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The CSG National Center for Interstate Compacts, or NCIC, is a policy program that assists states in developing interstate compacts, which are contracts between states. State governments often prefer to direct themselves collaboratively when addressing problems that span boundaries, and compacts have proved to be an effective mechanism for states to jointly problem-solve, often avoiding federal intervention.


seamlessly in multiple jurisdictions without the burden of carrying multiple licenses and the costs and time associated with tracking renewal dates. Occupational licensure compacts allow states to cooperatively develop and enforce stringent standards. “Professionals, especially young professionals, want greater ease of movement to work and interstate compacts are a proven means for states to protect consumers and allow for licensure portability and reciprocity,” said Logsdon. Currently four licensure compacts are operating—compacts for nurses, physicians, physical therapists and emergency management personnel. A licensure compact for psychologists will soon be operational and a compact for advanced practice nurses is now before the states. An occupational licensure compact being developed for audiologists and speech language pathologists is on track to be before the states for consideration in January 2020. As of December 2018, 31 states have joined the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, or eNLC; 27 states have joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, or IMLC; 21 states have joined the Physical Therapy Compact, or PT Compact; 16 states have enacted the EMS Licensure Compact; and seven states have joined the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact, or PSYPACT. However, interest in licensure compacts isn’t confined to healthcare professions. In August, the viability of a teacher licensing/certification interstate compact was the focus of a two-day seminar at the CSG Eastern Regional Conference Annual Meeting in Rye Brook, New York.

“NCIC combines policy research with best practices and promotes the use of interstate compacts as an ideal tool to meet the demand for cooperative state action,” said CSG Assistant Director of Policy and Research Dan Logsdon. “The NCIC is an information clearinghouse, a provider of training and technical assistance, and a primary facilitator in assisting states in the review, revision and creation of new interstate compacts as solutions to multistate problems or alternatives to federal preemption.”

“A major topic of conversation at the ERC meeting was the inefficient distribution of qualified teachers,” said Matt Shafer, senior policy analyst at the CSG Center of Innovation. “Some states have more teachers than they can employ in the local schools and other states don’t have enough teachers to meet their needs. This balancing problem is driven, in part, by a lack of mobility. Eliminating these barriers to licensure mobility would allow for the more efficient transfer of teachers to locations of greater need.”

In 2018, NCIC saw interest in interstate occupational licensure compacts grow. As Americans become more mobile, legislators, regulators and professional bodies are looking to interstate compacts as a mechanism to promote occupational licensure portability and reciprocity in the states. Professionals want the ability to practice

As state policymakers continue to grapple with the policy challenges presented by the 21st century workforce and the dual demands of ensuring public safety while providing regulatory flexibility, interest in interstate occupational licensure compacts is expected to continue to grow in 2019.

Profile for The Council of State Governments

Capitol Ideas Issue | 2019 | Issue 1 | All About CSG