Proposed Changes to the Registered Sanitarian Credential
The board wanted to update our membership on some possible changes regarding the Registered Sanitarian/Sanitarian-in-Training credential. Recently, the Ohio House State and Local Government Committee, provided preliminary recommendations on a required overview of various occupational licenses. The RS/SIT credential was among those being reviewed. The Chairman, Rep. Scott Wiggam, provide to us a proposal to change several requirements of the RS/SIT credential. Initially, the draft proposal sought to change several items consisting of fees, SIT requirements, and renewal periods.
Hicks Partners, at the direction of the OEHA Board, initiated conversations with Chairman Wiggam. We discussed his proposed changes, and provided him with our comments/concerns and our own proposed changes.
The current proposed changes are as follows:
• Change Sanitarian Registration license title to Registered Environmental Health Specialist, which is the professions nationally identified professional title and credential. Change exam requirement to completion of a national licensing exam, instead of an exam administered by the State Board of Sanitarian Registration. Change continuing education from 18 hours of board approved courses annually to 24 hours every two years. Change license duration from one year to two years. Lastly, change licensure fees from $160 initial fee and $90 renewal fee to $100 initial fee and $75 renewal fee. These changes improve efficiency in the licensure process, increase economic opportunities for those interested in pursuing this profession, as well as mimic other surrounding states licensure requirements. Lastly, for this license, the committee recommends the removal of the standard of ‘good moral character’ from the sanitarian license application. This standard is overly broad with no clear definition.
•Change Sanitarian-in-Training Registration license title to Registered Environmental Health Specialist in Training, which is the professions nationally identified professional title and credential. Change continuing education from 18 hours of board approved courses annually to 24 hours every two years. Change license duration from one year to two years. Lastly, change licensure fees from $80 initial fee and $90 renewal fee to $50 initial fee and $35 renewal fee. These changes improve efficiency in the licensure process, increase economic opportunities for those interested in pursuing this profession, as well as mimic other surrounding states licensure requirements. Remove the standard of ‘good moral character’ from sanitarian-in-training application. This standard is overly broad with no clear definition.
This Chart shows the current requirements, the initial proposed changes, and what OEHA proposed.
One item that is not included on document is the name change. OEHA requested the proposed name change to modernize and update our profession. As we all know, most people do not have any understanding of what a Registered Sanitarian is or what we do. The national (and global) standard is the Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) and the Registered Environmental Health Specialist-In-Training (REHS-IT) title.
This title change does not change anything else with the RS Law. As is currently the case, ODH will oversee the licensing and registration of sanitarians. We are proposing no changes to that aspect, nor do we want to advocate for such. We believe that it is important to keep and maintain Ohio’s independence and its ability to license/register environmental health professionals.
Lastly, It is important to understand that this proposal is still just a proposal in the State and Local Government Committee. A bill has not yet been drafted, which means that these proposed changes may continue to be modified or changed during the legislative process. This process is occurring outside of the interested party rule review process which occurred in August. This Occupational Licensing Review Process is required by ORC 101.63 and requires that all occupational licensing boards must be renewed every six years.
OEHA has provided written support of these change to State and Local Government Committee. Additionally, the National Environmental Health Association has also provided a written letter of support. OEHA has requested the Association of Ohio Health Commissioner's to provide a written letter of support for these proposed changed. Their board will be discussing this request at their next meeting.
If you have any questions, please contact the board at Info@OhioEHA.org.
Garrett Guillozet, MPA, RS/REHS, AEMT
OEHA Past President