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04/18/2017

Secretary of State Announces Availability of Interpreter Service for Professional Licensees and Applicants

Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés today announced the recent launch of an interpreter service for professional and occupational licensees and applicants with limited English proficiency.

“The Department of State, through the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, is firmly committed to providing convenient service to all professionals who come to us for licensing, no matter their primary language,” Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés said. “Our goal is to find opportunities to reinforce Governor Wolf’s GO-TIME initiative to modernize government operations to improve services.”
 
Through telephone and in-person access, the interpreting feature connects licensees or applicants with limited English proficiency to real-time interpreters of more than 200 languages.  The service is provided by the Department of State’s new partner, Propio Language Services.
 
Department of State staff will connect callers with Propio’s on-demand interpretation service.  For some rare languages, an appointment will need to be scheduled in advance.
 
The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) provides administrative, logistical, and legal support services to 29 professional and occupational licensing boards and commissions, that license 255 different occupations. Of the 29 boards and commissions, 16 are health-related.
 
“BPOA is dedicated to reducing the barriers for licensure in the Commonwealth,” said BPOA Commissioner Ian Harlow. “We want to ensure that every Pennsylvanian can easily navigate through the process of obtaining and maintaining their professional licensure.  It is part of our ongoing commitment to provide the most accurate, courteous and timely service possible.”
 
This is the latest customer service improvement to be implemented by BPOA in the past year.  BPOA completed updates to its online license verification search feature and is in the process of developing a new online licensing system for use by licensees and new applicants called the Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS).
 
For more information about BPOA and its services, visit dos.pa.gov.
 
MEDIA CONTACT:  Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621
 
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