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.
   27  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.
   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.
   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.