The Board conducted its Strategic Planning session in December. The Board utilizes a multi-year plan, which enables the Board to dig deeper into issues. The planning effort was facilitated by Strategic Organization, Leadership, and Individual Development (SOLID), which is a component of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
A crucial part of strategic planning involves conducting an "environmental scan," wherein all external factors that might impact the Board are assessed. One of the most important factors will be the trend toward a more integrated licensure system, which is being addressed via the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) program, which was created by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
Another overall factor is the regulatory climate. A key United States Supreme Court Case, North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, underscored the requirement for "active state supervision" of decisions of licensing boards. Boards across the nation are considering the extent to which their current oversight systems reflect the parameters specified by the court. There will likely be legislation on this topic in 2017, as an initial bill failed to pass.
There is also great interest in the issue of occupational licensing as it relates to economic opportunity. A White House report, Occupational Licensing: A Framework for Policy Makers, outlines the growth of licensing over the past several decades, its costs and benefits, and its impacts on workers and work arrangements. At the state level, the Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, also known as the "Little Hoover Commission," analyzed this issue and released a study: Jobs for Californians: Strategies to Ease Occupational Licensing Barriers.
Ultimately, the current regulatory climate will require that boards closely examine their licensing requirements, statutes, and programs to ensure that they strike a balance of protecting the public without creating unreasonable barriers. Consumer protection is the ultimate mission of the Board, and through quality strategic planning and a forward-thinking assessment of emerging trends, the Board can continue to effectively fulfill that charge.