The plan will decrease the amount of time currently required to review renewals, new license applications, deficient applications and to conduct hearings so qualified Georgians can get to work or start a new business in a week, rather than months. Professional licensing and rule making will become more accountable and transparent for more than 460,000 license applicants, license holders and all Georgia consumers.
Secretary Kemp stated, “One of the most consistent issues I hear from qualified applicants for professional licenses concerns the amount of time it takes to receive approval so they can enter the workforce. This streamlined process does not change the application and renewal submission process, but removes unnecessary layers of government bureaucracy and red tape so Georgians can start work sooner and grow our economy. I also hear complaints from those already licensed about the lack of enforcement to protect the public and to stop those who are unlicensed from competing with those who are.”
For example, some license applicants and licensees seeking renewal may have obtained specialized education and training to start a new career, or additional education and training to advance in their current profession, only to endure bureaucratic delays of a month or more which impedes their ability to work.
Kemp added, “Some applicants become ensnared in red tape due to delays caused by review processes for new license applications, license renewals and determining sanctions. Review of deficient applications and the hearing process to deliberate and issue sanctions are key components to upholding Georgia law and ensuring consumer safety. However, the review and hearing process itself can present additional obstacles to maintaining a streamlined and efficient agency, putting Georgians to work quickly, allowing them to start their businesses as soon as possible and sometimes undermining consumer safety.”
The first component of the streamlined PLB operations plan is the creation of the Georgia Board of Licensing and Regulation (GBLR). The GBLR will be a seven member body whose members are appointed by the governor, and will be composed of consumer members only. The GBLR will conduct hearings to approve certain professional licenses, hear appeals of rulings made by the Director of Professional Licensing and review for approval rules recommended by the Professional Licensing Policy Boards (formerly known as the professional licensing boards).
The plan’s second component addresses conversion of the existing professional licensing boards to professional licensing policy boards (PLPBs).The PLPBs will be composed of licensees and professional association members, and will continue to be appointed by the governor. The PLPBs will recommend new rules or rule amendments and offer their professional and expert opinions to the GBLR. Additionally, this streamlined process will allow PLPB members to spend more time providing their professional and expert opinions to the Director of Professional Licensing and staff to aid with licensing and investigations.
Finally, the PLB streamlined operations plan complements Governor Nathan Deal’s recently launched Go Build Georgia campaign by helping the state’s next generation of skilled trade professionals obtain licensure sooner so they can start a job or start a business.
“We are excited about the positive changes taking place within the Professional Licensing Boards Division,” said Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, Tricia Pridemore. “Getting our skilled Georgian’s licensed and out on the job quickly is something that is very important to the Go Build Georgia initiative. We commend Secretary Kemp for working to solve this challenge.”
Please click here to view a detailed overview and message from Secretary Kemp about his plan to streamline the professional licensing procedures: http://www.sos.ga.gov/plb
The Secretary of State’s Professional Licensing Boards Division (PLB) provides administrative support services to 43 boards which issue 200types of licenses to approximately 460,000 Georgians and businesses. These administrative support services include processing new license applications and renewals; conducting inspections and investigations; and staffing a call center to assist professional license holders.
Brian Kemp has been Secretary of State since January, 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives.