CSG Announces Selected Professions in Partnership to Develop New Interstate Compacts for Occupational Licensure Portability

The Council of State Governments (CSG), in partnership with the Department of Defense, announced five professions selected to work with the CSG National Center for Interstate Compacts to develop model legislation to help military spouses and other practitioners gain professional license portability.

Through this cooperative agreement, the CSG National Center for Interstate Compacts will work with the Department of Defense to assist the professions of cosmetology and barbering, dentistry and dental hygiene, massage therapy, social work and K-12 teaching in developing interstate licensing compacts to address occupational licensure portability.

These professions were selected through a competitive proposals process.

“Congratulations to the selected professions. These compacts will allow mobile professionals to bring the licenses they earned and the essential services they provide to communities in different states,” said CSG Chief Public Policy Officer Elizabeth Whitehouse. “We are grateful the Department of Defense recognized the proven ability of the National Center for Interstate Compacts to develop viable occupational licensure compacts and look forward to providing states with opportunities to expand employment opportunities in licensed professions.”

Occupational licensure compacts create reciprocity between states while maintaining the quality and safety of services and protecting state sovereignty. Compacts result in a more efficient distribution of licensed workers by supporting practitioner mobility, an issue that often greatly impacts military spouses who are frequently relocating. This partnership between CSG and the Department of Defense addresses the burden associated with relicensing by assisting professions interested in developing interstate licensing compacts but who’s professional organizations lack the necessary resources to engage in the process.

“Military spouses work hard to earn professional credentials and establish themselves in licensed occupations while also being willing to sacrifice their professional lives in support of their spouse so they can serve our country,” said Wisconsin state Sen. Joan Ballweg, who serves as the national chair for CSG. “Creating interstate compacts for these occupations will reduce regulatory burdens substantially and restore the career options they deserve. CSG and the Department of Defense chose worthy occupations, and I am encouraged by their progress on this vital project.”

In the coming months, CSG staff will convene representatives from selected professions, state regulators, subject-matter experts and other industry stakeholders to begin development of the interstate compacts. CSG and regulatory experts will identify obstacles the professions face and collaboratively develop and recommend solutions that will inform the drafting of model compact legislation.

This opportunity represents the first round of assistance CSG is making available to professions for interstate compact development. Interested professions are encouraged to remain in contact with CSG as more opportunities for assistance become available during 2021.


  1. I would like to be kept abreast of updates and information on this important topic.

  2. Will this new compact affect only military spouses? Or is this a larger effort to include all social workers, and encompass the ability to deliver telehealth services across state lines?

  3. Hi Judy. These compacts will benefit all practitioners. They will likely include specific provisions for military spouse portability but will facilitate multistate practice, including telehealth, for all licensed practitioners.

  4. As a spouse of a professional in the oil industry, we face the same issues as military spouses. Frequent relocations are the norm and create huge problems related to licensure portability.

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