Florida Senate - 2020                                     SB 808
       By Senator Harrell
       25-01044-20                                            2020808__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Agency for Persons with
    3         Disabilities; creating s. 393.0659, F.S.; providing
    4         legislative intent; defining the terms “certification”
    5         and “third-party credentialing entity”; beginning on a
    6         specified date, requiring that all support
    7         coordinators and certain direct service providers
    8         obtain and maintain certification by a third-party
    9         credentialing entity; requiring third-party
   10         credentialing entities to charge support coordinators
   11         a fee sufficient to cover certain costs; subjecting
   12         certification of direct service providers to an
   13         appropriation; prohibiting direct service providers
   14         from being charged certain fees; requiring the Agency
   15         for Persons with Disabilities to approve one or more
   16         third-party credentialing entities; setting criteria
   17         for approval of third-party credentialing entities;
   18         requiring the agency to approve at least one third
   19         party credentialing entity by a certain date;
   20         providing for appeal of decisions made by third-party
   21         credentialing entities; authorizing the agency to
   22         adopt rules; providing effective dates.
   24  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   26         Section 1. Section 393.0659, Florida Statutes, is created
   27  to read:
   28         393.0659 Florida Certification Board; certification system
   29  for Agency for Persons with Disabilities.—
   30         (1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—To enable the state to provide a
   31  systematic approach to staff development and training for
   32  persons providing direct care to individuals with developmental
   33  disabilities, it is the intent of the Legislature that the
   34  agency require all support coordinators and direct service
   35  providers who work in residential facilities and are not
   36  otherwise licensed or certified pursuant to state law to earn
   37  and maintain certification issued by a third-party credentialing
   38  entity approved by the agency.
   39         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   40         (a) “Certification” means a professional credential awarded
   41  by an approved third-party credentialing entity to individuals
   42  demonstrating core competency in providing services to persons
   43  with developmental disabilities and adherence to established
   44  standards of professional ethics in the performance of their
   45  duties.
   46         (b) “Third-party credentialing entity” means an agency
   47  approved nonprofit organization that develops and administers
   48  professional, facility, or organization certification programs
   49  according to applicable nationally recognized certification or
   50  psychometric standards.
   52  CERTAIN DIRECT SERVICE PROVIDERS.—Effective July 1, 2021:
   53         (a) All support coordinators shall earn and maintain
   54  certification issued by a third-party credentialing entity.
   55         (b) All direct service providers who are not otherwise
   56  licensed or certified pursuant to state law shall earn and
   57  maintain certification issued by a third-party credentialing
   58  entity.
   59         (c) The requirement for direct service providers to earn
   60  and maintain certification as provided in paragraph (b) is
   61  subject to appropriations sufficient to develop and operate the
   62  certification program for direct service providers. Direct
   63  service providers may not be personally charged a certification
   64  application fee, initial test fee, renewal fee, or reinstatement
   65  fee.
   67         (a)The agency shall approve one or more third-party
   68  credentialing entities for the purposes of developing and
   69  administering certification programs for individuals who provide
   70  support coordination and specified direct services to
   71  individuals with developmental disabilities. To obtain approval,
   72  a third-party credentialing entity must:
   73         1. Demonstrate compliance with nationally recognized
   74  standards for developing and administering professional
   75  certification programs to certify individuals who provide
   76  support coordination and specified direct services to
   77  individuals with developmental disabilities;
   78         2.Establish professional requirements and standards that
   79  applicants must meet to obtain and maintain such certification;
   80         3. Develop core competencies and examination instruments
   81  according to nationally recognized certification or psychometric
   82  standards;
   83         4. Maintain a professional code of ethics and a
   84  disciplinary process that apply to all persons holding
   85  certification;
   86         5. Maintain a publicly accessible database of all persons
   87  holding certification, including any history of ethical or
   88  disciplinary violations;
   89         6. Require annual continuing education for persons holding
   90  certification;
   91         7. Administer a continuing education provider program to
   92  ensure that only qualified providers offer continuing education
   93  opportunities for persons holding certification; and
   94         8. Maintain an advisory committee, including
   95  representatives from the agency, agency-recognized service
   96  providers, and other stakeholders. The third-party credentialing
   97  entity may appoint additional members to the advisory committee.
   98         (b) The agency shall approve a third-party credentialing
   99  entity that has been approved pursuant to s. 402.40(3) or s.
  100  397.321(15) which also meets the requirements of this section.
  101         (5) DUTIES OF THE AGENCY.—The agency must approve at least
  102  one credentialing entity by October 1, 2020, for the purposes of
  103  developing and administering certification programs for support
  104  coordinators and direct service providers.
  105         (6) DUE PROCESS.—Any decision by an approved third-party
  106  credentialing entity to deny, revoke, or suspend a
  107  certification, or otherwise impose sanctions on an individual
  108  who is certified, is reviewable by the agency. Upon receiving an
  109  adverse determination, the aggrieved person may request an
  110  administrative hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57(1)
  111  within 30 days after completing any appeals process offered by
  112  the third-party credentialing entity or the agency, as
  113  applicable.
  114         (7) RULEMAKING.—The agency may adopt rules to implement
  115  this section.
  116         Section 2. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
  117  act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2020.