Frequently Asked Questions


Health Professions Transition FAQs

1. When did the transfer happen?

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) assumed all activities relating to the Sanitarians program including licenses and renewals, customer service and enforcement on November 1, 2017.

2. Now that the transfer is complete, will I need to get a new license issued by TDLR?

No. The license you have now, issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), remains valid until its expiration date. When you renew, you will receive a TDLR license.

3. Have the rules changed?

Yes, TDLR adopted rules for all of the transferred programs. Most of the newly adopted rules are very similar, but some changes have been made. The TDLR health profession rules became effective on November 1, 2017.

4. What is going to happen with open complaints and cases?

If you filed a complaint with DSHS or had a complaint filed against your license and it was not resolved by the transfer date, TDLR assumed responsibility for the case. You should have already received notification by mail that your complaint was transferred to TDLR.

5. How do I stay informed about changes impacting me?

You have several options to stay connected:

  • Email updates - Sign up for email updates to receive notices about rules, the law, fees, examination requirements, meetings and more. Email updates are the best way for you to stay informed.
  • Meetings - TDLR’s advisory board and Commission meetings are available to watch online live or later at your convenience.
  • Facebook and Twitter - TDLR has a Facebook page and Twitter account dedicated to TDLR Health Professions.

6. Why was my license expiration date extended? Will I have the same expiration date in the future?

To ease the transition, DSHS extended the expiration date by two months for licenses previously set to expire in September, and October, and November 2017. For example, if your original expiration date was September 30, your new expiration date is November 30. If your license was extended, you will continue to renew your license in the new expiration month in the future. Licenses in counties affected by Hurricane Harvey were also extended by DSHS.

7. Will I have to renew on a different schedule?

You will renew on the same schedule unless your license expired in August, September or October 2016. Licenses expiring in those months were extended for two months to ease the transition from DSHS to TDLR. In addition, licenses in counties affected by Hurricane Harvey were also extended by DSHS. If your license was extended, you will now renew in your new expiration month for future renewals. Your license expiration date will not return to your original expiration month.

8. Why were licensing programs transferred from DSHS to TDLR?

The transfer is the result of a change to Texas law. In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 202, which authorized the transfer of thirteen licensing programs from the DSHS to TDLR. Phase one of this transfer was completed on October 3, 2016 when seven Health-Related Profession programs went live at TDLR.


Registration Fees

1. What are the registration fees?

All fees paid to TDLR are nonrefundable.

  • Registration fee for sanitarian--$130
  • Registration fee for sanitarian in training--$120
  • Renewal fee for sanitarian--$110
  • Renewal fee for sanitarian in training--$100
  • Upgrade a registration from sanitarian in training to sanitarian --$25.
  • Registration duplicate/replacement fee--$25
  • Continuing education sponsor approval fee--$100

General

1. What does a registered sanitarian do?

The scope of professional practice of a registered sanitarian includes, but is not limited to, evaluating, planning, designing, managing, organizing, enforcing, or implementing programs, facilities, or services that protect public health and the environment. The scope of practice also includes educating, communicating, and warning communities of factors that may adversely affect the general health and welfare. The scope of practice may be in the areas of food quality and safety, on-site wastewater treatment and disposal, solid and hazardous waste management, ambient and indoor air quality, drinking and bathing water quality, insect and animal vector control, recreational and institutional facility inspections, consumer health, and occupational health and safety.


Licensing

1. What are the requirements to become registered as a sanitarian?

To become registered as a sanitarian, a person must complete a bachelor's degree with at least 30 semester hours in basic science or applied science or combination thereof, possess two (2) years of full-time experience (not less than 32 hours per week) in the fields of consumer health, environmental health, or sanitation, pass a written examination, and complete the application process.

2. What are the requirements to become registered as a sanitarian in training?

To become registered as a sanitarian in training, a person must complete a bachelor's degree with at least 30 semester hours in basic science or applied science or combination thereof, pass a written examination, and complete the application process. They will then be eligible to obtain two years’ experience under supervision of a registered sanitarian that is required for full registration.

3. Are sanitarians required to hold a registration in Texas?

A person may not claim to be a registered sanitarian or use the title "sanitarian" unless the person holds a registration issued by TDLR.


Registration Renewal

1. How does a sanitarian maintain his or her registration?

Each registered sanitarian must obtain at least 24 continuing education contact hours related to the fields of consumer health, environmental health or sanitation within the 24 months preceding renewal for a registration issued for a two-year term.

2. I need to renew my registration. Where do I send my renewal application and payment?

The best way to renew a registration is to renew online.

3. My registration expired. How long do I have to renew my registration?

A late renewal, if available, means the registration holder will have an unregistered period from the expiration date of the expired registration to the issuance date of the renewed registration. During the unregistered period, a person may not perform any act that requires a registration under this chapter or the chapter governing the specific program. Registrations may be eligible for late renewal with the following fees:

  • (a) A person whose registration has been expired for 90 days or less may renew the registration by paying a late renewal fee equal to 1 and 1/2 times the renewal fee.
  • (b) A person whose registration has been expired for more than 90 days but less than 18 months may renew the registration by paying a late renewal fee equal to two times the renewal fee.
  • (c) A person whose registration has been expired for more than 18 months but less than three years may request that the executive director approve the registration by submitting information sufficient to show just cause for the late renewal and paying to the department a renewal fee equal to two times the normally required renewal fee.
  • (d) A person paying a late renewal fee is not required to pay the renewal fee in addition to the late renewal fee.

4. Should I wait to submit my registration renewal application until after I have completed my continuing education?

Yes. Your registration will not be renewed until all requirements have been completed.


Registered Sanitarian Examination

1. Who administers the Registered Sanitarian Examination?

The exam is administered by TDLR’s third-party vendor, PSI.

2. How will I be notified when I am eligible to take the exam?

Upon TDLR approval of eligibility, PSI will send you an email confirmation with instructions for scheduling an appointment to take the examination. (If an email address was not provided to TDLR at the time of application, you will receive a postcard via U.S. Mail from PSI with scheduling information).

3. How can I schedule my exam?

If you are eligible for examination, then you can contact PSI via the internet 24 hours a day at www.psiexams.com or by phone at (800)733-9267 to schedule your exam date.

4. How do I request special accommodations?

Every reasonable accommodation will be made in meeting a candidate’s needs. Applicants with disabilities or those who would otherwise have difficulty taking the exam should make a request for alternative arrangements with PSI. Details for requesting special accommodations can be found in the Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB).

5. When and where are the exams administered?

Beginning November 1, 2017 TDLR will administer the Registered Sanitarian exam through our third-party vendor, PSI, at their many locations throughout Texas. Eligible candidates may schedule an exam time that is convenient to them. A Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB) including the exam sites and scheduling information is posted on TDLR's web site.

6. How much does the exam cost?

The examination cost can be found in the Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB).

7. Where can I find information regarding the examination and the exam requirements?

Information regarding the examination and exam requirements can be found in the Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB).

8. Will there be a study guide?

Yes, a Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB) including the number of questions on the exam, the time allotted to complete the exam, and a list of reference materials will be posted on TDLR's web site.

9. Am I required to bring anything to the exam site besides my ID?

No, you are not required to bring anything else to the exam site.

10. What kind of ID do I need bring to the exam?

A list of acceptable forms of identification can be found in the Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB).

11. My name does not match my ID. Can I still take the exam?

No. If your name has changed you must notify TDLR. We will not allow anyone other than the person listed in our database to test with PSI.

12. If I have an address or name change do I notify TDLR or PSI?

You need to notify TDLR in writing.

13. What happens if I do not show up to my exam or arrive after the exam start time?

Details regarding PSI’s cancellation policy can be found in the Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB).

14. How long do I have to wait for my grade?

Your grade will be handed to you at the test center by the PSI proctor after you have completed the test. PSI generates a score report which provides a diagnostic of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

15. What is a passing score for the exam?

The passing score is 61% or higher (unchanged).

16. If I fail the exam, how soon can I schedule a retake?

You may schedule a retake with PSI, within 24-48 hours of your failed exam.

17. How many times may I retake the exam?

Your license application is valid for one year and you may retake the exam until your application expires. When your application expires, you will need to submit a new application before you can retake the exam.


Continuing Education

1. How many hours of continuing education are required for renewal for a registered sanitarian?

A total of 24 hours of continuing education related to the field of consumer health, environmental health or sanitation.

2. What continuing education providers will be accepted by the department for registered sanitarians?

Acceptable continuing education must be provided by one of the following sponsor types:

  • An accredited college or university
  • A governmental agency
  • An association with a membership of 25 or more persons
  • A pre-approved commercial education business

3. What are the required subjects for continuing education for a registered sanitarian?

Continuing education will be accepted if the hours are related to the field of consumer health, environmental health or sanitation.

4. What type of continuing education activities will be accepted if they are provided by an approved provider and are related to the field of consumer health, environmental health or sanitation?

Conferences; home-study training modules (including professional journals requiring successful completion of a test document); lectures; panel discussions; seminars; accredited college or university courses; video or film presentations with live instruction; field demonstrations; teleconferences or online training.

5. Will coursework in environmental or consumer health be accepted for credit for continuing education?

Yes, if the coursework was completed with an accredited college or university, or written verification of hours were approved by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).

6. Do I need to provide my continuing education certificates of completion when I renew my registration?

No, please do not include your certificates of completion with the renewal of your registration.

The Department shall select a random sample of registered sanitarians for each renewal month. If selected for an audit, you will be notified at the time of your renewal. You will be required to submit copies of certificates, transcripts or other documentation to verify attendance, participation and completion of continuing education requirements. Your registration will not be renewed until continuing education requirements have been met.

7. Am I required to maintain a record of my continuing education experiences or certificates?

Yes, you are responsible for maintaining a record of your continuing education experiences or certificates. These records will be required if you are selected for audit. If you are selected for audit, then you will be notified and records will be required to be submitted to the department.

8. How do I apply to become a pre-approved commercial education business to offer continuing education to sanitarians?  

Please submit the commercial education business continuing education provider application (see forms page) along with the required application fee of $100.

9. If I am pre-approved as a commercial education business continuing education provider, what type of courses am I required to offer?

You are required to provide courses with significant educational or practical content related to the field of consumer health, environmental health, or sanitation. Courses must be based on relevant subject matters on current research, techniques, resources to improve skills and maintain competency.

10. What are my responsibilities as a pre-approved commercial education business continuing education provider?

You are required to ensure that all continuing education instructors have the required credentials and knowledge to impart the educational information. Providers must have procedures to verify participant attendance and provide a certificate of completion to those registered sanitarians who complete the course. The certificate must include the name of the provider, the date, name of the course and the continuing education hours earned and a copy must be maintained for five years. Courses must have at least 50 minutes in length of actual instruction time. https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/san/sanrules.htm#119.27

11. What are the requirements for continuing education instructors?

All continuing education instructors must have one of the following credentials or hold one of the following positions:

  • Certification as a registered sanitarian by the department
  • Instructor at the Texas Engineering Extension Service
  • Faculty member at an accredited college or university
  • Employee of the department or the Department of State Health Services
  • Teaching or work experience determine by the sponsor and/or provider to be sufficient

Enforcement

1. How do I file a complaint against a code enforcement officer or report unregistered activity?

Please file a complaint online.


Communication

1. How do I stay informed about changes impacting me?

Sign up for email updates to receive the latest news and information.


Filing a Complaint

1. How soon do I have to file a complaint?

You must file a complaint within two years of the event described in the complaint. TDLR will not accept complaints filed after two years unless you can show good cause for late filing to TDLR’s Executive Director.

2. I don’t want the registrant to know I filed a complaint. May I file a complaint anonymously?

Yes, TDLR accepts anonymous complaints. To file anonymously, be sure to leave the “Complaining Party” space blank on the complaint form. Keep in mind, if you file anonymously, you will not receive updates from TDLR on the status of your complaint and you will not be able to provide any additional information TDLR may need.

3. Does TDLR open and investigate every complaint received?

No. If the information you provide in your complaint does not contain enough information for TDLR to determine that a violation may have occurred, TDLR will first seek additional information from you (if you did not file anonymously). If TDLR does not receive enough information following that request, your complaint may not be opened for investigation.

4. What happens after I file my complaint?

Please see our Complaint Investigation and Resolution page for a detailed explanation of the complaint process.

5. What is the status of a complaint I filed?

TDLR will mail you quarterly notices and will inform you of the resolution of your complaint. Please keep your address and phone number updated with TDLR.

6. How do I know if disciplinary action was taken against a registrant or an unregistered person or business?

If a complaint results in disciplinary action taken by TDLR, it will be posted in our Administrative Orders Search for three years following the signed order.