Font Size Down Font Size Up Reset Font Size

Sign Up for Committee Updates

 

Submission For The Record of James Kendzel, MPH, SPHR, National Organization for Competency Assurance, Executive Director

The National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) appreciates the opportunity to submit testimony to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity regarding its hearing on the licensure and certification of transitioning veterans.  Often, a credential is the quickest and most efficient pathway to employment, transitioning into a new occupation, or advancing in one’s current occupation, hence NOCA is pleased that the Subcommittee is giving this issue its fullest attention.

NOCA’s Longstanding Commitment to Assisting America’s Veterans

NOCA has long been committed to reaching out to federal agencies and the veteran service organization (VSO) community to ensure that veterans have access to occupational certification opportunities that will allow their post-military careers to flourish. 

NOCA has been significantly involved in military transition issues for almost a decade.  In 2001, NOCA leaders were appointed[1] to serve on the Professional Certification Advisory Board (PCAB).  Established by Sec. 202(a) of Public Law 106-50, the PCAB’s statutory mission is to advise the Board of Directors of the National Veterans Business Development Corporation (NVBDC) in the creation of uniform guidelines and standards for the professional certification of members of the Armed Forces in order to aid in their efficient and orderly transition to civilian occupations and professions, and to remove potential barriers in the areas of licensure and certification.  NOCA also worked side by side with VSOs to secure start-up appropriations for the National Veterans Business Development Corporation.

The passage of the Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-419) in November 2000 expanded opportunities for veterans to use their Montgomery G.I. benefits to pay for professional certification tests.  NOCA strongly supported this legislation and assisted the U.S. Department of Labor in developing standards for organizations to achieve should they want their certification tests to be eligible for Montgomery G.I. reimbursement.  NOCA has enthusiastically promoted this program to its members to ensure that as many certification organizations as possible meet the requirements.

NOCA leaders were appointed[2] by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to serve on the Professional Certification and Advisory Committee (PCLAC) in 2001.  Established by Public Law 106-419, the purpose of the PCLAC was to advise the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on the requirements of organizations that offer licensing and certification tests to veterans using their Montgomery G.I. benefits as payment.  As decreed in the PCLAC’s enabling legislation, the PCLAC ceased operations in December 2006.

NOCA also supported Chairman Filner’s efforts to expand the use of education benefits under the Reserve Montgomery G.I. Bill for licensing or certification tests.  These enhanced benefits, enacted in 2006, permit members of the Selected Reserve to use up to $2,000 of Reserve Montgomery G.I. Bill educational assistance benefits for payment for licensing or certification tests.

NOCA sought to provide additional resources to military personnel and veterans by redesigning its web site.  A special section on NOCA’s web site is designed to provide information to veterans about what kinds of certifications exist in the private sector.  NOCA has encouraged other interested organizations to link to its web site.  The site may be reached at http://www.noca.org/Advocacy/MilitaryandVeterans/tabid/88/Default.aspx.

NOCA played an active role in the Task Force for Veterans Entrepreneurship, a coalition of VSOs and other interested parties which joined together a number of years ago to advocate for stronger entrepreneurial opportunities for veterans.  The Task Force is especially committed to advocating the needs of service-disabled veterans and the special challenges they face in returning to civilian life.

NOCA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of veterans have been recognized with a 2002 “Associations Advance America” award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The Associations Advance America Awards program recognizes associations that propel America forward, by recognizing innovative projects in education, skills training, standards-setting, business and social innovation, knowledge creation, citizenship, and community service.

NOCA also has plans to hold a 2008 educational event on Capitol Hill that will allow legislators and staff to learn more about occupational certification.  Representatives from the U.S. Army and Navy “Credentialing Opportunities Online” (COOL) programs have indicated they plan on partnering with NOCA for this important event. 

More Work Needs to Be Done

Many federal agencies are still not maximizing the use of the Internet as a tool to reach the widest audience possible. Some agencies, however, have made great strides toward providing comprehensive, easy-to-use, online certification resources.  The Department of the Army’s “Credentialing Opportunities Online” (COOL)[3] web site is an exceptional example of how the Internet can be used to reach out to service members and veterans.  NOCA provided assistance and expertise to the Army as the COOL web site was being developed. We continue to partner with the Army to share information and expertise so that Army personnel might benefit from COOL.  

The U.S. Navy has followed the Army’s lead with the creation of its own COOL website.[4]  The COOL web site provides an excellent model for other military branches interested in providing similar resources for their service personnel and veterans. 

NOCA has continued to offer its expertise to the Veterans Employment and Training (VETS) program at the U.S. Department of Labor to reach the widest audience possible about credentialing opportunities.  NOCA hopes that Congress continues to provide adequate levels of funding to VETS so that the agency has the necessary resources to carry out its important mission.  Of particular value would be an extensive effort to identify the full universe of certification programs that may offer additional transition opportunities for service members.  We have previously recommended the creation of a “one-stop” listing of all certification programs, highlighting the education and training requirements and the administrative procedures for applying for and taking test requirements.  The Department of Labor’s Career One-Stop website appears to be just such a resource.  In addition to providing up-to-date information about credentialing opportunities, the site contains information specific to military personnel transitioning to the private sector.[5]  NOCA commends the Department of Labor on the Career One-Stop project and hopes Congress will continue to fund this innovative tool. 

NOCA has previously recommended that the full resources of the certification community be brought to bear when attempting to create more professional opportunities for military veterans.  NOCA has attempted to reach out to all branches of the armed services and federal agencies to share information, ideas, and ingenuity.  We continue to encourage the military branches to reach out to NOCA to access our expertise in identifying new and existing certification skill-sets and in establishing pathways to certification for military personnel.  To leverage the time and resources devoted to the men and women in the armed services, their skills and training should have identified pathways to certification and licensure.

Previously, NOCA identified the need for uniform standards to be created for armed services certification programs to ensure that military personnel receive the highest quality certification with maximum transferability to the private sector.  We continue to feel that this is of the greatest importance. NOCA has developed standards[6] for certification that can be used as a starting point for the development of quality uniform standards for certification programs. Professionals in a wide variety of fields work hard to earn their credentials and rely on certification organizations to ensure that certifications are relevant to performance on the job.  Any effort to “dumb down” professional certification standards is a disservice to military veterans—as well as the public, whom certification program standards are designed to protect.

We note that legislation in previous years has been introduced to create other federal advisory boards purporting to advise the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and others about military transition.  We respectfully suggest that that the formation of additional advisory boards is no longer necessary, but there may be some use in reforming the Professional Certification and Licensure Advisory Committee.  Upon its sunset in December 2006, the PCLAC submitted its final report[7] to the Secretary as required by its enabling statute.  The final report contains a roadmap of recommendations for policymakers to follow to enhance additional transition activity. 

About the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA)

NOCA, the oldest and largest organization representing certification agencies, testing companies, and consulting firms and individuals involved in professional certification, was created in 1977 as the National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies (NCHCA) with federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services.  Its mission was to develop standards for quality certification in the allied health fields and to accredit organizations that met those standards.  With the growing use of certification in other fields, NCHCA’s leaders recognized that what is essential for credible certification of individuals in the healthcare sector is equally essential for other sectors.  With this vision, NCHCA evolved into the National Organization for Competency Assurance.  NOCA is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, committed to serving the public interest by ensuring adherence to standards that ensure the highest competence of certification programs. 

NOCA’s membership is composed of more than 600 organizations responsible for certifying specific skill sets and knowledge bases of professions and occupations at the national and international level.  Through certification, NOCA members represent more than 15 million individuals around the world and include certification programs of some 150 professions and occupations, including 60 healthcare professions. NOCA members certify individual skills in fields as diverse as construction, healthcare, automotive, and finance.  A current roster of NOCA members is included in the appendix.

NOCA’s mission is to promote excellence in competency assurance for individuals in all occupations and professions.  No other organization has the presence in or commits the resources to the field of certification.  NOCA is proud of its position as the international leader in competency assurance for certification programs, as well as its role in promoting excellence in competency assurance for practitioners in all occupations and professions. 

What is Certification?

The certification of professional and occupational skill-sets affirms a knowledge and experience base for practitioners in a particular field, their employers, and the public at large.  Certification represents a declaration of a particular individual’s professional competence.  In some professions certification is a requirement for employment or practice.  Doctors, mechanics, accountants, surveyors, and many others establish their credentials and capabilities through certification.  In all instances, certification enhances the employability and career advancement of the individual practitioner or employee.

The benefits of credentialing include:

  • Consumer confidence and safety through verification of competence.
  • Protecting the general public from incompetent and unfit practitioners.
  • Establishment of professional standards for individuals in a particular field.
  • Assisting consumers in making informed decisions about qualified providers.
  • Assisting employers in making more informed hiring decisions.
  • A more productive and highly trained workforce for employers.

A number of occupational certifications have been deemed so rigorous by state regulatory bodies that passage of the certification examination itself is often used as the basis of licensure.  Certification is distinct from licensure in that it is voluntary and requires recertification to maintain the credential.  Recertification frequently requires continual education or periodic testing.  Recertification provides a reaffirmation of competency assurance by ensuring that the certificant is up-to-date with the latest training techniques, research, and methods for a particular field.

Accreditation of National Voluntary Credentialing Programs

The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is the accreditation arm of NOCA.  Accreditation provides a mechanism for certification organizations to demonstrate to the profession it represents and the general public it serves that its credentialing program has been reviewed by a panel of impartial experts that have determined that the certification program has met the stringent standards of NCCA.  NCCA accreditation provides certification programs and many NOCA members with a way to answer the question, "who vetted your certification program?"—a question often posed by members of an occupation, employers, customers, and, sometimes, the courts.

Conclusion

Improving the prospects for employment of service members when they leave the military will go a long way toward meeting recruiting goals, improving military morale, enhancing the quality of our civilian workforce, and keeping our economy competitive.  These men and women of the armed services deserve access to the resources that will help transition the training they received in military service into marketable skill-sets in their post-military careers.  NOCA stands at the ready to assist in this mission.

Respectfully Submitted,

James Kendzel, MPH, SPHR
Executive Director, National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA)


[1] See NOCA Appointed to Professional Certification Advisory Board, NOCA press release (2001).  Available at http://www.noca.org/portals/0/pcab.doc.

[2] See NOCA Past President Appointed to Veterans’ Advisory Committee, NOCA Press Release (2001). Available at http://www.noca.org/portals/0/pclac.doc.

[3] Available at https://www.cool.army.mil/.

[4] Available at https://www.cool.navy.mil/.

[5] Available at http://www.careeronestop.org/militarytransition/.

[6] See http://www.noca.org/NCCAAccreditation/Standards/tabid/93/Default.aspx.

[7] The report is included in Appendix II of this testimony. 


APPENDIX I

NOCA Organizational Members
NOCA's Organizational Members consist of the following associations, certifying organizations, customer groups, and government agencies:
AACE International
Academy of Ambulatory Foot and Ankle Surgery
Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals
Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice
Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
Aerobics and Fitness Association of America
Alliance of Information and Referral Systems
American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
American Academy of Micropigmentation
American Academy of Pain Management
American Academy of Wound Management
American Association for Medical Transcription
American Association for Respiratory Care
American Association of Clinical Coders and Auditors
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Certification Corporation
American Association of Medical Assistants
American Association of Medical Audit Specialists
American Association of Physician Specialists
American Association of Poison Control Centers
American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics, Inc.
American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, Inc.
American Board for Occupational Health Nurses
American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion
American Board of General Dentistry
American Board of Industrial Hygiene
American Board of Lower Extremity Surgery
American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry
American Board of Nursing Specialties
American Board of Opticianry
American Board of Pain Medicine
American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists, Inc.
American Board of Surgical Assistants
American Board of Transplant Coordinators
American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
American Certification Agency for Healthcare Professionals
American Chiropractic Board of Radiology
American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians
American Chiropractic Neurology Board
American Chiropractic Registry of Radiologic Technologists
American Clinical Board of Nutrition
American College of Sports Medicine
American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
American Construction Inspectors Association
American Council on Exercise
American Fitness Professionals and Associates
American Health Information Management Association
American Hospital Association Certification Center
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
American Indoor Air Quality Council
American Manual Medicine Association
American Medical Massage Association
American Medical Technologists
American Midwifery Certification Board
American Nurses Credentialing Center Commission on Certification
American Occupational Therapy Association
American Optometric Association Commission on Paraoptometric Certification
American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia
American Physical Therapy Association
American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
American Society for Clinical Pathology
American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians
American Society of Military Comptrollers
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
American Staffing Association
American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, Inc.
American Veterinary Medical Association
APICS - The Association for Operations Management
Aquatic Exercise Association, Inc.
Architectural Woodwork Institute
Art Therapy Credentials Board
ASIS International
Association for Death Education and Counseling
Association for Investment Management and Research
Association of Christian Alcohol and Drug Counselors
Association of Government Accountants
Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry
Association of Surgical Technologists, Inc.
Association of Water Technologies, Inc.
Axiom Resource Management, Inc.
Behavior Analyst Certification Board
Biofeedback Certification Institute of America
Board for Certification in Clinical Anaplastology
Board for Certification of Addiction Specialists
Board for Certification in Pedorthics
Board for Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification
Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals
Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing
Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics
Board of Certification of Medical Illustrators
Board of Certified Safety Professionals
Board of Environmental, Health & Safety Auditor Certifications
Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties
Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists
Breining Institute
California Association for Alcohol and Drug Educators
California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) and the California Certification Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CCBADC)
California Association of Drinking Driver Treatment Programs
California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants
California-Nevada Section, American Water Works Association
California Water Environment Association
Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators
Canadian Board for Respiratory Care, Inc.
Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board
Canadian Council of Professional Engineers
Canadian Nurses Association
Center for Credentialing and Education
Certification Board for Music Therapists
Certification Board for Radiology Practitioner Assistants
Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution
Certification Board for Infection Control and Epidemiology
Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.
Certified Fund Raising Executive International
Certified General Accountants Association of Canada
Certified Mine Safety Professional Certification Board
Certifying Board for Dietary Managers
Chartered Realty Investor Society
College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta
College of Massage Therapists of Ontario
College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario
College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario
College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
College of Pharmacists of British Columbia
College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario
Commission for Case Manager Certification
Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy
Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association
Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification
Competency and Credentialing Institute
Convergys
The Cooper Institute
Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards
Council on Certification of Health, Environmental, and Safety Technologists
Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists
Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation
Council on Professional Standards for Kinesiotherapy
Crane Operator Certification Authority
CFA Institute
CSI Global Education
Dental Assisting National Board
Department of Environment and Labor Province of Nova Scotia
Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP-ESTA)
Esthetic Skin Institute
Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors
Financial Planning Standards Board
Financial Planners Standards Council
Financial Planning Association of Australia
Florida Certification Board
Fundação Luis Eduardo Magalhães
Hand Therapy Certification Commission, Inc.
The Healing Oasis Wellness Center
Healthcare Compliance Certification Board
Healthcare Financial Management Association
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
Healthcare Quality Certification Board
Human Resource Certification Institute
Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation
Infocomm International
International Medical University of Natural Education (IMUNE)
Indian Alcoholism Commission of California
Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation
Institute for Safety and Health Management
Institute of Certified Construction Financial Professionals
Institute of Certified Management Accountants
Institute of Hazardous Materials Management
Institute for Supply Management
International Accounts Payable Professionals, Inc.
International Air Filtration Certifiers Association
International Alliance for Fitness Professionals
International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy
International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Association
International Association of Forensic Nurses
International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management
International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners
International Code Council
International Executive Housekeepers Association, Inc.
International Fitness Association
International Lactation Consultant Association
International Pilates Certification
International Society for Clinical Densitometry
International Society of Arboriculture
International Society for Performance Improvement
Irrigation Association
ISA, The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society
Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology
Kassian Dyck & Associates
Knowledge Assessment Calculator (formerly American Payroll Association)
Lamaze International
Liaison Council on Certification for the Surgical Technologist
Marketing Research Association
Medical Massage National Certification Board
Michigan Institute for Health Enhancement
NAA Education Institute
NAADAC - The Association for Addiction Professionals
National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Alliance Wound Care
National Assistant at Surgery Council
National Association of Medical Staff Services
National Association for Health Professionals
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts
National Association of College Stores
National Association of Federal Credit Unions
National Association of Forensic Counselors
National Association of Legal Assistants
National Association of Mortgage Brokers
National Association of Social Workers
National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies
National Asthma Educator Certification Board, Inc.
National Athletic Trainer's Association Board of Certification
National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences
National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses
National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Technologists
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
National Board for Certification of Orthopedic Physician Assistants
National Board for Certified Counselors
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
National Board for Respiratory Care
National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers, Inc.
National Board of Chiropractic Examiners
National Board of Examiners in Optometry
National Board of Nutrition Support
National Board of Orthodontics, U.S.
National Board of Surgical Specialists
National Business Aviation Association
National Center for Competency Testing
National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators
National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work
National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties
The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing
National Commission for Certification of Continuing Medical Education Professionals
National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators
National Concrete Masonry Association
National Contact Lens Examiners
National Council for Interior Design Qualification
National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, Inc.
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying
National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.
National Council on Strength and Fitness
National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel
National Dental Hygiene Certification Board
National Enrichment Teachers Association
National Examining Board of Ocularists
National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)
National Federation of Professional Trainers
National Fitness Professionals Association
National Ground Water Association
National Healthcareer Association
National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies
National Institute for Metalworking Skills
National Kitchen and Bath Association
National League for Nursing
National Occupational Competency Testing Institute
National Paramedical for Technician and Assistants
National Recreation and Parks Association
National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians
National Registry of Food Safety Professionals
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certification Commission
Natural Therapies Certification Board
Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission
North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners
North American Registry of Midwives
North Carolina Substance Abuse Practice Board
The Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board
Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation
Ontario College of Pharmacists
Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
Ophthalmic Photographers' Society, Inc. Board of Certification
Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
Petrofac Training International
Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada
Pharmacy Technician Certification Board
Pilates Method Alliance, Inc.
Professional Golfers' Association of America
Professional Healthcare Institute of America
Professional Landcare Network
Professional Photographers of America
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Certification Program
Radiology Coding Certification Board
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc.
Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America
Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute
School Nutrition Association
Society of Actuaries
Society of American Foresters
Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers
Society of Certified Senior Advisors
The Society of the Plastics Industry
Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers
Software Engineering Institute
Southern California Crane and Hoisting Certification Program
Transportation Professional Certification Board, Inc.
UCSD - Center for Criminality Addiction Research, Training, and Application (CCARTA)
Universal Public Purchasing Certification Council
U.S. Green Building Council
Veterinary Hospital Managers Association
The Wedding Planning Institute
Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Certification Board


APPENDIX II

Professional Certification and Licensure Advisory Committee
Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington, DC
 April 10, 2007

 

The Honorable R. James Nicholson
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue NW
Washington DC  20420

Dear Mr. Secretary,

The Professional Certification and Licensure Advisory Committee (PCLAC) met in Washington, DC, on October 26, 2006.  The meeting marked the final assembling of members as the PCLACs sunset occurred on December 31, 2006.  The following members attended the meeting:

Sandra L. Winborne, Ph.D., Chair Ms. Lisa Lutz
Mr. Michael Clark William G. Harris, Ph.D.
Mr. Wade B. Delk Ms. Donna H. Mooney, RN
Roy Swift, Ph.D. Ms. Carolyn Baker (Ex-Officio, DoD)

Department of Veterans Affairs Staff Present:

Mr. William Susling 
Mr. Salminio Garner

Guests Present:

Mr. Joseph Sharpe (American Legion)

Ms. Devon Siebert (HVAC)

Mr. Juan Lara (American Legion)  

Mr. Ron Horne (DoD)

Mr. Jim Kendzel (NOCA)

 

Giles Larrabee (Ret. Ed Service)

 

PCLAC members discussed the legacy of the committee and emphasized the importance of having their concerns for the Veterans Affairs’ certification and licensure programs under the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) be somehow incorporated into another advisory group’s domain for future discussions.  Perhaps the Education Advisory Committee is best suited for this.  PCLAC developed a list of six recommendations that we feel the Department of Veterans Affairs should consider for future directions on how professional certification and licensure is handled by the agency.  The recommendations are found on page three of this document.

PCLAC members attempted to address the magnitude of the changing workforce and how veterans need to understand those changes where professional certification and licensure may be necessary to obtain employment or maintain employment.  The Montgomery GI Bill’s long history of association with traditional education makes it reasonable to explore ways to expand veterans’ understanding of professional certification and licensure and the possibilities that it may enhance their career opportunities should they explore it. 

I personally want to thank you, Mr. Secretary and your staff in Education Services who provided many hours in meetings and follow-up to ensure that PCLAC remained on task and oriented toward the mission as stated under Public Law 106-419.  I also thank each member of PCLAC who are experts in professional certification and licensure and I sincerely hope that if the committee is resurrected that you would invite each member to return to a position. 

In closing, I appreciate my selection as chair of PCLAC and I am available for consultation on professional certification and licensure issues.  My contact information is 850.452.1111 Ext. 3213.

Respectfully,

Sandra L. Winborne, Ph.D.
Chair

Attachment (1) Final PCLAC Recommendations
Attachment (2) October 26, 2006 PCLAC Meeting Minutes


Attachment (1)

The Professional Certification and Licensure Advisory Committee (PCLAC)

Final Recommendations:

  1. Add a component of licensure and certification to quality assurance process.
  • This should be similar to the education process to fulfill VA’s oversight responsibility.
  1. Due to the increase of credentialing agencies and the decrease in the number of veterans utilizing the benefit, immediately improve current outreach activities.
  1. Improve
  2. Analyze
  3. Expand for new entitlements
  1. VA should strengthen partnerships with other federal agencies with credentialing organizations and their accrediting bodies, as well as other experts in the field of certification and licensure.  Maintaining and enhancing VA’s existing knowledge through this partnership can accomplish this.
  1. Reconstitute the Committee under the VA.
  1. Develop a policy to mandate that credentialing organizations perform a periodic review of licensure and certification programs to ensure and continue compliance with the DVA approval criteria.
  1. Recommend legislation that would expand the GI Bill benefit to include payment for tutorial assistance needed to pass licensing and certification exams.