Health Professional Volunteers FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

I occasionally practice in Washington State and hold an active Washington healthcare license. Do I have to fill out the attestation to volunteer my time?

No, if you hold a Washington State license, you may practice here either for pay or as a volunteer. The new law doesn't apply to you.

Don't I need a license to practice in Washington State?

Usually, yes. But the recent law allows practice as a volunteer in this state without a license as long as all requirements of the law are met.

What is meant by "another United States jurisdiction?"

Any of the 49 states other than Washington State, as well as United States territories and the District of Columbia.

How may I find out whether my out-of-state license is in "a profession substantially equivalent" to one in Washington State?

Unfortunately, the law does not define "substantially equivalent." Check the professions page to find your profession, then follow the "laws" link to see Washington laws. If both states have very similar educational and licensing requirements, use the same or similar titles, and engage in the same type of practice, there is a good chance they are substantially equivalent.

If you have doubts that your state's license is substantially equivalent to Washington's, you should apply for a license to practice in Washington State.

In my state/U.S. jurisdiction, I must be supervised by a higher-level provider. However, I see that my profession is more independent in Washington State and requires no supervision. Is that still a substantially equivalent profession?

Your profession may be substantially equivalent. But if the scope of practice is more restrictive in your state/U.S. jurisdiction, you must practice within your jurisdiction's more restrictive scope of practice, regardless of what may be allowed for Washington licensees.

My state/U.S. jurisdiction doesn't issue a license for my profession as Washington State does. Instead, I'm allowed to practice using just my education and national certification. May I volunteer in Washington State?

No. The law requires that you hold an active license from another U.S. jurisdiction.

I'm licensed in several states. Which state do I need to compare to be substantially equivalent to Washington State?

You should list the license that is the most equivalent to Washington State.

If I frequently travel to Washington State to volunteer, but average only two hours in a day, does that count as a whole day or just a fraction of a day?

Any amount of volunteer practice in a day counts as one of the allowed 30 days.

I just found out I'm needed as a volunteer in Washington State next weekend and now see that the attestation needs to be completed 10 working days in advance. Is there any way to "speed up" the process?

No. The law requires the attestation to be submitted at least 10 working days before beginning volunteer practice in Washington State. Practicing sooner could result in a charge of unlicensed practice.

What is a "working day"?

For purposes of submitting the attestation, a "working day" is any day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or official Washington State holiday.

I'm licensed in several states. All of those licenses are active, but one state is investigating me for an allegation of unprofessional conduct. I'm certain that complaint is frivolous and the investigation will be closed, but it hasn't been closed yet. May I volunteer?

No. Even if you have several licenses in good standing from multiple states, if even one of those is now subject to investigation, you don't meet the requirements of the law and can't volunteer in Washington State.

I'm going to volunteer only for a two-week period, but it will be the end of December and beginning of January. May I put that all on one attestation?

No. You need to submit an attestation for each calendar year.

I already submitted my attestation, but I just found out my anticipated practice dates have changed. What should I do?

Submit another attestation listing the correct dates. The attestation must be made at least 10 working days before beginning practice in Washington State.

My organization is preparing a volunteer medical clinic or healthcare event in Washington State. What does my sponsoring organization have to do?

No attestation from the organization is required. However, the organization must independently verify that all volunteers meet all volunteer requirements and must retain proof for at least two years beyond the last day of the event. In addition, the organization must maintain all healthcare records of all patients evaluated or treated by volunteers in compliance with Chapter 70.02 RCW and make them accessible to future healthcare professionals as necessary.

If you have further questions, contact our Customer Service staff by email or call 360-236-4700, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.