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About Us 

Governor Scott Walker 

Economic Impact Report


Governor Scott Walker signed the 2011-13 state budget, creating the new Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) – formed by combining the Department of Regulation and Licensing and parts of the Department of Commerce.

The Department of Safety and Professional Services is responsible for ensuring the safe and competent practice of licensed professionals in Wisconsin. The department also administers and enforces laws to assure safe and sanitary conditions in public and private buildings. It provides administrative services to the state occupational regulatory authorities responsible for regulation of occupations and offers policy assistance in such areas as evaluating and establishing new professional licensing programs, creating routine procedures for legal proceedings, and adjusting policies in response to public needs.

The Department is organized into five divisions and the Office of the Secretary. The divisions are Policy Development, Management Services, Legal Services & Compliance, Credential Processing, and Industry Services.

The Department licenses and regulates more than 200 different types of credentials. The agency also provides centralized administrative services to nearly 100 boards, councils, and advisory committees. The boards, councils, and advisory committees have varying levels of responsibility and professional oversight based on statutory provisions. 

Click here to view the DSPS Economic Footprint report and learn more about how the Department effects business and economic growth in Wisconsin.


Secretary Dave Ross 


Born and raised in Superior, Wisconsin, Secretary Dave Ross graduated from Superior Senior High School in 1970 and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Dave grew up in a small business family and was self-employed for over 20 years in an upholstery business. He knows the hard work it takes to run a business and is keenly aware of the importance of a reasonable tax and regulatory climate.

Secretary Ross joined Governor Scott Walker’s cabinet as the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) in January 2011. DSPS licenses more than 200 professional fields and houses over 70 boards and councils. The Department also includes the Division of Industry Services, formerly the Department of Commerce, which protects the safety, health, and welfare of Wisconsin’s residents through professional oversight of trades professionals and their projects.

Prior to coming to DSPS, Secretary Ross served as the Mayor of Superior for 8 years. Secretary Ross was married in 1973 to his wife, Lynn, and together they have four daughters and 15 grandchildren.



Deputy Secretary
Tom Engels


Prior to coming to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, Tom served as the Vice President of Public Affairs for the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin. From 1997 to 2000, Tom served as the Government Affairs Director for the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association. Tom has previously held public service positions as then-Governor Tommy Thompson’s Deputy Press Secretary and as the Communications Director for the Senate Republican Caucus. He also held various staff positions in the State Senate and Assembly. Tom was also the District Field Representative for former United States Congressman Scott Klug.