Protect Washington YTTs from Unnecessary Regulation
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Currently, some Washington’s yoga teacher training programs (YTTs) are regulated by the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (the Board) as “private proprietary schools.” For the following reasons, these regulations are unnecessary and detrimental to Washington’s yoga community:
• YTTs primarily serve avocational and recreational purposes. The Board regulates programs taught by “private vocational schools…to help ensure adequate educational quality” and to teach “knowledge required for employment.” RCW 28C.10.010 and 28C.10.020. YTTs are not designed, however, to teach knowledge required for gainful employment, because most students take part in such programs primarily to deepen their personal practice.
While Washington does recognize a distinction between avocational programs and occupational programs, its statutory exemption for avocational programs is too narrow and effectively leaves out YTTs.
• We do not know of any consumer complaints about YTTs in Washington. YTT programs are attended mostly by students who have long-term relationships with the provider offering the programs. This means that, typically, YTT consumers are already knowledgeable about whether the program and instructor work for them.
Further, exempting YTT programs from regulatory requirements would only remove YTTs from regulations designed for “vocational” and “occupational” schools. All other business, consumer protection, and premises safety regulations will still apply to YTTs.
• Regulations are harmful to Washington’s yoga community. Many YTTs in Washington are small businesses with tight budgets. We have heard from many who have opted not to offer programs or shut down programs because of similar regulatory schemes. Further, the regulations potentially hinder current providers from expanding the YTT programs they currently offer.
These regulations act as a potential barrier to entry and growth for yoga providers. This, in turn, harms the consumer by limiting their learning opportunities and the number and types of courses available to them. By exempting YTTs from these regulations, yoga providers will have more freedom to invest in their business and consumers will enjoy more choice and options in their pursuit of advanced yoga training.
Join us in support of an exemption for YTTs from unnecessary and harmful regulatory requirements.
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