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OSAE, ASAE Urge Ohio Organizations to Speak Out on Legislation Impacting Certification

The society and OSAE have shared concerns over Senate Bill 255

Earlier today, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) distributed a memo to their Ohio members alerting them to legislation in the state that could impact professional certification. The Ohio Society of Association Executives (OSAE) and ASAE have been following this legislation, and OSAE shared its concerns with OSAE in the spring. Ohio Senate Bill 255 (SB 255) calls for the government to establish its own voluntary certification programs in certain cases. Even more concerning, ASAE noted that, after associations reached out to Ohio legislators, it heard a co-sponsor of the bill indicated that the government may follow through on the language in the bill to set up voluntary certification programs that would compete with associations in Ohio. 

In June, Ohio SB 255 passed the Senate and has been introduced in the Ohio House. To If you would like to weigh in and express your concern. ASAE has given our members permission to use its draft letter as a template. The bill has not yet been referred to a committee, so ASAE addressed the letter to Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith (R). To see a full list of Ohio state legislators, click here. If you hear back any information from the Ohio House about this issue, ASAE is asking you to share the response with their team at

Currently, OSAE is drafting our letter and will submit it to members of Ohio's legislature upon its approval from the Board. The letter will also be shared with OSAE's membership.

SB 255 includes the following: 

  • Defines "certification" as “a voluntary program in which a private organization or the state grants nontransferable recognition to an individual who meets personal qualifications established by the private organization or state law.” 
  • Requires that the licensing board’s authority be “narrowly tailored to protect against present, recognizable and significant harms to the health, safety and welfare of the public;” the introduced version of the bill did not include the term “welfare” in the requirement. Yet, parties in Ohio's association industry lobbied hard for its inclusion and it was added to the legislation.
  • States that “[i]f regulations are intended to protect consumers against asymmetrical information between the seller and the buyer, the appropriate state action shall be to offer voluntary certification.” 

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