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Pennsylvania Legislation Threatens Private Certification

The bill is yet another attack on private credentialing organizations

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) is among several groups concerned that a bill introduced in the Pennsylvania House poses a threat to private certification. In its current form, House Bill 811 could inappropriately interfere with the right of many private credentialing organizations to adopt and enforce their own ethics codes and procedures.

ASAE is also concerned that, depending on the reading of the legislation, it may restrict use of the title “certified” in Pennsylvania to only those holding governmentally issued titles. That would deny Pennsylvania residents the right to use professional titles they have lawfully earned from private organizations and also raises potential questions of constitutionality.

Last year ASAE and the Institute for Credentialing Excellence created the Professional Certification Coalition. Now with over 115 members, the PCC has monitored and engaged in over 80 bills in 30 states this year to defend voluntary certification. Through the PCC and ASAE members on the ground, we have been able to neutralize or stop the majority of the most onerous legislation. Pennsylvania House Bill 811 is the most concerning bill that has the momentum to pass this year.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident or have members or certified professionals in Pennsylvania, you are encouraged to contact the bill sponsor, Rep. Jim Cox, as well as the chair of the House Committee on Professional Licensure, Rep. David Hickernell. For sample language view ASAE’s letter to Rep. Cox and Rep. Hickernell. The PCC’s April 15 letter to the bill sponsor can be found here. For questions, or to join ASAE’s efforts to modify or defeat this bill, please contact

This article was provided to OSAE by the Power of A and ASAE's Inroads.

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