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UPDATED 06/11/2021 (ORIGINALLY POSTED: 05/17/2021) - BPOA has received many questions from licensed professionals about what happens to licensing waivers if the COVID-19 emergency disaster declaration is ended. With the Governor's signing of HB 854 (now Act 21 of 2021), licensing waivers will remain active until September 30, 2021, unless ended sooner. We will provide additional updates as more information becomes available.

POSTED: 05/14/2021 - On 5/13/21, the CDC provided guidance that fully vaccinated individuals can resume activities that they did prior to the pandemic without wearing a mask or physically distancing except where required by law, rule, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Masking requirement will still be in place for unvaccinated individuals until 70 percent of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

For more information please read the CDC guidance and the DOH press release.

The Department's offices in the North Office Building remain closed to the public. The Department of State continues to serve the public during the COVID-19 disaster declaration.

The processing of licenses and permits for health care practitioners continues to be a priority. Please refer to www.pals.pa.gov/verify to check the status of a license or permit.

For more details visit:

If you are a member of the immigrant, refugee, or asylee community and you:

  • have worked in a licensed profession or applied for a professional license in PA; OR
  • moved to PA in the last 5 years.

Please help us improve the licensure process for new Pennsylvanians by taking our survey, which is available in: English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Professional Licensing

Announcements:

Persons of all backgrounds interested in helping during Pennsylvania’s time of need are welcome to sign up at the State Emergency Registry for Volunteers in PA

Press Release Regarding Renewal Deadline Extensions:
Extensions to Renewal Deadlines

 

Starting Monday, March 16th the front lobby will be closed to the public. For assistance, please visit www.pals.pa.gov or call Toll Free: 1-833-DOS-BPOA

For a list of currently open IdentoGO sites, please enter your zip code here

 

Toll Free: 1-833-DOS-BPOA (1-833-367-2762)
Professional Licensure Guides & Timelines

The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs was established in 1963 as part of the Department of State to provide administrative, logistical and legal support services to professional and occupational licensing boards and commissions.  

Professional licensing protects the health and safety of the public from fraudulent and unethical practitioners. There are 29 licensing boards and commissions, each with their own statute governing their powers and functions. The boards and commissions also promulgate regulations to further govern their respective professions. 

The boards and commissions each comprise between seven and 17 members, including professionals in those fields and public members who represent the public at-large. Members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.  

The Commissioner of the Bureau is a voting member of all boards and commissions under the Department's jurisdiction, except the State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers and the Navigation Commission for the Delaware River and its Navigable Tributaries. Both of these are served by the Secretary of the Commonwealth or a designee. 

The Department provides these boards and commissions with legal, technical and administrative support to conduct written practical licensure examinations; review and verify education and experience of candidates for licensure; certify providers of education; receive and investigate public complaints; conduct periodic facility inspections; prosecute, adjudicate, fine and sanction violators; administer licensure programs, revise standards for licensure to keep pace with changes in the professions and advise the legislature on proposed statutory changes.  

The Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation provides the boards and commissions with facility inspection and law enforcement capabilities. It maintains regional offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton.