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Regulation Action Plan: Protect Your Right to Work

By: Susanne Schmaling
Posted: January 31, 2014, from the February 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

It’s late at night, and you finally have a chance to catch up with social media. You find that you have messages from your friends saying that your state board just announced that the most important services that you perform are out of scope. In fact, some have even been fined for having these services listed on their menu. What do you do?

Your first reaction is to lash out via social media about your frustration, send a nasty e-mail to the state board and generally get really angry. All these reactions are understandable ... but not very effective. Unfortunately, this situation is not an unusual occurrence. As state boards try to react to changing technology and pressure from outside groups, these types of situations can happen at any time. The good news is there is a way to deal with this in a productive way.

Understand your state board

Your state board is not the enemy. Its primary purpose is to protect consumers from harm. It’s not interested in dictating how to do your job; only to make sure that the statute passed by the state legislature is followed. Your board has two parts: the appointed members of the board and the state administrators.

The appointed members of the board are named by the governor and can include an esthetician. This is unusual, because most states don’t require an esthetician’s presence on the board. This poses a significant challenge when it comes to understanding the skin care profession. It also offers a great opportunity to educate board members about what you do every day and why you do it.

Your board administrators are state employees, and are responsible for administrating rules and regulations implemented by the board. They have to make the best possible decision based on the information they have at the time. They will take all of their recommendations to the board to vote on, and then take any new regulations to the enforcement division for implementation. Getting correct and timely information to the administrator’s staff is key to addressing any concerns that you may have.

How to educate your board