Since the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Federal Trade Commission in the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners case, regulatory boards are feeling pressure to demonstrate their value and effectiveness, with few ways to do so. Regulators are coming under increasing scrutiny from economists, public policy groups, politicians, and federal and state agencies to demonstrate that regulatory boards are necessary for public protection.
Responding to the current environment and membership’s concerns regarding criticism of occupational licensing boards, deregulation, and board consolidation, the FSBPT Board of Directors formed the Board Assessment Task Force (BATF) in 2018. The board charged the members to explore the development of an assessment tool for a member board to use that would help demonstrate the value of boards and the role that boards have in protecting the public.
The task force, listed below, started working early in 2018.
2018 Board Assessment Task Force Members
Charlotte F. Martin, MPA, LA, Chairman
Kathy Arney, PT, NC, Member
Jason Kaiser, CA, Member
Jeffrey Vinzant, AL, Member
Deborah Richardson-Peter, MPA, VI, Member
Michelle Sigmund-Gaines, OR, Member
They presented their initial findings at the 2018 Leadership Issues Forum where attendees discussed functional areas and operational metrics. The dialogue and feedback from the small group discussions were very helpful.
However, the task force members also realized that the opinion of the board’s operations and activities, as they contribute to protection of the public, would vary by stakeholder group and interest. Therefore, the task force identified a comprehensive list of stakeholders:
Once the comprehensive stakeholder list was complete, the task force began exploring measurements to demonstrate effectiveness. Depending on the stakeholder, these topics could determine whether the stakeholder considered a board effective or ineffective. The task force members continually focused on identifying characteristics of a high functioning board and identified the following broad topic areas for measuring board effectiveness:
The task force kept all of these considerations and recommendations in mind and realized that there were certain themes emerging in terms of how to demonstrate public protection. After much discussion and thought, the task force decided the tool should cover four categories with three areas of best practice in each category.
Employs Evaluation of Data
Within the tool, each of the sub categories has several questions. The task force decided that the questions should be in a yes/no question format rather than open-ended in order to keep it simple and easy to use. Depending on how the user answers the questions, the system generates different advice and resources.
For example, these are the questions for the section on “Employs Consistent Process” under “Complaint Resolution”:
The best practice is for the board to use a transparent, consistent, standardized, objective process to determine the appropriate application of discipline or remediation. If the board answers “no” on any of the questions above, they will get specific, relevant resources to help them move forward to fulfill the complete best practice.
We sent several members a copy of the tool in print form and asked them to respond to a survey to assess various factors. In general, respondents valued each of the four areas and thought the tool would be useful.
Question: In reviewing the draft Board Assessment Tool, the following categories are meaningful regarding the function of my board
Outreach and Education
Questions on Usefulness and Actionability
A tool of this nature would be useful to my board.
I could use this tool to create an action plan for my board.
Many respondents also had thoughtful feedback on each area that we took into account.
The BAR is located in the Members’ Area under Resources & Topic Papers. (If you are unsure of your credentials to access the members’ website, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
At minimum, the board administrator should complete the BAR and discuss it with board members. However, all board members may desire to complete the tool.
The individual completing the BAR should answer the yes/no questions to the best of their knowledge about the operations of the board. When the assessment is complete, the tool will generate a summative report that may be saved by the user or printed for future reference. However, it is important to note that FSBPT will not store it and the report is not able to be compared to another jurisdiction or region At the completion of the assessment, the tool provides the user with a list of resources to help improve the board in the areas where the board is not currently using best practices.
In using this tool, along with objective metrics, jurisdiction licensing boards may develop a comprehensive plan that will lead to high performance and best practices. This tool is intended to identify areas for improvement as well as demonstrate improvement in performance with subsequent assessments.
We hope member boards find this tool useful. If you have feedback or questions, please contact us.
Executive Director, Oregon Board of Physical Therapy
Michelle Sigmund-Gaines has served in a leadership capacity in health professional regulation in Oregon since 2008 and as the Executive Director for the Oregon Board of Physical Therapy since December 2017. Michelle has over twenty-five years of experience in organizational governance, information technoloy management, assessment, and instructional design in both the government and education sectors. She currently serves on the FSBPT Board Assessment Task Force.
Charlotte Martin, MPA
Executive Director, Lousiana Physical Therapy Board
Charlotte has served as the Executive Director of the Louisiana Physical Therapy Board since 2014. She is the current Chair of the FSBPT Council of Board Administrators (CBA) and Board Assessment Task Force and the former Chair of the FSBPT Foreign Educated Standards Committee. Charlotte is a National Certified Investigator and Inspector through the Council on Licensure, Enforcement & Regulation (CLEAR). Charlotte received a baccalaureate degree from the Louisiana State University (LSU) College of Humanities & Social Sciences in 2004 and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business in 2008.
Leslie Adrian, PT, DPT, MPA
Director of Professional Standards, Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy (FSBPT) since 2008. Her education includes a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Shenandoah University, Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Ithaca College, and a Master of Public Administration from Virginia Tech. Leslie has over ten years of professional regulatory experience with both the American Physical Therapy Association and FSBPT. Leslie was part of the planning and development staff for the origin and fruition of the Physical Therapy Compact. Leslie’s responsibilities include responding to the needs and requests of member state boards, researching and authoring resource papers, tracking legislative and regulatory activities relevant to physical therapy, and developing standards for internationally educated physical therapists.
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