The National Occupational Licensing Meeting

The National Occupational Licensing Meeting marked the culmination of a four-year collaboration between The Council of State Governments (CSG) and National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). This collaboration, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, focused on improving state professional licensure policy. The meeting highlighted research and lessons CSG and NCSL learned from working with the states on this issue for the past four years. Click here for the full agenda and linked resources. 

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An Overview of Enacted Bills – Veteran Licensure 

Veterans, members of the military and their spouses face unique challenges to employment. Obtaining professional licenses can be a lengthy process that professionals must begin again each time they move to a new state. For veterans and members of the military, it can be difficult to apply military experience and education toward requirements for civilian occupations. States are aware of these challenges and many are taking steps to eliminate barriers for veterans and military families.  

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Third-Party Verification of License Requirements

The paper stack in office as a symbol of bureaucracy and civil servants.

With the transition to online license application and renewal processes accelerated by the pandemic, states must consider how best to manage third-party verification in online licensing systems. Most states with such systems do not allow applicants to upload documents. Instead, documents must be provided by institutions of higher education or verified by a national association. In rare cases, applicants can upload a document signed by a school official as proof of completed education requirements.

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Apprenticeships: Apprentices with Disabilities

Worker serviceman operating industrial water purification filtration equipment in boiler room or treatment plant

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations were last updated in 2017 with the implementation of some revisions delayed until 2019. Some alterations apply to apprenticeship programs and update  EEO regulations that already protect individuals from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin and sex to include disability, age (40 or older), sexual orientation and genetic information.

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Professional Licensing Boards Partner with Software Companies to Manage Online Licensing Services

There is significant variation in the way states issue and manage occupational licenses. Beyond differences in education and training requirements to obtain a license, states also differ in how they process and issue licenses. While some states still use paper application processes, others have migrated to online centralized licensing systems for most or all occupations requiring a license. This provides applicants a place to access information about occupational license requirements as well as application and renewal instructions.

Some states host a website that includes license management while other states partner with a software company to host and manage the process. The Council of State Governments (CSG) has compiled a sample of management software used by states in implementing online occupational licensure management. See the table below to find links to licensing boards, the software options currently used and links to the online licensing portals.

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