​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) 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.

DSPS 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.

The Department is organized into five divisions and the Office of the Secretary. The divisions are Industry Services, Legal Services and Compliance, Management Services, Policy Development, and Professional Credential Processing. Information on each division can be viewed by clicking on each of the titles below.

DIS is divided into two bureaus, an Administrative Services Section, and the Fire Prevention program.

  • The Bureau of Field Services performs inspections of commercial buildings, amusement rides, boilers, elevators, pressurized gas systems, and electrical systems. The bureau also performs plan reviews of elevators, boilers, and private onsite wastewater treatment systems. The bureau is also responsible for auditing third party and municipal inspection agencies.
  • The Bureau of Technical Services performs commercial building, plumbing, and fire suppression plan review. The bureau is also responsible for administering the Uniform Dwelling Code program, the federal HUD Manufactured Housing program, and provides consultations and training to local building officials, as well as commercial and residential contractors.
  • The Administrative Services Section provides administrative support to internal and external stakeholders.
  • The Fire Prevention Program administers the 2% Fire Dues program and provides consultation, support, and training to over 800 fire departments throughout the state.

Branden Piper / Division Administrator for the Division of Industry Services

Branden Piper was appointed as the Division Administrator for the Division of Industry Services, effective March, 2020.

He was a bureau director for the Division of Industry Services for nearly three years before accepting the division administrator position. Prior to that, he had extensive management experience in private sector telecommunications, including TDS Telecom and Frontier Communications. The Janesville native also served eight years as an infantryman in the U.S. Army.

Branden has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor's degree from Herzing University. He is currently pursuing a second graduate degree, a master's in engineering management from UW-Madison.

DLSC provides legal services to professional boards and the Department regarding the investigation and discipline of licensed credential holders for violations of professional regulations. The Division is also responsible for the complaint intake process, compliance monitoring and a confidential program for impaired professionals. In addition, the Division conducts business compliance inspections and financial audits.

Peter McCombs

Peter McCombs / DLSC Division Administrator

Peter McCombs was appointed as the Division Administrator for the Division of Legal Services and Compliance, effective April 2024.

Peter has worked as a State attorney in Madison for 14 years, most recently at the Division of Hearings and Appeals where he practiced as an Administrative Law Judge focusing on professional licensure, public benefits and child maltreatment substantiations. Prior to that position, he worked as an attorney with the Department of Safety and Professional Services' business team.  Peter began working for the State of Wisconsin after 12 years in private and corporate practice in the Milwaukee area, where he focused on real estate, business law, telecommunications, and estate planning.  

Peter is a Wisconsin native; he received his J.D. from the Marquette University Law School and his Bachelor's Degrees in History and Spanish from Marquette University, as well. He also studied abroad, spending a year each in Portoviejo, Ecuador, and Mexico City, Mexico.

DPM provides administrative services to the Office of the Secretary and all other Divisions within the Department. These services include human resources, employment relations, affirmative action, payroll, planning, budget, accounting, information technology, safety, fleet management and facilities management.


Gwendolyn Jones / DPM Division Administrator

Gwendolyn Jones was appointed as the Division Administrator for the Division of Performance & Management in June 2023.  Previously she was appointed as the Division Administrator for the Division of Policy Development effective July 2021.

Prior to joining the Department of Safety and Professional Services, Gwen had retired from the Madison College School of Professional and Continuing Education, where she supervised enrichment programming and directed all marketing activities. Her career also includes extensive private-sector marketing and communications experience as well as varied volunteer and leadership roles in several Madison community organizations.

Gwen earned a bachelor's degree in history and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

DPD is responsible for providing administrative support and policy guidance to the professional boards in the state by facilitating board meetings, serving as a liaison between the boards and the Department, and managing the administrative rule promulgation process for self-regulated professions. The Division also manages the administrative rule promulgation process for professions and technical programs that are directly regulated by the Department. This Division is also responsible for continuing education and examination requirements for regulated professions and administration of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).


Sarah Barry / DPD Division Administrator

Sarah Barry was​ appointed as the Division Administrator for the Division of Policy Development in June 2023.

Sarah has spent over twenty years meeting the complex challenges inherent in public sector organizations with effective, efficient solutions. Most recently, Sarah served as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources through April of 2023. Prior to that, she spent the last 15 years as the Chief of Staff to several state senators, providing guidance and leadership on numerous policy and regulatory issues. Sarah has also led a nonprofit organization dedicated to responsible energy policy and spent time directing government affairs at a leading environmental advocacy organization. She believes in a results-oriented management approach that questions assumptions, fosters relationships, and evolves with the changing needs of government institutions and public-private partnerships. 

Earlier in her career, Sarah worked as an analyst at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and as a government payer healthcare consultant for several years. Sarah holds a Master's Degree from the Robert M La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. In her personal time, Sarah and her husband enjoy spending time and hiking in the beautiful driftless region of Wisconsin. ​

DPCP is responsible for all credential application processing, including determination of credential eligibility and renewal. The division is responsible for licensure, renewal and verification of health, business, trades and manufactured home owners/communities credentials, operation of the Department's Customer Service Center and regulation of the state's Unarmed Combat Sports program.


​Niko Ruud / ​DPCP Division Administrator

Niko Ruud was appointed as Division Administrator for the Division of Professional Credential Processing, effective January 2023.

In his role, Niko oversees approximately 50 employees who process initial and renewal applications for health, business, and trades professionals; provide​ legal services to the division; and call center services for the agency.

Before joining the department, Niko had been the supervisor for the Comprehensive Health and Wellness Program at the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs. 

Niko served as a Maintenance Officer in the U.S. Air Force. He led teams of maintenance professionals during three assignments at units worldwide before his fourth and final active-duty assignment as an International Programs Officer and Instructor of French at the U.S. Air Force Academy.