Carisa McMullen recently attended the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards’s (CLARB) Annual Meeting in Boise, Idaho. The theme of which was “Thinking Differently.” With licensure under threat for not only landscape architects, but also other licensed professionals, this approach was used to create out-of-the-box solutions.
This year, the Department of Labor fueled various agencies with $7.5 million to evaluate states’ unnecessary licenses and yielded a number of Executive Orders that challenged not only CLARB, but also ASLA and FARB, as well as many local chapters, state boards and lastly, practitioners. The state of Missouri was one of the states where an Executive Order was issued.
The Institute for Justice is claiming “occupational licensing results in 2.8 million fewer jobs and costs consumers $203 billion/year.” While we no doubt recognize there is value in reducing unnecessary challenges and barriers in the regulatory environment, CLARB’s message to these undocumented facts and reported statistics is this:
Occupational licensing is protecting 326,000,000 people every day of every year.
CLARB, its partners and members are attacking any threats to licensure by making an effort to reduce friction in regulation and licensing. The organization is taking a two-pronged approach.
- Practical Approach: Rethinking the framework currently being utilized for the licensure of landscape architects.
- Tactical Approach: Preparing and defending threats as they come.
CLARB recognizes that continuing to defend the status quo is not an efficient and effective method to protecting the public’s health, safety and welfare moving forward. Specifically, CLARB is:
- Looking to reduce friction in the licensing and renewal process. This also includes reciprocity. The state of South Carolina, utilizing CLARB resources and staff, recently completed a friction analysis to determine where the roadblocks exist that make licensing unnecessarily challenging. This is something that is recommended to all state boards. Not only is the information gleaned helpful in reducing friction, but it also demonstrates the state board’s ability to defend licensure.
- Working to strengthen relationship between CLARB and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), as well as state boards and their local ASLA chapters, including all other partners in various design communities. As you may be aware, Joel Albizo, CLARB’s chief executive officer, is now also serving as FARB’s (Federation Association of Regulatory Boards) Executive Board President. Furthermore, ASLA and CLARB recently held an Advocacy Summit to discuss how working together gains us strength in numbers. ASLA is a strong ally by providing promotion and education of our profession to legislatures and the public.
In addition to discussing these efforts, membership also approved a new and updated Model Law for state boards to utilize in an effort to provide some basic guidance and direction. Continuity across states could simplify licensure, making it easier for reciprocity to occur.
Membership was also presented with a new governance structure. It reduces the number of officers in an effort to add more board directors, while keeping the complete Board of Directors number the same. More board directors would be appointed based on knowledge and competencies, rather than elected by region. This could make it easier to have a more diverse board and would allow CLARB’s board to reflect the skills that are envisioned necessary to defend and react to licensure issues.
We ended the working days with a Leadership Academy session on Saturday afternoon. CLARB presented the process, skills and commitments necessary to become a member of the Board of Directors. The intention is to fill the pipeline with engaged professionals who are ready and able to serve CLARB and our membership, both now and into the future.