Interprofessional Workgroup on Health Professions Regulation Issues Recommendations

The Interprofessional Workgroup on Health Professions Regulation, a coalition of 17 organizations representing 4 million health care practitioners in 16 health care professions, has developed formal recommendations for increasing regulatory effectiveness.

Prepared as a response to the recommendations issued last year by the Taskforce on Health Care Workforce Regulation of the Pew Health Professions Commission, the coalition's recommendations fall into three areas:

Serving the Public Interest

Regulatory boards should be made up of a majority of practitioners of the profession being regulated and a substantial minority of consumers of the services being provided by the regulated profession.

States should establish mechanisms or systems to fund, and work to continually improve, board member selection, training, and support processes to ensure their effectiveness.

Boards should raise public awareness of the availability of regulatory information and develop consumer-friendly procedures by which such data may be obtained.

State boards/agencies, state legislators and private funders should support the existence of, participation in, and access to data banks.

Overlapping Scopes of Practice

Dialogue between and among boards of closely-related health professions should be increased through such mechanisms as liaison relationships and state-agency coordination meetings.

Boards should be encouraged to periodically evaluate all statutes to determine whether scope of practice definitions are justified by public protection needs.

Assessing Competence

Entry-level assessments, in keeping with sound principles of measurement and evaluation, should incorporate multiple situations in which an individual must demonstrate all of the various aspects of competence.

The assessment of continued competence requires in-depth study, particularly of the implications of changes due to scope of practice evolution and specialization.

The Workgroup encourages the "formation of voluntary state-level interprofessional workgroups that would mirror the structure" of the national group.The workgroup members have also offered themselves as a resource to "legislators, policy analysts and other parties with interest in improving the regulation of the health care workforce in this country." The full text of the group's Views on the Licensure and Regulation of Health Care Professionals is available through the web site of The National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.