An attempt to undermine the value and recognition of voluntary professional certifications has been swiftly defeated in Louisiana. BCSP and more than 40 certification organizations joined together to amend Louisiana HB748, the Occupational Licensing Review Act. By collectively engaging our certification holders across the state to make their concerns known to elected officials, the Louisiana Senate Commerce Committee agreed to several amendments, including the removal of a large majority of the Bill and all references to “certification” that would have negatively impacted individuals with a voluntary professional certification. The revised bill has been signed into law by the governor and becomes effective on August 1, 2018.
As originally introduced, HB748 would have, among other things, prohibited individuals holding voluntary professional certifications from using the term “certified” in a professional title. This would have inevitably limited the ability of certified safety and health professionals from communicating their value and threated the public’s interest in assurances of professional skill and competence provided by certification standards.
The Bill now reads:
“Pursuant to the authority in this Chapter, the governor shall review on an annual basis not less than twenty percent of the agencies engaged in regulatory and licensing activities. Within five years, the governor shall have reviewed all such agencies. Pursuant to the provisions of this Section, the information obtained from annual reviews shall be made available to the public in a timely manner”
Senate Commerce Committee Members remarked they were largely motivated to amend the Bill due to the large volume of phone calls and emails they received from Louisiana certification holders with concerns about the Bill. We believe this is a positive outcome, and we are in a strong position to protect BCSP’s certifications against future threats.