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Virginia Board of Counseling
Frequently Asked Questions

Continuing Competency Requirements

Q:  How will I know if training is approved?

A: There is no pre-approval process for the continuing competency requirements.  You must refer to the section on "continuing competency activity criteria" of your licensure regulations.  For LPC Regulations see Section 18 VAC 115-20-106; for LMFT Regulations see Section 18 VAC 115-50-96; and for LSATP Regulations see Section 18 VAC 115-60-116.  Copies of regulations can be viewed in the Laws and Regulations section.

Q:  When must I have the required number of continuing competency hours completed in order to renew my license?

A:  The current requirement must be completed with the renewal of licensure prior to June 30.  You will be required to sign a certification on your renewal form that you have met the continuing competency requirements.  Falsification on the form is a violation of law and may subject you to disciplinary action.

Q:  I am dually licensed by the Board of Counseling, must I complete 20 hours of continuing competency for each license?

A:  Those individuals dually licensed by this Board will not be required to obtain continuing competency for each license.  A total of 20 hours will fulfill the requirements of all licenses held from this Board.

Q:  Am I required to send in evidence of my continuing competency hours at the time I renew?

A:  No. The Board will randomly select licensees for a post-renewal audit.  If selected, you will be notified by mail that documentation is required and given a time frame within which to comply.

Q:  When do the continuing competency requirements begin?

A:  You can begin accruing hours between July 1st of each licensure year and stop accruing on June 30th of the same licensure year.  These hours will be used for renewal requirements of that year.  Excess hours beyond the 20 hour requirement may not be carried forward into the following renewal cycle.

Q:  Are there forms that I need to use for documenting my compliance with the continued competency requirement.

A:  No, there are no "required" forms necessary for documentation of requirements.  However, Section 18 VAC 115-20-107 (Documenting compliance with continuing competency requirements) does specify what types of documentation is required as verification of completion of requirements.  You should maintain all documentation for a period of five years post renewal.

Q:  Is there a requirement for a course in ethics?

A:  Yes, a minimum of two hours shall be in courses that emphasize the ethics, standards of practice or laws governing behavioral science professions in Virginia.

Q:  If I am newly licensed during the do I still have to obtain the full 20 hours of continued competency?

A:  No.  Newly licensed individuals are not required to document continuing education on the first renewal date following initial licensure.

Q:  What if I become ill or incapacitated and unable to complete my continuing competency requirements prior to renewal?

A:  Upon written request from a licensee prior to the renewal date explaining the circumstances, the Board may grant an extension or exemption for all or part of the required hours.

Q:  Is there a fee to place my license in inactive status?

A:  A licensee who wishes to place a license on inactive status may do so upon payment of the inactive license renewal fee of $55 as indicated on the renewal form.  You may request an inactive license from the Board, beginning with your next renewal.  It is important to note that holding an inactive license does not authorize anyone to engage in the practice of counseling in Virginia.  If you intend to practice at all in Virginia, even on a part-time or non-compensatory basis, you must retain your active license.

Q:  What happens if I take inactive licensure status and later decide to reactivate?

A:  A Licensed Professional Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, or Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner wishing to reactivate an inactive license shall submit the renewal fee for active licensure minus any fee already paid for inactive licensure renewal, and document completion of continued competency hours equal to the number of years the license has been inactive, not to exceed a total of 80 hours.