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Should occupational licenses be easier to obtain in Wisconsin?

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2020 | Licensure |

In April of this year, several licensure-related bills failed to pass through Wisconsin legislation. The general intent of these bills was to streamline the licensure process and prevent unnecessary rejection or delays, thus potentially providing job opportunities for qualified professionals.

If you are a worker looking to move forward in your career, issues like criminal history—no matter the context—and out-of-state licenses may prevent you from doing so. What’s more, you may be simply held up by an elongated approval process and consequently unable to collect a paycheck.

The proposed bills which failed this to pass spring attempted to address such problems with the following solutions:

  • Optional investigations of applicants whose crimes were nonviolent and unrelated to the nature of the profession
  • A ten-day limit for board response when the department recommends the applicant’s approval
  • Providing provisional statuses to out-of-state residents who have yet to receive their Wisconsin occupational license

While the bills did not pass into law, the question remains: Is there harm in revisiting the system and making revisions that might provide more career opportunities?

There may yet be a need for a better process

According to a report on Wisconsin occupational licensing, there are 280 different licensing credentials. Registered nursing, just one of those 280 occupations, accounts for over 100,000 active licenses. Of course, no system is perfect; there may be no cure-all solution for administrative delays and unwarranted rejections. But many jobs vital to societal flourishing rely on the efficiency of board processes. It is possible that some adjustment is necessary.

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