Act 35 of 2022 – Military and Veterans Licensure
Service Members, Veterans, and their Family Members often struggle with obtaining a professional license so they may support themselves and their families. Act 35 of 2022 will ease struggles for these military applicants and remove barriers to licensing and employment.
The newly enacted law does the following:
- defines a Military Applicant as a Service Member, Veteran or Spouse,
- allows a license to be issued if an applicant does not meet educational requirements for that license if engaged in active practice for at least 2 years prior to applying and passes all required exams for licensure,
- provides expedited license application reviews and discretionary temporary licensure for Service Members, Veterans and their Military Spouses,
- provides initial licensure fee waivers for Military Spouses who must relocate as a result of a Service Member's military orders,
- allows Service Members to reactivate an expired license without a penalty if coinciding with a deployment and if completed within one month of returning,
- provides Service Members Continuing Education extensions for up to 6 months following a deployment,
- requires consideration of acquired military experience when determining qualification for licensure, and
- establishes the creation and utilization of a Military Occupational Crosswalk to help translate military experience into civilian licensure requirements.
The full text of the Act 35 of 2022 can be found
Military Occupational Crosswalk
The Pennsylvania Department of State (DOS) has developed a Military Occupational Crosswalk to identify and relate civilian career opportunities and requirements to veterans' military experience. The crosswalk compares qualification details from nearly 300 military occupations to the initial requirements for DOS licensure for related professions. These have been matched to licensed professions administered by the professional licensing boards and commissions in Pennsylvania. The purpose of the crosswalk is to relate skills, experience, credentials, and education obtained in the military and help servicemembers/veterans align them with civilian opportunities.
The crosswalk helps determine which military occupations qualifications are "substantially equivalent" to the state's requirements for licensure and identify gaps between civilian occupational licensure requirements and a veteran's current knowledge, skills, education, and training. The crosswalk is a resource to educate the state legislature, licensing boards and commissions, the veteran community, and employers on how military training and experience aligns with civilian education and work experience.
Translation of a veteran's education, training, experience, and skills into civilian career goals is a multi-step process that can have a variety of outcomes. This process is as follows:
- The veteran should examine their military experience and training record.
- Identify civilian occupations that correlate to the servicemember's career goals and skills/abilities.
- Identify the education, experience, and credentials required for the identified occupation.
- Document the gap (if applicable) between current skill set and what is required for the desired occupation.
How-To-Use the Military Occupational Crosswalk
Here are some basic steps to help navigate the crosswalk:
- Select the Licensing Board or Commission that you would like to view from the list below.
- At the top of each crosswalk document, there will be a list of occupations that the Board licenses and a table of contents listing each military occupation code featured in the crosswalk. Each military occupation is categorized by service branch and is listed with its corresponding military occupation code.
- Upon locating the desired military occupation code in the table of contents, scroll to that specific page where the "crosswalk" for that military occupation will be found.
- When viewing the military occupation code's "crosswalk", you will see 3 columns for each occupation.
- The first column in each crosswalk document contains the initial requirements a candidate must complete in order to apply for a professional license from the respective board or commission. The first column lists the initial experience, education, and examination requirements for each license type along with a definition of each profession.
- The second column in each crosswalk document contains the typical job duties, education and training requirements, qualifications, and related credentials a veteran may complete during their time of service for each military occupation code.
- The third column compares the Commonwealth's initial licensure requirements to the requirements of each military occupation code to determine which military occupations qualifications are "substantially equivalent" to the state's requirements for licensure, and which military occupations may have a "gap" in training, experience, or education.
- When analyzing an occupation in the crosswalk, a veteran may identify "gaps" that must be filled before attempting to apply for civilian occupational licensure. If a "gap" is identified, it is imperative that the veteran obtain the necessary qualifications prior to applying to the Board for an occupational license. Veterans may need to pursue further education courses, training programs, or the completion of experience hour provisions in order to satisfy initial civilian licensure requirements.
List of Military Occupational Crosswalk Documents by Board/Commission
Acceptable Documentation for Act 35 military status
"Military applicant." A servicemember, veteran or military spouse who submits an application for a license and documentation demonstrating status as a servicemember, veteran or military spouse.
"Servicemember." An active duty member of the armed forces of the United States, a reserve component or the national guard of a state.
Acceptable documentation includes:
- Military ID (active duty, National Guard, Reserves)
- Military passport
- Active-Duty Orders
- Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Orders
- Permanent Change of Assignment (PCA) Orders
- Active Duty Training (ADT) Orders
- Statement of Service*
* Proof of service for individuals on active duty is a statement of service signed by, or by the direction of, the adjutant, personnel office, or commander of the unit or higher headquarters they are attached to. There is no one unique form used by the military for a statement of service. While statements of service are typically on military letterhead, some may be computer-generated.
The statement of service must clearly show:
- the individual's full name,
- Social Security Number (SSN),
- the entry date on active duty,
- the duration of lost time, if any, and
- the name of the command providing the information. (www.benefits.va.gov)
"Veteran." A former servicemember who was discharged from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable.
Acceptable documentation includes:
- Military ID (Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR), or retiree)
- Any Department of Defense ("DD") form which indicates the veteran was discharged from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable
- Most common
- DD214 is a certificate of discharge or separation from active duty given to veterans
- DD215 is a document that corrects errors on a DD214.
- DD 256 (Honorable Discharge Certificate) Guard and Reserve members who complete their term of service, without ever being activated to federal service
- DD 257 (General Discharge Certificate) Guard and Reserve members who complete their term of service, without ever being activated to federal service
- NGB form 22 (Report of Separation and Record of Service) Guard and Reserve members who complete their term of service, without ever being activated to federal service
- Discharge orders (issued by the military)
- "Lesser" forms of identification/proof:
- Veterans Administration (VA) ID Card (including digital ID cards)
- Veterans Designation on Driver's License or State Veterans ID Card (note, in PA this requires only self-certification. The DMVA reportedly performs random audits.)
- County Veteran ID cards
"Military spouse." The spouse of a servicemember or veteran. The term includes an unmarried spouse of a deceased servicemember where the servicemember died within one year prior to the date an application for a license is submitted to a licensing board.
Acceptable documentation includes:
- Military Spouse Identification Card
- Military Passport for a dependent
- If spouse of a deceased servicemember – death certificate for the servicemember dated within one year (either identifying spouse or in combination with marriage certificate)
- Any of the above-listed forms of identification (for service member/veteran) plus documentation verifying marriage (i.e., a marriage certificate or other legal documentation verifying marriage).
Generally, to be acceptable, a document must be issued by a governmental entity. Documents issued by a private organization are not acceptable.