BC expands licensure pathway for international doctors: Weekly regulatory news 
Doctors handshaking.
The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy. British Columbia expands licensure pathway for internationally educated doctors, Ohio amendment could change the future of social work, proposal to reduce cosmetology licensure hours in Virginia sparks backlash, and more in our weekly look at regulatory news.

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BC expanding program that offers international doctors a pathway to licensure

In a push to get more health care professionals working across the province, British Columbia is expanding a program to provide qualified internationally educated doctors with a pathway to licensure and creating a new associate physician class for those who do not meet requirements. Premier David Eby and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced that the province’s Practice-Ready Assessment (PRA) programs for internationally trained physicians – which involve exams and 12 weeks of supervised clinical field assessments – will triple from 32 to 96 seats by March 2024. B.C. is also creating a new associate physician class of restricted registration for international medical graduates who are not eligible for full or provisional licensure, which would allow them to care for patients in primary care settings under the direction and supervision of an attending physician. To further bolster the work force, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. will make bylaw changes to allow doctors trained in the U.S. for three years to practice medicine in community settings by January 2023, and Minister Dix said that they will also be streamlining the application process for internationally educated physicians to be in line with changes implemented for nurses. Read more from The Globe and Mail.

Bill could change the future of social work in Ohio

The Ohio legislature is considering an amendment to HB 509 that, if passed, could change the future of social work in the state. HB 509 allows some leeway for some professional licensing in the wake of the pandemic. Currently, HB 509 states that to be eligible to become licensed as an independent social worker, a person must hold a master’s degree in social work, complete at least two years of post-master’s degree social work supervised by an independent social worker, and pass an exam administered by the board. The amendment would change some of those requirements, allowing people with related degrees other than social work to become licensed social workers. Many social workers oppose the proposed change, saying it’s not in the public interest and would erode the field’s professional standing and reputation. Because licensed social workers are able to diagnose and assess mental health disorders (under supervision) in Ohio, Danielle Smith from the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers pointed out that the change to eligibility requirements could result in people who have a background outside of mental health having licensure scope to be able to diagnose a mental health disorder. Read more about the amendment from WYTV News.

Proposal to reduce cosmetology licensure hours in Virginia sparks backlash

Cosmetologists and cosmetology students across Virginia are opposing a bill that would reduce the number of training hours required for a cosmetology license. Under Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration, state regulators are proposing to reduce the number of hours needed for a cosmetology license in Virginia from 1,500 to 1,000. The administration says the decrease will spur job growth in the cosmetology industry, which includes professions such as nail, lash and wax technicians, estheticians and hairstylists, and reduce financial burdens for students. But opponents say the move will lead to fewer people working in the industry, place excessive burdens on schools and students, and could endanger the public. Cosmetology students have expressed worries that 1,000 hours isn’t enough to give them the skills to confidently practice and that the cut could cause reductions to their financial aid. Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, which oversees licensing in Virginia for cosmetology and other industries, said that the new standard will be sufficiently protective. Read more in the Virginia Mercury.

NC State Board of Education takes major step toward new compensation and licensure model

On Dec. 1, the State Board of Education unanimously approved the “Blueprint for Action” that could pave the way to dramatically change how North Carolina teachers are compensated and licensed. The blueprint summarizes the work of the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC) and sets the stage for the state board and General Assembly to take actions needed to move the process along, including making changes to state law. While changes are likely years away, the board will first focus on establishing pilot pay and licensure programs across the state to demonstrate proof of concept to sway lawmakers who must approve funding for changes, which would result in higher pay for teachers. But despite the promise of better pay and more support, the licensure and pay proposal hasn’t won over teachers, who worry that the new system will place too much emphasis on students’ standardized test scores. They argue that a better strategy to recruit and retain teachers — a stated goal of the new proposal — is to pay them a fair wage. Read more from The Pulse.

Indiana launches licensing assistance program for English learner teachers

The Indiana Department of Education announced a partnership with the University of Indianapolis’ Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) to strengthen Indiana’s English learner-teacher pipeline by helping fund coursework leading to licensure. The new partnership, called the Indiana Teachers of English Learners Licensure (I-TELL), will fund tuition, books, and material fees for current educators and bachelor’s degree holders to complete coursework leading to English as a New Language (ENL) licensure. The initiative will help current educators licensed in other content areas who want to serve Indiana’s more than 77,500 English learner students as well as provide financial support to those who want to transition into a new career in teaching. Learn more about I-TELL on WBIW.com.

More news:

  • The city of Scottsdale, Arizona voted to require licensing for homes that will be used for short-term and vacation rentals, such as an Airbnb. Scottsdale’s licensing portal opened Nov. 28, 2022 and owners of existing short-term/vacation rental properties must obtain licenses by Jan. 8, 2023, at an annual cost of $250 per property.
  • The Manitoba government is reintroducing a bill that would amend the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act to streamline the framework for liquor service licenses. If passed, the amendments would reduce the number of license categories, allowing for new business models and providing hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality-based businesses more opportunities to innovate.

Also noteworthy:

Interesting opinion, commentary, and analysis from the web:

Disclaimer: The thoughts, opinions, and commentary of the articles we share links to in Week in Brief do not reflect those of Ascend Magazine or Thentia.

Got a news tip? Write us at editor@ascend.thentia.com

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The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy.
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Ariel Visconti
Written byAriel Visconti
Ariel Visconti researches and writes on government and politics, regulation, occupational licensing, and emerging technologies.

IN BRIEF

Health Care Regulation
Ohio lawmakers consider bill to localize licensure appeals: Weekly regulatory news 

The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy.
Ohio lawmakers consider bill to localize state agency licensure appeals, Canadian Medical Association welcomes new rules enabling health worker mobility in Ontario, and more in this week’s look at regulatory news.

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