• Board for Professional and Occupational Regulation

    The nine-member Board for Professional and Occupational Regulation is responsible for:

    • monitoring the policies and activities of the Department;
    • evaluating the need for regulation, if any, of unregulated professions or occupations;
    • advising the Governor and Department Director on matters relating to professional regulation;
    • recommending regulatory frameworks to the General Assembly, when professional regulation is necessary to protect the public interest; and
    • providing citizen access to the Department and promoting education of the public about professional regulation.
    Telephone  (804) 367-8514
    FAX  (866) 465-6206
    Email  BPOR@dpor.virginia.gov 
  • Meetings & Minutes

    Sign up for email notification of regulatory action and meetings by registering here.

    The Virginia Regulatory Town Hall provides access to the board's meeting schedule, agendas, and past meeting minutes.

    Visit the Town Hall: http://www.townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewboard.cfm?boardid=143&display=meetings 

    News & Publications

    Sign up for email notification of regulatory action and meetings by registering here.

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    2002

    Visit the Reports & Studies page for additional DPOR information.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How does a profession or occupation become regulated by the Commonwealth of Virginia? 
    2. What are the types of regulation that can be imposed? 
    3. What is the authority of a regulatory board? 
    4. How are the fees established for a regulatory program? 
    5. What is the difference between laws and regulations? 

    How does a profession or occupation become regulated by the Commonwealth of Virginia?

    Section 54.1-100 of the Code of Virginia states that the United States Constitution and the Virginia Constitution both give citizens the right to engage in any lawful profession, trade or occupation. The Commonwealth may regulate entry into a profession or occupation only when necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.

    Regulation of a profession or occupation must be enacted into law, in one of two ways:

    1. The General Assembly passes, and the Governor signs, legislation sponsored by a State Senator or Delegate establishing a regulatory program for a profession or occupation. No study would be conducted.
    2. The General Assembly passes a study resolution, sponsored by a State Senator or Delegate, directing the Board for Professional and Occupational Regulation (BPOR) to evaluate the need for regulation of a profession or occupation.

    BPOR is a nine-member board appointed by the Governor. Section 54.1-310 grants BPOR the authority to determine whether the public interest requires that a profession or occupation be regulated. BPOR conducts public hearings, receives written comments, and uses the criteria set forth in Section 54.1-311 to determine the need for regulation. The study findings and recommendations are submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly. The General Assembly and the Governor then would need to approve a bill during the legislative session in order to establish any new regulatory program.

    What are the types of regulation that can be imposed?

    Section 54.1-311 outlines the different levels of regulation. The most common are registration, certification and licensure (as defined in Section 54.1-300).

    Registration allows any person to engage in an occupation, but may require information concerning the location, nature and operation of the practice be submitted to a regulatory authority.

    Certification is a voluntary program. Any person may engage in the profession, but only those individuals who obtain state certification can hold themselves out as a "certified" professional. A regulatory board issues a certificate on behalf of the Commonwealth to a person certifying that he possesses the character and minimum skills to engage properly in his profession or occupation. Practitioners who want to be "state certified" would be required to meet such requirements as determined by the law or regulations. Regulatory boards are given the authority to impose monetary penalties, revoke, suspend or fail to renew a certificate for regulatory violations.

    Licensure means that a person may not practice a profession or occupation without meeting the regulatory authority's education, experience or examination requirements. Regulatory boards are granted the authority to impose monetary penalties, revoke, suspend or fail to renew a license for regulatory violations.

    What is the authority of a regulatory board?

    The legislation establishing a regulatory program for a profession or occupation may also establish a regulatory board to oversee the program. A regulatory board, unless otherwise specified by law, consists of at least five members. Two of the board members shall be citizen members and the remainder shall be practitioners of the profession or occupation regulated (Section 54.1-200). The powers and duties of regulatory boards (Section 54.1-201) include promulgation of regulations (to establish the qualifications and standards of practice for certification or licensure) and the authority to levy and collect fees. The regulatory board also receives complaints regarding the conduct of a licensee or certificate holder and is authorized to impose monetary penalties, revoke, suspend, or fail to renew a license or certificate for regulatory violations. The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation provides staff to each regulatory board.

    How are the fees established for a regulatory program?

    DPOR and its regulatory boards are non-general fund agencies, meaning they are financed by fees on regulated professionals, not by any tax revenues. A regulatory program's revenue is provided through fees collected from regulants, and is used to pay the costs of operating the program. Estimates of direct board expenditures are developed based on the resources required to operate the program, such as staff, equipment, systems, board activities, and regulatory operations. Other operating costs are determined based on projected number of regulants and activity levels for enforcement and examination activities. Fee amounts are determined for each type of application, renewal, examination, or other regulatory fee, that in total will provide revenue that is sufficient, but not excessive, for the program's total operating and support costs. The proposed fees are included in the regulations which are promulgated in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (Chapter 40 of Title 2.2).

    What is the difference between laws and regulations?

    Laws are enacted by elected legislative bodies (the Virginia General Assembly). Executive branch agencies and boards write regulations to implement the laws.

    The law establishes the regulatory program, creates the regulatory board and its authority, and defines the occupation or profession subject to regulation (as well as any exemptions). The regulations specify the process for registration, certification or licensure; establish the entry requirements (education, experience and/or examination); outline prohibited acts and standards of practice.

    Regulations are ancillary or subordinate to laws, but both laws and regulations are enforceable. The Code of Virginia is the compilation of codified laws (also known as statutes), while the Virginia Administrative Code is the official compilation of regulations.

    Board for Professional and Occupational Regulation 

    Board Executive Director

    Kathleen (Kate) R. Nosbisch 

    Board Member Roster 

    Laurence A. Benenso
    Alexandria
    First four-year term ends June 30, 2016
    Suzanne H. Conrad
    Winchester
    First four-year term ends June 30, 2018
    Matthew D. Benka
    Richmond
    First four-year term ends June 30, 2017
    Patricia O. Kline
    Locust Grove
    First four-year term ends June 30, 2016
    William J. Dennis, Jr.
    Alexandria
    First four year term ends June 30, 2015
    James W. Head
    Richmond
    First four-year term ends June 30, 2018
    H. Scott Johnson, Jr.
    Springfield
    First four-year term ends June 30, 2017
    Marty Mooradian
    Richmond
    First four-year term ends June 30, 2018
    Shelly A. Simonds
    Newport News
    First four-year term ends June 30, 2018
     

    Board members are appointed by the Governor. To learn more about the gubernatorial appointment process, visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website.