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November 2017


Licensure protection has become an extensive legislative action issue again in 2017. The actions of the Nevada State Board of Landscape Architects is a learning experience for all licensed professionals of the built environment. Guest author Stanton W. Southwick, ASLA, PLA, alerts us to the ongoing challenges of professional licensure in today's deregulation climate.

I spent four days the second week of September in Boise, ID at the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards (CLARB) annual meeting. I attended the CLARB meeting because I am a member of the Nevada State Board of Landscape Architects where we oversee the licensing of landscape architects in Nevada. The focus of our meetings was on the protection of licensure across the nation. There is a move among legislatures to deregulate licensing boards. One of the main bills being introduced, especially in the west, is the Right to Work bill... This bill was introduced at the 2016 Nevada Legislature but never made it out of committee. The bill will come back in the 2018 session... The basic premise of the bill is that you cannot prevent someone from earning a living. Board regulation and licensing is viewed as a deterrent to earn a living because of the years of education, experience and costs that are required to obtain a license. This is not specific to landscape architects. The Department of Labor is currently evaluating 32 occupational boards in 55 states and territories from designers to realtors to medical professionals.

One legislator was asked how the landscape architecture profession would be regulated if there was no board or licensing. His response was, "Let them use YELP." This shows the ignorance that many have about landscape architects. The focus of landscape architecture licensing is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public who use professionally designed landscape spaces every day...whether they realize it or not. Many of you are licensed and governed by a regulatory board. Become aware, get involved, help educate and protect public health, safety and welfare by protecting your license. YOU worked very hard for it.

Following is factual information provided by Veronica Meadows, CAE, Senior Director of Strategy at CLARB. We encourage You to be the promoter and protector of professional licensure for landscape architects, architects and engineers.
  • In the past year, Executive Orders have been issued by the Governor in at least eight states to evaluate the necessity and effectiveness of every licensed profession in the state. (North Carolina, Arizona, Idaho, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Ohio and Pennsylvania.)
  • Legislation to deregulate landscape architecture was introduced in seven states during the 2017 legislative session - all were successfully defeated. (Michigan, Montana, Illinois, Missouri, Washington, Virginia and Wisconsin) We fully expect to see more attempts during their 2018 legislative sessions.
  • There is increased energy and focus on occupational licensing reform by the federal government and special interest groups. (See FTC Economic Liberty Task Force, Goldwater Institute "Right to Earn a Living" act and Senator Mike Lee's ALLOW act just to name a few examples.)

Protecting your professional licenses and your business credentials compliance requirements are time consuming and can become extremely expensive without credentials management assistance. Let us help you avoid a costly financial disaster. Yes, we will save you a significant amount of time so you can do what you do best "practice your profession." Call us for assistance at 913-608-7880 and for more information, visit



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