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.
Choosing the correct management software is a decision specific to the state or board’s needs. Case studies on three different software options show what online licensing software can accomplish based on the regulatory structure in the state.
Colorado uses a centralized digital licensing system for all professions within their Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). The DORA Division of Professions and Occupations recently signed a 10 year agreement with several Tyler Technologies options, including the ETK Regulatory solution. ETK Regulatory boasts the ability to automate the regulatory lifecycle and enable online self-service for licensees. This single, comprehensive, cloud-based system will give Colorado licensees and businesses across the state greater flexibility and control.
The Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services met their licensing and data needs by partnering with ImageTrend. ImageTrend offers services specifically for the health care and public service fields. Data analytics, services for emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, software solutions and license management are among the solutions ImageTrend offers. ImageTrend not only supports license management, but also allows for mobile data-collection and documentation so medical providers can use technology – such as tablets – to record information.
The North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects (NCBOLA) announced the opening of its new online licensure portal in May 2021. NCBOLA partnered with Certemy in 2020 to enable an online portal for its license management needs. The goal of the online system is to eliminate paper, lower costs, track continuing education and streamline the licensing process. In referencing why NCBOLA decided to partner with Certemy, Barbara Geiger, Board Administrator of NCBOLA, said, “We needed to go paperless, eliminate duplicate data entry, and automate all our manual workflows in a central system of record that our staff and professionals could access from work or home.”
License Management Software
States that transition to online application and renewal services are receiving benefits for boards and licensees. Benefits include ease of access and time and paper saved. An added benefit is that with license management online, boards have an easier time adapting to work-from-home requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. The table above includes many license management software options states are using to meet their online management needs.
This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by The Council of State Governments.