Scope of Professional Credentials Statute
B-302548: Aug 20, 2004
Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 5757(a), federal agencies are authorized to use appropriated funds to pay an employees expenses to obtain professional credentials. However, an agency may pay only the expenses required to obtain the license or official certification needed to practice a particular profession, including licensing fees and examinations to obtain credentials. Accordingly, section5757(a) does not authorize the agency to pay for an employees membership in a professional association unless membership is a prerequisite to obtaining the professional license or certification. Under 5 U.S.C. 5946 payment for voluntary memberships in organizations of already-credentialed professionals is prohibited, and section 5757(a) does not provide any authority to pay such fees.