Licensed counselors across the United States continue to eagerly watch the progression of the Counseling Compact, an interstate compact that would give state legislators the power to expand portability and protect the public. The Compact has been enacted by two states, Maryland and Georgia, and compact legislation is pending in Nebraska, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
In order to participate in the Compact, a state must:
license and regulate Licensed Professional Counselors
require licensees to pass a nationally recognized exam approved by the Commission
require licensees to have a 60-semester-hour (or 90-quarter-hour) master’s degree in counseling or 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) of graduate course work in eight content areas and other areas defined by the Commission
require licensees to complete a supervised postgraduate professional experience as defined by the Commission
have a mechanism in place for receiving and investigating complaints about licensees
Once 10 states have enacted the Compact, the Compact will become active and the Commission will be created, with members of the Commission selected from the participating states. The Commission will establish rules and appropriate processes for the implementation of the Compact.
NBCC supports the advancement of the Compact and encourages policymakers and ultimately members of the Commission to clarify the critical importance of the completion of a graduate degree from an accredited program. Counselors are providing essential, impactful services and proper training to prepare these professionals is necessary. It is imperative that this be reflected in the interstate Counseling Compact, and the inclusion of the requirement of a degree from an accredited institution/program is an essential building block for licensure.