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Virginia Board of Counseling
COVID-19 Information

Accelerated Temporary License

April 20, 2020

Pursuant to Governor Northam’s Executive Order No. 57 (effective April 17, 2020),  a professional counselor or a  marriage and family therapist with an active license issued by another state may be issued an accelerated temporary license by endorsement as a health care practitioner of the same type for which such license is issued in another state upon submission of an application and information requested by the applicable licensing board and the board's verification that the applicant's license issued by another state is active in good standing and there are no current reports in the United States Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank. Such temporary license shall expire ninety (90) days after the state of emergency ends. During such time the practitioner must seek a full Virginia license or transition patients to Virginia-licensed practitioners.

Health care practitioners with an active license issued by another state may provide continuity of care to their current patients who are Virginia residents through telehealth services.  However, if they want to acquire new patients, they must apply for full licensure in Virginia or an Accelerated Temporary License as indicated above.

You can access the applications here:


Temporary waiver for internship hours

March 27, 2020

Click here to view the "Temporary waiver for internship hours governing the Practice of Professional Counseling, the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy, and the Practice of Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioners" – issued March 27, 2020.


Update on Continuing Education

March 23, 2020

The one-year extension to complete any required Continuing Education (CE) applies to Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Substance Abuse Practitioners, as well as Certified Substance Abuse Counselors and Qualified Mental Health Professionals. Because the Resident License and the Certified Rehabilitation Counselors renew in January, we will assess the need for an extension at a later date.


HIPAA Information

March 19, 2020

The Office for Civil Rights (OVR) at the Department of Health and Human Services has relaxed its rules involving HIPAA for the use of telehealth during the COVID-19 National Emergency. Please read the notice at this link.

Because this is a federal announcement, we are not in a position to answer questions or offer clarification on this issue.


Exam Information

March 18, 2020

Please directly check with your testing vendors regarding site closures, cancellations, refunds, and rescheduling.


Board of Counseling COVID-19 Information

March 16, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board has received many questions from anxious licensees. We are sharing the answers we have at this time, and promise to continue to send out emails and simultaneously update our website as we learn more. At this point we have received the most questions regarding telehealth and Continuing Education (CE) requirements.

In response to telehealth, any licensee, including a Licensed Resident in Counseling can practice telehealth within Virginia. If you wish to practice telehealth into another state in which you are not licensed, we advise you to contact that state to determine if their laws and regulations would allow such practice. The laws and regulations are silent as to whether Licensed Residents in Counseling can provide Technology-Assisted Counseling, but at this point, nothing prohibits it. Please see the link to the 115-1.4: Guidance on Technology-Assisted Counseling and Technology-Assisted Supervision for more information. The Board is in the process of updating this Guidance, but in the meantime, please see the Board of Psychology's Guidance Document 125-7 at the link provided because many of the same principles apply. https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/Psychology/psychology_guidelines.htm

In response to the many people asking how they will complete their CEs required for this year's renewal, we will give a one-year extension to complete any required CEs. As a result you will have until June 30, 2021 to complete this year's requirements as well as next year's requirements. There is no need to contact the Board, as these changes will be reflected automatically. Please note this extension applies only to renewals, if you are required to take CEs as part of a Board Order, please contact your case manager for more information.

Additionally, for more information surrounding your application or license and COVID-19, please see the following letter from the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE):

"As we all deal with the uncharted territory of the COVID-19 outbreak, at NBCC we are striving to respond the multifaceted needs of our stakeholders by modifying testing windows, providing support and sharing opportunities for online continuing education. We have compiled responses for different programs and this information is shared on NBCC and Affiliates COVID-19 Response Site.

We also wanted to share some information with you directly, that may be helpful to your Board’s stakeholders. Please feel free to share any of this information as you feel it is helpful.

Online Continuing Education Opportunities

Many live continuing education opportunities have been changed or canceled, leaving counselors seeking professional development searching for other learning opportunities. NBCC’s Approved Continuing Education Provider directory shares a wide range of continuing education provider websites and opportunities. Please consider searching the directory for online learning opportunities. 

Expanded Testing Windows

CCE worked with Pearson VUE to expand the testing window for state examinees for the NCE and NCMHCE to the full month. This adds two additional weeks and many available seats for test takers who are trying to schedule their exam for licensure.

Additional Testing Window for Graduate Student Administration

Many students in graduate counseling programs take their NCE as part of the Graduate Student Administration through their campus program. With many campuses closed and testing options limited, NBCC has moved quickly to open the testing window earlier for schools that remain open and are able to test more quickly, and we have designed a special summer testing cycle that will allow students who are unable to test by the end of May to complete their NCE during the summer. We hope this will help students who are dealing with campus closures and will ensure a more timely delivery of scores for students who are pursuing licensure and certification concurrently.

We understand the strain that the progression of this illness and the subsequent government office and institutional closures is putting on counselors, university programs, and state licensure boards. We will continue to seek other ways that we might modify processes or provide support to help our stakeholders engaged in their normal professional development, licensure and certification pursuit, and providing services to clients. If you have ideas of ways that we can support our professional counseling community during this extraordinary, unexpected situation, please reach out to any of us directly at dotson-blake@nbcc.org, lee@cce-global.org or amburn@nbcc.org.

Thank you for your patience with us as we work through these challenging times."

The Virginia Board of Counseling will continue to do our best to meet the needs of our applicants and licensees. We may be short-staffed at times because many will be required to telework, and it is best to reach us via email. The specific board email addresses are listed on our website. Thank you for your patience, and please stay healthy.


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Updates

Published on Feb 28, 2020

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness, called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). VDH has information on the Coronavirus Disease for both healthcare professionals and the general public which is updated regularly, as new information becomes available. Read more here.