ATP and Credentialing Community Coalition Put a Stop to

Potentially Damaging Legislation in Louisiana

The Association of Test Publishers, along with a coalition of certifying organizations, were able to "take the teeth" out of an initiative moving through the Louisiana state legislature which would have been damaging to the Certification industry.  ATP General Counsel Alan Thiemann reported that Louisiana House Bill 748, as originally introduced, would have banned the use of the term "certification" by individuals, thereby having a negative impact on voluntary credentialing bodies.  He said that ICE, ATP, and several other certification groups quickly put together a coalition to in order to better educate the Louisiana legislature regarding the damaging effect that the initiative would have for individuals as well as for the certification industry.  As a result of the coalition's action, the Senate amended the bill to remove all problematic references to limits on certification. "The bill which ultimately passed," Thiemann noted, "is no longer a threat to the industry." He added that a related bill, HB 378, was also amended to remove all references to the term “certification,” other than to say that “nothing shall be construed to restrict a licensing board from requiring, as a condition of licensure or renewal of licensure, obtaining/maintaining credentials from an organization that credentials individuals in the relevant occupation, field, or industry.”

As part of the coalition's letter writing campaign, ATP CEO William G. Harris, Ph.D. wrote to the Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection and International Affairs Committee, that HB 748 as passed by the House would have prohibited, or severely restricted, the use of voluntary certifications, thereby adversely impacting hundreds or perhaps thousands of Louisiana citizens who have obtained, and continue to seek, national voluntary certifications through programs in the United States (many of which are international in scope).  The initiative would have also effectively placed Louisiana "off-limits" to most voluntary certification organizations, except for those few certifications recognized by Louisiana’s licensing laws.

Dr. Harris praised the quick action taken by the coalition, which included ATP, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), and other members of the credentialing community, which resulted in the damaging language being removed from the bill prior to its passage. 

ATP has started working through the Certification/Licensure Division and the Workforce Skills Credentialing Division to prepare a position paper for use in other states that may be considering similar legislation.