Allegations of professional misconduct can jeopardize your career. If you are facing suspension or revocation of a license that you need in order to practice your profession, representation by an attorney who is familiar with the laws governing professional licensure and who is experienced in dealing with the state agency that controls your license is very much in your interest. 

Attorney Adam Scott helps a wide range of professionals in matters concerning their licenses. Adam Scott has successfully handled many cases before the Washington licensing agencies. Please follow the links below for information about specific state agencies, the professions they regulate, and how attorney Adam Scott can help you resolve your professional licensure issue.

Department of Licensing

Department of Health

Department of Social and Health Services

Department of Early Learning


Department of Licensing

The Department of Licensing regulates Washington professionals under the Uniform Regulation of Business and Professions Act. Alleged violations of the Act can lead the Department to investigate professionals for “unprofessional conduct,” pursuant to RCW 18.235.130 and to issue a Statement of Charges (SOC).  Anyone who has been notified that the Department is investigating him/her or who has been issued a Statement of Charges should consult with an experienced professional license defense attorney prior to contacting or responding to the Department.  Attorney Adam Scott has successfully defended many clients in DOL matters.  If you have received a Notice of Investigation or a Statement of Charges, contact Adam Scott today.

The Department of Licensing (DOL) regulates the following professions:

o   Appraiser

o   Architect

o   Auctioneer

o   Bail Bondsman

o   Body Piercing Artist

o   Boxing Instructor

o   Camping Resort Salesperson

o   Collection Agent

o   Cosmetologist

o   Court Reporter

o   Driving Instructor

o   Employment Agent

o   Firearms Dealer

o   For-Hire/Taxi Driver

o   Funeral Directors, Cemeteries, and Embalmer

o   Geologist

o   Home Inspector

o   Land Surveyor

o   Landscape Architect

o   Limousine Company

o   Martial Arts Instructor

o   Motorcycle Training School

o   Notary Public

o   On-site Designers

o   Realtor

o   Scrap Metal Business

o   Security Guard

o   Tattoo Artist

o   Telephone Solicitor

o   Timeshare Salesperson

o   Vehicle and Vessel Dealer

o   Vehicle Manufacturer

o   Vehicle Transporter

o   Whitewater River Outfitter

o   Wrestling Instructor






Department of Health

Licensed healthcare professionals in Washington are regulated under the Uniform Disciplinary Act. The Department of Health (DOH) is responsible for enforcing the Act.  Alleged violations of DOH rules can lead the Department to investigate healthcare professionals for “unprofessional conduct,” pursuant to RCW 18.130.180 and to issue a Statement of Charges (SOC) or Statement of Allegations (SOA). DOH actions against healthcare providers are frequently based on allegations of drug diversion, substance abuse, practice below the standard of care, criminal convictions, and failure to comply with a mandatory reporting requirement regarding a criminal conviction. 

Anyone who has been notified that the Department is investigating him/her or who has been issued a Statement of Charges should consult with an experienced professional license defense attorney prior to contacting or responding to the Department. Attorney Adam Scott has successfully defended many clients in DOH matters. If you have received a Notice of Investigation or a Statement of Charges, contact Adam Scott today.

Regulation of Healthcare Providers by DSHS


Voluntary Substance Abuse Monitoring

Participation in a voluntary substance abuse monitoring program can be an alternative to disciplinary action against healthcare providers whose ability to practice may be impaired by drug use.  The Department of Health has approved four such programs:

  • Washington Physicians Health Program (WPHP) : or physicians (MD, OD), physician assistants, podiatrists, dentists, and veterinarians. 
  • Washington Recovery Assistance Program for Pharmacy (WRAPP): For pharmacy professions (pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, pharmacy interns, pharmacy technicians). 
  • Washington Health Professional Services (WHPS):  For nursing professions (LPN, RN, ARNP, CRNA).
  • Washington Recovery and Monitoring Program (WRAMP): For all credentialed healthcare professions not covered by the above programs.

Healthcare providers who work in DSHS-licensed facilities or who care for vulnerable adults should consult with an experienced licensure defense attorney before entering into WHPS (or a similar program) or admitting to drug abuse or diversion to DOH or any other regulatory authority.  [Link to blog].  DSHS has taken the troubling legal position that diversion of drugs prescribed to a vulnerable adult necessarily constitutes “financial exploitation.”  Apart from DOH’s decision about whether to take some action against your license, a DSHS finding of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation can prevent you from being able to work in DSHS-licensed facilities and working in the care of vulnerable adults, thereby severely limiting your ability to find work.

Regulation of Healthcare Providers by DSHS


The Department of Health (DOH) regulates the following professions:

o   Acupuncturist (East Asian Medicine Practitioner)

o   Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT)

o   Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)

o   Agency Affiliated Counselor

o   Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

o   Athletic Trainer

o   Audiologist

o   Behavior Technician, Certified

o   Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist

o   Certified Adviser

o   Certified Counselor

o   Certified Nursing Assistant

o   Chemical Dependency Professional

o   Chiropractor

o   Chiropractic X-Ray Technician

o   Clandestine Drug Lab Cleanup

o   Controlled Substance Researcher

o   Dental Anesthesia Assistant

o   Dental Assistant

o   Dental Hygienist

o   Dentist

o   Denturist`

o   Dietitian/Nutritionist

o   Dispensing Optician

o   Drinking Water Operating Permit  

o   Drug Lab Cleanup (Illegal Meth Lab) 

o   East Asian Medicine Practitioner 

o   Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)

o   Emergency Medical Services Personnel

o   Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

o   Family Therapist

o   Food Worker

o   Genetic Counselor

o   Health Care Assistant

o   Healthcare Professional Volunteer

o   Hearing Aid Specialist

o   Home Care Aide

o   Hypnotherapist

o   Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

o   Marriage and Family Therapist

o   Massage Therapist

o   Massage Therapist (Animal Massage)

o   Medical Assistant

o   Medical Doctor

o   Mental Health Counselor

o   Midwife

o   Naturopathic Physician

o   Nursing (RN, LPN, ARNP)

o   Nursing Assistant

o   Nursing Home Administrator

o   Nursing Pools

o   Nursing Technician Registered

o   Nutritionist

o   Occupational Therapist and Assistant

o   Ocularist

o   Optician

o   Optometrist

o   Orthotists

o   Osteopathic Physician

o   Osteopathic Physician Assistant

o   Paramedic

o   Pharmacist

o   Pharmacy Assistant

o   Pharmacy Intern

o   Pharmacy Technician

o   Physical Therapist

o   Physical Therapist Assistant

o   Physician Assistants – Medical

o   Physician – Osteopathic

o   Physician Assistants – Osteopathic

o   Podiatric Physician and Surgeon

o   Prosthetist

o   Psychologist

o   Radiologic Technologist

o   Radiologist Assistant

o   Recreational Therapist

o   Reflexologist

o   Registered Nurse (RN)

o   Registered Nursing Assistant

o   Respiratory Care Practitioner

o   Sex Offender Treatment Provider

o   Social Worker

o   Speech-Language Pathologist 

o   Speech-Language Pathology Assistant

o   Surgical Technologist

o   Veterinarian

o   Veterinary Medication Clerk

o   Veterinary Technician

o   X-Ray Technician

Attorney Adam Scott also has extensive experience representing clients before the Department of Health boards, commissions, and advisory committees.  The following boards, commissions, and advisory committees are responsible for regulating the competency and safety of healthcare providers under their jurisdiction:

o   Applied Behavior Analysis Advisory Committee

o   Athletic Trainer Advisory Committee

o   Certified Counselors and Hypnotherapists Advisory Committee

o   Chemical Dependency Professionals Advisory Committee

o   Chiropractic Quality Assurance Commission

o   Dental Hygiene Examining Committee

o   Denturists Board

o   Dispensing Optician Examining Committee

o   East Asian Medicine Advisory Committee

o   Emergency Medical Services & Trauma Systems Steering Committee

o   Hearing and Speech Board

o   Massage Board

o   Medical Quality Assurance Committee

o   Mental Health Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Social Workers Committee

o   Midwifery Advisory Committee

o   Naturopathy Board

o   Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission

o   Nursing Home Administrators Board

o   Occupational Therapy Board

o   Optometry Board

o   Orthotics and Prosthetics Advisory Committee

o   Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons Board

o   Pharmacy Commission

o   Physical Therapy Board

o   Podiatric Medical Board

o   Psychology Examining Board

o   Veterinary Board of Governors


The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) regulates facilities and individuals who care for vulnerable adults.  The Department investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of vulnerable adults by their caregivers.  A finding of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult results in a prohibition on working in the care of and having unsupervised access to vulnerable adults and children. Such a finding can destroy not only one’s prospects for a career working in licensed facilities, but also one’s ability to become a foster parent or even volunteer at their child’s school.

Sometimes, a caregiver or a facility might be unaware that it is regulated by DSHS because it has only interacted with the Department’s sub-agencies, which include Adult Protective Services (APS), Residential Care Services (RCS), Resident and Client Protection Program (RCPP), Home and Community Services (HCS), Child Protective Services (CPS), and the Aging and Disability Services Administration (ADSA).  These bodies and the people they regulate are all governed by DSHS regulations.  Few Washington attorneys are very familiar with this complex regulatory scheme.  Attorney Adam Scott has successfully defended many clients against negative actions by DSHS.  If DSHS (or any of its sub-agencies) notifies you that you are under investigation or that it has made an adverse finding against you, please contact Adam Scott right away.

The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) regulates caregivers working in the facilities it licenses, which include:

o   Adult Family Homes (AFH)

o   Assisted Living Facilities

o   Nursing Homes

Individuals who contract with the state to care for DSHS clients, such as Registered Nurse Delegators and Individual Providers, are also required to comply with DSHS regulations. 

Regulation of Healthcare Providers by DSHS 

Although DSHS does not license healthcare professionals or determine standard of medical care, certain negative actions by DSHS are of particular concern to professionals licensed by the Department of Health (DOH). DOH is responsible for ensuring that healthcare providers are able to practice with a reasonable amount of skill and safety.  And, DOH rules direct the Department to summarily suspend the license of any healthcare provider who is prohibited from having unsupervised access to or working in the care of vulnerable adults based on a finding of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Many negative actions by DSHS have no bearing on a healthcare provider’s ability to skillfully and safely practice his or her profession.  But, once DSHS enters a final finding of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation against an individual who happens to hold a healthcare license, that license will be suspended pending proceedings by the body designated by DOH as the “disciplinary authority” for their profession. Attorney Adam Scott helps healthcare providers keep their licenses in spite of DSHS action against them.

Department of Early Learning

The Department of Early Learning (DEL) regulates childcare providers in Washington. DEL licensors inspect childcare facilities and investigate complaints about childcare providers. Alleged violations of DEL licensing requirements can lead to the denial, suspension, or revocation of a childcare license. Even safe, nurturing, well-run childcare centers can become the subjects of adverse action by DEL. 

If you have been notified that DEL is denying, suspending, or revoking your childcare license, it is important to consult with an attorney who is experienced in dealing with DEL investigations and enforcement actions. Adam Scott represents childcare providers and he can help you resolve your issue with DEL.

The Department of Early Learning (DEL) licenses childcare facilities, including:

o   Child Care Centers

o   Family Home Child Care

o   School Age Child Care


Background Checks

Obtaining a professional license in Washington requires an applicant to submit to a background check.  Types of background checks vary by state agency and profession, but they always include an inquiry into an applicant’s criminal history.  Background checks may also delve into whether an applicant’s background contains any “negative actions” which are broadly defined to include any “adverse action taken by an agency, in any state, federal, tribal, or foreign jurisdiction, which results in a finding against the applicant reasonably related to the individual's character, suitability, and competence” to practice their profession. 

Most agencies have created lists of criminal convictions that represent a per se bar to licensure.  In addition to convictions that state agencies list as disqualifying, the agencies often take a very broad view of the types of convictions and “negative actions” that reflect negatively on a licensee’s suitability to practice his or her profession. 

An experienced professional licensure attorney can help you defend against an agency’s decision to deny, suspend, or revoke your professional license based on an event that has nothing to do with your ability to safely and effectively practice your profession.  Attorney Adam Scott represents clients in professional licensure maters related to state agency background checks. If you are concerned about how information that appears in your background check will affect your eligibility to obtain or maintain a professional license, contact Adam Scott today.

Mandatory Self-Reporting

Washington professionals are required to self-report certain events—such as criminal convictions—to their licensing agency. Failure to make a required report can lead to the state taking adverse action against your license. If you have been arrested or charged or convicted of any crime, you should consult with an experienced Washington professional licensure defense attorney regarding the reporting requirements for your license. Attorney Adam Scott helps Washington professionals comply with professional license reporting requirements, and he can counsel you on how to keep your license out of jeopardy.