As I prepare to attend my second regulatory conference this year, I would like to share some insight that I have gained and what regulators across the country may be expecting in the coming year.

This week I will attend the 2017 FARB Regulatory Law Seminar, which is a conference hosted by the Federation of Associations of Regulatory Boards. For three days, attendees will focus on the challenges facing regulatory boards and the legal cases that are likely to shape the decisions of those boards.

I also attended the 2017 CLEAR Annual Educational Conference in September, which is hosted by the Council of Licensure, Education & Regulation. This conference focuses more on the concerns that board administrators face and the upcoming changes that will affect professional boards around the world.

Some of my takeaways from the conference last month are:

  • How are we dealing with sexual abuse cases in the regulatory arena?
  • Are we ensuring that there are no undue barriers to licensure in our state?
  • Are our board members behaving appropriately and in a professional manner?
  • How do we define good moral character for purposes of initial licensure and sustaining a professional license?

Speaking from personal experience, I know that FBPE Board members take their job seriously and have always conducted themselves in a completely professional manner. However, it is amazing to hear about the conduct of members of other boards. It truly makes me appreciate the men and women who serve the engineering profession in our state.

It was interesting, though, to see how the topic of sexual abuse has become so prevalent and how boards are struggling to deal with these types of criminal cases as it relates to professional licensure. It is the first time I have ever seen so many sessions on this issue in the five years I have been attending this particular conference. Apparently, this matter also bleeds into the issue of good moral character, as well. Many boards wrestle to define what good moral character is and what to do about it.

This week I will attend a conference that is related to the CLEAR event but focuses more on the legal aspects. We will concentrate on legal cases that have helped to shape the licensing landscape in the past year and cases that have not yet been decided but may influence licensure decisions in the coming year. Some of the matters to be discussed will be investigations, compliance, examination score invalidation, and delegation of authority. One of the guest speakers will be Tara Koslov, the acting director of the Office of Public Policy at the Federal Trade Commission. I expect it will be a very informative session.

I look forward to learning more about the matters that affect our business – the business of regulating – and to bring that information back to our board.