On Monday, Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced that his office would began working a much overdue plan to streamline professional licensing procedures in Georgia, which he hopes will cut application wait times to a week and better serve the 460,000 professional license holders in the state:
Secretary Kemp stated, “One of the most consistent issues I hear from qualified applicants for professional licenses concerns the amount of time it takes to receive approval so they can enter the workforce. This streamlined process does not change the application and renewal submission process, but removes unnecessary layers of government bureaucracy and red tape so Georgians can start work sooner and grow our economy. I also hear complaints from those already licensed about the lack of enforcement to protect the public and to stop those who are unlicensed from competing with those who are.”
The first component of the streamlined PLB operations plan is the creation of the Georgia Board of Licensing and Regulation (GBLR). The GBLR will be a seven member body whose members are appointed by the governor, and will be composed of consumer members only. The GBLR will conduct hearings to approve certain professional licenses, hear appeals of rulings made by the Director of Professional Licensing and review for approval rules recommended by the Professional Licensing Policy Boards (formerly known as the professional licensing boards).
The plan’s second component addresses conversion of the existing professional licensing boards to professional licensing policy boards (PLPBs).The PLPBs will be composed of licensees and professional association members, and will continue to be appointed by the governor. The PLPBs will recommend new rules or rule amendments and offer their professional and expert opinions to the GBLR. Additionally, this streamlined process will allow PLPB members to spend more time providing their professional and expert opinions to the Director of Professional Licensing and staff to aid with licensing and investigations.
Finally, the PLB streamlined operations plan complements Governor Nathan Deal’s recently launched Go Build Georgia campaign by helping the state’s next generation of skilled trade professionals obtain licensure sooner so they can start a job or start a business.
Secretary Kemp also explained the plan and its goals in a new YouTube video: