On January 26, 2022

State adopts rules for new Americans’ licensure in professional fields

Sec. of State Jim Condos announced Jan. 19 that the Office of Professional Regulation’s (OPR) has adopted foreign credentialing rules, which create a pathway for foreign-trained individuals to become licensed in their field in Vermont. The new rules became effective Nov. 19 and come in response to an identified barrier to licensure faced by many new Americans and refugees.

“The foreign credentialing process is a more efficient way of getting qualified professionals with foreign experience into the Vermont workforce, while maintaining public protection” said Condos. “This new process aligns with our office’s broader goal of reducing unnecessary barriers to occupational licensing. Expediting the verification of licensure requirements is important in supporting Vermont’s workforce, and in these unprecedented times it is essential in helping to resolve the significant shortages that we are currently seeing in nursing and other healthcare professions.”

Through the new process, individuals who obtained their professional license or experience outside the U.S. will get a determination of equivalency from an external credential evaluation service. If the evaluation determines the person’s foreign work experience, education, training, and exams are equivalent to what is required for a Vermont license, a report goes directly to OPR who notifies the applicant to apply for endorsement.

Licensure by endorsement is a streamlined path to licensure in lieu of the traditional licensing path, which can be more time-consuming and costly and often includes formal education, training, and examinations which the foreign trained applicant may already have.

“We recognize the location of one’s past professional experience alone should not be a barrier to licensure in our state,” said OPR Director Lauren Hibbert. “Although OPR is not resourced to evaluate foreign educational and training programs for each of the 50 professions regulated by our Office, we are confident this process of utilizing third-party evaluators will make it easier and more efficient for New Americans, refugees, and other individuals with experience outside of the U.S. to work in their chosen field in Vermont.”

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