Professional Certification Coalition Achieves Success in Missouri
The Professional Certification Coalition (PCC), in which APA is a participant, was successful before the Missouri legislature in protecting the interests of private-sector certification programs, such as APA’s Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) and Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC). Gov. Mike Parsons signed H.B. 2046, a comprehensive professional licensing/registration bill into law.
The new law contains an amendment recommended by the PCC clarifying that Missouri law does not intend to remove certification requirements from professional practice acts that require licensed professionals to earn and maintain certifications issued by private certification bodies. The PCC recommended the inclusion of a safe harbor provision to address the PCC’s concerns, and that safe harbor was included in the law. The presumptive enactment of this legislation protects requirements to obtain and maintain certification for certain professions and also should serve as a model for other states considering similar legislation.
In the course of the PCC’s Missouri advocacy efforts, participants asked for changes to, or an interpretation of, a current Missouri law that, read plainly, could restrict the ability of individuals to hold themselves out as a “registered” professional in a profession that confers such title in conjunction with a privately issued credential. This could have restricted payroll professionals from using FPC and CPP designations because these certifications are not government-based.
Although H.B. 2046 did not include language that would remove government recognition, the Missouri Division of Professional Registration stated in writing that it agrees with the PCC’s interpretation and advises individuals that “if you’ve received a title by a private certification organization, you may continue to use that title.”
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Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq., is Senior Manager of Government Relations for the APA.