Updates on ACA Compact
Dear Member Boards,
Licensure portability continues to be a hot topic in the regulatory community and AASCB is committed to providing member boards with the most up-to-date information. In August 2019, American Counseling Association President, Heather Trepal attended the AASCB Business Meeting held at the Counseling Regulatory Boards Summit in Washington, DC. During this meeting she shared important information on the compact process and reiterated ACA’s desire to have all organizations representing the interests of licensed counselors and those who they serve, join in on this effort. ACA realizes that although they have organized this initial phase of the effort, and provided seed funding of up to $600,000 to get it moving, that the compact’s success will ultimately be in the hands of licensure boards who feel that their state might want to be involved.
The Interstate Compact Process is under way and we wanted to provide all member boards with some key information. AASCB knows it is important that state boards be actively involved in the development of the compact, and we are aware that some of you, from various member states have participated in the initial Advisory Group meetings organized by ACA. Below are several key points. Please see additional details provided by ACA (ACA Compact Document). Please contact Jolie Long, AASCB Executive Director at long@aascb with questions.
Key Highlights Include:
Goal of Compact: To establish licensure portability for counselors in a minimum of 10 states by the end of 2023.
Current phase: Phase 1 (Advisory Committee)
ACA’s Interstate Compact Advisory Group is comprised of state legislators, executive directors and attorneys for state licensing boards, counselor educators and practitioners. Members attending the first meeting came from 13 entities including the states of Arizona, Tennessee, Wyoming, New Jersey, Maryland, Kentucky, Nevada, Virginia, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Georgia, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
No decisions have been made but universal requirements being discussed include the number of graduate credit hours and areas for coursework, number of hours of post-degree supervised experience, use of an examination, state-specific testing, continuing education, minimum years of post-degree experience, and supervisor qualifications. Other issues such as disciplinary actions, how states handle felonies, military spouses, a counselor identification number, and background checks were also discussed at previous gatherings.
The Advisory Group holds monthly calls (November – February) during which they are refining thoughts around essential elements and discuss the way in which other compacts have addressed some of these issues. It is anticipated that the drafting team will begin their work in March 2020.
ACA indicates there will be multiple opportunities for feedback during the process.
We hope this information is helpful.