Antilicensing Forces Miss the Point

Fall 2021

NSPE Today
Antilicensing Forces Miss the Point

Extreme antilicensing bills have popped up in numerous states and are posing a threat to the rigorous and established professional standards followed by PEs, architects, and others who design and construct the built environment, according to an August 17 op-ed in The Hill.

Lawmakers calling for these extreme measures don’t differentiate between barbers and manicurists, for example, and PEs and architects, wrote Tom Smith, executive director of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Michael Armstrong, CEO of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. “In their absolutist free-market view, reflected in the language of their model legislation, a visit to a barbershop or beauty salon should be treated the same as designing a bridge or water treatment plant.”

The legislative proposals range from measures that would eliminate licensing entirely to so-called “Universal Licensing” bills that would require states to accept licenses from any state regardless of whether the out-of-state license had the same level of qualifications behind it.

NSPE, ASCE, NCARB, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying are members of the Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing.