees?

c.Will renewal require periodic examination, peer review, evidence of continuing education or other procedures for continued competence?




What grounds will there be for suspension or revocation of credentials?




Will regulation increase costs of goods and services to consumers?




Will regulation decrease availability of practitioners?




Who is sponsoring the regulatory program?

a. Are members of the public sponsoring the regulatory program?

b. What associations, organizations, or other groups in the state represent practitioners?

c. Approximately how many practitioners belong to each group?

d. Which of the above groups are actively involved in sponsoring regulatory programs?

e. Are other groups supporting the effort? In not, why?




Why is regulation being sought?

a. Is the occupational group claiming it is prevented from rendering services for which its members are qualified by "scope of practice" statement of another occupation?

b.Is the occupational group seeking licensure in order to gain reimbursement under federal-state programs or private insurers, e.g., Medicare or Blue Cross?

c. Is the public seeking greater accountability of the occupational group?





  1. Reference: "Occupational Licensing: Questions a Legislator Should Ask," (First Edition) The Council of State Governments, Lexington, KY, 1978 See Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation Publications for Second Edition

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