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. 23 24 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 25 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. 51 (3) CERTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR SUPPORT COORDINATORS AND 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. 66 (4) THIRD-PARTY CREDENTIALING ENTITIES.— 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.