Florida Senate - 2020 SB 1210 By Senator Harrell 25-01426A-20 20201210__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the certification of developmental 3 disabilities services personnel; creating s. 393.0659, 4 F.S.; providing legislative intent; defining the terms 5 “certification” and “third-party credentialing 6 entity”; beginning on a specified date, requiring that 7 all support coordinators and certain direct service 8 providers obtain and maintain certification by a 9 third-party credentialing entity; specifying that 10 certification of direct service providers is subject 11 to certain appropriations; requiring the Agency for 12 Persons with Disabilities to approve one or more 13 third-party credentialing entities; specifying 14 criteria for approval of third-party credentialing 15 entities; requiring the agency to approve certain 16 third-party credentialing entities under certain 17 circumstances; requiring the agency to approve at 18 least one third-party credentialing entity by a 19 specified date; providing that the agency must require 20 employers of support coordinators and direct service 21 providers to report certain information to the third 22 party credentialing entity for a specified purpose; 23 providing for the review and appeal of decisions made 24 by third-party credentialing entities; authorizing the 25 agency to adopt rules; providing effective dates. 26 27 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 28 29 Section 1. Section 393.0659, Florida Statutes, is created 30 to read: 31 393.0659 Certification of support coordinators and certain 32 direct service providers; agency duties; rulemaking.— 33 (1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—To enable the state to provide a 34 systematic approach to staff development for persons providing 35 care to individuals with developmental disabilities, it is the 36 intent of the Legislature that the agency work in collaboration 37 with relevant stakeholders to ensure that staff have the 38 knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to competently 39 provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities 40 by requiring all support coordinators and direct service 41 providers who work in residential facilities and are not 42 otherwise licensed or certified pursuant to state law to earn 43 and maintain a professional certification issued by a third 44 party credentialing entity approved by the agency. 45 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 46 (a) “Certification” means a professional credential awarded 47 by an approved third-party credentialing entity to individuals 48 demonstrating core competency in providing services to persons 49 with developmental disabilities and adherence to established 50 standards of professional ethics in the performance of their 51 duties. 52 (b) “Third-party credentialing entity” means an agency 53 approved nonprofit organization that develops and administers 54 professional, facility, or organization certification programs 55 according to applicable nationally recognized certification or 56 psychometric standards. 57 (3) CERTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR SUPPORT COORDINATORS AND 58 CERTAIN DIRECT SERVICE PROVIDERS.—Effective July 1, 2021: 59 (a) All support coordinators shall earn and maintain 60 certification issued by a third-party credentialing entity. 61 (b) All direct service providers who are not otherwise 62 licensed or certified pursuant to state law shall earn and 63 maintain certification issued by a third-party credentialing 64 entity. 65 (c) The requirement for direct service providers to earn 66 and maintain certification as provided in paragraph (b) is 67 subject to appropriations sufficient to develop and operate the 68 certification program for direct service providers. 69 (4) THIRD-PARTY CREDENTIALING ENTITIES.— 70 (a) The agency shall approve one or more third-party 71 credentialing entities for the purposes of developing and 72 administering certification programs for individuals who provide 73 services to individuals with developmental disabilities as 74 support coordinators or direct service providers. To obtain 75 approval, a third-party credentialing entity must: 76 1. Demonstrate compliance with nationally recognized 77 standards for developing and administering professional 78 certification programs to certify individuals who provide 79 services to individuals with developmental disabilities as 80 support coordinators or direct service providers; 81 2. Establish professional requirements and standards that 82 applicants for certification must achieve to obtain and maintain 83 certification; 84 3. Develop core competencies and examination instruments 85 according to nationally recognized certification or psychometric 86 standards; 87 4. Maintain a professional code of ethics and a 88 disciplinary process that apply to all certificateholders under 89 this section; 90 5. Maintain a publicly accessible database of all 91 certificateholders under this section, including any history of 92 ethical or disciplinary violations; 93 6. Require biennial continuing education for 94 certificateholders under this section; 95 7. Administer a continuing education provider program to 96 ensure that only qualified providers offer continuing education 97 opportunities for certificateholders; and 98 8. Maintain an advisory committee, including 99 representatives from the agency, agency-recognized service 100 providers, and other relevant stakeholders. The third-party 101 credentialing entity may appoint additional members to the 102 advisory committee. 103 (b) The agency shall approve a third-party credentialing 104 entity that has been approved pursuant to s. 402.40(3) or s. 105 397.321(15) and that meets the requirements of this section. 106 (5) DUTIES OF THE AGENCY.— 107 (a) By October 1, 2020, the agency must approve at least 108 one third-party credentialing entity for the purposes of 109 developing and administering certification programs for support 110 coordinators and direct service providers. 111 (b) The agency shall require all employers of support 112 coordinators and direct service providers to report any 113 violation of ethical or professional conduct to the third-party 114 credentialing entity to ensure that certificateholders comply 115 with the professional code of ethics and disciplinary process 116 established under paragraph (4)(a). 117 (6) DUE PROCESS.—Any decision by an approved third-party 118 credentialing entity to deny, revoke, or suspend a 119 certification, or otherwise impose sanctions on a 120 certificateholder, is reviewable by the agency. Upon receiving 121 an adverse determination, the certificateholder may request an 122 administrative hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57(1) 123 within 30 days after completing any appeals process offered by 124 the third-party credentialing entity or the agency, as 125 applicable. 126 (7) RULEMAKING.—The agency may adopt rules to implement 127 this section. 128 Section 2. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this 129 act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2020.