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18VAC115-20-10

Part I
General Provisions

18VAC115-20-10. Definitions.

A. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the meaning ascribed to them in § 54.1-3500 of the Code of Virginia:

"Appraisal activities"

"Board"

"Counseling"

"Counseling treatment intervention"

"Professional counselor"

B. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Ancillary counseling services" means activities such as case management, recordkeeping, referral, and coordination of services.

"Applicant" means any individual who has submitted an official application and paid the application fee for licensure as a professional counselor.

"CACREP" means the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

"Candidate for licensure" means a person who has satisfactorily completed all educational and experience requirements for licensure and has been deemed eligible by the board to sit for its examinations.

"Clinical counseling services" means activities such as assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, and treatment implementation.

"Competency area" means an area in which a person possesses knowledge and skill and the ability to apply them in the clinical setting.

"CORE" means Council on Rehabilitation Education.

"Exempt setting" means an agency or institution in which licensure is not required to engage in the practice of counseling according to the conditions set forth in § 54.1-3501 of the Code of Virginia.

"Face-to-face" means the in-person delivery of clinical counseling services for a client.

"Group supervision" means the process of clinical supervision of no more than six persons in a group setting provided by a qualified supervisor.

"Internship" means a formal academic course from a regionally accredited college or university in which supervised, practical experience is obtained in a clinical setting in the application of counseling principles, methods, and techniques.

"Jurisdiction" means a state, territory, district, province, or country that has granted a professional certificate or license to practice a profession, use a professional title, or hold oneself out as a practitioner of that profession.

"Nonexempt setting" means a setting that does not meet the conditions of exemption from the requirements of licensure to engage in the practice of counseling as set forth in § 54.1-3501 of the Code of Virginia.

"Regional accrediting agency" means one of the regional accreditation agencies recognized by the United States U.S. Secretary of Education responsible for accrediting senior postsecondary institutions.

"Residency" means a post-graduate postgraduate, supervised, clinical experience registered with the board.

"Resident" means an individual who has submitted a supervisory contract and has received board approval to provide clinical services in professional counseling under supervision.

"Supervision" means the ongoing process performed by a supervisor who monitors the performance of the person supervised and provides regular, documented individual or group consultation, guidance, and instruction that is specific to the clinical counseling services being performed with respect to the clinical skills and competencies of the person supervised.

18VAC115-20-40

Part II
Requirements for Licensure

18VAC115-20-40. Prerequisites for licensure by examination.

Every applicant for licensure examination by the board shall:

1. Meet the degree program requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-20-49, the course work requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-20-51, and the experience requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-20-52; and

2. Pass the licensure examination specified by the board;

3. Submit the following to the board:

a. A completed application;

b. Official transcripts documenting the applicant's completion of the degree program and coursework requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-20-49 and 18VAC115-20-51. Transcripts previously submitted for registration of supervision do not have to be resubmitted unless additional coursework was subsequently obtained;

c. Verification of Supervision forms documenting fulfillment of the residency requirements of 18VAC115-20-52 and copies of all required evaluation forms, including verification of current licensure of the supervisor if any portion of the residency occurred in another jurisdiction;

d. Verification of any other mental health or health professional license or certificate ever held in another jurisdiction; and

e. The application processing and initial licensure fee as prescribed in 18VAC115-20-20.; and

f. A current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB); and

3. 4. Have no unresolved disciplinary action against a mental health or health professional license or certificate held in Virginia or in another jurisdiction. The board will consider history of disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis.

18VAC115-20-45

18VAC115-20-45. Prerequisites for licensure by endorsement.

A. Every applicant for licensure by endorsement shall hold or have held a professional counselor license in another jurisdiction of the United States and shall submit the following:

1. A completed application;

2. The application processing fee and initial licensure fee as prescribed in 18VAC115-20-20;

3. Verification of all mental health or health professional licenses or certificates ever held in any other jurisdiction. In order to qualify for endorsement the applicant shall have no unresolved action against a license or certificate. The board will consider history of disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis;

4. Documentation of having completed education and experience requirements as specified in subsection B of this section;

5. Verification of a passing score on an examination required for counseling licensure in the jurisdiction in which licensure was obtained; and

6. A current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB); and

6. 7. An affidavit of having read and understood the regulations and laws governing the practice of professional counseling in Virginia.

B. Every applicant for licensure by endorsement shall meet one of the following:

1. Educational requirements consistent with those specified in 18VAC115-20-49 and 18VAC115-20-51 and experience requirements consistent with those specified in 18VAC115-20-52; or

2. If an applicant does not have educational and experience credentials consistent with those required by this chapter, he shall provide:

a. Documentation of education and supervised experience that met the requirements of the jurisdiction in which he was initially licensed as verified by an official transcript and a certified copy of the original application materials; and

b. Evidence of post-licensure clinical practice in counseling, as defined in § 54.1-3500 of the Code of Virginia, for 24 of the last 60 months immediately preceding his licensure application in Virginia. Clinical practice shall mean the rendering of direct clinical counseling services or clinical supervision of counseling services.; or

3. In lieu of transcripts verifying education and documentation verifying supervised experience, the board may accept verification from the credentials registry of the American Association of State Counseling Boards or any other board-recognized entity.

18VAC115-20-49

18VAC115-20-49. Degree program requirements.

A. The applicant shall have completed a graduate degree from a program that prepares individuals to practice counseling and counseling treatment intervention, as defined in § 54.1-3500 of the Code of Virginia, which is offered by a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting agency and which meets the following criteria:

1. There must be a sequence of academic study with the expressed intent to prepare counselors as documented by the institution;

2. There must be an identifiable counselor training faculty and an identifiable body of students who complete that sequence of academic study; and

3. The academic unit must have clear authority and primary responsibility for the core and specialty areas.

B. Programs that are approved by CACREP or CORE are recognized as meeting the requirements of subsection A of this section.

18VAC115-20-51

18VAC115-20-51. Coursework requirements.

A. The applicant shall have successfully completed 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of graduate study in the following core coursework with a minimum of three semester hours or 4.0 quarter hours in each of subdivisions 1 through 12 of this subsection:

1. Professional counseling identity, function, and ethics;

2. Theories of counseling and psychotherapy;

3. Counseling and psychotherapy techniques;

4. Human growth and development;

5. Group counseling and psychotherapy theories and techniques;

6. Career counseling and development theories and techniques;

7. Appraisal, evaluation, and diagnostic procedures;

8. Abnormal behavior and psychopathology;

9. Multicultural counseling theories and techniques;

10. Research;

11. Diagnosis and treatment of addictive disorders;

12. Marriage and family systems theory; and

13. Supervised internship of at least 600 hours to include 240 hours of face-to-face client contact. Internship hours shall not begin until completion of 30 semester hours toward the graduate degree.

B. If 60 graduate hours in counseling were completed prior to April 12, 2000, the board may accept those hours if they meet the regulations in effect at the time the 60 hours were completed.

18VAC115-20-52

18VAC115-20-52. Residency requirements.

A. Registration. Applicants who render counseling services shall:

1. With their supervisor, register their supervisory contract on the appropriate forms for board approval before starting to practice under supervision;

2. Have submitted an official transcript documenting a graduate degree as specified in 18VAC115-20-49 to include completion of the coursework and internship requirement specified in 18VAC115-20-51; and

3. Pay the registration fee.

B. Residency requirements.

1. The applicant for licensure shall have completed a 3,400-hour supervised residency in the role of a professional counselor working with various populations, clinical problems, and theoretical approaches in the following areas:

a. Assessment and diagnosis using psychotherapy techniques;

b. Appraisal, evaluation, and diagnostic procedures;

c. Treatment planning and implementation;

d. Case management and recordkeeping;

e. Professional counselor identity and function; and

f. Professional ethics and standards of practice.

2. The residency shall include a minimum of 200 hours of face-to-face in-person supervision between supervisor and resident in the consultation and review of clinical counseling services provided by the resident. Supervision shall occur at a minimum of one hour and a maximum of four hours per 40 hours of work experience during the period of the residency. For the purpose of meeting the 200-hour supervision requirement, face-to-face in-person may include the use of secured technology that maintains client confidentiality and provides real-time, visual contact between the supervisor and the resident. Up to 20 hours of the supervision received during the supervised internship may be counted towards the 200 hours of in-person supervision if the supervision was provided by a licensed professional counselor.

3. No more than half of the 200 hours may be satisfied with group supervision. One hour of group supervision will be deemed equivalent to one hour of individual supervision.

4. Supervision that is not concurrent with a residency will not be accepted, nor will residency hours be accrued in the absence of approved supervision.

5. The residency shall include at least 2,000 hours of face-to-face client contact in providing clinical counseling services. The remaining hours may be spent in the performance of ancillary counseling services.

6. A graduate-level internship in excess of 600 hours, which was completed in a program that meets the requirements set forth in 18VAC115-20-49, may count for up to an additional 300 hours towards the requirements of a residency.

7. The residency shall be completed in not less than 18 months or more than four years. Residents who began a residency before (insert effective date of the regulation) shall complete the residency by (insert four years after the effective date). An individual who does not complete the residency after four years shall submit evidence to the board showing why the supervised experience should be allowed to continue.

8. The board may consider special requests in the event that the regulations create an undue burden in regard to geography or disability that limits the resident's access to qualified supervision.

8. 9. Residents may not call themselves professional counselors, directly bill for services rendered, or in any way represent themselves as independent, autonomous practitioners or professional counselors. During the residency, residents shall use their names and the initials of their degree, and the title "Resident in Counseling" in all written communications. Clients shall be informed in writing of the resident's status and the supervisor's name, professional address, and phone number.

9. 10. Residents shall not engage in practice under supervision in any areas for which they have not had appropriate education.

11. Residency hours approved by the licensing board in another U.S. jurisdiction that meet the requirements of this section shall be accepted.

C. Supervisory qualifications. A person who provides supervision for a resident in professional counseling shall:

1. Document two years of post-licensure clinical experience;

2. Have received professional training in supervision, consisting of three credit hours or 4.0 quarter hours in graduate-level coursework in supervision or at least 20 hours of continuing education in supervision offered by a provider approved under 18VAC115-20-106; and

3. Shall hold an active, unrestricted license as a professional counselor, or a marriage and family therapist, substance abuse treatment practitioner, school psychologist, clinical psychologist, clinical social worker, or psychiatrist in the jurisdiction where the supervision is being provided. At least 100 hours of the supervision shall be rendered by a licensed professional counselor.

D. Supervisory responsibilities.

1. Supervision by any individual whose relationship to the resident compromises the objectivity of the supervisor is prohibited.

2. The supervisor of a resident shall assume full responsibility for the clinical activities of that resident specified within the supervisory contract for the duration of the residency.

3. The supervisor shall complete evaluation forms to be given to the resident at the end of each three-month period.

4. The supervisor shall report the total hours of residency and shall evaluate the applicant's competency in the six areas stated in subdivision B 1 of this section.

5. The supervisor shall provide supervision as defined in 18VAC115-20-10.

18VAC115-20-70

Part III
Examinations

18VAC115-20-70. General examination requirements; schedules; time limits.

A. Every applicant for initial licensure by examination by the board as a professional counselor shall pass a written examination as prescribed by the board.

B. Every applicant for licensure by endorsement shall have passed a licensure examination in the jurisdiction in which licensure was obtained.

C. A candidate approved to sit for the examination shall take pass the examination within two years from the date of such initial approval. If the candidate has not taken passed the examination by the end of the two-year period here prescribed:

1. The initial approval to sit for the examination shall then become invalid; and

2. In order to be considered for the examination later, the The applicant shall file a new application with the board, meet the requirements in effect at that time, and provide evidence of why the board should approve the reapplication for examination. If approved by the board, the applicant shall pass the examination within two years of such approval. If the examination is not passed within the additional two-year period, a new application will not be accepted.  

D. The board shall establish a passing score on the written examination.

E. A candidate for examination or an applicant shall not provide clinical counseling services unless he is under supervision approved by the board.

18VAC115-20-130

Part V
Standards of Practice; Unprofessional Conduct; Disciplinary Actions; Reinstatement

18VAC115-20-130. Standards of practice.

A. The protection of the public health, safety, and welfare and the best interest of the public shall be the primary guide in determining the appropriate professional conduct of all persons whose activities are regulated by the board. Regardless of the delivery method, whether in person, by phone, or electronically, these standards shall apply to the practice of counseling.

B. Persons licensed or registered by the board shall:

1. Practice in a manner that is in the best interest of the public and does not endanger the public health, safety, or welfare;

2. Practice only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, and appropriate professional experience and represent their education, training, and experience accurately to clients;

3. Stay abreast of new counseling information, concepts, applications, and practices that are necessary to providing appropriate, effective professional services;

4. Be able to justify all services rendered to clients as necessary and appropriate for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes;

5. Document the need for and steps taken to terminate a counseling relationship when it becomes clear that the client is not benefiting from the relationship. Document the assistance provided in making appropriate arrangements for the continuation of treatment for clients, when necessary, following termination of a counseling relationship;

6. Make appropriate arrangements for continuation of services, when necessary, during interruptions such as vacations, unavailability, relocation, illness, and disability;

7. Disclose to clients all experimental methods of treatment and inform clients of the risks and benefits of any such treatment. Ensure that the welfare of the clients is in no way compromised in any experimentation or research involving those clients;

8. Neither accept nor give commissions, rebates, or other forms of remuneration for referral of clients for professional services;

9. Inform clients of the purposes, goals, techniques, procedures, limitations, potential risks, and benefits of services to be performed; the limitations of confidentiality; and other pertinent information when counseling is initiated and throughout the counseling process as necessary. Provide clients with accurate information regarding the implications of diagnosis, the intended use of tests and reports, fees, and billing arrangements;

10. Select tests for use with clients that are valid, reliable, and appropriate and carefully interpret the performance of individuals not represented in standardized norms;

11. Determine whether a client is receiving services from another mental health service provider, and if so, refrain from providing services to the client without having an informed consent discussion with the client and having been granted communication privileges with the other professional;

12. Use only in connection with one's practice as a mental health professional those educational and professional degrees or titles that have been earned at a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States U.S. Department of Education, or credentials granted by a national certifying agency, and that are counseling in nature; and

13. Advertise professional services fairly and accurately in a manner that is not false, misleading, or deceptive.

C. In regard to patient records, persons licensed by the board shall:

1. Maintain written or electronic clinical records for each client to include treatment dates and identifying information to substantiate diagnosis and treatment plan, client progress, and termination;

2. Maintain client records securely, inform all employees of the requirements of confidentiality, and provide for the destruction of records that are no longer useful in a manner that ensures client confidentiality;

3. Disclose or release records to others only with the client's expressed written consent or that of the client's legally authorized representative in accordance with § 32.1-127.1:03 of the Code of Virginia;

4. Ensure confidentiality in the usage of client records and clinical materials by obtaining informed consent from the client or the client's legally authorized representative before (i) videotaping, (ii) audio recording, (iii) permitting third party observation, or (iv) using identifiable client records and clinical materials in teaching, writing, or public presentations; and

5. Maintain client records for a minimum of five years or as otherwise required by law from the date of termination of the counseling relationship with the following exceptions:

a. At minimum, records of a minor child shall be maintained for five years after attaining the age of majority (18 years) or 10 years following termination, whichever comes later;

b. Records that are required by contractual obligation or federal law to be maintained for a longer period of time; or

c. Records that have been transferred to another mental health service provider or given to the client or his legally authorized representative.

D. In regard to dual relationships, persons licensed by the board shall:

1. Avoid dual relationships with clients that could impair professional judgment or increase the risk of harm to clients. Examples of such relationships include, but are not limited to, familial, social, financial, business, bartering, or close personal relationships with clients. Counselors shall take appropriate professional precautions when a dual relationship cannot be avoided, such as informed consent, consultation, supervision, and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no exploitation occurs;

2. Not engage in any type of romantic relationships or sexual intimacies with clients or those included in a collateral relationship with the client and not counsel persons with whom they have had a romantic relationship or sexual intimacy. Counselors shall not engage in romantic relationships or sexual intimacies with former clients within a minimum of five years after terminating the counseling relationship. Counselors who engage in such relationship or intimacy after five years following termination shall have the responsibility to examine and document thoroughly that such relations do not have an exploitive nature, based on factors such as duration of counseling, amount of time since counseling, termination circumstances, client's personal history and mental status, or adverse impact on the client. A client's consent to, initiation of, or participation in sexual behavior or involvement with a counselor does not change the nature of the conduct nor lift the regulatory prohibition;

3. Not engage in any romantic relationship or sexual intimacy or establish a counseling or psychotherapeutic relationship with a supervisee or student. Counselors shall avoid any nonsexual dual relationship with a supervisee or student in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the supervisee or student or the potential for interference with the supervisor's professional judgment; and

4. Recognize conflicts of interest and inform all parties of the nature and directions of loyalties and responsibilities involved.

E. Persons licensed by this board shall report to the board known or suspected violations of the laws and regulations governing the practice of professional counseling.

F. Persons licensed by the board shall advise their clients of their right to report to the Department of Health Professions any information of which the licensee may become aware in his professional capacity indicating that there is a reasonable probability that a person licensed or certified as a mental health service provider, as defined in § 54.1-2400.1 of the Code of Virginia, may have engaged in unethical, fraudulent, or unprofessional conduct as defined by the pertinent licensing statutes and regulations.

18VAC115-50-10

18VAC115-50-10. Definitions.

A. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the meaning ascribed to them in § 54.1-3500 of the Code of Virginia: (i) "board," (ii) "marriage and family therapy," (iii) "marriage and family therapist," and (iv) "practice of marriage and family therapy."

B. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Ancillary counseling services" means activities such as case management, recordkeeping, referral, and coordination of services.

"CACREP" means the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Educational Programs.

"COAMFTE" means the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.

"Clinical marriage and family services" means activities such as assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning and treatment implementation for couples and families.

"Face-to-face" means the in-person delivery of clinical marriage and family services for a client.

"Internship" means a supervised, planned, practical, advanced experience obtained in the clinical setting, observing and applying the principles, methods and techniques learned in training or educational settings formal academic course from a regionally accredited university in which supervised practical experience is obtained in a clinical setting in the application of counseling principles, methods, and techniques.

"Regional accrediting agency" means one of the regional accreditation agencies recognized by the United States U.S. Secretary of Education as responsible for accrediting senior post-secondary institutions and training programs.

"Residency" means a post-internship postgraduate, supervised clinical experience registered with the board.

"Resident" means an individual who has submitted a supervisory contract to the board and has received board approval to provide clinical services in marriage and family therapy under supervision.

"Supervision" means an ongoing process performed by a supervisor who monitors the performance of the person supervised and provides regular, documented, individual or group consultation, guidance and instruction with respect to the clinical skills and competencies of the person or persons being supervised.

18VAC115-50-20

18VAC115-50-20. Fees.

A. The board has established fees for the following:

 

Registration of supervision

$50

 

Add or change supervisor

$25

 

Initial licensure by examination: Processing and initial licensure

$140

 

Initial licensure by endorsement: Processing and initial licensure

$140

 

Active annual license renewal

$105

 

Inactive annual license renewal

$55

 

Penalty for late renewal

$35

 

Reinstatement of a lapsed license

$165

 

Verification of license to another jurisdiction

$25

 

Additional or replacement licenses

$5

 

Additional or replacement wall certificates

$15

 

Returned check

$35

 

Reinstatement following revocation or suspension

$500

 

One-time reduction for renewal of an active license due on June 30, 2010

$52

 

One-time reduction for renewal of an inactive license due on June 30, 2010

$27

B. Fees shall be paid to the board or its contractor or both in appropriate amounts as specified in the application instructions. All fees are nonrefundable.

C. Examination fees shall be determined and made payable as determined by the board.

18VAC115-50-30

18VAC115-50-30. Application for licensure by examination.

Every applicant for examination for licensure by examination by the board shall:

1. Meet the education and experience requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-50-50, 18VAC115-50-55 and 18VAC115-50-60.;

2. Meet the examination requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-50-70;

2. 3. Submit to the board office the following items:

a. A completed application;

b. The application processing and initial licensure fee prescribed in 18VAC115-50-20;

c. Documentation, on the appropriate forms, of the successful completion of the residency requirements of 18VAC115-50-60 along with documentation of the supervisor's out-of-state license where applicable;

d. Official transcript or transcripts in the original sealed envelope with the registrar's signature across the sealed envelope flap submitted from the appropriate institutions of higher education directly to the applicant, verifying satisfactory completion of the education requirements set forth in 18VAC115-50-50 and 18VAC115-50-55. Previously submitted transcripts for registration of supervision do not have to be resubmitted unless additional coursework was subsequently obtained; and

e. Verification on a board-approved form that any of any mental health or health out-of-state license, certification, or registration is in good standing. ever held in another jurisdiction; and

f. A current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB); and

4. Have no unresolved disciplinary action against a mental health or health professional license or certificate held in Virginia or in another jurisdiction. The board will consider history of disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis.

18VAC115-50-40

18VAC115-50-40. Application for licensure by endorsement.

A. Every applicant for licensure by endorsement shall hold or have held a marriage and family license in another jurisdiction in the United States and shall submit:

1. A completed application;

2. The application processing and initial licensure fee prescribed in 18VAC115-50-20; and

3. Documentation of licensure as follows:

a. Verification of all mental health or health professional licenses or certificates ever held in any other jurisdiction. In order to qualify for endorsement, the applicant shall have no unresolved action against a license or certificate. The board will consider history of disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis; and

b. Documentation of a marriage and family therapy license obtained by standards specified in subsection B of this section.;

4. Verification of a passing score on a marriage and family therapy licensure examination in the jurisdiction in which licensure was obtained;

5. An affidavit of having read and understood the regulations and laws governing the practice of marriage and family therapy in Virginia; and

6. A current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB).

B. Every applicant for licensure by endorsement shall meet one of the following:

1. Educational requirements consistent with those specified in 18VAC115-50-50 and 18VAC115-50-55 and experience requirements consistent with those specified in 18VAC115-50-60; or

2. If an applicant does not have educational and experience credentials consistent with those required by this chapter, he shall provide:

a. Documentation of education and supervised experience that met the requirements of the jurisdiction in which he was initially licensed as verified by an official transcript and a certified copy of the original application materials; and

b. Evidence of post-licensure clinical practice as a marriage and family therapist for five 24 of the last six years 60 months immediately preceding his licensure application in Virginia. Clinical practice shall mean the rendering of direct clinical services in marriage and family therapy or clinical supervision of marriage and family services; or

3. In lieu of transcripts verifying education and documentation verifying supervised experience, the board may accept verification from the credentials registry of the American Association of State Counseling Boards or any other board-recognized entity.

18VAC115-50-50

18VAC115-50-50. Degree program requirements.

A. The applicant shall have completed a graduate degree from a program that prepares individuals to practice marriage and family therapy or a discipline related to the practice of marriage and family therapy as defined in § 54.1-3500 of the Code of Virginia from a college or university which is accredited by a regional accrediting agency and which meets the following criteria:

1. There must be a sequence of academic study with the expressed intent to prepare students to practice marriage and family therapy as documented by the institution;

2. There must be an identifiable marriage and family therapy training faculty and an identifiable body of students who complete that sequence of academic study; and

3. The academic unit must have clear authority and primary responsibility for the core and specialty areas.

B. Programs that are approved by CACREP as programs in marriage and family counseling/therapy or by COAMFTE are recognized as meeting the definition of a graduate degree program that prepares individuals to practice marriage and family therapy or a discipline related to the practice of marriage and family therapy as defined in § 54.1-3500 of the Code of Virginia requirements of subsection A of this section.

18VAC115-50-55

18VAC115-50-55. Course work Coursework requirements.

A. The applicant shall have successfully completed 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of graduate study in the following core areas coursework with a minimum of six semester hours or nine quarter hours completed in each of the core areas identified in subdivisions 1 and 2 of this subsection, and three semester hours or 4.0 quarter hours in each of the core areas identified in subdivisions 3 through 6 9 of this subsection (suggested courses are listed in parentheses after each core area):

1. Marriage and family studies (marital and family development; family systems theory);

2. Marriage and family therapy (systemic therapeutic interventions and application of major theoretical approaches);

3. Human growth and development (theories of counseling; psychotherapy techniques with individuals; human growth and lifespan development; personality theory; psychopathology; human sexuality; multicultural issues) across the lifespan;

4. Abnormal behaviors;

5. Diagnosis and treatment of addictive behaviors;

6. Multicultural counseling;

4. 7. Professional studies (professional identity and function; ethical and legal issues) ethics;

5. 8. Research (research methods; quantitative methods; statistics);

6. 9. Assessment and treatment (appraisal, assessment and diagnostic procedures); and

7. 10. Supervised internship of at least 600 hours to include 240 hours of direct client contact. Three hundred of the internship hours and 120 of the direct client contact, of which 200 hours shall be with couples and families. Internship hours shall not begin until completion of 30 semester hours toward the graduate degree.

B. If the graduate hours in marriage and family therapy were begun prior to January 19, 2000, the board may accept those hours if they meet the requirements which were in effect on July 9, 1997. If the applicant holds a current, unrestricted license as a professional counselor, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker, the board may accept evidence of successful completion of 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of graduate study, including a minimum of six semester hours or nine quarter hours completed in marriage and family studies (marital and family development; family systems theory) and six semester hours or nine quarter hours completed in marriage and family therapy (systemic therapeutic interventions and application of major theoretical approaches).

18VAC115-50-60

18VAC115-50-60. Residency requirements.

A. Registration. 1. Applicants who render counseling marriage and family therapy services shall:

a. 1. With their supervisor, register their supervisory contract on the appropriate forms for board approval before starting to practice under supervision;

b. 2. Have submitted an official transcript documenting a graduate degree as specified in 18VAC115-50-50 to include completion of the coursework and internship requirement specified in 18VAC115-50-55; and

c. 3. Pay the registration fee.

2. After September 3, 2008, applicants who are beginning their residencies in exempt settings shall register supervision with the board to assure acceptability at the time of application.

B. Residency requirements.

1. The applicant shall have completed at least two years of supervised post-graduate degree experience, representing no fewer than 4,000 3,400 hours of supervised work experience residency in the role of a marriage and family therapist, to include 200 hours of in-person supervision with the supervisor in the practice of marriage and family therapy consultation and review of marriage and family services provided by the resident. For the purpose of meeting the 200 hours of supervision required for a residency, in-person may also include the use of technology that maintains client confidentiality and provides real-time, visual contact between the supervisor and the resident. At least one-half of the 200 hours of supervision shall be rendered by a licensed marriage and family therapist.

a. Residents shall receive a minimum of one hour and a maximum of four hours of supervision for every 40 hours of supervised work experience.

b. No more than 100 hours of the supervision may be acquired through group supervision, with the group consisting of no more than six residents. One hour of group supervision will be deemed equivalent to one hour of individual supervision.

c. Up to 20 hours of the supervision received during the supervised internship may be counted towards the 200 hours of in-person supervision if the supervision was provided by a licensed marriage and family therapist or a licensed professional counselor.

2. Of the 4,000 hours stipulated, The residency shall include documentation of at least 2,000 hours must be acquired in direct client contact of which 1,000 hours shall be clinical marriage and family services of which 1,000 hours shall be face-to-face client contact with couples or families or both. The remaining hours may be spent in the performance of ancillary counseling services. For applicants who hold current, unrestricted licensure as a professional counselor, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker, the remaining hours may be waived.

3. The residency shall consist of practice in the core areas set forth in 18VAC115-50-55.

4. The residency shall begin after the completion of a master's degree in marriage and family therapy or a related discipline as set forth in 18VAC115-50-50.

5. A graduate-level internship in excess of 600 hours, which was completed in a program that meets the requirements set forth in 18VAC115-50-50, may count for no more than 600 of the required 4,000 hours of experience. The internship shall include 20 hours of individual on-site supervision, and 20 hours of individual or group off-site supervision. Internship hours shall not begin until completion of 30 semester hours toward the graduate degree up to an additional 300 hours towards the requirements of a residency.

6. A graduate-level degree internship completed in a COAMFTE-approved program or a CACREP-approved program in marriage and family counseling/therapy may count for no more than 900 of the required 4,000 hours of experience. The board may consider special requests in the event that the regulations create an undue burden in regard to geography or disability which limits the resident's access to qualified supervision.

7. In order for a graduate level internship to be counted toward a residency, either the clinical or faculty supervisor shall be licensed as set forth in subsection C of this section.

8. 7. Residents shall not call themselves marriage and family therapists, solicit clients, directly bill for services rendered, or in any way represent themselves as marriage and family therapists. During the residency, they may use their names, the initials of their degree and the title "Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy." Clients shall be informed in writing of the resident's status, along with the name, address and telephone number of the resident's supervisor.

9. 8. Residents shall not engage in practice under supervision in any areas for which they do not have appropriate education.

10. Residents who do not become candidates for licensure after five years of supervised training shall submit an explanation to the board stating reasons the residency should be allowed to continue. 9. The residency shall be completed in not less than 18 months or more than four years. Residents who began a residency before (insert effective date of the regulation) shall complete the residency by (insert four years after the effective date). An individual who does not complete the residency after four years shall submit evidence to the board showing why the supervised experience should be allowed to continue.

10. Residency hours that are approved by the licensing board in another U.S. jurisdiction and that meet the requirements of this section shall be accepted.

C. Supervisory qualifications. A person who provides supervision for a resident in marriage and family therapy shall:

1. Hold an active, unrestricted license as a marriage and family therapist, or professional counselor, clinical psychologist, clinical social worker or psychiatrist in the jurisdiction where the supervision is being provided;

2. Document two years post-licensure marriage and family therapy experience; and

3. Have received professional training in supervision, consisting of three credit hours or 4.0 quarter hours in graduate-level coursework in supervision or at least 20 hours of continuing education in supervision offered by a provider approved under 18VAC115-50-96. Persons who have provided supervision for a residency prior to September 3, 2008 shall complete such coursework or continuing education by September 3, 2010. At least one-half of the 200 hours of supervision shall be rendered by a licensed marriage and family therapist.

D. Supervisory responsibilities.

1. The supervisor shall complete evaluation forms to be given to the resident at the end of each three-month period. The supervisor shall report the total hours of residency and evaluate the applicant's competency to the board.

2. Supervision by an individual whose relationship to the resident is deemed by the board to compromise the objectivity of the supervisor is prohibited.

3. The supervisor shall provide supervision as defined in 18VAC115-50-10 and shall assume full responsibility for the clinical activities of residents as specified within the supervisory contract, for the duration of the residency.

18VAC115-50-70

18VAC115-50-70. General examination requirements.

A. All applicants for initial licensure shall pass an examination, with a passing score as determined by the board. The examination is waived for an applicant who holds a current and unrestricted license as a professional counselor issued by the board.

B. The examination shall concentrate on the core areas of marriage and family therapy set forth in subsection A of 18VAC115-50-55.

C. Approved applicants shall A candidate approved to sit for the examination shall pass the examination within two years from the initial notification date of approval. Failure to do so will result in the revocation of approval and obligate the applicant to file a new application for examination. If the candidate has not passed the examination within two years from the date of initial approval:

1. The initial approval to sit for the examination shall then become invalid; and

2. The applicant shall file a new application with the board, meet the requirements in effect at that time, and provide evidence of why the board should approve the reapplication for examination. If approved by the board, the candidate shall pass the examination within two years of such approval.  If the examination is not passed within the additional two-year period, a new application will not be accepted.

D. Applicants who fail the examination twice in succession shall document completion of 45 clock hours of additional education or training acceptable to the board addressing the areas of deficiency as reported in the examination results prior to obtaining board approval for reexamination. Applicants or candidates for examination shall not provide marriage and family services unless they are under supervision approved by the board.

18VAC115-50-90

18VAC115-50-90. Annual renewal of license.

A. All licensees shall renew licenses on or before June 30 of each year.

B. All licensees who intend to continue an active practice shall submit to the board on or before June 30 of each year:

1. A completed form for renewal of the license on which the licensee attests to compliance with the continuing competency requirements prescribed in this chapter; and

2. The renewal fee prescribed in 18VAC115-50-20.

C. A licensee who wishes to place his license in an inactive status may do so upon payment of the inactive renewal fee as established in 18VAC115-50-20. No person shall practice marriage and family therapy in Virginia unless he holds a current active license. A licensee who has placed himself in inactive status may become active by fulfilling the reactivation requirements set forth in 18VAC115-50-100 C.

D. Licensees shall notify the board of a change in the address of record or the public address, if different from the address of record within 60 days. Failure to receive a renewal notice from the board shall not relieve the license holder from the renewal requirement.

E. After the renewal date, the license is expired; practice with an expired license is prohibited and may constitute grounds for disciplinary action.

18VAC115-50-95

18VAC115-50-95. Continued competency requirements for renewal of a license.

A. After July 1, 2004, marriage Marriage and family therapists 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 individual will only be required to provide the hours set out in subsection A of this section or subsection A of 18VAC115-20-105 in the Regulations Governing the Practice of Professional Counseling, or subsection A of 18VAC115-60-115 in the Regulations Governing the Practice of Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioners.

18VAC115-50-96

18VAC115-50-96. Continuing competency activity criteria.

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

13. Addictions.

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 American International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors and its state affiliates.

(2) The American Association of for Marriage and Family Therapists 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 ten 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 that you provide to others.

d. Leadership. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours. The following leadership positions are acceptable for continuing competency credit: officers 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; 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, medical topics, etc.

18VAC115-50-100

18VAC115-50-100. Late renewal, reinstatement.

A. A person whose license has expired may renew it within one year after its expiration date by paying the penalty late fee prescribed in 18VAC115-50-20 as well as the license fee prescribed for the period the license was not renewed and providing evidence of having met all applicable continuing competency requirements.

B. A person seeking reinstatement of a license one year or more after its expiration date must apply:

1. Apply for reinstatement, and pay the reinstatement fee, submit;

2. Submit documentation of any mental health license he holds or has held in another jurisdiction, if applicable;

3. Submit evidence regarding the continued ability to perform the functions within the scope of practice of the license, if required by the board to demonstrate competency; and provide

4. Provide evidence of having met all applicable continuing competency requirements not to exceed a maximum of 80 hours obtained within the four years immediately preceding application for reinstatement.

C. A person wishing to reactivate an inactive license shall submit (i) the renewal fee for active licensure minus any fee already paid for inactive licensure renewal and (ii) documentation of continued competency hours equal to the number of years the license has been inactive, not to exceed a maximum of 80 hours, obtained within the four years immediately preceding application for reinstatement. The board may require additional evidence regarding the person's continued ability to perform the functions within the scope of practice of the license.

18VAC115-50-110

18VAC115-50-110. Standards of practice.

A. The protection of the public's health, safety and welfare and the best interest of the public shall be the primary guide in determining the appropriate professional conduct of all persons whose activities are regulated by the board. Regardless of the delivery method, whether in person, by phone or electronically, these standards shall apply to the practice of marriage and family therapy.

B. Persons licensed or registered by the board shall:

1. Practice in a manner that is in the best interest of the public and does not endanger the public health, safety, or welfare;

2. Practice only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience and appropriate professional experience and represent their education, training, and experience accurately to clients;

3. Stay abreast of new marriage and family therapy information, concepts, applications and practices that are necessary to providing appropriate, effective professional services;

4. Be able to justify all services rendered to clients as necessary and appropriate for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes;

5. Document the need for and steps taken to terminate a counseling relationship when it becomes clear that the client is not benefiting from the relationship. Document the assistance provided in making appropriate arrangements for the continuation of treatment for clients, when necessary, following termination of a counseling relationship;

6. Make appropriate arrangements for continuation of services, when necessary, during interruptions such as vacations, unavailability, relocation, illness, and disability;

7. Disclose to clients all experimental methods of treatment and inform client of the risks and benefits of any such treatment. Ensure that the welfare of the client is not compromised in any experimentation or research involving those clients;

8. Neither accept nor give commissions, rebates or other forms of remuneration for referral of clients for professional services;

9. Inform clients of the purposes, goals, techniques, procedures, limitations, potential risks, and benefits of services to be performed; the limitations of confidentiality; and other pertinent information when counseling is initiated and throughout the counseling process as necessary. Provide clients with accurate information regarding the implications of diagnosis, the intended use of tests and reports, fees, and billing arrangements;

10. Select tests for use with clients that are valid, reliable and appropriate and carefully interpret the performance of individuals not represented in standardized norms;

11. Determine whether a client is receiving services from another mental health service provider, and if so, refrain from providing services to the client without having an informed consent discussion with the client and having been granted communication privileges with the other professional;

12. Use only in connection with one's practice as a mental health professional those educational and professional degrees or titles that have been earned at a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States U.S. Department of Education, or credentials granted by a national certifying agency, and that are counseling in nature; and

13. Advertise professional services fairly and accurately in a manner that is not false, misleading or deceptive.

C. In regard to patient records, persons licensed by the board shall:

1. Maintain written or electronic clinical records for each client to include treatment dates and identifying information to substantiate diagnosis and treatment plan, client progress, and termination;

2. Maintain client records securely, inform all employees of the requirements of confidentiality and provide for the destruction of records that are no longer useful in a manner that ensures client confidentiality;

3. Disclose or release client records to others only with clients' expressed written consent or that of their legally authorized representative in accordance with § 32.1-127.1:03 of the Code of Virginia;

4. Ensure confidentiality in the usage of client records and clinical materials by obtaining informed consent from clients or their legally authorized representative before (i) videotaping, (ii) audio recording, (iii) permitting third party observation, or (iv) using identifiable client records and clinical materials in teaching, writing, or public presentations; and

5. Maintain client records for a minimum of five years or as otherwise required by law from the date of termination of the counseling relationship with the following exceptions:

a. At minimum, records of a minor child shall be maintained for five years after attaining the age of majority (18 years) or 10 years following termination, whichever comes later;

b. Records that are required by contractual obligation or federal law to be maintained for a longer period of time; or

c. Records that have transferred to another mental health service provider or given to the client or his legally authorized representative.

D. In regard to dual relationships, persons licensed by the board shall:

1. Avoid dual relationships with clients that could impair professional judgment or increase the risk of harm to clients. Examples of such relationships include, but are not limited to, familial, social, financial, business, bartering, or close personal relationships with clients. Counselors Marriage and family therapists shall take appropriate professional precautions when a dual relationship cannot be avoided, such as informed consent, consultation, supervision, and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no exploitation occurs;

2. Not engage in any type of romantic relationships or sexual intimacies with clients or those included in a collateral relationship with the client and also not counsel persons with whom they have had a sexual intimacy or romantic relationship. Marriage and family therapists shall not engage in romantic relationships or sexual intimacies with former clients within a minimum of five years after terminating the counseling relationship. Marriage and family therapists who engage in such relationship or intimacy after five years following termination shall have the responsibility to examine and document thoroughly that such relations do not have an exploitive nature, based on factors such as duration of counseling, amount of time since counseling, termination circumstances, client's personal history and mental status, or adverse impact on the client. A client's consent to, initiation of or participation in sexual behavior or involvement with a marriage and family therapist does not change the nature of the conduct nor lift the regulatory prohibition;

3. Not engage in any romantic relationships or sexual relationship or establish a counseling or psychotherapeutic relationship with a supervisee or student. Marriage and family therapists shall avoid any nonsexual dual relationship with a supervisee or student in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the supervisee or student or the potential for interference with the supervisor's professional judgment; and

4. Recognize conflicts of interest and inform all parties of the nature and directions of loyalties and responsibilities involved.

E. Persons licensed by this board shall report to the board known or suspected violations of the laws and regulations governing the practice of marriage and family therapy.

F. Persons licensed by the board shall advise their clients of their right to report to the Department of Health Professions any information of which the licensee may become aware in his professional capacity indicating that there is a reasonable probability that a person licensed or certified as a mental health service provider, as defined in § 54.1-2400.1 of the Code of Virginia, may have engaged in unethical, fraudulent or unprofessional conduct as defined by the pertinent licensing statutes and regulations.

18VAC115-50-120

18VAC115-50-120. Disciplinary action.

A. Action by the board to revoke, suspend, deny issuance or removal of a license, or take other disciplinary action may be taken in accordance with the following:

1. Conviction of a felony, or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or violation of or aid to another in violating any provision of Chapter 35 (§ 54.1-3500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia, any other statute applicable to the practice of marriage and family therapy, or any provision of this chapter;

2. Procurement of a license, including submission of an application or supervisory forms, by fraud or misrepresentation;

3. Conducting one's practice in such a manner as to make it a danger to the health and welfare of one's clients or the general public or if one is unable to practice marriage and family therapy with reasonable skill and safety to clients by reason of illness, abusive use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or other type of material or result of any mental or physical condition;

4. Intentional or negligent conduct that causes or is likely to cause injury to a client or clients;

5. Performance of functions outside the demonstrable areas of competency;

6. Violating or abetting another person in the violation of any provision of any statute applicable to the practice of marriage and family therapy, or any part or portion of this chapter; or

7. Failure to comply with the continued competency requirements set forth in this chapter; or

8. Performance of an act likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public.

B. Following the revocation or suspension of a license, the licensee may petition the board for reinstatement upon good cause shown or as a result of substantial new evidence having been obtained that would alter the determination reached.  

18VAC115-60-10

Part I
General Provisions

18VAC115-60-10. Definitions.

A. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the meaning ascribed to them in § 54.1-3500 of the Code of Virginia:

"Board"

"Licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner"

"Substance abuse"

"Substance abuse treatment"

B. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Ancillary services" means activities such as case management, recordkeeping, referral, and coordination of services.

"Applicant" means any individual who has submitted an official application and paid the application fee for licensure as a substance abuse treatment practitioner.

"CACREP" means the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Educational Programs.

"Candidate for licensure" means a person who has satisfactorily completed all educational and experience requirements for licensure and has been deemed eligible by the board to sit for its examinations.

"Clinical substance abuse treatment services" means activities such as assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, and treatment implementation.

"COAMFTE" means the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.

"Competency area" means an area in which a person possesses knowledge and skill and the ability to apply them in the clinical setting.

"Exempt setting" means an agency or institution in which licensure is not required to engage in the practice of substance abuse treatment according to the conditions set forth in § 54.1-3501 of the Code of Virginia.

"Face-to-face" means the in-person delivery of clinical substance abuse treatment services for a client.

"Group supervision" means the process of clinical supervision of no more than six persons in a group setting provided by a qualified supervisor.

"Internship" means supervised, planned, practical, advanced experience obtained in the clinical setting, observing and applying the principles, methods and techniques learned in training or educational settings a formal academic course from a regionally accredited university in which supervised, practical experience is obtained in a clinical setting in the application of counseling principles, methods and techniques.

"Jurisdiction" means a state, territory, district, province or country which has granted a professional certificate or license to practice a profession, use a professional title, or hold oneself out as a practitioner of that profession.

"Nonexempt setting" means a setting which does not meet the conditions of exemption from the requirements of licensure to engage in the practice of substance abuse treatment as set forth in § 54.1-3501 of the Code of Virginia.

"Regional accrediting agency" means one of the regional accreditation agencies recognized by the United States U.S. Secretary of Education responsible for accrediting senior postsecondary institutions.

"Residency" means a post-internship postgraduate, supervised, clinical experience registered with the board.

"Resident" means an individual who has submitted a supervisory contract and has received board approval to provide clinical services in substance abuse treatment under supervision.

18VAC115-60-20

18VAC115-60-20. Fees required by the board.

A. The board has established the following fees applicable to licensure as a substance abuse treatment practitioner:

 

Registration of supervision (initial)

$50

 

Add/change supervisor

$25

 

Initial licensure by examination: Processing and initial licensure

$140

 

Initial licensure by endorsement: Processing and initial licensure

$140

 

Active annual license renewal

$105

 

Inactive annual license renewal

$55

 

Duplicate license

$5

 

Verification of license to another jurisdiction

$25

 

Late renewal

$35

 

Reinstatement of a lapsed license

$165

 

Replacement of or additional wall certificate

$15

 

Returned check

$35

 

Reinstatement following revocation or suspension

$500

 

One-time reduction for renewal of an active license due on June 30, 2010

$52

 

One-time reduction for renewal of an inactive license due on June 30, 2010

$27

B. Fees shall be paid directly to the board or its contractor, or both, in appropriate amounts as specified in the application instructions. All fees are nonrefundable.

C. Examination fees shall be determined and made payable as determined by the board.

18VAC115-60-40

Part II
Requirements for Licensure

18VAC115-60-40. Application for licensure by examination.

Every applicant for examination for licensure by examination by the board shall:

1. Meet the degree program, course work coursework, and experience requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-60-60, 18VAC115-60-70, and 18VAC115-60-80; and

2. Pass the examination required for initial licensure as prescribed in 18VAC115-60-90;

3. Submit the following items to the board:

a. A completed application;

b. Official transcripts documenting the applicant's completion of the degree program and course work requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-60-60 and 18VAC115-60-70. Transcripts previously submitted for registration of supervision do not have to be resubmitted unless additional coursework was subsequently obtained;

c. Verification of supervision forms documenting fulfillment of the experience residency requirements of 18VAC115-60-80 and copies of all required evaluation forms, including verification of current licensure of the supervisor of any portion of the residency occurred in another jurisdiction;

d. Documentation of any other mental health or health professional license or certificate ever held in another jurisdiction; and

e. The application processing and initial licensure fee. as prescribed in 18VAC115-60-20; and

f. A current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB); and

4. Have no unresolved disciplinary action against a mental health or health professional license or certificate held in Virginia or in another jurisdiction. The board will consider history of disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis.

18VAC115-60-50

18VAC115-60-50. Prerequisites for licensure by endorsement.

A. Every applicant for licensure by endorsement shall submit:

1. A completed application;

2. The application processing and initial licensure fee as prescribed in 18VAC115-60-20;

3. Verification of all mental health or health professional licenses or certificates ever held in any other jurisdiction. In order to qualify for endorsement, the applicant shall have no unresolved disciplinary action against a license or certificate. The board will consider history of disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis;

4. Further documentation of one of the following:

a. A current substance abuse treatment license in good standing in another jurisdiction obtained by meeting requirements substantially equivalent to those set forth in this chapter; or

b. A mental health license in good standing in a category acceptable to the board which required completion of a master's degree in mental health to include 60 graduate semester hours in mental health; and

(1) Board-recognized national certification in substance abuse treatment;

(2) If the master's degree was in substance abuse treatment, two years of post-licensure experience in providing substance abuse treatment;

(3) If the master's degree was not in substance abuse treatment, five years of post-licensure experience in substance abuse treatment plus 12 credit hours of didactic training in the substance abuse treatment competencies set forth in 18VAC115-60-70 C; or

(4) Current substance abuse counselor certification in Virginia in good standing or a Virginia substance abuse treatment specialty licensure designation with two years of post-licensure or certification substance abuse treatment experience;

c. Documentation of education and supervised experience that met the requirements of the jurisdiction in which he was initially licensed as verified by an official transcript and a certified copy of the original application materials and evidence of post-licensure clinical practice for five 24 of the last six years 60 months immediately preceding his licensure application in Virginia. Clinical practice shall mean the rendering of direct clinical substance abuse treatment services or clinical supervision of such services.

5. Verification of a passing score on a substance abuse licensure examination as established by the jurisdiction in which licensure was obtained. The examination is waived for an applicant who holds a current and unrestricted license as a professional counselor within the Commonwealth of Virginia;

6. Official transcripts documenting the applicant's completion of the education requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-60-60 and 18VAC115-60-70; and

7. An affidavit of having read and understood the regulations and laws governing the practice of substance abuse treatment in Virginia; and

8. A current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB).

B. In lieu of transcripts verifying education and documentation verifying supervised experience, the board may accept verification from the credentials registry of the American Association of State Counseling Boards or any other board-recognized entity.

18VAC115-60-55

18VAC115-60-55. Time-limited waiver of certain licensure requirements. (Repealed.)

Until February 26, 2004, individuals who do not meet the licensure requirements set forth in 18VAC115-60-50 and 18VAC115-60-60 through 18VAC115-60-90 may be eligible for licensure if they submit a completed application and processing fee and provide evidence that they meet the following criteria:

1. A passing score on a board-approved examination;

2. A minimum of three comprehensive reports from:

a. At least two licensed mental health professionals, one of whom must be licensed in Virginia, that affirm competence in all areas outlined in 18VAC115-60-80 C 1 and attest to the applicant's ability to practice autonomously; and

b. One or more clinical supervisors who have provided supervision, as defined in 18VAC115-60-10, of the applicant for a total of one year within the applicant's most recent five years of practice. If supervision was provided in an exempt setting, the report may be submitted by an unlicensed mental health professional; and

3. One of the following:

a. Five years full-time experience in substance abuse treatment plus a master's degree in a mental health field from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning with a total of 36 graduate hours covering mental health content to include three graduate semester hours or 4.5 graduate quarter hours in each area of the following:

(1) Counseling and psychotherapy techniques;

(2) Appraisal, evaluation and diagnostic procedures;

(3) Abnormal behavior and psychopathology:

(4) Group counseling and psychotherapy, theories and techniques; and

(5) Research.

The remaining graduate semester hours shall include content in the following areas:

(1) Assessment, appraisal, evaluation and diagnosis specific to substance abuse;

(2) Treatment planning models, client case management, interventions and treatments to include relapse prevention, referral process, step models and documentation process;

(3) Understanding addictions: The biochemical, socio-cultural and psychological factors of substance use and abuse;

(4) Addictions and special populations, including, but not limited to, adolescents, women, ethnic groups and the elderly; and

(5) Client and community education; or

b. Ten years full-time experience in substance abuse treatment plus a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning, plus 30 graduate hours covering mental health content to include three graduate semester hours or 4.5 graduate quarter hours in each area of the following:

(1) Counseling and psychotherapy techniques;

(2) Appraisal, evaluation and diagnostic procedures;

(3) Abnormal behavior and psychopathology;

(4) Group counseling and psychotherapy, theories and techniques; and

(5) Research.

The remaining graduate hours shall include content in the following areas:

(1) Assessment, appraisal, evaluation and diagnosis specific to substance abuse;

(2) Treatment planning models, client case management, interventions and treatments to include relapse prevention, referral process, step models and documentation process;

(3) Understanding addictions: the biochemical, socio-cultural and psychological factors of substance use and abuse;

(4) Addictions and special populations, including, but not limited to, adolescents, women, ethnic groups and the elderly; and

(5) Client and community education.

18VAC115-60-60

18VAC115-60-60. Degree program requirements.

A. The applicant shall have completed a graduate degree from a program that prepares individuals to practice substance abuse treatment or a related counseling discipline as defined in § 54.1-3500 of the Code of Virginia from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting agency that meets the following criteria:

1. There must be a sequence of academic study with the expressed intent to prepare counselors as documented by the institution;

2. There must be an identifiable counselor training faculty and an identifiable body of students who complete that sequence of academic study; and

3. The academic unit must have clear authority and primary responsibility for the core and specialty areas.

B. Education that does not come from a degree program meeting the requirements set forth in this section shall not be acceptable for licensure. Programs that are approved by CACREP as programs in addictions counseling are recognized as meeting the requirements of subsection A of this section.

18VAC115-60-70

18VAC115-60-70. Course work Coursework requirements.

A. The applicant shall have successfully completed 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of graduate study.

B. The applicant shall have completed a general core curriculum containing a minimum of three semester hours or 4.0 quarter hours in each of the areas identified in this section:

1. Professional identity, function and ethics;

2. Theories of counseling and psychotherapy;

3. Counseling and psychotherapy techniques;

4. Group counseling and psychotherapy, theories and techniques;

5. Appraisal, evaluation and diagnostic procedures;

6. Abnormal behavior and psychopathology;

7. Multicultural counseling, theories and techniques;

8. Research; and

9. Marriage and family systems theory.

C. The applicant shall also have completed 12 graduate semester credit hours or 18 graduate quarter hours in the following substance abuse treatment competencies.

1. Assessment, appraisal, evaluation and diagnosis specific to substance abuse;

2. Treatment planning models, client case management, interventions and treatments to include relapse prevention, referral process, step models and documentation process;

3. Understanding addictions: The biochemical, sociocultural and psychological factors of substance use and abuse;

4. Addictions and special populations including, but not limited to, adolescents, women, ethnic groups and the elderly; and

5. Client and community education.

D. The applicant shall have completed a supervised internship of 600 hours to include 240 hours of direct client contact. At least 450 of the internship hours and, of which 200 of the direct client contact hours shall be in treating substance abuse-specific treatment problems. Internship hours shall not begin until completion of 30 semester hours toward the graduate degree.

E. One course may satisfy study in more than one content area set forth in subsections B and C of this section.

F. If the applicant holds a current, unrestricted license as a professional counselor, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker, the board may accept evidence of successful completion of 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of graduate study, including the hours specified in subsection C of this section.

18VAC115-60-80

18VAC115-60-80. Residency requirements.

A. Registration. Applicants who render substance abuse treatment services shall:

1. With their supervisor, register their supervisory contract on the appropriate forms for board approval before starting to practice under supervision;

2. Have submitted an official transcript documenting a graduate degree as specified in 18VAC115-60-60 to include completion of the coursework and internship requirement specified in 18VAC115-60-70; and

3. Pay the registration fee.

B. After September 3, 2008, applicants Applicants who are beginning their residencies in exempt settings shall register supervision with the board to assure acceptability at the time of application.

C. Residency requirements.

1. The applicant for licensure shall have completed a 4,000 hour no fewer than 3,400 hours in a supervised residency in substance abuse treatment with various populations, clinical problems and theoretical approaches in the following areas:

a. Clinical evaluation;

b. Treatment planning, documentation and implementation;

c. Referral and service coordination;

d. Individual and group counseling and case management;

e. Client family and community education; and

f. Professional and ethical responsibility.

2. The residency shall include a minimum of 200 hours of in-person supervision between supervisor and resident occurring at a minimum of one hour and a maximum of four hours per 40 hours of work experience during the period of the residency.

a. No more than half of these hours may be satisfied with group supervision.

b. One hour of group supervision will be deemed equivalent to one hour of individual supervision.

c. Supervision that is not concurrent with a residency will not be accepted, nor will residency hours be accrued in the absence of approved supervision.

d. For the purpose of meeting the 200-hour supervision requirement, in-person supervision may include the use of technology that maintains client confidentiality and provides real-time, visual contact between the supervisor and the resident.

e. Up to 20 hours of the supervision received during the supervised internship may be counted towards the 200 hours of in-person supervision if the supervision was provided by a licensed professional counselor.

3. The residency shall include at least 2,000 hours of face-to-face client contact in providing clinical substance abuse treatment services with individuals, families, or groups of individuals suffering from the effects of substance abuse or dependence. The remaining hours may be spent in the performance of ancillary services.

4. A graduate level degree internship in excess of 600 hours, which is completed in a program that meets the requirements set forth in 18VAC115-60-70, may count for no more than 600 hours of the required 4,000 hours of experience. The internship shall include 20 hours of individual on-site supervision, and 20 hours of individual or group off-site supervision. Internship hours shall not begin until completion of 30 semester hours toward the graduate degree up to an additional 300 hours towards the requirements of a residency.

5. A graduate-level degree internship completed in a COAMFTE- or CACREP-approved program may count for no more than 900 of the required 4,000 hours of experience. The residency shall be completed in not less than 18 months or more than four years. Residents who began a residency before (insert effective date of the regulation) shall complete the residency by (insert four years after the effective date). An individual who does not complete the residency after four years shall submit evidence to the board showing why the supervised experience should be allowed to continue.

6. In order for a graduate level internship to be counted toward a residency, either the clinical or faculty supervisor shall be licensed as set forth in subsection D of this section.

7. 6. The board may consider special requests in the event that the regulations create an undue burden in regard to geography or disability which limits the resident's access to qualified supervision.

8. 7. Residents may not call themselves substance abuse treatment practitioners, directly bill for services rendered, or in any way represent themselves as independent, autonomous practitioners or substance abuse treatment practitioners. During the residency, residents shall use their names and the initials of their degree, and the title "Resident in Substance Abuse Treatment" in all written communications. Clients shall be informed in writing of the resident's status, the supervisor's name, professional address, and telephone number.

9. 8. Residents shall not engage in practice under supervision in any areas for which they have not had appropriate education.

9. Residency hours that are approved by the licensing board in another U.S. jurisdiction and that meet the requirements of this section shall be accepted.

D. Supervisory qualifications.

1. A person who provides supervision for a resident in substance abuse treatment shall hold an active, unrestricted license as a professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, or substance abuse treatment practitioner, school psychologist, clinical psychologist, clinical social worker, clinical nurse specialist or psychiatrist in the jurisdiction where the supervision is being provided.

2. All supervisors shall document two years post-licensure substance abuse treatment experience, and at least 100 hours of didactic instruction in substance abuse treatment, and training or experience in supervision. Within three years of January 19, 2000, supervisors Supervisors must document a three-credit-hour course in supervision, a 4.0-quarter-hour course in supervision, or at least 20 hours of continuing education in supervision offered by a provider approved under 18VAC115-60-116.

E. Supervisory responsibilities.

1. Supervision by any individual whose relationship to the resident compromises the objectivity of the supervisor is prohibited.

2. The supervisor of a resident shall assume full responsibility for the clinical activities of that resident specified within the supervisory contract for the duration of the residency.

3. The supervisor shall complete evaluation forms to be given to the resident at the end of each three-month period.

4. The supervisor shall report the total hours of residency and shall evaluate the applicant's competency in the six areas stated in subdivision C 1 of this section.

F. Documentation of supervision. Applicants shall document successful completion of their residency on the Verification of Supervision form at the time of application. Applicants must receive a satisfactory competency evaluation on each item on the evaluation sheet. Supervised experience obtained prior to January 19, 2000, may be accepted towards licensure if this supervised experience met the board's requirements which were in effect at the time the supervision was rendered.

18VAC115-60-90

Part III
Examinations

18VAC115-60-90. General examination requirements; schedules; time limits.

A. Every applicant for initial licensure as a substance abuse treatment practitioner by examination shall pass a written examination as prescribed by the board.

B. Every applicant for licensure as a substance abuse treatment practitioner by endorsement shall have passed an a substance abuse examination deemed by the board to be substantially equivalent to the Virginia examination.

C. The examination is waived for an applicant who holds a current and unrestricted license as a professional counselor issued by the board.

D. A candidate approved by the board to sit for the examination shall take pass the examination within two years from the date of such initial board approval. If the candidate has not taken passed the examination by the end of the two-year period prescribed in this subsection within two years from the date of initial approval:

1. The initial board approval to sit for the examination shall then become invalid; and

2. In order to be considered for the examination later, the The applicant shall file a complete new application with the board, meet the requirements in effect at that time, and provide evidence of why the board should approve the reapplication for examination. If approved by the board, the applicant shall pass the examination within two years of such approval. If the examination is not passed within the additional two-year period, a new application will not be accepted.

D. Applicants who fail the examination twice in succession shall document completion of 45 clock hours of additional education or training acceptable to the board, addressing the areas of deficiency as reported in the examination results prior to obtaining board approval for reexamination.

E. The board shall establish a passing score on the written examination.

F. A candidate for examination or an applicant shall not provide clinical services unless he is under supervision approved by the board.

18VAC115-60-110

Part IV
Licensure Renewal; Reinstatement

18VAC115-60-110. Renewal of licensure.

A. All licensees shall renew licenses on or before June 30 of each year.

B. Every license holder who intends to continue an active practice shall submit to the board on or before June 30 of each year:

1. A completed form for renewal of the license on which the licensee attests to compliance with the continuing competency requirements prescribed in this chapter; and

2. The renewal fee prescribed in 18VAC115-60-20.

C. A licensee who wishes to place his license in an inactive status may do so upon payment of the inactive renewal fee as established in 18VAC115-60-20. No person shall practice substance abuse treatment in Virginia unless he holds a current active license. A licensee who has placed himself in inactive status may become active by fulfilling the reactivation requirements set forth in 18VAC115-60-120 C.

D. Licensees shall notify the board of a change in the address of record or the public address, if different from the address of record within 60 days. Failure to receive a renewal notice from the board shall not relieve the license holder from the renewal requirement.

E. After the renewal date, the license is expired; practice with an expired license is prohibited and may constitute grounds for disciplinary action.

18VAC115-60-115

18VAC115-60-115. Continued competency requirements for renewal of a license.

A. After July 1, 2004, licensed Licensed substance abuse treatment practitioners 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, standard 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 or subsection A of 18VAC115-50-95 in the Regulations Governing the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy, or subsection A of 18VAC115-20-105 in the Regulations Governing the Practice of Professional Counseling.

18VAC115-60-116

18VAC115-60-116. Continuing competency activity criteria.

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

13. Addictions.

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 American International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors and its state affiliates.

(2) The American Association of for Marriage and Family Therapists 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) The 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.

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 that you provide to others.

d. Leadership. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours. The following leadership positions are acceptable for continuing competency credit: officers 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; 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, medical topics, etc.

18VAC115-60-120

18VAC115-60-120. Late renewal; reinstatement.

A. A person whose license has expired may renew it within one year after its expiration date by paying the late renewal fee prescribed in 18VAC115-60-20, as well as the license fee prescribed for the year the license was not renewed and providing evidence of having met all applicable continuing competency requirements.

B. A person who fails to renew a license after one year or more and wishes to resume practice shall apply for reinstatement, pay the reinstatement fee for a lapsed license, submit evidence regarding the continued ability to perform the functions within the scope of practice of the license verification of any mental health license he holds or has held in another jurisdiction, if applicable, and provide evidence of having met all applicable continuing competency requirements not to exceed a maximum of 80 hours obtained within the four years immediately preceding application for reinstatement. The board may require the applicant for reinstatement to submit evidence regarding the continued ability to perform the functions within the scope of practice of the license.

C. A person wishing to reactivate an inactive license shall submit (i) the renewal fee for active licensure minus any fee already paid for inactive licensure renewal and; (ii) documentation of continued competency hours equal to the number of years the license has been inactive not to exceed a maximum of 80 hours obtained within the four years immediately preceding application for reactivation; and (iii) verification of any mental health license he holds or has held in another jurisdiction, if applicable. The board may require the applicant for reactivation to submit evidence regarding the continued ability to perform the functions within the scope of practice of the license.

18VAC115-60-130

Part V
Standards of Practice; Unprofessional Conduct; Disciplinary Actions; Reinstatement

18VAC115-60-130. Standards of practice.

A. The protection of the public health, safety, and welfare and the best interest of the public shall be the primary guide in determining the appropriate professional conduct of all persons whose activities are regulated by the board. Regardless of the delivery method, whether in person, by phone or electronically, these standards shall apply to the practice of substance abuse treatment.

B. Persons licensed or registered by the board shall:

1. Practice in a manner that is in the best interest of the public and does not endanger the public health, safety, or welfare;

2. Practice only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience and appropriate professional experience and represent their education, training and experience accurately to clients;

3. Stay abreast of new substance abuse treatment information, concepts, application and practices that are necessary to providing appropriate, effective professional services;

4. Be able to justify all services rendered to clients as necessary and appropriate for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes;

5. Document the need for and steps taken to terminate a counseling relationship when it becomes clear that the client is not benefiting from the relationship. Document the assistance provided in making appropriate arrangements for the continuation of treatment for clients, when necessary, following termination of a counseling relationship;

6. Make appropriate arrangements for continuation of services, when necessary, during interruptions such as vacations, unavailability, relocation, illness, and disability;

7. Disclose to clients all experimental methods of treatment and inform clients of the risks and benefits of any such treatment. Ensure that the welfare of the clients is in no way compromised in any experimentation or research involving those clients;

8. Neither accept nor give commissions, rebates, or other forms of remuneration for referral of clients for professional services;

9. Inform clients of the purposes, goals, techniques, procedures, limitations, potential risks, and benefits of services to be performed; the limitations of confidentiality; and other pertinent information when counseling is initiated and throughout the counseling process as necessary. Provide clients with accurate information regarding the implications of diagnosis, the intended use of tests and reports, fees, and billing arrangements;

10. Select tests for use with clients that are valid, reliable and appropriate and carefully interpret the performance of individuals not represented in standardized norms;

11. Determine whether a client is receiving services from another mental health service provider, and if so, refrain from providing services to the client without having an informed consent discussion with the client and having been granted communication privileges with the other professional;

12. Use only in connection with one's practice as a mental health professional those educational and professional degrees or titles that have been earned at a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States U.S. Department of Education, or credentials granted by a national certifying agency, and that are counseling in nature; and

13. Advertise professional services fairly and accurately in a manner that is not false, misleading or deceptive.

C. In regard to patient records, persons licensed by the board shall:

1. Maintain written or electronic clinical records for each client to include treatment dates and identifying information to substantiate diagnosis and treatment plan, client progress, and termination;

2. Maintain client records securely, inform all employees of the requirements of confidentiality and provide for the destruction of records that are no longer useful in a manner that ensures client confidentiality;

3. Disclose or release records to others only with clients' expressed written consent or that of their legally authorized representative in accordance with § 32.1-127.1:03 of the Code of Virginia;

4. Maintain client records for a minimum of five years or as otherwise required by law from the date of termination of the substance abuse treatment relationship with the following exceptions:

a. At minimum, records of a minor child shall be maintained for five years after attaining the age of majority (18 years) or 10 years following termination, whichever comes later;

b. Records that are required by contractual obligation or federal law to be maintained for a longer period of time; or

c. Records that have been transferred to another mental health service provider or given to the client; and

5. Ensure confidentiality in the usage of client records and clinical materials by obtaining informed consent from clients or their legally authorized representative before (i) videotaping, (ii) audio recording, (iii) permitting third party observation, or (iv) using identifiable client records and clinical materials in teaching, writing or public presentations.

D. In regard to dual relationships, persons licensed by the board shall:

1. Avoid dual relationships with clients that could impair professional judgment or increase the risk of harm to clients. Examples of such relationships include, but are not limited to, familial, social, financial, business, bartering, or close personal relationships with clients. Counselors shall take appropriate professional precautions when a dual relationship cannot be avoided, such as informed consent, consultation, supervision, and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no exploitation occurs;

2. Not engage in any type of romantic relationships or sexual intimacies with clients or those included in a collateral relationship with the client and not counsel persons with whom they have had a sexual romantic relationship or sexual intimacy. Licensed substance abuse treatment practitioners shall not engage in romantic relationships or sexual intimacies with former clients within a minimum of five years after terminating the counseling relationship. Licensed substance abuse treatment practitioners who engage in such relationship or intimacy after five years following termination shall have the responsibility to examine and document thoroughly that such relations do not have an exploitive nature, based on factors such as duration of counseling, amount of time since counseling, termination circumstances, client's personal history and mental status, or adverse impact on the client. A client's consent to, initiation of or participation in sexual behavior or involvement with a licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner does not change the nature of the conduct nor lift the regulatory prohibition;

3. Not engage in any sexual intimacy or romantic relationship or establish a counseling or psychotherapeutic relationship with a supervisee or student. Licensed substance abuse treatment practitioners shall avoid any nonsexual dual relationship with a supervisee or student in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the supervisee or the potential for interference with the supervisor's professional judgment; and

4. Recognize conflicts of interest and inform all parties of the nature and directions of loyalties and responsibilities involved.

E. Persons licensed by this board shall report to the board known or suspected violations of the laws and regulations governing the practice of substance abuse treatment.

F. Persons licensed by the board shall advise their clients of their right to report to the Department of Health Professions any information of which the licensee may become aware in his professional capacity indicating that there is a reasonable probability that a person licensed or certified as a mental health service provider, as defined in § 54.1-2400.1 of the Code of Virginia, may have engaged in unethical, fraudulent or unprofessional conduct as defined by the pertinent licensing statutes and regulations.

18VAC115-60-140

18VAC115-60-140. Grounds for revocation, suspension, probation, reprimand, censure, or denial of renewal of license.

A. Action by the board to revoke, suspend, deny issuance or renewal of a license, or take other disciplinary action may be taken in accord with the following:

1. Conviction of a felony, or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or violation of or aid to another in violating any provision of Chapter 35 (§ 54.1-3500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia, any other statute applicable to the practice of substance abuse treatment, or any provision of this chapter;

2. Procurement of a license, including submission of an application or supervisory forms, by fraud or misrepresentation.;

3. Conducting one's practice in such a manner as to make it a danger to the health and welfare of one's clients or to the public, or if one is unable to practice substance abuse treatment with reasonable skill and safety to clients by reason of illness, abusive use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or other type of material or result of any mental or physical condition;

4. Intentional or negligent conduct that causes or is likely to cause injury to a client;

5. Performance of functions outside the demonstrable areas of competency;

6. Failure to comply with the continued competency requirements set forth in this chapter; or

7. Violating or abetting another person in the violation of any provision of any statute applicable to the practice of licensed substance abuse therapy, or any part or portion of this chapter; or

8. Performance of an act likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public.

B. Following the revocation or suspension of a license the licensee may petition the board for reinstatement upon good cause shown or as a result of substantial new evidence having been obtained that would alter the determination reached.