Since February 2018, a number of states have considered legislation that could restrict how holders of SBE certifications, and hundreds of other non-governmental certifications, are able to use them. The intent has been to remove perceived employment barriers and is focused on state professional licensing laws. However, language affecting voluntary certifications offered by private organizations has been swept up into these bills.
The legislation varies by state. Some define certifications as solely created by the state, while others limit holders of certifications from using them to promote their business, or indicate their knowledge and experience to current or potential employees.
Legislation in Louisiana was successfully amended earlier this year, but a new law in Missouri went into effect earlier this summer that defines certification as only authorized by the state. Legislation is pending in Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.
The SBE has joined the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC), which was formed to challenge these legislative efforts. The coalition is led by the American Society of Association Executives and the Institute for Certification Excellence. It currently numbers more than 50 organizational members. The group is waging a campaign focused on educating state legislators and their staffs on how this legislation will negatively affect thousands of their constituents. Their aim is to modify the bills to remove any effect they have on certifications offered by private, non-profit associations and other certification granting organizations.
The SBE will be an active participant in this effort and may call on individual SBE members who hold SBE certifications to contact their state legislators. Watch for further updates in The Signal, SBE-news and SBE Legislative Updates and Alerts.