Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
11/28/2021

Part II. Requirements for Licensure As a Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner

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

Every applicant for licensure by examination by the board shall:

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

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 coursework requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-60-60 and 18VAC115-60-70. Transcripts previously submitted for board approval of a resident license do not have to be resubmitted unless additional coursework was subsequently obtained;

c. Verification of supervision forms documenting fulfillment of the residency requirements of 18VAC115-60-80 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;

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.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3505 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 20, 2001; Volume 26, Issue 1, eff. October 14, 2009; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 20, eff. June 23, 2021.

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

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;

b. A mental health license in good standing in a category acceptable to the board that required completion of a master's degree in mental health to include 60 graduate semester hours in mental health as documented by an official transcript; 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 as documented by an official transcript; 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; or

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

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

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 20, 2001; Volume 24, Issue 24, eff. September 3, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 20, eff. July 23, 2009; Volume 26, Issue 1, eff. October 14, 2009; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 34, Issue 6, eff. December 28, 2017.

18VAC115-60-55. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 10, eff. February 26, 2003; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016.

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. Programs that are approved by CACREP as programs in addictions counseling are recognized as meeting the requirements of subsection A of this section.

C. Graduates of programs that are not within the United States or Canada shall provide documentation from an acceptable credential evaluation service that provides information that allows the board to determine if the program meets the requirements set forth in this chapter.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 36, Issue 12, eff. March 4, 2020.

18VAC115-60-70. 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, of which 200 hours shall be in treating substance abuse-specific treatment problems. Only internship hours earned after completion of 30 graduate semester hours may be counted towards residency hours.

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.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 24, eff. September 3, 2008; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016.

18VAC115-60-80. Resident license and requirements for a residency.

A. Licensure. Applicants for a temporary resident license in substance abuse treatment shall:

1. Apply for licensure on a form provided by the board to include the following: (i) verification of a supervisory contract, (ii) the name and licensure number of the supervisor and location for the supervised practice, and (iii) an attestation that the applicant will be providing substance abuse treatment services;

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

3. Pay the registration fee;

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

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

B. 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 as a substance abuse treatment practitioner shall have completed 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 up to an additional 300 hours towards the requirements of a residency.

5. The residency shall be completed in not less than 21 months or more than four years. Residents who began a residency before August 24, 2016, shall complete the residency by August 24, 2020. 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. A resident shall meet the renewal requirements of subsection C of 18VAC115-60-110 in order to maintain a license in current, active status.

6. 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.

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 that the resident does not have authority for independent practice and is under supervision and shall provide the supervisor's name, professional address, and telephone number.

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 United States 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 or substance abuse treatment practitioner in the jurisdiction where the supervision is being provided. Supervisors who are marriage and family therapists, school psychologists, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, clinical nurse specialists, or psychiatrists and have been approved to provide supervision may continue to do so until August 24, 2017.

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. 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.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3505 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 24, eff. September 3, 2008; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 20, eff. June 23, 2021.

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