• A list of compulsory collegiate professions is established and transparency and good governance measures are reinforced
  • Restrictions on access to an activity based on a professional qualification can only be established by law
  • A Reform Commission for Professions is created to evaluate and modify the access and exercise of certain professions

The Council of Ministers today approved the Proposed Draft Law on Colleges and Professional Services whose objective is to boost competitiveness, growth and quality of services, by eliminating restrictions in various fields. This is one of the commitments included in the National Reform Plan and a recommendation to Spain of international organizations.

The norm will boost competitiveness and quality in professional services, which represent almost 9% of GDP, 6% of total employment and 30% of university employment. Liberalization will have positive effects on the economy as a whole in the form of increased competition and will allow additional GDP growth between 0.5 and 1 percentage points. It will also strengthen the competitiveness gains, once the economic recovery is consolidated.

PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS

A list of compulsory collegiate professions is established that may only be required by state law:

  • Professions sanitary ware: doctors, pharmacists, veterinarians, dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, opticians-optometrists and podiatrists.
  • Professions legal: lawyers, attorneys, social graduates, registrars and notaries.
  • Professions techniques: Compulsory registration is established for professionals who carry out activities for which a visa is required (nine activities in the field of construction and handling of explosives, mainly).

Schools of compulsory and voluntary membership will coexist. However, only belonging to the former will be enabling for the exercise of a profession or certain professional activities. Schools can only be created by law, at the request of qualified professionals and by accompanying a justifying report, with the reasons for the creation of the school, the reasons that prevent their integration into an existing one or the number of professionals in practice.

The criteria of good governance in compulsory colleges are reinforced, subjecting the governing bodies to these principles and a specific regime of incompatibilities. Collegial independence is reinforced by determining the incompatibility of holding the position of president, dean, member of the governing board, or manager with being elected political office (of the State, autonomous communities, provinces or other local entities) or head of an organ manager in any public administration. Nor can these positions be combined in schools with other management positions in political parties, unions or business organizations or in insurance entities or social security mutual societies. In addition, direct family members of the management positions of a collegiate corporation may not be hired labor or commercially by the same.

The exercise of the disciplinary power of the schools is improved by establishing that the deontological code of each collegial organization is unique throughout the national territory and by requiring independent deontological or disciplinary bodies of the collegiate government bodies.

The economic regime of the schools is clarified, as well as the school fees, and the mandatory services of the volunteers must be separated. Obligatory membership colleges must offer a system of mandatory compulsory fees for unemployed professionals.

A general remuneration system for the management positions of the compulsory schools is established. In general, they will not be entitled to remuneration, with the exception that they hold the position of dedication exclusively. This remuneration must be detailed in the budgets and must be approved by a majority equal to that of each school for the approval of the accounts.

Likewise, those of compulsory registration must offer a system of certification of professionals, in order to mitigate the problems of asymmetric information between professionals and consumers. That is, they will become professional certification entities accredited by the ENAC (National Accreditation Entity) to guarantee their independence.

Transparency is reinforced through the presentation and publicity of school accounts. In addition, as a guarantee of greater accounting control, the mandatory audit for colleges of compulsory membership is included. The information on the members and on each and every one of the school fees will be required to be accessible to the public in a telematic format, without requiring it.

The democratic functioning of the General Councils is reinforced, by establishing that in the participation of schools in the election of their governing bodies, the number of members of each of them will be taken into account.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

The common conditions that will govern the access or exercise of the different professions are established, under the general principle of free access and exercise. Restrictions on access to an activity based on a professional qualification may only be required by law (state or regional) whenever necessary for reasons of general interest, proportionate and non-discriminatory. When the required qualification is a university degree or Higher Vocational Training, it must be contemplated in state law.

A list of rules that remain in force in relation to activity reservations and / or access conditions is established. These include all those that regulate attributions in the field of engineering and construction, sanitation, transport and education, among others (around 120). The rules not included in the list will be automatically repealed with regard to this matter.

It is proposed to create a Commission for the Reform of the Professions that will analyze the access requirements and the professional practice and, where appropriate, will make the proposed modifications that it considers and for this purpose it will be able to consult the sector in question. The Commission will be coordinated by the Ministry of Economy and it will be part of the Ministry of Education, the National Agency for the Evaluation of Quality and Accreditation and the National Commission for Markets and Competition.

This Commission will report on any regulatory change that affects the access and exercise requirements of the professions and their activity reserves. You can also carry out an evaluation of the access and exercise restrictions existed upon the entry into force of this law. In this case, the corresponding Ministry will also be part of the Commission because of its competence in the analyzed profession.

A Working Group will be created within the Commission that will prepare a proposal on professional powers in engineering and building in accordance with this law. Chaired by the Ministry of Development, you can count on the participation of the professions.

In the case of pharmacies, the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality will make a proposal to modify the table of deductions for the benefit of the pharmacy offices collected in RD 823/2008, of May 16, by which establish the margins, deductions and discounts corresponding to the distribution and dispensing of medicines for human use, with the aim of reinforcing the progressivity and the finalist nature of the system.

The incompatibility of the simultaneous exercise of the legal profession and the solicitation (representation before the Courts) is eliminated. This measure will be of immediate application, only conditional on the deployment of the electronic notification system of the Ministry of Justice and that the Bar Associations establish their presence in the notification rooms of the courts, which implies a transitional period. The fees of the solicitors are eliminated, so that from the entry into force of this Law their fees will be freely set with the clients.



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