North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners

NCGS Chapter 93B – Occupational Licensing Boards

Sec. 93B-1. Definitions.

As used in this Chapter:

“License” means any license (other than a privilege license), certificate, or other evidence of qualification which an individual is required to obtain before he may engage in or represent himself to be a member of a particular profession or occupation.

“Occupational licensing board” means any board, committee, commission, or other agency in North Carolina which is established for the primary purpose of regulating the entry of persons into, and/or the conduct of persons within, a particular profession or occupation, and which is authorized to issue licenses; “occupational licensing board” does not include State agencies, staffed by full‑time State employees, which as a part of their regular functions may issue licenses.

Sec. 93B-2. Annual reports required; contents; open to inspection; sanction for failure to report.

(a) No later than October 31 of each year, each occupational licensing board shall file with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee an annual report containing all of the following information:

(1) The address of the board, and the names of its members and officers.

(2) The number of persons who applied to the board for examination.

(3) The number who were refused examination.

(4) The number who took the examination.

(5) The number to whom initial licenses were issued.

(6) The number who applied for license by reciprocity or comity.

(7) The number who were granted licenses by reciprocity or comity.

(7a) The number of official complaints received involving licensed and unlicensed activities.

(7b) The number of disciplinary actions taken against licensees, or other actions taken against nonlicensees, including injunctive relief.

(8) The number of licenses suspended or revoked.

(9) The number of licenses terminated for any reason other than failure to pay the required renewal fee.

(10) The substance of any anticipated request by the occupational licensing board to the General Assembly to amend statutes related to the occupational licensing board.

(11) The substance of any anticipated change in rules adopted by the occupational licensing board or the substance of any anticipated adoption of new rules by the occupational licensing board.

(b) No later than October 31 of each year, each occupational licensing board shall file with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Office of State Budget and Management, and the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee a financial report that includes the source and amount of all funds credited to the occupational licensing board and the purpose and amount of all funds disbursed by the occupational licensing board during the previous fiscal year.

(c) The reports required by this section shall be open to public inspection.

(d) Failure of a board to comply with the reporting requirements of this section by October 31 of each year shall result in a suspension of the board’s authority to expend any funds until such time as the board files the required reports. Suspension of a board’s authority to expend funds under this subsection shall not affect the board’s duty to issue and renew licenses or the validity of any application or license for which fees have been tendered in accordance with law. Each board shall adopt rules establishing a procedure for implementing this subsection and shall maintain an escrow account into which any fees tendered during a board’s period of suspension under this subsection shall be deposited.

Sec. 93B-3. Register of persons licensed; information as to licensed status of individuals.

Each occupational licensing board shall prepare a register of all persons currently licensed by the board and shall supplement said register annually by listing the changes made in it by reason of new licenses issued, licenses revoked or suspended, death, or any other cause. The board shall, upon request of any citizen of the State, inform the requesting person as to the licensed status of any individual.

Sec. 93B-4. Audit of Occupational Licensing Boards; payment of costs.

(a) The State Auditor shall audit occupational licensing boards from time to time to ensure their proper operation. The books, records, and operations of each occupational licensing board shall be subject to the oversight of the State Auditor pursuant to Article 5A of Chapter 147 of the General Statutes. In accordance with G.S. 147‑64.7(b), the State Auditor may contract with independent professionals to meet the requirements of this section.

The cost of all audits shall be paid from funds of the occupational licensing board audited.

(b) Each occupational licensing board with a budget of at least fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) shall conduct an annual financial audit of its operations and provide a copy to the State Auditor.

Sec. 93B-5. Compensation, employment, and training of board members.

(a) Board members shall receive as compensation for their services per diem not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each day during which they are engaged in the official business of the board.

(b) Board members shall be reimbursed for all necessary travel expenses in an amount not to exceed that authorized under G.S. 138‑6(a) for officers and employees of State departments. Actual expenditures of board members in excess of the maximum amounts set forth in G.S. 138‑6(a) for travel and subsistence may be reimbursed if the prior approval of the State Director of Budget is obtained and such approved expenditures are within the established and published uniform standards and criteria of the State Director of Budget authorized under G.S. 138‑7 for extraordinary charges for hotels, meals, and convention registration for State officers and employees, whenever such charges are the result of required official business of the Board.

(d) Except as provided herein board members shall not be paid a salary or receive any additional compensation for services rendered as members of the board.

(e) Board members shall not be permanent, salaried employees of said board.

(g) Within six months of a board member’s initial appointment to the board, and at least once within every two calendar years thereafter, a board member shall receive training, either from the board’s staff, including its legal advisor, or from an outside educational institution such as the School of Government of the University of North Carolina, on the statutes governing the board and rules adopted by the board, as well as the following State laws, in order to better understand the obligations and limitations of a State agency:

(1) Chapter 150B, The Administrative Procedure Act.

(2) Chapter 132, The Public Records Law.

(3) Article 33C of Chapter 143, The Open Meetings Act.

(4) Articles 31 and 31A of Chapter 143, The State Tort Claims Act and The Defense of State Employees Law.

(5) Chapter 138A, The State Government Ethics Act.

(6) Chapter 120C, Lobbying.

Completion of the training requirements contained in Chapter 138A and Chapter 120C of the General Statutes satisfies the requirements of subdivisions (5) and (6) of this subsection.

Sec. 93B-6. Use of funds for lobbying prohibited.

Occupational licensing boards shall not use any funds to promote or oppose in any manner the passage by the General Assembly of any legislation.

Sec. 93B-7. Rental of state-owned office space.

Any occupational licensing board, which financially operates on the licensing fees charged and also occupies state-owned office space, shall pay rent, in a reasonable amount to be determined by the Governor, to the State for the occupancy of such space.

Sec. 93B-8. Examination procedures.

(a) Each applicant for an examination given by any occupational licensing board shall be informed in writing or print of the required grade for passing the examination prior to the taking of such examination.

(b) Each applicant for an examination given by any occupational licensing board shall be identified, for purposes of the examination, only by number rather than by name.

(c) Each applicant who takes an examination given by any occupational licensing board, and does not pass such examination, shall have the privilege to review his examination in the presence of the board or a representative of the board. Except as provided in this subsection, an occupational licensing board shall not be required to disclose the contents of any examination or of any questions which have appeared thereon, or which may appear thereon in the future.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, under no circumstances shall an occupational licensing board be required to disclose to an applicant questions or answers to tests provided by recognized testing organizations pursuant to contracts which prohibit such disclosures.

§ 93B-8.1. Use of criminal history records.

(a) The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) Applicant. – A person who makes application for licensure from an occupational licensing board.

(2) Board. – An occupational licensing board as defined in G.S. 93B-1.

(3) Criminal history record. – A State or federal history of conviction of a crime, whether a misdemeanor or felony, that bears upon an applicant’s or a licensee’s fitness to be licensed or disciplined.

(4) Licensee. – A person who has obtained a license to engage in or represent himself or herself to be a member of a particular profession or occupation.

(b) Unless the law governing a particular occupational licensing board provides otherwise, a board shall not automatically deny licensure on the basis of an applicant’s criminal history. If the board is authorized to deny a license to an applicant on the basis of conviction of any crime or for commission of a crime involving fraud or moral turpitude, and the applicant’s verified criminal history record reveals one or more convictions of any crime, the board may deny the license if it finds that denial is warranted after consideration of the following factors:

(1) The level and seriousness of the crime.

(2) The date of the crime.

(3) The age of the person at the time of the crime.

(4) The circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, if known.

(5)The nexus between the criminal conduct and the prospective duties of the applicant as a licensee.

(6) The prison, jail, probation, parole, rehabilitation, and employment records of the applicant since the date the crime was committed.

(7) The subsequent commission of a crime by the applicant.

(8)  Any affidavits or other written documents, including character references.

(c) The board may deny licensure to an applicant who refuses to consent to a criminal history record check or use of fingerprints or other identifying information required by the State or National Repositories of Criminal Histories.

(d) This section does not apply to The North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission.”

Sec. 93B-9. Age requirements.

Any other provision notwithstanding, no occupational licensing board may require that an individual be more than 18 years of age as a requirement for receiving a license.

Sec. 93B-10. Expiration of term of appointment of board member.

A board member serving on an occupational and professional licensing board whose term of appointment has expired shall continue to serve until a successor is appointed and qualified.

Sec. 93B-11. Interest from State Treasurer’s Investment Program.

Any interest earned by an occupational licensing board under G.S. 147‑69.3(d) may be used only for the following purposes:

(1) To reduce fees;

(2) Improve services offered to licensees and the public; or

(3) For educational purposes to benefit licensees or the public.

Sec. 93B‑12. Information from licensing boards having authority over health care providers.

(a) Every occupational licensing board having authority to license physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives in this State shall modify procedures for license renewal to include the collection of information specified in this section for each board’s regular renewal cycle. The purpose of this requirement is to assist the State in tracking the availability of health care providers to determine which areas in the State suffer from inequitable access to specific types of health services and to anticipate future health care shortages which might adversely affect the citizens of this State. Occupational licensing boards shall collect, report, and update the following information:

(1) Area of health care specialty practice;

(2) Address of all locations where the licensee practices; and

(3) Other information the occupational licensing board deems relevant to assisting the State in achieving the purpose set out in this section, including social security numbers for research purposes only in matching other data sources.

(b) Every occupational licensing board required to collect information pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall report and update the information on an annual basis to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department shall provide this information to programs preparing primary care physicians, physicians assistants, and nurse practitioners upon request by the program and by the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina. Information provided by the occupational licensing board pursuant to this subsection may be provided in such form as to omit the identity of the health care licensee.

Sec. 93B-13. Revocation when licensing privilege forfeited for nonpayment of child support or for failure to comply with subpoena.

(a) Upon receipt of a court order, pursuant to G.S. 50‑13.12 and G.S. 110‑142.1, revoking the occupational license of a licensee under its jurisdiction, an occupational licensing board shall note the revocation in its records, report the action within 30 days to the Department of Health and Human Services, and follow the normal postrevocation rules and procedures of the board as if the revocation had been ordered by the board. The revocation shall remain in effect until the board receives certification by the clerk of superior court or the Department of Health and Human Services in an IV‑D case that the licensee is no longer delinquent in child support payments, or, as applicable, that the licensee is in compliance with or is no longer subject to the subpoena that was the basis for the revocation.

(b) Upon receipt of notification from the Department of Health and Human Services that a licensee under an occupational licensing board’s jurisdiction has forfeited the licensee’s occupational license pursuant to G.S. 110‑142.1, then the occupational licensing board shall send a notice of intent to revoke or suspend the occupational license of that licensee as provided by G.S. 110‑142.1(d). If the license is revoked as provided by the provisions of G.S. 110‑142.1, the revocation shall remain in effect until the board receives certification by the designated representative or the child support enforcement agency that the licensee is no longer delinquent in child support payments, or, as applicable, that the licensee is in compliance with or no longer subject to a subpoena that was the basis for the revocation.

(c) If at the time the court revokes a license pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, or if at the time the occupational licensing board revokes a license pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the occupational licensing board has revoked the same license under the licensing board’s disciplinary authority over licensees under its jurisdiction, and that revocation period is greater than the revocation period resulting from forfeiture pursuant to G.S. 50‑13.12 or G.S. 110‑142.1 then the revocation period imposed by the occupational licensing board applies.

(d) Immediately upon certification by the clerk of superior court or the child support enforcement agency that the licensee whose license was revoked pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section is no longer delinquent in child support payments, the occupational licensing board shall reinstate the license. Immediately upon certification by the clerk of superior court or the child support enforcement agency that the licensee whose license was revoked because of failure to comply with a subpoena is in compliance with or no longer subject to the subpoena, the occupational licensing board shall reinstate the license. Reinstatement of a license pursuant to this section shall be made at no additional cost to the licensee.

Sec. 93B-14. Information on applicants for licensure.

Every occupational licensing board shall require applicants for licensure to provide to the Board the applicant’s social security number. This information shall be treated as confidential and may be released only as follows:

(1) To the State Child Support Enforcement Program of the Department of Health and Human Services upon its request and for the purpose of enforcing a child support order.

(2) To the Department of Revenue for the purpose of administering the State’s tax laws.

Sec. 93B-15. Payment of license fees by members of the armed forces; board waiver rules

An individual who is serving in the armed forces of the United States and to whom G.S. 105‑249.2 grants an extension of time to file a tax return is granted an extension of time to pay any license fee charged by an occupational licensing board as a condition of retaining a license granted by the board. The extension is for the same period that would apply if the license fee were a tax.

93B-15.1.  Licensure for individuals with military training and experience; licensure by endorsement for military spouses; temporary license.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an occupational licensing board, as defined in G.S. 93B-1, shall issue a license, certification, or registration to a military-trained applicant to allow the applicant to lawfully practice the applicant’s occupation in this State if, upon application to an occupational licensing board, the applicant satisfies the following conditions:

(1) Has been awarded a military occupational specialty and has done all of the following at a level that is substantially equivalent to or exceeds the requirements for licensure, certification, or registration of the occupational licensing board from which the applicant is seeking licensure, certification, or registration in this State: completed a military program of training, completed testing or equivalent training and experience as determined by the board, and performed in the occupational specialty.

(2) Has engaged in the active practice of the occupation for which the person is seeking a license, certification, or permit from the occupational licensing board in this State for at least two of the five years preceding the date of the application under this section.

(3) Has not committed any act in any jurisdiction that would have constituted grounds for refusal, suspension, or revocation of a license to practice that occupation in this State at the time the act was committed.

(4) Pays any fees required by the occupational licensing board for which the applicant is seeking licensure, certification, or registration in this State.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an occupational licensing board, as defined in G.S. 93B-1, shall issue a license, certification, or registration to a military spouse to allow the military spouse to lawfully practice the military spouse’s occupation in this State if, upon application to an occupational licensing board, the military spouse satisfies the following conditions:

(1) Holds a current license, certification, or registration from another jurisdiction, and that jurisdiction’s requirements for licensure, certification, or registration are substantially equivalent to or exceed the requirements for licensure, certification, or registration of the occupational licensing board for which the applicant is seeking licensure, certification, or registration in this State.

(2) Can demonstrate competency in the occupation through methods as determined by the Board, such as having completed continuing education units or having had recent experience for at least two of the five years preceding the date of the application under this section.

(3) Has not committed any act in any jurisdiction that would have constituted grounds for refusal, suspension, or revocation of a license to practice that occupation in this State at the time the act was committed.

(4) Is in good standing and has not been disciplined by the agency that had jurisdiction to issue the license, certification, or permit.

(5) Pays any fees required by the occupational licensing board for which the applicant is seeking licensure, certification, or registration in this State.

(c) All relevant experience of a military service member in the discharge of official duties or, for a military spouse, all relevant experience, including full-time and part-time experience, regardless of whether in a paid or volunteer capacity, shall be credited in the calculation of years of practice in an occupation as required under subsection (a) or (b) of this section.

(d) A nonresident licensed, certified, or registered under this section shall be entitled to the same rights and subject to the same obligations as required of a resident licensed, certified, or registered by an occupational licensing board in this State.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to the practice of law as regulated under Chapter 84 of the General Statutes.

(f) An occupational licensing board may issue a temporary practice permit to a military-trained applicant or military spouse licensed, certified, or registered in another jurisdiction while the military-trained applicant or military spouse is satisfying the requirements for licensure under subsection (a) or (b) of this section if that jurisdiction has licensure, certification, or registration standards substantially equivalent to the standards for licensure, certification, or registration of an occupational licensing board in this State. The military-trained applicant or military spouse may practice under the temporary permit until a license, certification, or registration is granted or until a notice to deny a license, certification, or registration is issued in accordance with rules adopted by the occupational licensing board.

(g) An occupational licensing board may adopt rules necessary to implement this section.

(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a military-trained applicant or military spouse from proceeding under the existing licensure, certification, or registration requirements established by an occupational licensing board in this State.

(i) For the purposes of this section, the State Board of Education shall be considered an occupational licensing board when issuing teacher licenses under G.S. 115C-296.

(j) For the purposes of this section, the North Carolina Medical Board shall not be considered an occupational licensing board.

Sec.  93B 16. Occupational board liability for negligent acts.

(a) An occupational licensing board may purchase commercial insurance of any kind to cover all risks or potential liability of the board, its members, officers, employees, and agents, including the board’s liability under Articles 31 and 31A of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes.

(b) Occupational licensing boards shall be deemed State agencies for purposes of Articles 31 and 31A of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes, and board members and employees of occupational licensing boards shall be considered State employees for purposes of Articles 31 and 31A of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes. To the extent an occupational licensing board purchases commercial liability insurance coverage in excess of one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) per claim for liability arising under Article 31 or 31A of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes, the provisions of G.S. 143‑299.4 shall not apply. To the extent that an occupational licensing board purchases commercial insurance coverage for liability arising under Article 31 or 31A of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes, the provisions of G.S. 143‑300.6(c) shall not apply.

(c) The purchase of insurance by an occupational licensing board under this section shall not be construed to waive sovereign immunity or any other defense available to the board, its members, officers, employees, or agents in an action or contested matter in any court, agency, or tribunal. The purchase of insurance by an occupational licensing board shall not be construed to alter or expand the limitations on claims or payments established in G.S. 143‑299.2 or limit the right of board members, officers, employees, or agents to defense by the State as provided by G.S. 143‑300.3.