The Education Law restricts the practice of a profession to individuals who are licensed or otherwise authorized to provide professional services (e.g., permit holders and students under supervision) and to entities (e.g., professional businesses, hospitals, public schools) that are authorized to employ licensed professionals or qualified persons. Prior to the enactment of licensure laws which restricted the practice of social work, mental health practitioner and psychology professions to those licensed in those professions and to authorized entities, any individual or business could provide certain services within the scopes of practice of these professions, including psychotherapy. However, licensure laws now restrict many of these services to licensed individuals and require that the delivery of such professional services be provided only by authorized individuals or entities authorized to employ licensed professionals or otherwise qualified persons. This section of law has been amended to include applied behavior analysis services to be offered by qualified entities.
While most not-for-profit, religious and education corporations are prohibited from offering any professional services, Chapters 130 and 132 of the Laws of 2010 created a new section 6503-a of the Education Law to establish a process through which the Department may grant a waiver to authorize qualified not-for-profit, religious or education corporations to provide these professional services. The waived entities will be authorized to provide certain professional services, including psychotherapy, and to employ persons licensed or authorized to provide such professional services. Waived entities are subject to oversight and discipline by the Board of Regents.
The waiver will allow a not-for-profit or religious corporation formed for charitable, educational, or religious purposes or other similar purposes deemed acceptable by the Department, or an education corporation as defined in subdivision one of section 216-a of the Education Law, to provide the following services, provided that the entity was in existence prior to June 18, 2010, and has obtained a waiver issued by the Department:
On or after July 1, 2012, a waiver may be granted regardless of when the entity was created only if the Department determines there is need for an entity's services. Use this template for the submission of information that demonstrates a need for services.
You can access the Education Law on this site.
The law allows an entity that existed on June 18, 2010, to continue providing services until the Department makes a decision on the waiver application. The Board of Regents has adopted regulations that define the process by which an entity may apply for and receive a waiver (section 59.14 of the Commissioner’s Regulations) and define unprofessional conduct by an entity issued a waiver (section 29.18 of the Regents Rules) to ensure public protection. You can access the regulations on this site.
An entity that wishes to employ individuals who are licensed or authorized to provide professional services must submit the waiver application and all supporting information, as outlined below. This includes attestations of moral character from each officer, trustee or director of the entity and, if the entity provides services in more than one site, an application for an additional setting(s).
Education Law section 6503-a requires entities to submit an application on or before February 1, 2012. The Department will complete an initial review and notify the applicant whether additional information is required to complete the evaluation of the application. The law requires the Department to approve or deny the application within 90 days after determining that the application is complete. If the application is approved, the Department will issue a waiver to the entity; if the application is denied, the entity must stop providing professional services.
Certain entities are authorized to employ licensed professionals to provide services that would otherwise be restricted under Title VIII of the Education Law. These include:
No, there is no fee for the waiver.
Experience for licensure must be completed in a legally authorized setting. If you are seeking employment with a prospective employer, you should verify that the employer has the authority to provide services in a the licensed profession. This could include:
The Department will issue to a qualified not-for-profit, religious or education corporation a three-year waiver under Education Law section 6503-a. The entity must display a waiver certificate in each setting where professional services are provided to the public. The public will be able to use the Office of the Professions website to determine whether an entity has been issued a waiver and when that waiver expires. An entity that has been issued a waiver will receive a renewal notice from the Office of the Professions every 3 years and must register to continue offering professional services.
The waiver will allow a not-for-profit, religious or education corporation to employ licensed professionals or contract with licensed professionals or professional entities, to provide services that are restricted under Title VIII. The licensed professionals and professional entities are responsible for services provided. The corporation holding the waiver is subject to the definitions of professional misconduct under the same provisions of Education Law and Regents Rules and has the same rights as a licensed professional.
In order to qualify for a waiver, the entity must be organized in accordance with New York laws. A not-for-profit corporation may be organized under the Not-for-Profit Law. A religious corporation may be organized under the Religious Corporations Law. An education corporation may be authorized by the Board of Regents with an absolute or provisional charter. The entity must submit a copy of this authorization with the application for a waiver, and the corporate purposes of the entity must include the provision of professional services, as defined in Articles 153 (psychology), 154 (social work), 163 (mental health practitioners) or 167 (applied behavior analysis) of the Education Law.
Yes, the Governor signed Chapter 187 of the Laws of 2011 on July 21, 2011. Except as noted below, this amendment requires that an entity submit an application on or before February 1, 2012. The law continues to authorize an entity to provide professional services while the application is under review.
If you sent your application by certified mail, FedEx, or other carriers and requested proof of delivery, your receipt from the carrier will be proof of a timely application. The State Board for Social Work office is processing the applications and will send an e-mail acknowledgement. Please avoid calling the Board office so that we can continue to process the applications. You can access a list of entities that have applied for a waiver and those that have received a waiver on our website.
The law allows the Department to issue a waiver on or after July 1, 2012 to an entity which was created before, on, or after June 18, 2010, only if there is a demonstration of need for the entity’s services, satisfactory to the Department. Section 59.14(c) of the Commissioner’s Regulations defines a need for services to include, but not be limited to the fact the entity provides services to an underserved population or in a shortage area. Applications submitted on or before February 1, 2012 and reviewed by the department prior to July 1, 2012 will be evaluated without consideration of the need for services. A sample document that sets out the format for submitting information about the need for an entity's services is available on this site.
When we are processing applications, including the moral character attestation, we may need to request clarification or additional information. Please provide the best way to contact you, whether this is your home or work address, telephone number and e-mail address, or if we should contact you through the entity’s contact person.
Section 59.14(i) states that an entity holding a waiver must notify the Department within 60 days of any change in the information supplied to the Department. If there is a change in the name of the entity, the primary address, or in designated personnel (director, officer or trustee of the entity, including the CEO, COO, CFO or Executive Director who is authorized to act on behalf of the entity) these changes must be submitted on the Waiver Entity Form COI. Please note that each new director, officer, trustee, Executive Director, CEO, COO or CFO must also submit a Moral Character Attestation (Form CE-1).
If there is a change in the professional services to be offered by the entity, this should be reported on a revised Application for Waiver (Form CE). If the entity adds or deletes sites at which services are provided, a Request for Additional Setting Form (Form CE-2) must be submitted for each site.
No, the entity should submit the required documentation after any changes have been made to key personnel, including officers, directors and trustees; the name or primary address of the entity; the professional services to be offered by the entity; or the addition or deletion of additional sites. However, the entity may need the approval of another state or local government agency to make certain changes. Timely notification to the Office of the Professions will allow us to contact the entity in the future.
When a waiver is issued, it is valid for three years and must be renewed every three years to authorize the entity to employ licensed or authorized persons to provide professional services. If the entity stops providing the services authorized by the waiver, it may choose not to register for the next registration period. If the entity chooses to register the waiver in the future, it would have to request a registration application from the State Board for Social Work and meet all requirements in effect at that time.
There is additional information about the application process and required information on the application forms, available on this site. You can also search under the “Find Answers” tab on this website to access more information about the waivers authorized under the Education Law.