Dept. of Safety and Professional Services: Announces data sharing agreement with Michigan’s licensing agency

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) Secretary-designee Dan Hereth and Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Acting Director Marlon Brown announced today an agreement between the states to improve data sharing and speed up professional license approvals in both states.

“This agreement is just the first step toward more comprehensive, automated data sharing among states with the goal of greater efficiency and data security,” Hereth said. “We have been actively pursuing these kinds of agreements, and we will continue to add new partners to enhance operations here in Wisconsin.”

“We are excited to partner with the State of Wisconsin to improve information sharing and also increase efficiencies for our respective licensing agencies,” said Brown. “We are always striving to reduce barriers to professional licensure and enhance the customer experience for our licensees.  Establishing this data-sharing agreement will help us achieve these goals as we continually work to protect people and promote business in Michigan.”

The review of license applications can involve acquiring documents from other states. The processes can vary dramatically from state to state, and many of them are manual. This data sharing arrangement will automate the secure exchange of required documentation between Wisconsin and Michigan, eliminating the associated manual tasks, and speeding up the collection of materials and approval of licenses.

The agreement follows a two-day interstate occupational licensing summit organized by Hereth and Wisconsin DSPS last week. The summit brought together state credentialing officials from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio to explore current and emerging issues in occupational licensing regulation.

“Much of our work involves interactions with other states, and occupational licensing issues inherently prompt conversations about borders and jurisdiction,” Hereth said. “Welcoming leaders from our neighboring states enabled us to explore challenges and ideas together. The data sharing announcement is the first but will not be the last outcome of the summit, and the relationships and collaborations begun.”

The data sharing arrangement with Michigan marks the latest step Wisconsin DSPS has taken to improve efficiencies in state licensing since Gov. Evers promoted Hereth to lead the Department late last year. Others include a collaboration with the state Board of Nursing to adjust timing of credentialing requirements to facilitate faster approval to sit for the national nursing exam, and the development of a secure higher education portal that enables schools of nursing to better monitor and support students during the licensing process. Most recently, Wisconsin DSPS collaborated with multiple groups in an effort that saw the state’s Dentistry Examining Board unanimously approve changes that eliminate the need for a post-graduate test for Wisconsin-trained dental students, speeding up their licensing process.

The Midwest Occupational Licensing Summit included many topics, including a presentation from the FBI on regulating the massage therapy industry, as well as discussions on talent retention via regulation and continuing education requirements to address health disparities. The group also toured and learned more about innovative work underway at Promega Corporation and Epic Systems.

About DSPS

DSPS issues more than 240 unique licenses, administers dozens of boards and councils that regulate professions, enforces state building codes, runs the state fire prevention program, and maintains the award-winning Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which is a key tool in the multi-faceted public health campaign to stem excessive opioid prescribing. A fee-based agency, DSPS is self-sustaining and receives no general fund tax dollars for its day-to-day operations. With five offices and 250 employees throughout Wisconsin, DSPS collaborates with constituents and stakeholders across a wide range of industries to promote safety and advance the economy.