Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 3. Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation

§ 54.1-311. Degrees of regulation.

A. Whenever the Board determines that a particular profession or occupation should be regulated, or that a different degree of regulation should be imposed on a regulated profession or occupation, it shall consider the following degrees of regulation in the order provided in subdivisions 1 through 5. The Board shall regulate only to the degree necessary to fulfill the need for regulation and only upon approval by the General Assembly.

1. Private civil actions and criminal prosecutions. -- Whenever existing common law and statutory causes of civil action or criminal prohibitions are not sufficient to eradicate existing harm or prevent potential harm, the Board may first consider the recommendation of statutory change to provide more strict causes for civil action and criminal prosecution.

2. Inspection and injunction. -- Whenever current inspection and injunction procedures are not sufficient to eradicate existing harm, the Board may promulgate regulations consistent with the intent of this chapter to provide more adequate inspection procedures and to specify procedures whereby the appropriate regulatory board may enjoin an activity which is detrimental to the public well-being. The Board may recommend to the appropriate agency of the Commonwealth that such procedures be strengthened or it may recommend statutory changes in order to grant to the appropriate state agency the power to provide sufficient inspection and injunction procedures.

3. Registration. -- Whenever it is necessary to determine the impact of the operation of a profession or occupation on the public, the Board may implement a system of registration.

4. Certification. -- When the public requires a substantial basis for relying on the professional services of a practitioner, the Board may implement a system of certification.

5. Licensing. -- Whenever adequate regulation cannot be achieved by means other than licensing, the Board may establish licensing procedures for any particular profession or occupation.

B. In determining the proper degree of regulation, if any, the Board shall determine the following:

1. Whether the practitioner, if unregulated, performs a service for individuals involving a hazard to the public health, safety or welfare.

2. The opinion of a substantial portion of the people who do not practice the particular profession, trade or occupation on the need for regulation.

3. The number of states which have regulatory provisions similar to those proposed.

4. Whether there is sufficient demand for the service for which there is no regulated substitute and this service is required by a substantial portion of the population.

5. Whether the profession or occupation requires high standards of public responsibility, character and performance of each individual engaged in the profession or occupation, as evidenced by established and published codes of ethics.

6. Whether the profession or occupation requires such skill that the public generally is not qualified to select a competent practitioner without some assurance that he has met minimum qualifications.

7. Whether the professional or occupational associations do not adequately protect the public from incompetent, unscrupulous or irresponsible members of the profession or occupation.

8. Whether current laws which pertain to public health, safety and welfare generally are ineffective or inadequate.

9. Whether the characteristics of the profession or occupation make it impractical or impossible to prohibit those practices of the profession or occupation which are detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare.

10. Whether the practitioner performs a service for others which may have a detrimental effect on third parties relying on the expert knowledge of the practitioner.

1979, c. 408, § 54-1.26; 1988, c. 765.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.