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  • Summary date: Apr 13 2023 - View Summary

    Reorganizes GS Chapter 90B into Articles and moves specified existing statutes into Article 1. Retitles the Chapter as Social Worker Certification and Licensure.

    Adds new Article 2, Social Work Licensure Compact (Compact), providing as follows. Set out the purpose of the Compact and Compact objectives. Sets out and defines terms as they are used in the Article.

    Sets out criteria that must be met by a state to become a member of the Compact and for a member state to maintain membership. Requires member states to designate the categories of social work licensure eligible for issuance of a multistate license for applicants in that member state. Provides that to the extent a member state does not meet the requirements for participation in the Compact in any particular category of social work licensure, that member state may choose to issue a multistate license to applicants that otherwise meet the requirements for issuance of a multistate license in those categories of licensure.

    Requires applicants to meet the following to be eligible for a multistate license: (1) hold or be eligible for an active, unencumbered license in the home state; (2) pay any applicable fees, including any state fee, for the multistate license; (3) submit, in connection with an application for a multistate license, fingerprints or other biometric data for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information; (4) notify the home state of any adverse action, encumbrance, or restriction on any professional license taken by any member state or non-member state within 30 days from the date the action is taken; (5) meet any continuing competence requirements established by the home state; and (6) abide by the laws, regulations, and applicable standards in the member state where the client is located at the time care is rendered. Requires applicants for a clinical-category multistate license to meet specified requirements for fulfilling a competency requirement, attain at least a master's degree in social work from a program meeting specified qualifications, and fulfill a practice requirement by completion of one of the listed types of practice. Requires applicants for a master's category multistate license to meet specified requirements for fulfilling a competency requirement, and attaining at least a master's degree in social work from a program meeting specified qualifications. Requires applicants for a bachelor's category multistate license to meet specified requirements for fulfilling a competency requirement, and attaining at least a bachelor's degree in social work from a program meeting specified qualifications. Sets out provisions governing renewal of a license. Makes services provided in a remote state subject to that member state's regulatory authority. Allows a remote state to remove a regulated social worker's multistate authorization to practice in the remote state or take other necessary actions to protect the health and safety of its citizens. Requires that if a multistate license is encumbered, the regulated social worker's multistate authorization to practice must be deactivated in all remote states until the license is no longer encumbered. Provides that if a multistate authorization to practice is encumbered in a remote state, then the multistate authorization to practice may be deactivated in that state until the multistate authorization to practice is no longer encumbered.

    Sets out the steps a home state must take to issue a multistate license. Requires that a multistate license issued by a home state to a resident in that State be recognized by all Compact member states as authorizing social work practice under a multistate authorization to practice corresponding to each category of licensure regulated in the member state.

    Sets out limitations on the Compact and specifies the ways in which the Compact does not interfere with a member state's powers.

    Limits licensees to holding a multistate license in only one member state at a time. Sets out provisions governing how to change home states. Requires active military members and their spouses to designate a home state and allows retaining that home state during active duty.

    Sets out the process under which a remote state or home state can take an adverse action against a licensee and allows for joint investigations.

    Establishes a Social Work Licensure Compact Commission (Commission) with 22 specified duties, including to meet and take such actions consistent with the provisions of this Compact and the bylaws; initiate legal proceedings or actions in the name of the Commission, provided that the standing of any state occupational therapy licensing board to sue or be sued under applicable law shall not be affected; purchase and maintain insurance and bonds; and assess and collect fees. Sets out membership requirements, with each member state limited to one delegate; provides for removal of members and filling of vacancies. Requires the Commission to meet at least once a year and allows meeting electronically. Establishes an 11-member Executive Committee with the power to act on behalf of the Commission. Sets out the Committee's powers and duties, memberships, and meeting requirements. Requires Commission meetings to be open to the public, except for listed matters that may be discussed in a closed meeting. Sets out notice requirements for meeting, including special meetings for emergency business. Allows the Commission to levy an annual assessment on member states and impose fees on other licensees of member states to whom it grants a multistate license. Sets out additional regulations governing these fees. Provides for immunity from liability for members, officers, executive director, employees, and representatives of the Commission, and provides for Commission defense against such lawsuits.

    Requires the Commission to provide for the development, maintenance, operation, and use of a coordinated database and reporting system that includes licensure, adverse action, and the presence of current significant investigative information on all licensed individuals in member states. Requires each applicant for a multistate license to be given a unique identifier. Requires member states to submit a uniform data set to the data system on all individuals to whom this Compact is applicable, including specified information. Sets out limitation on the use of information and records. Prohibits sharing data with the public unless the contributing state gives permission.

    Requires the Commission to promulgate reasonable rules in order to achieve the purposes of the Compact effectively and efficiently. Sets out provisions governing the adoption of rules by the Commission.

    Requires the executive and judicial branches of state government in each member state to enforce the Compact and take all actions necessary and appropriate to implement the Compact. Sets out provisions governing proper venue, service of process, enforcement of the Compact by the Commission, terminating membership of a defaulting state from the Compact, and dispute resolution.

    Makes the Compact effective on the date on which the Compact statute is enacted into law in the seventh member state. Sets out provisions for a member state to withdraw from the Compact. Sets out provisions governing the construction of the compact and includes a severability clause. Provides that any laws, statutes, regulations, or other legal requirements in a member state in conflict with the Compact are superseded to the extent of the conflict.

    Effective when at least seven states have enacted the Compact. Requires the NC Social Work Certification and Licensure Board to report to the Revisor of Statues when the Compact has been enacted by seven member states.