The Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure (“DPL”), an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, is tasked with protecting consumers by ensuring that licensed professionals they hire comply with state licensing laws. The DPL oversees 39 separate boards of registration, including: Allied Health Professionals; Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions; Chiropractors; Dieticians and Nutritionists; Dispensing Opticians; Hearing Instrument Specialists; Optometrists; Podiatrists; Psychologists; Social Workers; and Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.
When a new complaint is filed against a licensee, DPL staff will conduct an initial assessment of the allegations to determine if there is any potential violation of the law, and if the complaint falls within the purview of applicable Board’s jurisdiction. If it is determined that an investigation is warranted, an Investigator will be assigned to the matter, and the licensee will be asked to prepare a written response to the complaint. The Investigator will also request the production of certain documents, and may seek to interview the licensee and other appropriate individuals. Ultimately, the Investigator will report his/her findings to the Board, which will decide to either close the complaint or recommend that the licensee be disciplined. At that point in time, the licensee may choose to resolve the case and accept a negotiated discipline, or instead opt for a full administrative hearing.