Occupational Licensure Compacts
Occupational licensure compacts represent the gold standard of policy options for states to improve licensure portability.
Through licensure compacts, states establish uniform standards to lower barriers to multi-state practice while preserving a state’s practice act and initial licensure process. Licensure compacts also enhance public protection through a data system that allows member states to efficiently communicate licensure data, including disciplinary actions against licenses.
Licensure compacts are developed through an extensive stakeholder informed and consensus-based process from the existing policies across states and respond to the unique characteristics and needs of a profession. States join interstate compacts by agreeing to the uniform provisions through the legislative process.
CSG has been a part of helping to drive change in state occupational licensure policy in recent years. Based on this experience, CSG believes interstate compacts provide the most effective means for achieving borderless practice for licensed practitioners and military spouses relieving the burdens of maintaining multiple state licenses.
CSG and Occupational Licensure Compacts
Since January 2016, 170 separate pieces of licensure compact legislation have been passed by the states. To date, 42 states and territories have enacted occupational licensure compacts for nurses, physicians, physical therapists, emergency medical technicians, psychologists, speech therapists/audiologists, occupational therapists, and counselors. The map below shows the widespread use of interstate compacts among professions who offer multistate practice to their practitioners. Although interstate compacts have been primarily utilized by healthcare professions, any profession may consider the development of an interstate compact for occupational licensing portability.
- Practitioners benefit from greater ability to practice geographically due to the opportunity to hold one multistate license valid for practice in all compact states, streamlined licensure requirements, reduced expenses associated with obtaining multiple single-state licenses and the creation of systems that enable electronic license application processes.
- State licensure boards benefit by maintaining control over the state practice act and licensure processes, a centralized database of disciplinary action records, authority to require submission to FBI fingerprint-based criminal background checks and from economies of scale due to reduced administrative costs.
- Consumers benefit from a more efficient distribution of services, increased availability of qualified practitioners and elevated safety standards.
Available Licensure Compacts
Currently, the CSG National Center for Interstate Compacts is managing and/or advising the drafting, development and implementation of numerous professional licensure interstate compact programs, including:
- Advance Practice Registered Nurse Compact
- Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact*
- Cosmetology Compact*
- Counseling Interstate Licensure Compact*
- Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact*
- Emergency Medical Services Compact
- Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
- Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact*
- Massage Therapy Compact*
- Nurse Licensure Compact
- Occupational Therapy Compact*
- Physical Therapy Compact
- Physician Assistant Licensure Compact (PA Compact)*
- Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact*
- Social Work Compact*
NCIC’s extensive experience has enabled development of a comprehensive and proven methodology for successfully working with states to develop and enact compacts. To learn more about the law and use of interstate compacts, click on the resources below.
Licensure Compacts in Development
*Compacts the CSG National Center for Interstate Compacts is currently providing development or administrative services.