BY ZANA RAYBON, FBPE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & FEMC PRESIDENT
I hope everyone is coping well during these unusual times. I want to take a moment to update you all on how we at the Board office are handling regulatory matters during this pandemic.
First, all Board staff have been working from home since the first of May. Things are going well, and I believe we are providing the assistance and support needed to process licensure applications and legal complaints. We are meeting deadlines and issuing licenses. We are careful to maintain social distancing whenever any staff must go to the office and take the necessary safety precautions such as wearing masks and disinfecting surfaces.
How long will we continue to work remotely? We’re not really sure, but it could be until the first of the year – 2021. That means we will start renewal while working remotely. However, we are making plans now to handle phone calls, as well as the emails we already deal with, while working from home. With the aid of technology, staff will be able to manage phone calls remotely, thereby offering assistance to licensees during the renewal period. Since we already achieve approximately 98 percent of our renewals online, we expect the period to go smoothly.
The Board has already discussed continuing education requirements being met during this time and does not expect to waive or reduce the required 18 hours. Aside from the online offerings that are typically offered, we have also observed that many of the conferences that have been cancelled have shifted to virtual meetings and will still be offering seminars for credit in a virtual format.
At this time, we expect the renewal fee to remain at $98.75, with a $10 discount for those who renew by mid-January.
As you might expect, the Board is holding all meetings — including business, disciplinary, application review, and committee meetings — via Zoom. We plan to avoid face-to-face meetings for the next few months, possibly until the first of next year. So far, the meetings have gone smoothly with very few problems. Be sure to check the calendar on our website for all future meeting information.
Finally, while we are unable to offer outreach in our customary fashion, we are more than happy to conduct a Zoom presentation, complete with providing promotional items for the students. Please let us know if there is an interest in having staff make a licensure presentation to students in a classroom setting or to a student organization. Drop us a line at email@example.com.
As always, we welcome your feedback during this time. If we can improve on any of our processes, that is our goal. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe!