What is the difference between a censure and a public reprimand as it pertains to a licensed professional within the state of North Carolina? A public reprimand is going to be written, and it is essentially going to be a slap on the wrist, but a public one. [27 NCAC .0103(5)]. A censure is going to be a more severe version of public written discipline. [27 NCAC .0103(38)]. Most licensing boards and state agencies will have one or the other. They will either have a censure or will have a public reprimand, and many are typically more likely to have a public reprimand. However, there are a few like the North Carolina State Bar, which regulates attorneys, that have both options.
A censure is going to be typically the highest form of written admonishment, and then above that is usually going to be a suspension. Neither a censure nor a public reprimand is going to prevent you from practicing in that profession for a set period of time. That is going to be the job of a suspension or revocation. These two, as said earlier, are just both written and both public. They are going to be published on the board’s website or state agency’s website or state bar’s website, and they are going to be put into the national practitioner’s database. So while they are very similar, the biggest difference between a censure and a public reprimand is the level of severity, the censure being the more severe of the two.