A. Licensed professional counselors shall be required to have completed a minimum of 20 hours of continuing competency for each annual licensure renewal. A minimum of two of these hours shall be in courses that emphasize the ethics, standards of practice, or laws governing behavioral science professions in Virginia.
B. The board may grant an extension for good cause of up to one year for the completion of continuing competency requirements upon written request from the licensee prior to the renewal date. Such extension shall not relieve the licensee of the continuing competency requirement.
C. The board may grant an exemption for all or part of the continuing competency requirements due to circumstances beyond the control of the licensee such as temporary disability, mandatory military service, or officially declared disasters.
D. Those individuals dually licensed by this board will not be required to obtain continuing competency for each license. Dually licensed individuals will only be required to provide the hours set out in subsection A of this section, subsection A of 18VAC115-50-95 in the Regulations Governing the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy, or subsection A of 18VAC115-60-115 in the Regulations Governing the Practice of Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioners.
E. Up to two hours of the 20 hours required for annual renewal may be satisfied through delivery of counseling services, without compensation, to low-income individuals receiving health services through a local health department or a free clinic organized in whole or primarily for the delivery of those services. One hour of continuing education may be credited for three hours of providing such volunteer services, as documented by the health department or free clinic.
F. A professional counselor who was licensed by examination is exempt from meeting continuing competency requirements for the first renewal following initial licensure.
§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.
Derived from Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 24, eff. September 8, 2004; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 11, eff. March 9, 2017; Volume 34, Issue 6, eff. December 28, 2017.
A. Continuing competency activities must focus on increasing knowledge or skills in one or more of the following areas:
1. Ethics, standards of practice, or laws governing behavioral science professions;
2. Counseling theory;
3. Human growth and development;
4. Social and cultural foundations;
5. The helping relationship;
6. Group dynamics, processing, and counseling;
7. Lifestyle and career development;
8. Appraisal of individuals;
9. Research and evaluation;
10. Professional orientation;
11. Clinical supervision;
12. Marriage and family therapy; or
B. Approved hours of continuing competency activity shall be one of the following types:
1. Formally organized learning activities or home study. Activities may be counted at their full hour value. Hours shall be obtained from one or a combination of the following board-approved, mental health-related activities:
a. Regionally accredited university or college level academic courses in a behavioral health discipline.
b. Continuing education programs offered by universities or colleges.
c. Workshops, seminars, conferences, or courses in the behavioral health field offered by federal, state, or local governmental agencies or licensed health facilities and licensed hospitals.
d. Workshops, seminars, conferences, or courses in the behavioral health field offered by an individual or organization that has been certified or approved by one of the following:
(1) The International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors and its state affiliates.
(2) The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and its state affiliates.
(3) The American Association of State Counseling Boards.
(4) The American Counseling Association and its state and local affiliates.
(5) The American Psychological Association and its state affiliates.
(6) The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.
(7) NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals and its state and local affiliates.
(8) National Association of Social Workers.
(9) National Board for Certified Counselors.
(10) A national behavioral health organization or certification body.
(11) Individuals or organizations that have been approved as continuing competency sponsors by the American Association of State Counseling Boards or a counseling board in another state.
(12) The American Association of Pastoral Counselors.
2. Individual professional activities.
a. Publication/presentation/new program development.
(1) Publication of articles. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours. Publication activities are limited to articles in refereed journals or a chapter in an edited book.
(2) Publication of books. Activity will count for a maximum of 18 hours.
(3) Presentations. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours. The same presentations may be used only once in a two-year period. Only actual presentation time may be counted.
(4) New program development. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours. New program development includes a new course, seminar, or workshop. New courses shall be graduate or undergraduate level college or university courses.
b. Dissertation. Activity will count for a maximum of 18 hours. Dissertation credit may only be counted once.
c. Clinical supervision/consultation. Activity will count for a maximum of 10 hours. Continuing competency can only be granted for clinical supervision/consultation received on a regular basis with a set agenda. Continuing competency cannot be granted for supervision provided to others.
d. Leadership. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours. The following leadership positions are acceptable for continuing competency credit: officer of state or national counseling organization; editor and/or reviewer of professional counseling journals; member of state counseling licensure/certification board; member of a national counselor certification board; member of a national ethics disciplinary review committee rendering licenses; active member of a counseling committee producing a substantial written product; chair of a major counseling conference or convention; or other leadership positions with justifiable professional learning experiences. The leadership positions must take place for a minimum of one year after the date of first licensure.
e. Practice related programs. Activity will count up to a maximum of eight hours. The board may allow up to eight contact hours of continuing competency as long as the regulant submits proof of attendance plus a written justification of how the activity assists him in his direct service of his clients. Examples include language courses, software training, and medical topics, etc.
§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.
Derived from Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 24, eff. September 8, 2004; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 12, eff. March 22, 2006; Volume 26, Issue 2, eff. November 12, 2009; Volume 30, Issue 19, eff. July 3, 2014.
A. All licensees are required to maintain original documentation for a period of two years following renewal.
B. After the end of each renewal period, the board may conduct a random audit of licensees to verify compliance with the requirement for that renewal period.
C. Upon request, a licensee shall provide documentation as follows:
1. To document completion of formal organized learning activities, the licensee shall provide:
a. Official transcripts showing credit hours earned; or
b. Certificates of participation.
2. Documentation of home study shall be made by identification of the source material studied, summary of content, and a signed affidavit attesting to completion of the home study.
3. Documentation of individual professional activities shall be by one of the following:
a. Certificates of participation;
b. Proof of presentations made;
c. Reprints of publications;
d. Letters from educational institutions or agencies approving continuing education programs;
e. Official notification from the association that sponsored the item writing workshop or continuing education program; or
f. Documentation of attendance at formal staffing by a signed affidavit on a form provided by the board.
D. Continuing competency hours required by a disciplinary order shall not be used to satisfy renewal requirements.
§ 54.1-103, 54.1-2400, and 54.1-3505.1 of the Code of Virginia.
Derived from Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 24, eff. September 8, 2004.
Virginia Board of Counseling
Jaime Hoyle, Executive Director
Johnston Brendel, Ed.D., LPC, LMFT, Chairperson