Baker-Polito Administration Announces Consolidation of Division of Professional Licensure
Consolidation will bring activities formerly run out of the Department of Public Safety into DPL
BOSTON – Effective Monday, March 27th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the consolidation of the Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) and the Department of Public Safety. This consolidation will create The Office of Public Safety and Inspections within DPL, a regulatory agency under the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business regulation.
In January, Governor Baker filed the reorganization plan under Article 87 of the Massachusetts Constitution, to streamline licensing functions that were previously split across separate secretariats. The reorganization transfers all non-fire related functions of the Department of Public Safety to the Office of Public Safety and Inspections. These responsibilities include building codes and building-related functions, and functions related to public events and amusements. This is the first Article 87 reorganization initiated under the Baker-Polito Administration.
“This consolidation will result in better oversight and accountability to our core mission of ensuring public safety,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Bringing all of our non-fire related building inspections and functions under the Division of Professional Licensure will eliminate redundancies and increase coordination.”
“Our administration charged every secretariat, every department, to think creatively about how we serve constituents and how we can improve,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This reorganization will streamline interactions between constituents and government, improving customer service and convenience.”
“This is an important and positive change for consumers, the construction and building industry, licensees, and the numerous boards of the Department of Public Safety and the Division of Professional Licensure,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Consolidation will lead to clearer standards and better services to the building and construction industry.”
“This reorganization creates efficiencies for members of the public holding construction-based, professional licenses who previously had to visit multiple agencies to complete the licensure process,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett. “This reform also transfers certain programs and responsibilities to the agencies that are the best equipped to carry out those missions.”
This reorganization consolidates the regulation and licensing of more than 180 trades and professions in Massachusetts. Before the reorganization, individuals holding licenses across multiple trades may have to interact with both DPS and DPL to obtain licenses and inspectional services. Consolidation will also reduce the need for multiple inspections by multiple agencies, allow for better coordination of inspections of state-owned buildings and resolve cross-jurisdictional issues that may have previously involved DPS and DPL more efficiently.
In addition to the newly created Office of Public Safety and Inspections, the Division of Professional Licensure is responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of the licensing process to protect public health, safety, and welfare. The Division oversees 28 boards of registration and 50 trades and professions. The Division also licenses Private Occupational Schools. The Department of Public Safety also has current oversight on a variety of licensing areas, including amusement devises, elevators, construction supervisors and security system installation. Together, these two agencies license over 500,000 individuals, business, and schools, and generate approximately $60 million dollars in revenue.
“The burden on the construction and trade professions in the Commonwealth will be substantially lessened by moving the licensing and oversight under the jurisdiction of one agency,” said Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Undersecretary John Chapman. “Many of these individuals also have to be registered as Home Improvement Contractors with my office and, working with Commissioner Borstel we will look for additional opportunities to modernize and simplify government.”
“The Division has given significant thought and careful consideration into the Governor’s plan,” said Chuck Borstel, Commissioner of the Division of Professional Licensure. “We have the organizational structure, management, and expertise in place to ensure a smooth transition for all licensees.”
The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for all Massachusetts businesses.