Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
Regulations Governing the Practice of Professional Counseling [18 VAC 115 ‑ 20]
Requirement for CACREP accreditation for educational programs
[Withdrawn 12/5/2019]
Reason for Withdrawal
On November 22, 2019, the Board of Counseling voted to withdraw its proposed action to require CACREP accreditation for counseling education programs. In doing so, the Board acknowledges that there continues to be opposition but has also reiterated its support for accreditation. Accreditation of educational programs is the standard by which health regulatory boards determine quality and consistency. The core function of the boards that license health professions is the protection of the health and safety of the public, and essential to that responsibility is the assurance of minimal competency to practice. Boards have neither the expertise or the resources to evaluate every educational program to determine whether its offerings, its facilities, and its faculty meet minimal standards. Accordingly, health regulatory boards rely on national accrediting bodies to perform that function. In Social Work, the board requires graduation from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. In Psychology, the Board relies on accreditation of programs by the American Psychological Association in clinical or counseling psychology. Likewise, other board at the Department of Health Professions require graduation from a program with national accreditation as an indication of competency in educational preparation to practice. In statement made during official comment periods and by persons outside of comment periods, there have been several inaccuracies. For example, CACREP does not require all faculty to be graduates of a CACREP-accredited program. Only about half of the classes must be taught by core faculty, and that faculty must have a background in counselor education; the rest of the faculty may come from other disciplines. Likewise, numerous comments have been made about the Board’s attempt to limit licensure by endorsement to only applicants from CACREP-accredited programs. To the contrary, the Board has proposed additional options to its current requirements for licensure by endorsement that provide greater opportunity for applicants from other states. While the Board of Counseling acknowledges that this may not be the appropriate time for promulgating this regulation, it firmly believes that accreditation is the best way to assure educational competency and protect the public.
General Information
Action Summary In response to a petition for rulemaking, the Board is publishing a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action to add a requirement for all counseling programs leading to a license as a professional counselor to be clinically-focused and accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or an approved affiliate, such as the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). This would be a phased-in requirement, allowing seven years from the effective date for students to complete their education in a non-CACREP program and for programs to achieve accreditation standards.
Chapters Affected Only affects this chapter.
Executive Branch Review This action will go through the normal Executive Branch Review process.
RIS Project Yes  [004181]
Associated Petitions for Rulemaking Degree program requirements to include CACREP accreditation
New Periodic Review This action will not be used to conduct a new periodic review.
Stages associated with this regulatory action.
Stage ID Stage Type Status
7071 NOIRA Stage withdrawn on 12/05/2019 after the comment period had ended.
7390 Proposed Stage withdrawn on 12/05/2019 after the comment period had ended.
8032 Revised Proposed Stage withdrawn on 11/03/2017 before the Secretary's office completed its review.
8521 Revised Proposed Stage withdrawn on 12/05/2019 before the Governor's office completed its review.
Contact Information
Name / Title: Jaime Hoyle  / Executive Director
Address: 9960 Mayland Drive
Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233
Email Address:
Phone: (804)367-4406    FAX: (804)527-4435    TDD: ()-

This person is the primary contact for this board.