Washington State Department of Health (DOH)
The Washington State Department of Health licenses hundreds of types of professionals and facilities in Washington state. The department must conduct an investigation whenever a complaint is filed against a nurse, a physician assistant, an adult family home caregiver, or any other licensed professional. These investigations often proceed without an attorney who can navigate the system. As a result, casual comments are taken for confessions, inaccurate paperwork is never corrected, and other such small errors on the part of resource-strapped state investigators can have large consequences for the Washington professionals affected. Learn more about the Department of Health complaint process against professional license holders here.
Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI)
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates financial institutions and securities filings. Their rules affect many professionals in Washington state, including brokers, dealers, people who seek financial backing for a creative or artistic project, and franchisors. Any professional who is investigated could lose his or her license and ability to practice in Washington, or any other, state for a number of years or permanently. Learn more about DFI rules and agency regulation here.
Washington State Department of Early Learning
The Washington State Department of Early Learning licenses child care facilities, early learning programs, and all the people who own and staff these institutions. The department's regulations have been updated significantly each year, requiring licensees to continue to update their skills each year. Learn more about the DEL investigation and complaint process here.
Washington State Department of Licensing
The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) oversees business and professional licenses that include private investigators, home inspectors, employment agencies, appraisers, real estate brokers, and many other types of small businesses in Washington state. Anyone can file an online complaint with the DOL alleging professional misconduct or a violation of the department's rules. An unhappy customer, a person who is mistaken, even a competitor can quickly and easily start an investigation that could end the business and disqualify the owner from working in the profession in the future. Learn more about the rules DOL imposes here.
Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission
The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQA) handles complaints against nurses, operators of nursing schools, and other health professionals and health care facilities. The NCQA's process is extremely complicated compared to most regulatory systems, and the investigators work closely with the board that will vote on whether or not to remove a practitioner's license. It is very difficult to sue to reinstate a professional license after this happens, so it's important to find someone to talk to the NCQA personnel before any negative action is taken. Learn more about the NCQA disciplinary process here.
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services investigates and regulates complaints related to child abuse or neglect, service providers who have a contract with the state, long-term care providers who work with elderly and vulnerable adults, and home and community-based services.