Wednesday, July 15, 2015

White House Report on Occupational Licensing

This blog has long covered the potential link between barriers to entry in the insurance profession and some communities' lack of access to important financial products.  The White House today issued a report on Occupational Licensing that makes a similar report about all professionals where licensing is required.

Key point:
While licensing can bring benefits, current systems of licensure can also place burdens on workers, employers, and consumers, and too often are inconsistent, inefficient, and arbitrary. The evidence in this report suggests that licensing restricts mobility across States, increases the cost of goods and services to consumers, and reduces access to jobs in licensed occupations. The employment barriers created by licensing may raise wages for those who are successful in gaining entry to a licensed occupation, but they also raise prices for consumers and limit opportunity for other workers in terms of both wages and employment.
The report is an interesting read. While it doesn't mention insurance specifically, many of its points can be applied. Two of the report's best practices (page 43) in particular are relevant to stakeholders:
2. Make sure that substantive requirements of licensing (e.g., education and experience requirements) are closely tied to public health and safety concerns.
3. Minimize procedural burdens of acquiring a license, in terms of fees, complexity of requirements, processing time, and paperwork.