Everyone is bound to follow the law. However, in Pennsylvania, many people
have to follow additional rules, laws, and regulations which are not widely
known, or they can risk losing their livelihood. This applies to workers
and professionals in nearly every trade and occupation you can think of
— everyone from doctors, nurses, car dealers, and accountants to
massage therapists, crane operators, barbers, and real estate appraisers.
conviction for a crime that results in no jail time or a minimal fine can have a devastating
effect on someone’s ability to earn a living.
The specialized and technical rules applying to professionals are meant
to protect the public. However, we all know the old adage “More
rules, more rule breakers.” Breaking even a minor rule that you
did not even know about can trigger disciplinary proceedings before a
This is the first in a series of blogs that will deal with
Professional Licensing Disciplinary Proceedings in Pennsylvania. The blogs will provide an understanding of the disciplinary process by
giving information about the governmental bodies in charge of the process,
and by doing a step by step legal analysis of the process itself.
There are 29 different “licensing boards and commissions” in
Pennsylvania and they are all overseen by the
Pennsylvania Board of Professional and Occupational Affairs (known as the
BPOA). The BPOA is part of the Pennsylvania Department of State. Each of the
29 boards and commissions have their own laws, rules, and regulations
which cover everything from education and training requirements to child
abuse reporting duties.
The 29 licensing boards and commissions are listed below:
3. Auctioneer Examiners
4. Barber Examiners
5. Certified Real Estate Appraisers
8. Crane Operators
11. Funeral Directors
12. Landscape Architects
13. Massage Therapy
15. Navigation Commission
17. Nursing Home Administration
18. Occupational Therapy
20. Osteopathic Medicine
22. Physical Therapy
25. Real Estate Commission
26. Social Work
27. Speech and Hearing
28. Vehicle Board
29. Veterinary Medicine
The BPOA provides lists of the health related professional boards and business
related professional boards on its website. If you work in Pennsylvania,
chances are that you or someone you know are subject to the rules and
regulations issued by one of these licensing boards or commissions.
The boards and commissions include professionals in the fields and members
of the public. Members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by
The BPOA and the boards and commissions oversee the professionals working
in their field and also investigate complaints. The BPOA and boards can
prosecute professionals and fine, suspend, or otherwise sanction violators
based upon criminal convictions, public complaints, or failure to comply
with a rule. The BPOA's Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation provides
the boards and commissions with investigative and law enforcement capabilities.
Our next blog will begin the step by step legal analysis of the disciplinary
process starting with initial contact of a license by the BPOA. In the
meantime, if you have questions about an occupational license or
professional licensing disciplinary issue, contact one of our experienced lawyers. Don't try to handle a complicated
situation without professional help.
You can ask our attorneys questions in person, for free, and with no obligation. Call
Timothy Tarpey, or
James Lloyd at (215) 352-3432.