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Dept of State Launches Online Guide to Help Workers Applying for Professional Licenses

Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar announced an innovative new license processing guide to help Pennsylvanians know what to expect when applying for a professional license. Guides for Cosmetology, Nursing, and Osteopathic Medicine licenses are online. Additional guides for other boards and licensure types will be added over the coming months.

“We are very proud to be one of only a handful of states across the country providing full transparency into the entire licensure process from start to finish,” Secretary Boockvar said. “We created this guide to provide applicants with complete information about the expected timeframes and processes for receiving their licenses.” 

Each guide breaks down the licensing process into three phases, gives the average timeline for each phase, provides tips to avoid delays, and explains how to best use the Pennsylvania Licensing Systems (PALS) in applying for a license in their field. PALs is the new licensure system of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA). 

Applicants can also watch two short videos on “How to Apply for a Professional License” and “What Happens to My Application?”  

Melissa Snyder, program chair for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Nursing Schools Association, called the licensing guide “an efficient and effective way” of providing necessary information to licensee applicants.

“I am impressed with the ease of use of the guide as well as the clarity of information provided,” said Snyder, chief nursing administrator of Eastern University Department of Nursing. “Individuals needing guidance on licensing issues will be pleased with the information provided.”

As part of its mission to protect public health and safety, the Department of State oversees 29 licensing boards and commissions. 

“In the last several months, our leadership team and staff have been conducting a top-to-bottom review of license processing, from the moment the application is first made to the final granting of the license,” said Secretary Boockvar.  “We are working in partnership with licensing boards, licensees, stakeholders and staff to identify factors that cause delays, and to implement procedures to improve license processing times and customer service across the board.”   

The guide is part of a substantial overhaul of BPOA and PALS processes, being led by Secretary Boockvar and Acting BPOA Commissioner Kalonji Johnson.

“The Pennsylvania Medical Board is certainly appreciative of efforts made to address stakeholder licensing concerns, and we look forward to today’s launch marking a giant step forward toward process improvement from start to finish,” said board chairman Keith Loiselle.

The Wolf administration is continuing to make state government more responsive, reform professional licensing, and remove barriers to employment for skilled workers in the commonwealth. 

To begin the license application process or renew an existing license, visit the Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS) site.

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