The Professional Certification Coalition was founded in July 2018 to address efforts to enact state legislation that would undermine the activities or recognition of certifications developed or offered by non-governmental, private certification organizations.
Recent occupational licensing reform legislation considered in various states has alerted private certification organizations to significant threats to their activities. These bills have included provisions that would:
- bar many professionals holding certifications from private organizations from using the titles “certified” or “registered”;
- create evidentiary presumptions and barriers to state professional licensure laws recognizing or requiring certifications from private organizations; and/or
- establish governmental certification programs that would supplant private certification programs, in some circumstances.
In many instances, these bills incorporate language from anti-occupational licensing or anti-certification model legislation sponsored or endorsed by special interest groups. Whether the harmful consequences of the legislation are intended or not by the bill sponsors, certification organizations can expect the introduction of similar legislation in the months to come.
The Institute for Credentialing Excellence and the American Society of Association Executives spearheaded the formation of this new coalition designed to stem and counteract further harmful legislative initiatives.
With support from a legal team at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, ICE and ASAE formed the Professional Certification Coalition to promote and represent non-governmental professional certification organizations and programs and their service providers. The PCC advances the best interests of those who use or rely on professional certification—such as employers, reimbursers and the general public—as well as of individual professionals themselves who achieve professional certification status. The PCC is a D.C. unincorporated nonprofit association whose members are non-governmental professional certification organizations, programs and service providers.
The PCC’s activities on behalf of members include development of research and white papers on the value of private professional certification programs and the effects of legislation affecting professional certification and occupational licensing; liaising with stakeholders supporting or opposing such legislation to educate them about the Coalition’s positions and to advocate for elimination of harmful language in proposed or model legislation; and ongoing monitoring and analysis of state legislative activity in this area. Coalition members have access to written resources, updates and strategy sessions. The Coalition will also engage in advocacy campaigns and provide members with resources and tools to advocate to legislators regarding pending legislation that affects professional certification.