ASAE is urging its members to weigh in on legislation in Ohio that would impact professional certification programs run by associations.

Ohio Senate Bill 255 calls for the government to set up its own voluntary certification programs in certain cases to compete with those administered by associations. The bill passed the Ohio Senate in June and has been introduced in the House, but has not yet been referred to a committee.

The bill defines certification as “a voluntary program in which a private organization or the state grants nontransferable recognition to an individual who meets personal qualifications established by the private organization or state law.” The bill text goes on to state that, “If regulations are intended to protect consumers against asymmetrical information between the seller and the buyer, the appropriate state action shall be to offer voluntary certification.”

ASAE has heard that after associations reached out to Ohio legislators, a co-sponsor of the bill indicated that the government may follow through on the language in the bill to set up voluntary certification programs that would compete with the associations.

Associations that wish to oppose this bill can use ASAE’s draft letter as a template for expressing their concern. The draft letter is addressed to Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith (R). To see a full list of Ohio state legislators, click here.

The Professional Certification Coalition is deeply engaged in this issue, as well as the fight to defend voluntary certification around the country. To see the list of the almost 80 members of the coalition click here. For information about joining the Professional Certification Coalition, visit the website here.

For questions, contact ASAE’s Public Policy team at 202.626.2787 or