To ensure public protection in New York State, the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions (OP) investigates and prosecutes professional misconduct in all professions except medicine (see more information about this exception). Professional misconduct is the failure of a licensed professional to meet expected standards of practice.
The Board of Regents, which licenses individuals in more than 50 professions defined in Education Law and registers professional practice business entities and pharmacy establishments, is responsible for the final disposition of all disciplinary matters. Summaries of final disciplinary actions will be listed under the Enforcement Actions tab within an individual’s, entity’s or establishment’s Online Verification Search results. You may also search our site by year, month, and profession for disciplinary actions.
Professional misconduct is defined in Education Law and in the Rules of the Board of Regents. Professional misconduct includes the following:
- Engaging in acts of gross incompetence or gross negligence on a single occasion, or negligence or incompetence on more than one occasion
- Permitting or aiding an unlicensed person to perform activities requiring a license
- Refusing a client or patient service because of race, creed, color, or national origin
- Practicing beyond the scope of the profession
- Releasing confidential information without authorization
- Being convicted of a crime
- Failing to return or provide copies of records on request
- Being sexually or physically abusive
- Abandoning or neglecting a patient in need of immediate care
- Performing unnecessary work or unauthorized services
- Practicing under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
A range of penalties that includes censure and reprimand, fines (up to $10,000 for each violation), suspensions and/or probationary terms may be imposed on licensees who have committed misconduct. The Board of Regents takes final action on the most serious cases of misconduct. In severe cases of misconduct, the Regents may revoke the professional's license. Information on uncontested determinations in which a licensee has been assessed a fine for committing an infraction of a minor and technical nature is available by contacting OP's Public Information Unit by phone: 518-474-3817 Ext. 330, fax: 518-473-0578 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also request this information by writing to the Office of the Professions.
OP's Professional Assistance Program allows licensees who abuse alcohol or other drugs to surrender their licenses voluntarily and confidentially while progressing through an acceptable course of treatment; it is available to licensees who have not harmed clients. Successful completion of the program may act as an alternative to disciplinary action.
OP also investigates allegations of illegal (unlicensed) practice in all licensed professions, including medicine. Practicing a profession without a license and current registration is a felony in New York State. Information is available by phone: 518-474-3817, ext. 330; fax: 518-473-0578; e-mail: email@example.com, or by writing to the Office of the Professions.