Avoiding Liability Bulletin – September 2005

… What is the basic difference between a licensing act and a certification act with respect to a specific profession? In general, a licensing act or law defines the scope of the practice and prohibits anyone who is not licensed (unless exempt or otherwise allowed to practice) from performing services for money or other remuneration within that prescribed scope of practice. A certification law typically protects a specified title, but does not prohibit those who are not certified from performing the functions or services defined in the certification law, provided they do not use the protected title in order to hold themselves out to the public. Licensing is considered to be the strongest form of governmental regulation.

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Richard Leslie

Richard S. Leslie is an attorney and acknowledged expert on the interrelationship between law and the practice of marriage and family therapy and psychotherapy. Most recently, he was a consultant to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and has written articles regarding legal and ethical issues for their Family Therapy Magazine. Prior to his work with AAMFT, Richard was Legal Counsel to the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) for approximately twenty-two years. While there, he also served as their director of Government Relations and tirelessly advocated for due process and fairness for licensees and applicants.

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