The Virginia State Capitol Building

Virginia Update: Virginia Seeks to Improve Licensure Reciprocity

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Virginia’s Board of Cosmetology is currently conducting a fast-track rulemaking to improve licensure reciprocity by allowing individuals who have been licensed five years by another state to substitute their experience for Virginia’s requirement of “substantially equivalent training.”

More specifically, the amendments propose to:

  1. Define “substantially equivalent training” to mean at least 80% of the required hours in Virginia, and also curriculum content that covers Virginia’s scope of practice for that profession;
  2. Define “substantially equivalent exam” to mean an examination administered by the licensing entity which covers Virginia’s scope of practice for that profession;
  3. Allow out-of-state applicants for endorsement and for exam to meet the training hour requirement if they have five years work experience in the U.S.;
  4. Reduce the minimum training hours for an out-of-state applicant to qualify for the exam with no work experience from 1,500 to 1,200 hours for a master barber and cosmetologist, 1,100 to 880 hours for a barber, 150 to 120 hours for a nail technician, and 115 to 92 hours for a wax technician; and
  5. Eliminate the option for an out-of-state barber, cosmetologist, and master barber to qualify for the exam with a minimum of 1,200 hours and six months experience OR with a minimum of 1,000 hours and six months experience if they have completed the ‘general’ or ‘intro’ portions of the curriculum of an approved Virginia program.

According to the Virginia Register of Regulations notice published on August 16, 2021, “the board’s Standing Committee on Training reviewed this area in response to requests from the public, failed 2019 legislation covering the same issue, and as part of its general goal of reviewing its training requirements to ensure best practices and minimally burdensome regulations. The committee reviewed best practices among the 50 states regarding training requirements for out-of-state trained applicants. About 40 states allow experience to substitute for equivalent training in some form or another. To conform Virginia’s requirements to national best practices, as well as ensure that individuals who have demonstrated professional competence in other states are not overly burdened, the board desires to allow five years of licensed experience to substitute for substantially equivalent training.”

Interested parties may comment online on the proposed rule before September 15, 2021.

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