OP banner showing some of the 48 professions regulated by the Office of the Professions.

The Licensed Professions in New York State

In 1891, medicine became the first profession licensed by the New York State Board of Regents. New York's unique system of professional regulation, recognized as a model for public protection, has grown to encompass nearly 1,000,000 practitioners and over 30,000 professional practice business entities in more than 50 professions.

Guided by the Regents, a citizen body, the professions are within New York State's unified system of education - The University of the State of New York. This recognizes the key role education plays in both preparing licensed professionals and in ensuring their continuous development.

The State Education Department, under Regents' direction, administers professional regulation through its Office of the Professions, assisted by the State Boards for the Professions.

Advisory Notice: Governor Kathy Hochul has issued Executive Order 4 Declaring a Statewide Disaster Emergency Due to Healthcare Staffing Shortages in the State of New York.

In addition, please be advised that The Declarations of the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued pursuant to the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act remain in effect and continue to provide certain authorizations and exemptions for many professions and activities related to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency response. These provisions include permitting an expanded list of professionals to administer vaccine or to administer COVD-19 testing. Specifically, the United States CDC has recently provided clarification that the federal preemption provisions of the PREP Act authorize "qualified persons" (licensed professionals and others authorized under the Act) to continue to order and administer covered COVID countermeasures (testing, vaccination, treatment, issuance of non-patient specific standing orders, and other response measures) under the Act, despite the ending of state-level emergency authorizations. This means that the federal Act will authorize individuals to continue these actions in New York, notwithstanding state laws that may conflict. Individuals should refer to the Declaration, Amendments, and Guidance documents issued by US HHS for specific information. For more information on those categories of qualified persons covered to administer COVID-19 vaccines under the PREP Act Declaration and its amendments: PREP Act Fact Sheet: Expanding the COVID-19 Vaccination Workforce. Additional information about the PREP Act can be found on our website.  

Please be advised that the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency declared by former Governor Andrew Cuomo, pursuant to Executive Order 202 issued on March 7, 2020, and each successor Executive Order to Executive Order 202 have expired as of June 25, 2021. While the several exceptions and authorizations relevant to the Title VIII statutes and regulations contained within Executive Order 202 and each successor Executive Order to Executive Order 202 have now expired, Title VIII professionals should return to compliance with all Title VIII statutory and regulatory requirements without delay unless specifically suspended or waived pursuant to Executive Order 4.

The Department is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office relative to issues related to COVID 19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

 


Beware of Voice Phishing—or “Vishing”—Calls, Emails or Faxes

The New York State Education Department (“SED”) Office of the Professions (“OP”) is alerting everyone to a vishing scam that has been brought to our attention. Phishing—or “vishing”—scams impersonate SED employees attempting to collect licensure and personal information from the licensee.

If you receive an inquiry which you believe to be suspicious do not provide any information. To verify if the inquiry was from OP contact OP directly using the contact information on the OP webpage at www.op.nysed.gov.

You may report suspicious calls to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds#item-37207.

Advisory Notices:

New Effective Date for the Pathologists’ Assistants Regular Licensure Pathway

On July 1, 2018, Chapter 85 of the Laws of 2018 was enacted to amend section 8852 of the Education Law by changing the effective date of the regular licensure pathway for pathologists’ assistants from November 28, 2018 to July 1, 2018. This new effective date for the regular licensure pathway enables applicants for licensure as pathologists’ assistants, who are not eligible for licensure under the grandparenting licensure pathway, to immediately apply to the Department for licensure. This includes individuals who currently practice under limited licenses that will expire on September 1, 2018. More information can be found on our web site.

Extension of Exemptions from Licensure for Social Workers, Mental Health Practitioners, and Psychologists

Current license exemptions are extended beyond July 1, 2018. The 2018-19 State Budget includes amendments to Education Law that extend current exemptions in the licensed social work, mental health, and psychology professions. More information along with a summary of the affected licensed professionals and employment settings can be found on our web site.

Limited Exemption from Professional Misconduct

Mandatory Electronic Prescribing. Effective March 27, 2016, the law requires nurse practitioners, midwives, dentists, podiatrists, physicians, physician assistants and optometrists in New York State (“prescribers”) to issue prescriptions electronically directly to a pharmacy, with limited exceptions.

Changes have been made to the controlled substance schedules in Section 3306 of the New York State Public Health Law.

U.S. Court of Appeals Decision on Litigation Involving 13 Professions that Require U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Lawful Residence for Licensure

Internet Coupons

Licensees and applicants should be wary if asked for personal and/or financial information that does not appear to be associated with a legitimate licensing or registration transaction, even if the person making the request suggests that he or she is working for the Office of the Professions. To verify the identity of a person who purports to represent the Office of the Professions, please call 518-474-3817, ext. 570.

Last Updated: October 4, 2021