On September 1, 2017, House Bill 1508 (85th Leg., Reg. Sess.) became effective. This bill places requirements on entities offering educational training programs that prepare an individual for an initial occupational license. This includes level III and level IV training schools, as well as guard companies that offer in-house level II training. These training providers must notify each enrollee of the following:
- The potential ineligibility of an individual who has been convicted of a criminal offense;
- The department’s current eligibility guidelines (the board’s administrative rules) issued under Occupations Code, Section 53.025;
- Any other state or local restriction or guideline used by the department to determine the eligibility of an individual who has been convicted of an offense; and
- The right to request a criminal history evaluation under Occupations Code Section 53.102.
Pursuant to HB 1508, if an individual is denied an occupational license based on their criminal history and the training provider fails to provide the individual with the above information, the training provider will be required to refund the amount of any tuition paid and corresponding application and examination fees.
For purposes of compliance with these requirements, it is recommended training schools and other licensees that offer in-house level II training communicate the following text directly to the prospective applicant, whether by email or other correspondence or on the application for admission to a course.
“Please be advised under the Private Security Act (Occ. Code Chapter 1702) and Administrative Rule 35.4 (37 Tex. Admin. Code 1), a criminal conviction may disqualify you from a registration, commission, or license under the Act. You may wish to review Rule 35.4’s list of disqualifying offenses and the related periods of ineligibility, available on the department’s website at http://www.dps.texas.gov/rsd/psb/index.htm (click on the link to Administrative Code). You also have a right to request from the department a criminal history evaluation letter under Occupations Code Section 53.102.”