|Action||Requirement for CACREP accreditation for educational programs|
|Comment Period||Ends 7/1/2015|
Opposed to Regulation Requiring CACREP-Only
I am writing in response to a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action in Virginia. I strongly oppose any regulatory change in Virginia that would limit LPC licensure to graduates of master’s programs accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). I graduated from a program in the state of Virginia that, while not CACREP accredited, was much more rigorous than other CACREP accredited programs of which I am personally aware. While I am not anti-CACREP, I can see no advantage to excluding other programs across the country that have been training licensed counseling professionals for years and simply choose not to pursue CACREP accreditation. Those programs are accredited by other entities, and there is no legitimate evidence, to my knowledge, indicating that non-CACREP accredited programs do not produce highly qualified professionals.
Not only does this regulatory change appear to lack legitimate, perceivable advantages, it will actually serve as a barrier to many qualified, experienced professionals achieving licensure status. This will, in turn, create additional shortages of licensed mental health professionals in the state of Virginia - shortages which the state can not afford. The result of this regulatory change would, in effect, actually harm the mental health treatment consumers in Virginia by reducing their access to licensed mental health professionals.
Our first requirement as treatment professionals is to do no harm. Don't we have an obligation to act in ways that, at the very least, do not harm those whom we are supposed to serve? The CACREP vs. Other accreditation feud is distracting us from our purpose.
Please do not make this regulatory change. Rather, work towards making the Virginia LPC available for all professionals who meet the national testing score requirement, coursework completion standards, and experience requirements for counseling so that we can get on with our objective of providing mental health services to the citizens who need them.