Unless otherwise specifically provided, every board of examination or registration referred to in this chapter shall conform to the requirements prescribed in the following sections of this article.
The Legislature hereby finds and declares that as a matter of public policy the practice of the professions referred to in this chapter is a privilege and is not a natural right of individuals. The fundamental purpose of licensure and registration is to protect the public, and any license, registration, certificate or other authorization to practice issued pursuant to this chapter is a revocable privilege.
Every person appointed as a member of any board referred to in this article, before proceeding to exercise the authority or discharge the duties of the office, shall take the oath prescribed by section 5 of article IV of the state constitution, and shall file the certificate thereof with the secretary of state.
(a) The Auditor shall provide at least one seminar each year for state licensing boards to inform the boards of the duties and requirements imposed by state law and rules. All state agencies shall cooperate with and assist in providing the seminar if the Auditor requests.
(b) The seminar may include the following topics:
(1) Powers and duties of the boards and board members;
(2) The financial procedures for boards;
(3) Purchasing requirements;
(4) Open meeting requirements;
(6) Rule-making procedures;
(7) Procedures for the handling of complaints, investigations and administrative hearings;
(8) Disciplinary actions available to boards;
(9) Records management procedures;
(10) Annual reports; and
(11) Any other topics the Auditor determines necessary or informative.
(c) (1) The board members and the executive director or the chief financial officer of a board newly created under the provisions of this chapter shall attend a seminar provided under this section within one year of the creation of the board.
(2) The chairperson, the executive director or the chief financial officer of the board shall annually attend a seminar provided under this section.
(3) Each board member shall attend at least one seminar provided under this section during each term of office.
(d) The Auditor may charge a registration fee for the seminar to cover the cost of providing the seminar. The fee may be paid from funds available to a board and a board may approve an expense reimbursement for the attendance of its members, executive director and the chief financial officer of the board.
(e) Prior to January 1 of each year, the Auditor shall provide to the chairs of the Joint Standing Committee on Government Organization a list of:
(1) The names and titles of the persons who attended the seminar;
(2) The boards represented; and
(3) The number and dates of the seminars offered by the Auditor during the previous year.
(f) Ex officio members who are elected or appointed state officers or employees and members of boards that have purely advisory functions with respect to a department or agency of the state are exempt from the requirements of this section.
(a) Every board referred to in this chapter shall elect annually from its members a president and a secretary who shall hold their offices for one year, but shall continue to hold their offices until their successors are elected. However, the state board of law examiners, the state board of examiners for nurses and the state board of dental examiners may each elect a secretary from outside their membership.
(b) The officers of the boards referred to in this chapter shall register annually with the governor, the secretary of administration, the legislative auditor and the secretary of state.
Every such board shall adopt an official seal which shall be affixed to all licenses or certificates of registration issued by it, and shall make such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with law, as are necessary to regulate its proceedings and to carry out the purposes and enforce the provisions of this chapter applicable to such board.
(a) Notwithstanding any provisions of this code to the contrary, the governor shall appoint at least one lay person to represent the interests of the public on every health professional licensing board which is referred to in this chapter. If the total number of members on any of these boards after the appointment of one lay person is an even number, one additional lay person shall be appointed. Lay members shall serve in addition to any other members otherwise provided for by law or rule. Lay members shall be at least eighteen years of age, shall be of good moral character, and shall be competent to represent and safeguard the interests of the public. Each lay member is empowered to participate in and vote on all transactions and business of the board, committee or group to which he or she is appointed.
(b) Any person whose addition to a board as a lay member under the provisions of this section results in the addition of an odd number of lay additions to the board shall serve for a term ending in an odd-numbered year on the date in that year on which terms of the professional members expire. Of the members first appointed, each shall serve for a term ending in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy-nine, and the successor to each of the first members shall serve for a term equal in length to the terms of the other professional members of the board.
(c) Any person whose addition to a board as a lay member under the provisions of this section results in the addition of an even number of lay additions to the board shall serve for a term ending in an even-numbered year on the date in that year on which terms of the professional members expire. Of the members first appointed, each shall serve for a term ending in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy-eight, and the successor to each of the first members shall serve for a term equal in length to the terms of the other professional members of the board.
(a) Every board referred to in this chapter shall hold at least one meeting each year, at such time and place as it may prescribe by rule, for the examination of applicants who desire to practice their respective professions or occupations in this state and to transact any other business which may legally come before it. The board may hold additional meetings as may be necessary, which shall be called by the secretary at the direction of the president or upon the written request of any three members. A majority of the members of the board constitutes a quorum for the transaction of its business.
(b) The board is authorized to compel the attendance of witnesses, to issue subpoenas, to conduct investigations and hire an investigator and to take testimony and other evidence concerning any matter within its jurisdiction. The president and secretary of the board are authorized to administer oaths for these purposes.
(c) Every board referred to in this chapter has a duty to investigate and resolve complaints which it receives and shall, within six months of the complaint being filed, send a status report to the party filing the complaint by certified mail with a signed return receipt and within one year of the status report's return receipt date issue a final ruling, unless the party filing the complaint and the board agree in writing to extend the time for the final ruling.
(d) Every board shall provide public access to the record of the disposition of the complaints which it receives in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-b of this code. Every board has a duty to report violations of individual practice acts contained in this chapter to the board by which the individual may be licensed and shall do so in a timely manner upon receiving notice of such violations. Every person licensed or registered by a board has a duty to report to the board which licenses or registers him or her a known or observed violation of the practice act or the board's rules by any other person licensed or registered by the same board and shall do so in a timely manner. Law-enforcement agencies or their personnel and courts shall report in a timely manner to the appropriate board any violations of individual practice acts by any individual.
(e) Whenever a board referred to in this chapter obtains information that a person subject to its authority has engaged in, is engaging in or is about to engage in any act which constitutes or will constitute a violation of the provisions of this chapter which are administered and enforced by that board, it may apply to the circuit court for an order enjoining the act. Upon a showing that the person has engaged, is engaging or is about to engage in any such act, the court shall order an injunction, restraining order or other order as the court may deem appropriate.
(a) An applicant for an authorization to practice under the provisions of this chapter shall apply in writing to the proper board and submit the applicable fees.
(b) Each board may establish, by legislative rule, a deadline for an application for an examination.
(c) Notwithstanding the specific fees set forth in this chapter, each board may set fees by legislative rule that are sufficient to enable the board to effectively carry out its duties and responsibilities. At least thirty days prior to proposing a rule on fees, the board shall notify its membership of the proposed rule by:
(1) Mailing a copy of the proposed rule to its membership; or
(2) Posting the proposed rule on its website and notifying its membership of the website posting by:
(A) Mailing a postcard;
(B) Emailing a notice; or
(C) Placing a notice in its newsletter.
(d) In addition to any other information required by the board, an applicant's social security number shall be recorded on an application: Provided, That the board shall redact the social security number on any copies provided to the public.
(e) A board may not discriminate against an applicant because of political or religious opinion or affiliation, marital status, race, color, gender, creed, age, national origin, disability or other protected group status.
(f) A board may deny an applicant an authorization to practice in this state if an applicant's authorization to practice in another jurisdiction has been revoked. The denial may be made by the board without a hearing unless the applicant requests a hearing within thirty days of the denial. A hearing must be conducted pursuant to the provisions of this article or the provisions contained in the rules of the board.
Acts, 2014 Reg. Sess., Ch. 140.
Acts, 2014 Reg. Sess., Ch. 140.
Every license or certificate of registration issued by each board shall bear a serial or license number, the full name of the applicant, the date of issuance, and the seal of the board: Provided, That licenses or certificates of registration issued or renewed on or after the first day of July, two thousand three, will indicate both the date of issuance and the date of expiration. The licenses or certificates of registration shall be signed by the board's president and secretary or executive secretary. No license or certificate of registration granted or issued under the provisions of this chapter may be assigned.
(a) Every board referred to in this chapter may suspend or revoke the license of any person who has been convicted of a felony or who has been found to have engaged in conduct, practices or acts constituting professional negligence or a willful departure from accepted standards of professional conduct. Where any person has been convicted of a felony or has been found to have engaged in such conduct, practices or acts, every board referred to in this chapter may enter into consent decrees, to reprimand, to enter into probation orders, to levy fines not to exceed one thousand dollars per day per violation, or any of these, singly or in combination. Each board may also assess administrative costs. Any costs which are assessed shall be placed in the special account of the board and any fine which is levied shall be deposited in the state treasury's general revenue fund.
(b) For purposes of this section, the word "felony" means a felony or crime punishable as a felony under the laws of this state, any other state or the United States.
(c) Every board referred to in this chapter may promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to delineate conduct, practices or acts which, in the judgment of the board, constitute professional negligence, a willful departure from accepted standards of professional conduct or which may render an individual unqualified or unfit for licensure, registration or other authorization to practice.
(d) Every board referred to in this chapter may revoke the license or registration of an individual licensed or otherwise lawfully practicing within this state whose license or registration in any other state, territory, jurisdiction or foreign nation has been revoked by the licensing authority thereof.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no certificate, license, registration or authority issued under the provisions of this chapter may be suspended or revoked without a prior hearing before the board or court which issued the certificate, license, registration or authority, except:
(1) A board is authorized to suspend or revoke a certificate, license, registration or authority prior to a hearing if the person's continuation in practice constitutes an immediate danger to the public; or
(2) After due diligence, if a board cannot locate a person licensed under the provisions of this chapter within sixty days of a complaint being filed against the licensee, then the board may suspend the license, certificate, registration or authority of the person without holding a hearing. After due diligence, if a Board still cannot locate the person licensed under the provisions of this chapter thirty days after the suspension of the person's license, certificate, registration or authority, then the board may revoke the license, certificate, registration or authority of the person without holding a hearing.
(f) In all proceedings before a board or court for the suspension or revocation of any certificate, license, registration or authority issued under the provisions of this chapter, a statement of the charges against the holder of the certificate, license, registration or authority and a notice of the time and place of hearing shall be served upon the person as a notice is served under section one, article two, chapter fifty-six of this code at least thirty days prior to the hearing and he or she may appear with witnesses and be heard in person, by counsel, or both. The board may take oral or written proof, for or against the accused, as it may consider advisable. If upon hearing the board finds that the charges are true, it may suspend or revoke the certificate, license, registration or authority and suspension or revocation shall take from the person all rights and privileges acquired thereby.
(g) Pursuant to the provisions of section one, article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, informal disposition may also be made by the board of any contested case by stipulation, agreed settlement, consent order or default. Further, the board may suspend its decision and place a licensee found by the board to be in violation of the applicable practice on probation.
(h) Any person denied a license, certificate, registration or authority who believes the denial was in violation of this article or the article under which the license, certificate, registration or authority is authorized shall be entitled to a hearing on the action denying the license, certificate, registration or authority. Hearings under this subsection are in accordance with the provisions for hearings which are set forth in this section.
(i) A stenographic report of each proceeding on the denial, suspension or revocation of a certificate, license, registration or authority shall be made at the expense of the board and a transcript of the hearing retained in its files. The board shall make a written report of its findings, which shall constitute part of the record.
(j) All proceedings under the provisions of this section are subject to review by the supreme court of appeals.
(k) On or before the first day of July, two thousand one, every board referred to in this chapter shall adopt procedural rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, which shall specify a procedure for the investigation and resolution of all complaints against persons licensed under this chapter. The proposed legislative rules relating only to complaint procedures or contested case hearing procedures required by the prior enactment of this subsection shall be redesignated as procedural rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. Each board shall file the procedural rules required by this subsection by the thirty-first day of January, two thousand one. The public hearing or public comment period conducted for the proposed legislative rules shall serve as the public hearing or public comment period required by section five, article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(a) Every board referred to in this chapter is authorized to consider the reinstatement of any license or registration that has been suspended, revoked or not renewed, upon a showing that the applicant can resume practicing with reasonable skill and safety.
(b) Each board may adopt a procedural rule in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, specifying forms and procedures for application for reinstatement.
(a) Any board referred to in this chapter may, on its own motion or by stipulation of the parties, refer any complaints against persons licensed under this chapter to mediation.
(b) Any board may maintain a list of mediators with expertise in professional disciplinary matters or may obtain a list from the West Virginia center for dispute resolution or the West Virginia state bar's mediator referral service. The board shall designate a mediator from the list by neutral rotation.
(c) The mediation is not considered a proceeding open to the public and any reports and records introduced at the mediation are not part of the public record. The mediator and all participants in the mediation shall maintain and preserve the confidentiality of all proceedings and records. The mediator may not be subpoenaed or called to testify or otherwise be subject to process requiring disclosure of confidential information in any proceeding relating to or arising out of the disciplinary or licensure matter mediated: Provided, That any confidentiality agreement and any written agreement made and signed by the parties as a result of mediation may be used in any proceedings subsequently instituted to enforce the written agreement. The agreements may be used in other proceedings if the parties agree to the use in writing.
(d) The mediation may not be used to delay any disciplinary proceeding.
A person, not an applicant for or holder of a license to practice law, who has been refused a license or registration for any cause other than failure to pass the examination given by the board, or whose certificate, license, registration or authority has been suspended or revoked, may, within thirty days after the decision of the board, present his petition in writing to the circuit court of the county in which such person resides, or to the judge of such court in vacation, praying for the review and reversal of such decision. Before presenting his petition to the court or judge, the petitioner shall mail copies thereof to the president and secretary, respectively, of the board. Upon receipt of such copy the secretary shall forthwith transmit to the clerk of such court the record of the proceeding before the board. The court or judge shall fix a time for the review of said proceeding at his earliest convenience. Notice in writing of the time and place of such hearing shall be given to the president and secretary of the board at least ten days before the date set therefor. The court or judge shall, without a jury, hear and determine the case upon the record of the proceedings before the board. The court or judge may enter an order affirming, revising or reversing the decision of the board if it appears that the decision was clearly wrong. Prior to the entry of such order, no order shall be made or entered by the court to stay or supersede any suspension, revocation or cancellation of any such certificate, license, registration or authority. The judgment of the circuit court may be reviewed upon appeal in the supreme court of appeals.
(a) The secretary of every board referred to in this chapter shall receive and account for all money which it derives pursuant to the provisions of this chapter which are applicable to it. With the exception of money received as fines, each board shall pay all money which is collected into a separate special fund of the state treasury which has been established for each board. This money shall be used exclusively by each board for purposes of administration and enforcement of its duties pursuant to this chapter. Any money received as fines shall be deposited into the general revenue fund of the state treasury. When the special fund of any board accumulates to an amount which exceeds twice the annual budget of the board or ten thousand dollars, whichever is greater, the excess amount shall be transferred by the state treasurer to the state general revenue fund.
(b) Every licensing board which is authorized by the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to audit by the office of the legislative auditor.
(a) Each member of every board in this chapter is entitled to receive compensation for attending official meetings or engaging in official duties not to exceed the amount paid to members of the Legislature for their interim duties as recommended by the Citizens Legislative Compensation Commission and authorized by law. A board member may not receive compensation for travel days that are not on the same day as the official meeting or official duties.
(b) The limitations contained in this section do not apply if they conflict with provisions of this chapter relating to a particular board and enacted after the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five.
(c) A board may reimburse actual and necessary expenses incurred for each day or portion of a day engaged in the discharge of official duties in a manner consistent with guidelines of the Travel Management Office of the Department of Administration.
(d) No member of any board in this chapter may receive compensation as an employee of the board.
(a) The secretary of every board shall keep a record of its proceedings and a register of all applicants for license or registration, showing for each the date of his or her application, his or her name, age, educational and other qualifications, place of residence, whether an examination was required, whether the applicant was rejected or a certificate of license or registration granted, the date of this action, the license or registration number, all renewals of the license or registration, if required, and any suspension or revocation thereof. The books and register of the board shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times, and the books and register, or a copy of any part thereof, certified by the secretary and attested by the seal of the board, shall be prima facie evidence of all matters recorded therein.
(b) On or before the first day of January of each year in which the Legislature meets in regular session, the board shall submit to the governor and to the Legislature a report of its transactions for the preceding two years, an itemized statement of its receipts and disbursements for that period, a full list of the names of all persons licensed or registered by it during that period, statistical reports by county of practice, by specialty if appropriate to the particular profession, and a list of any complaints which were filed against persons licensed by the board, including any action taken by the board regarding those complaints. The report shall be certified by the president and the secretary of the board, and a copy of the report shall be filed with the secretary of state and with the legislative librarian.
(c) To promote public access, the secretary of every board shall ensure that the address and telephone number of the board are included every year in the state government listings of the Charleston area telephone directory. Every board shall regularly evaluate the feasibility of adopting additional methods of providing public access, including, but not limited to, listings in additional telephone directories, toll-free telephone numbers, facsimile and computer-based communications.
The secretary of every board shall prepare and maintain a complete roster of the names and office addresses of all persons licensed, or registered, and practicing in this state the profession or occupation to which such board relates, arranged alphabetically by name and also by the cities or counties in which their offices are situated. Each board shall make the roster available upon request to any member of the public.
Every board of examination or registration referred to in this chapter is hereby authorized, under such rules and regulations as may be adopted by each board, to remit all annual license or annual registration fees required to be paid by any licensee or registrant under its supervision during such time as such licensee or registrant is serving with the armed forces of the United States of America, and to retain the name of such licensee or registrant in good standing on the roster of said board during said time.
The office of the executive secretary of the health professional licensing boards is hereby created. The health profession licensing boards shall include those boards provided for in articles two-a, four, five, six, seven, seven-a, eight, ten, fourteen, sixteen, seventeen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-five and twenty-six of chapter thirty of this code. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary the office space personnel, records and like business affairs of the health profession licensing boards shall be within the office of the executive secretary of the health profession licensing boards. The secretaries of each of the health profession licensing boards shall coordinate purchasing, record keeping, personnel, use of reporters and like matters under the executive secretary in order to achieve the most efficient and economical fulfillment of their functions. The executive secretary shall be appointed by the director of health and shall report to the director. The executive secretary shall keep the fiscal records and accounts of each of the boards. The executive secretary shall keep the director informed as to the needs of each of the boards. The executive secretary shall coordinate the activities and efforts of the boards with the activities of the health resources advisory council and shall see that the needs for health manpower perceived by the boards are communicated to the health resources advisory council. The executive secretary shall keep any statistics and information on health professions, collected by or for the boards and shall make such statistics and information available to the health resources advisory council to aid it in carrying out its responsibilities.
No member of a peer review committee or a professional standards review committee of a state or local professional organization, including, but not limited to, committees established to review the practices of doctors of chiropractic, doctors of veterinary medicine, doctors of medicine, doctors of dentistry, attorneys at law, real estate brokers, architects, professional engineers, certified public accountants, public accountants or registered nurses shall be deemed liable to any person for any action taken or recommendation made within the scope of the functions of the committee, if the committee member acts without malice and in the reasonable belief that such action or recommendation is warranted by the facts known to him after reasonable effort to obtain the facts of the matter as to which such action is taken or recommendation is made.
(a) A licensing board, organized under the provisions of this chapter, may submit its annual report on electronic media to be filed in the same manner as a printed annual report, or transmitted electronically via the internet. Any report filed in an electronic format shall be considered as having satisfied the filing requirements.
(b) If a board chooses to submit its annual report electronically, it shall transmit an electronic copy to the legislative manager.
(a) Every board referred to in this chapter may propose rules
for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to establish licensure criteria and continuing education requirements for retired, volunteer and inactive licenses.
(b) If a board which establishes licensure criteria as authorized in this section does not establish specific continuing education requirements, the retired, volunteer or inactive licensees shall comply with the same continuing education requirements as established by the respective boards for an active license.
(a) Any board referred to in this chapter may combine administrative staff functions with any other board or boards referred to in this chapter, pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, to carry out the administrative duties of the boards as set forth in this article, the practice acts of each board set forth in this chapter and the legislative rules of each board: Provided, That each board retains responsibility for fulfilling its statutory duties.
(b) Before combining administrative staff functions pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the boards shall, in consultation with the office of the Attorney General, enter into a memorandum of understanding with the following provisions:
(1) The names of the boards combining administrative staff functions;
(2) The administrative staff functions being combined, including the staffs' titles and duties relative to each board;
(3) The prorata share of expenses that each board will be responsible for paying, including salaries, office rent, office supplies, telephone, fax and computer services, travel expenses and any other expenses anticipated by the boards;
(4) A description of how decisions will be made by the boards, including employment of staff, the staff's functions and duties, and any other necessary decisions;
(5) A description of how modifications may be made to the terms of the agreement; and
(6) Any other provisions necessary to set forth the agreement of the boards.
(c) The boards that combine administrative staff functions pursuant to this section, may promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to make any necessary changes to facilitate the combining of administrative staff functions. The boards may also promulgate emergency rules pursuant to the provisions of section fifteen, article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to correct any conflicts with a board's current rules.
(a) The health related professional licensing boards referred to in subsection (c) of this section shall request that their licensees provide the boards with their anticipated retirement dates, age, gender, percentage of time working direct services, percentage of time working administration and county of practice, in order to facilitate planning for future workforce needs for health care professionals.
(b) The boards shall redact personal identifiers and include only aggregate data in the annual reports required by the provisions of section twelve of this article, beginning with the annual report due on or before January 1, 2016.
(c) The provisions of this section apply to:
(1) The West Virginia Board of Medicine, established pursuant to the provisions of article three of this chapter;
(2) The West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses, established pursuant to the provisions of article seven of this chapter;
(3) The West Virginia Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses, established pursuant to the provisions of article seven-a of this chapter;
(4) The West Virginia Board of Pharmacy, established pursuant to the provisions of article five of this chapter;
(5) The West Virginia Board of Dentistry, established pursuant to the provisions of article four of this chapter; and
(6) The West Virginia Board of Osteopathy, established
pursuant to the provisions of article fourteen of this chapter.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.