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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.

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Some boards are very responsive to their licensees, and others are not. The personality of your board can only be determined by going to a state board meeting and engaging with them. Regardless, there are certain approaches that work better than others. The best thing to remember is the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated. No one responds well to anger, illogical arguments and poor communication.

Boards are looking for the following.

  • Accurate information based on professional best practices, science and a history of safety. This can be provided through written textbooks, studies and insurance claim data.
  • A unified voice from the skin care profession. If dissent within the profession exists, acknowledging and respecting it should be presented, as well.
  • Knowledge of existing statutes, regulations and board procedures. It is important for you to be well-informed of the process, as well as how to find information, and what currently exists in statute and regulation. If a certain deadline exists for comments, the board expects you to know when that deadline is.
  • Involvement. Get to a board meeting at least once a year if you plan on adding your voice to mix. This will give you credibility.

Connecting with others for impact

Providing information and education to your board can be a time-consuming process. When you are working in a treatment room all day long, the ability to take the time to find information and provide education is very limited. When a situation comes up in your state, it is important to connect with organizations that represent your best interests in the process or can give you accurate information to help you mobilize your peers into action.

Associations are regularly called to represent their members during the legislative and regulation process. Understanding what your association can do for you is really important. The skin care profession has several associations with different focuses. Some focus solely on legislative process and credentialing, and they represent licensed individuals, manufacturers and others. Others focus solely on education, protection and representation of licensed individuals. The key questions to ask when deciding to join an association are the following.

  • What is this association going to do to represent my interests?
  • What benefits can it provide for me?
  • Will I have help when I need it?
  • Does it have a credible presence within my profession?

It is not uncommon for a professional to have multiple association affiliations based on their needs throughout their career. There is no right or wrong in this decision; the only thing that is important is that you are part of a body of professionals that can stand up in front of the board and have substantial representation.