PSI has been a proud member of the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC), since just after its founding by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). The PCC was started in 2018 to address legislation that affect certification programs, currently joined by over 115 member organizations. The PCC advances the best interests of those who use or rely on professional certification, as well as of individual professionals themselves who achieve professional certification status. In 2018 and 2019 alone, the PCC engaged in significant advocacy in three states where legislation would have had a negative impact on certification providers, monitors legislation affecting certification in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and has spent time meeting with advocacy groups across the political spectrum to promote their understanding of certification.
If you haven’t heard about the PCC’s latest initiative, we’re here to give you the need-to-knows.
Two legislators have introduced HR 5339 – the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act. This bipartisan bill would allow 529 savings accounts to be used for certification and other credentialing program costs. Currently, 529 accounts are only permitted to be used for post-secondary two or four-year college degrees, graduate school, career and technical education programs from Title IV accreditation institutions, and a set level of elementary and high school education.
By extending the use of 529 saving accounts to certification programs, individuals for whom college may not be the right fit or who are trying to build on their college education for a job can use these tax-advantaged accounts to develop in their careers. It would provide funds to be used for certification fees, required book or equipment for the certification, continuing education course fees, recertification fees, practice exam fees, and other fees charged directly by the credentialing organization.
Given the potential benefits for our clients’ credential holders and other stakeholders, PSI wanted to share this information and ensure all of our clients were aware of the opportunity to advocate on the bill’s behalf. The PCC has drafted a letter that you may use with your legislators to advocate for the bill; this letter can be found here. Further information on the act can be found in the PCC’s HR 5339 position paper.