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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

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Action:
Updating and clarifying regulations
Stage: Final
18VAC115-30-10

Part I
General Provisions

18VAC115-30-10. 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"

"Certified substance abuse counselor"

"Certified substance abuse counseling assistant"

"Licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner"

"Practice of substance abuse treatment"

"Substance abuse" and "substance dependence"

"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:

"Applicant" means an individual who has submitted a completed application with documentation and the appropriate fees to be examined for certification as a substance abuse counselor or substance abuse counseling assistant.

"Candidate" means a person who has been approved to take the examinations for certification as a substance abuse counselor or substance abuse counseling assistant.

"Clinical supervision" means the ongoing process performed by a clinical supervisor who monitors the performance of the person supervised and provides regular, documented face-to-face consultation, guidance and education with respect to the clinical skills and competencies of the person supervised.

"Clinical supervisor" means one who provides case-related supervision, consultation, education and guidance for the applicant. The supervisor must be credentialed as defined in 18VAC115-30-60 C.

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

"Contact hour" means the amount of credit awarded for 60 minutes of participation in and successful completion of a continuing education program.

"Didactic" means teaching-learning methods that impart facts and information, usually in the form of one-way communication (includes directed readings and lectures).

"Endorsement" means the waiver of the examination requirement for certification as a substance abuse counselor for persons currently certified or licensed in another jurisdiction.

"Group supervision" means the process of clinical supervision of no less than two nor more than six persons in a group setting provided by a qualified clinical supervisor.

"NAADAC" means the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors
Association of Addiction Professionals
.

"NCC AP" means the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals, an affiliate of NAADAC.

"Regionally accredited" means accredited by one of the regional accreditation agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as responsible for accrediting senior postsecondary institutions.

"Substance abuse counseling" means applying a counseling process, treatment strategies and rehabilitative services to help an individual to:

1. Understand his substance use, abuse or dependency; and

2. Change his drug-taking behavior so that it does not interfere with effective physical, psychological, social or vocational functioning.

18VAC115-30-15

18VAC115-30-15. Maintenance of current name and address.

A. Certified substance abuse counselors or counseling assistants shall notify the board of any change of name, email address, or address of record within 60 days.

B. Failure to receive a renewal notice and application forms shall not excuse the certified substance abuse counselor or counseling assistant from the renewal requirement.

18VAC115-30-30

18VAC115-30-30. Fees required by the board.

A. The board has established the following fees applicable to the certification of substance abuse counselors and substance abuse counseling assistants:

Substance abuse counselor annual certification renewal

$65

Substance abuse counseling assistant annual certification renewal

$50

Substance abuse counselor initial certification by examination:

Application processing and initial certification

 

$115

Substance abuse counseling assistant initial certification by examination:

Application processing and initial certification

 

$115

Initial certification by endorsement of substance abuse counselors:

Application processing and initial certification

 

$115

Registration of supervision

$65

Add or change supervisor to supervision

$30

Duplicate certificate

Certificate verification

$10

$25

Late renewal

$25

Reinstatement of a lapsed certificate

$125

Replacement of or additional wall certificate

$25

Returned check

$35

Reinstatement following revocation or suspension

$600

B. All fees are nonrefundable.

C. Examination fees shall be paid directly to the examination services according to its requirements.

18VAC115-30-40

Part II
Requirements for Certification

18VAC115-30-40. Prerequisites for certification by examination for substance abuse counselors.

A. A candidate Every applicant for certification as a substance abuse counselor shall meet all the requirements of this section and by examination shall pass the a written examination prescribed in 18VAC115-30-90 approved by the board. The board shall determine the passing score on the examination.

1. If an applicant fails to achieve a passing score within two years of board approval to sit for the examination, the applicant shall reapply according to regulations in effect at that time.

2. An applicant who has applied twice and has not passed the examination shall not be approved to retake the examination, unless the applicant can provide evidence of extenuating circumstances for failure to pass the examination within the four-year period.

B. Every applicant for examination for certification by the board shall:

1. Meet the educational and experience requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-30-50 and 18VAC115-30-60;

2. Submit the following to the board:

a. A completed application form;

b. Official transcript documenting coursework and attainment of a bachelor's or post-baccalaureate degree;

c. Official transcripts or certificates verifying completion of the didactic training requirement set forth in subsection B of 18VAC115-30-50;

d. Verification Attestation of supervisor's education and experience as required under 18VAC115-30-60 if supervised experience was not previously approved by the board;

e. Verification of supervision forms documenting fulfillment of the experience requirements of 18VAC115-30-60;

f. Documentation Verification of any other health or mental health license or certificate ever held in Virginia or in another jurisdiction. In order to qualify for certification by examination, 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;

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

h. The application processing and initial certification fee; and

i. Attestation of having read and understood the laws and regulations governing the practice of substance abuse counseling in Virginia.

18VAC115-30-45

18VAC115-30-45. Prerequisites for certification by endorsement for substance abuse counselors.

Every applicant for certification by endorsement shall submit:

1. A completed application;

2. The application processing and initial certification fee;

3. Verification of all health or mental health licenses or certificates ever held in Virginia or 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. The board will also determine whether any or all other professional licenses or certificates held in another jurisdiction are substantially equivalent to those sought in Virginia;

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

5. Affidavit Attestation of having read and understood the regulations and laws governing the practice of substance abuse counseling in Virginia; and

6. Further documentation of one of the following:

a. Licensure Active, unrestricted licensure or certification as a substance abuse counselor in another jurisdiction in good standing obtained by standards substantially equivalent to the education and experience requirements set forth in this chapter as verified by a certified copy of the original application submitted directly from the out-of-state licensing agency, or a copy of the regulations in effect at the time of initial licensure or certification and verification of a passing score on a licensure examination in the jurisdiction in which licensure or certification was obtained, and that is deemed substantially equivalent by the board; or

b. Verification of a current certification in good standing issued by NAADAC NCC AP or other board-recognized national certification in substance abuse counseling obtained by educational and experience standards substantially equivalent to those set forth in this chapter; and

7. Verification of a passing score on an examination in the jurisdiction in which licensure or certification was obtained or on a board-approved national examination at the level for which the applicant is seeking certification in Virginia.

18VAC115-30-50

18VAC115-30-50. Educational requirements for substance abuse counselors.

A. An applicant for examination for certification as a substance abuse counselor shall:

1. Have a bachelor's or post-baccalaureate degree; and

2. Have completed 400 240 clock hours of didactic training in substance abuse education from one of the following programs:

a. An A regionally accredited university or college; or

b. Seminars and workshops that meet the requirements of subsection B of this section and are offered or approved by one of the following:

(1) The American Association of Marriage and Family Counselors and its state affiliates Federal, state, or local governmental agencies; public school systems; or licensed health facilities.

(2) The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists 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 recognized by the board.

(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.

B. Substance abuse education.

1. The education will include 220 Of the 240 hours spent in receiving of didactic training in substance abuse counseling, a minimum of 120 hours shall be completed prior to registration of supervision.

2. Each applicant shall have received a minimum of 10 16 clock hours in each of the following eight 13 areas:

a. Understanding the dynamics Dynamics of human behavior;

b. Signs and symptoms of substance abuse;

c. Treatment approaches Counseling theories and techniques;

d. Continuum of care and case management skills;

e. Recovery process and relapse prevention methods;

f. Ethics Professional orientation and ethics;

g. Professional identity in the provision of substance abuse services Pharmacology of abused substances; and

h. Crisis Trauma and crisis intervention.;

i. Co-occurring disorders; 

j. Cultural competency;

In addition, each applicant shall have at least 20 hours in each of the following two areas:

(i) k. Substance abuse counseling approaches and treatment planning and substance abuse research; and

(ii) l. Group counseling; and

m. Prevention, screening, and assessment of substance use and abuse.

2. The education shall also consist of 180 hours of experience performing the following tasks with substance abuse clients:

a. Screening clients to determine eligibility and appropriateness for admission to a particular program;

b. Intake of clients by performing the administrative and initial assessment tasks necessary for admission to a program;

c. Orientation of new clients to program's rules, goals, procedures, services, costs and the rights of the client;

d. Assessment of client's strengths, weaknesses, problems, and needs for the development of a treatment plan;

e. Treatment planning with the client to identify and rank problems to be addressed, establish goals, and agree on treatment processes;

f. Counseling the client utilizing specialized skills in both individual and group approaches to achieve treatment goals and objectives;

g. Case management activities that bring services, agencies, people and resources together in a planned framework of action to achieve established goals;

h. Crisis intervention responses to clients' needs during acute mental, emotional or physical distress;

i. Education of clients by providing information about drug abuse and available services and resources;

j. Referral of clients in order to meet identified needs unable to be met by the counselor and assisting the client in effectively utilizing those resources;

k. Reporting and charting information about client's assessment, treatment plan, progress, discharge summaries and other client-related data; and

l. Consultation with other professionals to assure comprehensive quality care for the client.

Each of these tasks shall be performed for at least eight hours under supervision and shall be verified as a part of the application by the supervisor.

C. Groups and classes attended as a part of a therapy or treatment program will not be accepted as any part of the educational experience.

18VAC115-30-60

18VAC115-30-60. Experience requirements for substance abuse counselors.

A. Registration. Supervision in Virginia shall be registered and approved by the board prior to the beginning of supervised experience in order to be counted toward certification. Supervision obtained without prior board approval will not be accepted if it does not meet the requirements set forth in subsections B and C of this section. To register supervision for board approval prior to obtaining the supervised experience, an applicant shall submit in one package:

1. A supervisory contract;

2. Verification Attestation of the supervisor's education and experience as required under subsection subsections C and D of this section; and

3. The registration fee;

4. An official transcript documenting attainment of a bachelor's or post-baccalaureate degree; and

5. Evidence of completion of at least 120 hours of didactic education as required by 18VAC115-30-50 B.

B. Experience requirements.

1. An applicant for certification as a substance abuse counselor shall have had 2,000 hours of supervised experience in the delivery of clinical practice of substance abuse counseling services.

2. The supervised experience shall include a minimum of one hour and a maximum of four hours per week of supervision 40 hours of work experience between the supervisor and the applicant to total 100 hours within the required experience. No more than half of these hours may be satisfied with group supervision. One hour of group supervision will be deemed equivalent to one hour of individual supervision.

3. Applicants must document successful completion of their The supervised experience on the Verification of Supervision Form at the time of application shall be completed in not less than 12 months and not more than 60 months.

a. Supervisees who began a supervised experience before(insert effective date of this regulation) February 19, 2020, ] shall complete the supervised experience by(insert 60 months after the effective date) February 19, 2025 ].

b. An individual who does not complete the supervised experience within 60 months may request an extension and shall submit evidence to the board demonstrating the extenuating circumstances that prevented completion of the supervised experience within the required timeframe.

4. Supervised experience obtained more than 10 years from(insert effective date of this regulation) February 19, 2020, ] shall not be accepted for certification by examination. The board may make an exception for an applicant who has been providing substance abuse counseling for a minimum of 2,000 hours within the past 60 months and who can submit evidence of such experience.

5. During the supervised experience, supervisees shall use their names and the title "supervisee" in all written communications. Clients shall be informed in writing of the supervisee's status and the supervisor's name, professional address, and phone number.

6. The supervised experience shall consist of 160 hours of experience performing the following tasks with substance abuse clients. Each of the following tasks shall be performed for at least eight hours under supervision as verified by the supervisor on an application for certification:

a. Screening clients to determine eligibility and appropriateness for admission to a particular program;

b. Intake of clients by performing the administrative and initial assessment tasks necessary for admission to a program;

c. Orientation of new clients to program's rules, goals, procedures, services, costs, and the rights of the client;

d. Assessment of client's strengths, weaknesses, problems, and needs for the development of a treatment plan;

e. Treatment planning with the client to identify and rank problems to be addressed, establish goals, and agree on treatment processes;

f. Counseling the client utilizing specialized skills in both individual and group approaches to achieve treatment goals and objectives;

g. Case management activities that bring services, agencies, people, and resources together in a planned framework of action to achieve established goals;

h. Crisis intervention responses to a client's needs during acute mental, emotional, or physical distress;

i. Education of clients by providing information about drug abuse and available services and resources;

j. Referral of clients in order to meet identified needs unable to be met by the counselor and assisting the client in effectively utilizing those resources;

k. Reporting and charting information about a client's assessment, treatment plan, progress, discharge summaries, and other client-related data; and

l. Consultation with other professionals to assure comprehensive quality care for the client.

C. Supervisor qualifications. A board-approved clinical supervisor shall hold an active, unrestricted license or certification and shall be:

1. A licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner;

2. A licensed professional counselor, licensed clinical psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, medical doctor, or registered nurse, and possess either who has either:

a a. A board-recognized national certification in substance abuse counseling obtained by standards substantially equivalent to those set forth in this chapter,;

b. A certification as a substance abuse counselor issued by this board; or

a c. A minimum of one year [ of ] experience in substance abuse counseling and at least 100 hours of didactic training covering the areas outlined in 18VAC115-30-50 B 1 2 a through h 2 m; or

3. A substance abuse counselor certified by the Virginia Board of Counseling who has: a. Board-recognized national certification in substance abuse counseling obtained by standards substantially equivalent to those set forth in this chapter; or b. Two two years of experience as a Virginia board-certified substance abuse counselor.

D. Supervisor training. In order to be approved by the board after(insert 12 months after the effective date of this regulation) February 19, 2021 ], a clinical supervisor shall obtain professional training in supervision consisting of three credit hours or four quarter hours in graduate-level coursework in supervision or at least 20 hours of continuing education in supervision offered by a provider approved under 18VAC115-30-50.

E. Supervisory responsibilities.

1. Supervisors shall assume responsibility for the professional activities of the prospective applicants supervisee under their supervision.

2. Supervisors shall not provide supervision for activities for which prospective applicants supervisees have not had appropriate education.

3. Supervisors shall provide supervision only for those substance abuse counseling services that they are qualified to render.

4. At the time of formal the application for certification by examination, the board-approved supervisor shall document minimal competencies in the areas in 18VAC115-30-60 B 6, the applicant's total hours of supervision, length of work experience, competence in substance abuse counseling and any needs for additional supervision or training. The supervisor shall document successful completion of the applicant's supervised experience on the Verification of Supervision Form and shall maintain documentation for five years post supervision.

5. Supervision by any individual whose relationship to the supervisee compromises the objectivity of the supervisor is prohibited.  

18VAC115-30-61

18VAC115-30-61. Prerequisites for certification by examination for substance abuse counseling assistant.

A. A candidate Every applicant for certification as a substance abuse counseling assistant shall meet all the requirements of this section, including passing pass a written examination approved by the board. The board shall determine the passing score on the examination prescribed in 18VAC115-30-90.

1. If an applicant fails to achieve a passing score within two years of board approval to sit for the examination, the applicant shall reapply according to regulations in effect at that time.

2. An applicant who has applied twice and has not passed the examination shall not be approved to retake the examination, unless the applicant can provide evidence of extenuating circumstances for failure to pass the examination within the four-year period.

B. Every applicant for examination for certification by the board shall:

1. Meet the educational and experience requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-30-62 and 18VAC115-30-63; and

2. Submit the following to the board within the time frame timeframe established by the board:

a. A completed application form;

b. Official transcript documenting attainment of a high school diploma or, a general education development (GED) certificate, or a post-secondary degree; and

c. The application processing and initial certification fee;

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

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

18VAC115-30-62

18VAC115-30-62. Educational requirements for substance abuse counseling assistants.

A. An applicant for certification as a substance abuse counseling assistant shall:

1. Have an official obtained a high school diploma or, a general educational development (GED) certificate, or a post-secondary degree; and

2. Have completed 300 clock hours of substance abuse education from one of the following programs:

a. An A regionally accredited university or college; or

b. Seminars and workshops that meet the educational requirements specified in subsection B of this section and are offered or approved by one of the following:

(1) The American Association of Marriage and Family Counselors and its state affiliates Federal, state, or local governmental agencies; public school systems; or licensed health facilities.

(2) The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists 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 recognized by the board.

(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.

B. Substance abuse education. 1. The education will include 120 hours spent in receiving didactic training in substance abuse counseling. Each applicant shall have received a minimum of 10 eight clock hours in each of the following eight 13 areas:

a. Understanding the dynamics of human behavior;

b. Signs and symptoms of substance abuse;

c. Treatment approaches Counseling theories and techniques;

d. Case management skills and continuum of care;

e. Recovery process and relapse prevention methods;

f. Ethics Professional orientation and ethics;

g. Professional identity in the provision of substance abuse services Cultural competency; and

h. Crisis Trauma and crisis intervention;

i. Pharmacology of abused substances;

j. Co-occurring disorders;

k. Substance abuse counseling approaches and treatment planning;

l. Group counseling; and

m. Prevention, screening, and assessment of substance use and abuse.

2. The education shall include 180 hours of experience performing the following tasks with substance abuse clients while under supervision:

a. Screening clients and gathering information used in making the determination for the need for additional professional assistance;

b. Intake of clients by performing the administrative tasks necessary for admission to a program;

c. Orientation of new clients to program's rules, goals, procedures, services, costs and the rights of the client;

d. Assisting the client in identifying and ranking problems to be addressed, establish goals, and agree on treatment processes;

e. Implementation of a substance abuse treatment plan as directed by the supervisor;

f. Implementation of case management activities that bring services, agencies, people and resources together in a planned framework of action to achieve established goals;

g. Assistance in identifying appropriate crisis intervention responses to clients' needs during acute mental, emotional or physical distress;

h. Education of clients by providing information about drug abuse and available services and resources;

i. Facilitating the client's utilization of available support systems and community resources to meet needs identified in clinical valuation or treatment planning;

j. Reporting and charting information about client's treatment, progress, and other client-related data; and

k. Consultation with other professionals to assure comprehensive quality care for the client.

Each of these tasks shall be performed for at least eight hours under supervision and shall be verified as a part of the application by the supervisor.

C. Groups and classes attended as a part of a therapy or treatment program shall not be accepted as any part of the educational experience.

18VAC115-30-63

18VAC115-30-63. Experience requirements for substance abuse counseling assistants.

A. In addition to the didactic training required in 18VAC115-30-62, the education shall include 180 hours of experience in a practicum or internship consistent with § 54.1-3507.2 C of the Code of Virginia performing the following tasks with substance abuse clients while under supervision:

1. Screening clients and gathering information used in making the determination for the need for additional professional assistance;

2. Intake of clients by performing the administrative tasks necessary for admission to a program;

3. Orientation of new clients to program's rules, goals, procedures, services, costs, and the rights of the client;

4. Assisting the client in identifying and ranking problems to be addressed, establishing goals, and agreeing on treatment processes;

5. Implementation of a substance abuse treatment plan as directed by the supervisor;

6. Implementation of case management activities that bring services, agencies, people, and resources together in a planned framework of action to achieve established goals;

7. Assistance in identifying appropriate crisis intervention responses to a client's needs during acute mental, emotional, or physical distress;

8. Education of clients by providing information about drug abuse and available services and resources;

9. Facilitating the client's utilization of available support systems and community resources to meet needs identified in clinical valuation or treatment planning;

10. Reporting and charting information about the client's treatment, progress, and other client-related data; and

11. Consultation with other professionals to assure comprehensive quality care for the client.

B. Each of these tasks shall be performed for at least eight hours under supervision and shall be verified as a part of the application by the supervisor.

C. Groups and classes attended as a part of a therapy or treatment program shall not be accepted as any part of the educational experience.

18VAC115-30-90

Part III
Examinations

18VAC115-30-90. General examination requirements for substance abuse counselors and substance abuse counseling assistants. (Repealed.)

A. Every applicant for certification as a substance abuse counselor or substance abuse counseling assistant by examination shall pass a written examination approved by the board. The board shall determine the passing score on the examination.

B. Every applicant for certification by endorsement shall have passed an examination deemed by the board to be substantially equivalent to the Virginia examination.

18VAC115-30-110

Part IV III
Renewal and Reinstatement

18VAC115-30-110. Annual renewal of certificate.

A. Every certificate issued by the board shall expire on June 30 of each year.

B. Along with the renewal form, the certified substance abuse counselor or certified substance abuse counseling assistant shall submit the renewal fee prescribed in 18VAC115-30-30 and shall attest to completion of continuing education as required by 18VAC115-30-111.

C. Certified individuals 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 and application forms shall not excuse the certified substance abuse counselor from the renewal requirement.

18VAC115-30-111

18VAC115-30-111. Continuing education requirements.

A. Certified substance abuse counselors shall be required to have completed a minimum of 10 contact hours of continuing education in substance abuse and certified substance abuse counseling assistants shall be required to have completed a minimum of five contact hours of continuing education in substance abuse prior to renewal each year.

1. Continuing education hours shall be offered by an approved provider listed in 18VAC115-30-50 A or 18VAC115-30-62 A, and the course content shall be consistent with 18VAC115-30-50 B or 18VAC115-30-62 B.

2. Attestation of completion of continuing education is not required for the first renewal following initial certification in Virginia.

B. The board may grant an extension for good cause of up to one year for the completion of continuing education requirements upon written request from the certificate holder prior to the renewal date. Such extension shall not relieve the certificate holder of the continuing education requirement.

C. The board may grant an exemption for all or part of the continuing education requirements due to circumstances beyond the control of the certificate holder such as temporary disability, mandatory military service, or officially declared disasters upon written request from the certificate holder prior to the renewal date.

D. All certificate holders are required to maintain original documentation, including official transcripts showing credit hours earned or certificates of participation, for a period of three years following renewal.

E. The board may conduct an audit of certificate holders to verify compliance with the requirement for a renewal period. Upon request, a certificate holder shall provide documentation of credit hours or participation.

F. Continuing education hours required by disciplinary order shall not be used to satisfy renewal requirements.

18VAC115-30-120

18VAC115-30-120. Reinstatement.

A. A person whose certificate has expired may renew it within one year after its expiration date by paying the late renewal fee prescribed in 18VAC115-30-30 and the certification fee prescribed for the year the certificate was not renewed.

B. A person who fails to renew a certificate after one year or more shall apply:

1. Apply for reinstatement, pay;

2. Pay the reinstatement fee for a lapsed certificate and submit;

3. Submit verification of any other health or mental health license or certificate ever held in another jurisdiction;

4. Submit a current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank; and

5. Submit evidence of a minimum of 20 hours of substance abuse education that is consistent with course content specified in subsection B of 18VAC115-30-50 B for substance abuse counselors and in 18VAC115-30-62 for substance abuse counseling assistants to demonstrate the continued ability to perform the functions within the scope of practice of the certificate. Courses shall be offered or approved by a provider listed in 18VAC115-30-50 A or 18VAC115-30-62 A.

18VAC115-30-140

Part V
Standards of Practice; Disciplinary Actions; Reinstatement

18VAC115-30-140. 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.

B. Persons certified 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. Be able to justify all services rendered to clients as necessary for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

3. Practice only within the competency area for which they are qualified by training or experience.

4. Report to the board known or suspected violations of the laws and regulations governing the practice of certified substance abuse counselors or certified substance abuse counseling assistants.

5. Neither accept nor give commissions, rebates, or other forms of remuneration for referral of clients for professional services. Make appropriate consultations and referrals based on the best interest of clients.

6. Stay abreast of new developments, concepts, and practices that are necessary to providing appropriate services.

7. 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 arrangements for the continuation of treatment for clients when necessary, following termination of a counseling relationship.

8. Not willfully or negligently breach the confidentiality between a practitioner and a client. A breach of confidentiality that is required or permitted by applicable law or beyond the control of the practitioner shall not be considered negligent or willful.

C. In regard to client records, persons certified by the board shall:

6. 1. Disclose counseling records to others only in accordance with the requirements of state and federal statutes and regulations, including, but not limited to §§ 32.1-127.1:03 (Patient Health Records Privacy Act), 2.2-3704 (Virginia Freedom of Information Act), and 54.1-2400.1 (Mental Health Service Providers; Duty to Protect Third Parties; Immunity) of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 290dd-2 (Confidentiality of Drug and Alcohol Treatment Records); and 42 CFR Part 2 (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records and Regulations) applicable law.

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. 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.

4. Maintain timely, accurate, legible, and complete written or electronic records for each client, to include counseling dates and identifying information to substantiate the substance abuse counseling plan, client progress, and termination.

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);

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 the client's legally authorized representative.

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

7. 1. Not engage in dual relationships with clients, former clients, supervisees, and supervisors that are harmful to the client's or supervisee's well being, well-being or which that would impair the substance abuse counselor's, substance abuse counseling assistant's, or supervisor's objectivity and professional judgment, or increase the risk of client or supervisee exploitation. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, such activities as counseling close friends, former sexual partners, employees, or relatives; or engaging in business relationships with clients.

Engaging 2. Not engage in sexual intimacies or romantic relationships with current clients or supervisees is strictly prohibited. For at least five years after cessation or termination of professional services, certified substance abuse counselors and certified substance abuse counseling assistants shall not engage in sexual intimacies or romantic relationships with a client or those included in collateral therapeutic services. Since Because sexual or romantic relationships are potentially exploitative, certified substance abuse counselors and certified substance abuse counseling assistants shall bear the burden of demonstrating that there has been no exploitation. A client's consent to, initiation of, or participation in sexual behavior or involvement with a certified substance abuse counselor or certified substance abuse counseling assistants does not change the nature of the conduct nor lift the regulatory prohibition.

8. 3. Recognize conflicts of interest and inform all parties of obligations, responsibilities, and loyalties to third parties.

E. Upon learning of evidence that indicates a reasonable probability that another mental health provider is or may be guilty of a violation of standards of conduct as defined in statute or regulation, persons certified by the board shall advise their clients of their right to report such misconduct to the Department of Health Professions in accordance with § 54.1-2400.4 of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC115-30-150

18VAC115-30-150. Grounds for revocation, suspension, restriction or denial of certificate; petition for rehearing disciplinary action, denial of initial certification, or denial of renewal of certification.

In accordance with subdivision 7 of § 54.1-2400(7) 54.1-2400 and § 54.1-2401 of the Code of Virginia, the board may revoke, suspend, restrict, impose a monetary penalty, or decline to issue or renew a certificate based upon the following conduct:

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 counseling, or any provision of this chapter;

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

3. Conducting one's practice in such a manner so 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 counseling with reasonable skill and safety to clients by reason of illness, abusive use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material or as a result of any mental or physical condition;

4. Negligence in professional conduct or nonconformance with the standards of practice outlined in 18VAC115-30-140 or Violating or abetting another person in the violation of any provision of any statute applicable to the practice of substance abuse counseling or any regulation in this chapter;

5. Performance of functions outside the board-certified area of competency in accordance with regulations set forth in this chapter and §§ 54.1-3507.1 and 54.1-3507.2 of the Code of Virginia;

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

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

8. Failure to cooperate with an employee of the Department of Health Professions in the conduct of an investigation;

9. Failure to report evidence of child abuse or neglect as required in § 63.2-1509 of the Code of Virginia or elder abuse or neglect as required in § 63.2-1606 of the Code of Virginia; or

10. Action taken against a health or mental health license, certification, registration, or application in Virginia or another jurisdiction.