The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) announces that its Division of Regulatory Boards licensed more than 129,000 professionals in fiscal year (FY) 2019 while decreasing the average processing time required for the approval of new applications for those seeking professional licensure.
Additionally, the Division processed 3,700 consumer complaints, completed 18,974 inspections, and assessed $997,851 in civil penalties. Approximately $51,000 in initial licensure fees were waived for applicants receiving government assistance. As part of the Division's continual improvements, the processing time for initial applications decreased by 7% in fiscal year 2019 for initial applications. Additionally, the Division received 23,151 initial applications from individuals seeking a license.
"Our team at the Division of Regulatory Boards strives to empower professionals while upholding standards that protect consumers and create a stronger marketplace for Tennessee," said TDCI Commissioner Hodgen Mainda. "I'm proud of their work in FY 2019 to help establish an equal playing field for both consumers and small business professionals."
The Division of Regulatory Boards licenses and regulates over 380,000 Tennesseans in their professions and businesses through 26 regulatory programs, which includes the Real Estate Commission, the Board of Funeral Directors & Embalmers, the Motor Vehicle Commission, the Board for Licensing Contractors, and the Cosmetology & Barber Examiners Board, among others. These entities ensure that persons meet minimum professional standards, responsively and timely handle complaints, and provide consumer education on regulated professions and industries.
"Reducing the time needed by our team to process an initial application helps Tennessee's economy by allowing professionals to get to work faster while giving consumers assurance that they are employing a professional who meets state standards," said Assistant Commissioner for Regulatory Boards Toby Compton. "Consumers know they should always use licensed professionals and that they can contact our Division of Regulatory Boards and file a complaint, if they ever believe they have been treated unfairly or if they witness unlicensed or illegal activity."