1 ____________________________ _______________________________
2 Councilmember Charles Allen Councilmember Vincent C. Gray
4 ___________________________ _______________________________
5 Councilmember Christina Henderson Councilmember Matthew Frumin
10 ____________
14 ____________
26 To authorize the Mayor to execute, on behalf of the District of Columbia, a Counseling Compact
27 for the purpose of increasing access to licensed professional counseling, establish
28 requirements for states to conduct and report adverse actions and the consequences for
29 licensed professional counselors receiving adverse action, provide for additional authority
30 in a compact state’s regulatory authority, require all compact states to share licensee
31 information with other compact states, create a coordinated database on participating
32 compact licensed professional counselors, establish the Counseling Compact
33 Commission, provide for oversight and enforcement of the compact by participating
34 states, and to provide that the compact shall become effective on the date of enactment.
37 act may be cited as the “Counseling Compact Approval Act of 2023”.
39 Sec. 2. Purpose.
41 The Mayor shall enter into and execute on behalf of the District the Counseling Compact
42 with any state legally joining therein, in the form substantially as follows:
43 “Sec. 2. Purpose.
44 The purpose of this Compact is to facilitate interstate practice of Licensed Professional
45 Counselors with the goal of improving public access to Professional Counseling services. The
46 practice of Professional Counseling occurs in the State where the client is located at the time of
47 the counseling services. The Compact preserves the regulatory authority of States to protect
48 public health and safety through the current system of State licensure.
49 This Compact is designed to achieve the following objectives:
50 (a) Increase public access to Professional Counseling services by providing for the
51 mutual recognition of other Member State licenses;
52 (b) Enhance the States’ ability to protect the public’s health and safety;
53 (c) Encourage the cooperation of Member States in regulating multistate practice for
54 Licensed Professional Counselors;
55 (d) Support spouses of relocating Active Duty Military personnel;
56 (e) Enhance the exchange of licensure, investigative, and disciplinary information among
57 Member States;
58 (f) Allow for the use of Telehealth technology to facilitate increased access to
59 Professional Counseling services;
60 (g) Support the uniformity of Professional Counseling licensure requirements throughout
61 the States to promote public safety and public health benefits;
62 (h) Invest all Member States with the authority to hold a Licensed Professional Counselor
63 accountable for meeting all State practice laws in the State in which the client is located at the
64 time care is rendered through the mutual recognition of Member State licenses;
65 (i) Eliminate the necessity for licenses in multiple States; and
66 (j) Provide opportunities for interstate practice by Licensed Professional Counselors who
67 meet uniform licensure requirements.
68 Sec. 3. Definitions.
69 As used in this Compact, and except as otherwise provided, the following definitions
70 shall apply:
71 (a) “Active-Duty Military” means full-time duty status in the active uniformed service of
72 the 31 United States, including members of the National Guard and Reserve on active duty
73 orders pursuant to 10 U.S.C. Chapters 1209 and 1211. 33.
74 (b) “Adverse Action” means any administrative, civil, equitable or criminal action
75 permitted by a State’s laws which is imposed by a licensing board or other authority against a
76 Licensed Professional Counselor, including actions against an individual’s license or Privilege to
77 Practice such as revocation, suspension, probation, monitoring of the licensee, limitation on the
78 licensee’s practice, or any other Encumbrance on licensure affecting a Licensed Professional
79 Counselor’s authorization to practice, including issuance of a cease and desist action.
80 (c) “Alternative Program” means a non-disciplinary monitoring or practice remediation
81 process approved by a Professional Counseling Licensing Board to address Impaired
82 Practitioners.
83 (d) “Continuing Competence/Education” means a requirement, as a condition of license
84 renewal, to provide evidence of participation in, and/or completion of, educational and
85 professional activities relevant to practice or area of work.
86 (e) “Counseling Compact Commission” or “Commission” means the national
87 administrative body whose membership consists of all States that have enacted the Compact.
88 (f) “Current Significant Investigative Information” means:
89 (1) Investigative Information that a Licensing Board, after a preliminary inquiry
90 that includes notification and an opportunity for the Licensed Professional Counselor to respond,
91 if required by State law, has reason to believe is not groundless and, if proved true, would
92 indicate more than a minor infraction; or
93 (2) Investigative Information that indicates that the Licensed Professional
94 Counselor represents an immediate threat to public health and safety regardless of whether the
95 Licensed Professional Counselor has been notified and had an opportunity to respond.
96 (g) “Data System” means a repository of information about Licensees, including, but not
97 limited to, continuing education, examination, licensure, investigative, Privilege to Practice and
98 Adverse Action information.
99 (h) “Encumbered License” means a license in which an Adverse Action restricts the
100 practice of licensed Professional Counseling by the Licensee and said Adverse Action has been
101 reported to the National Practitioners Data Bank (NPDB).
102 (i) “Encumbrance” means a revocation or suspension of, or any limitation on, the full and
103 unrestricted practice of Licensed Professional Counseling by a Licensing Board.
104 (j) “Executive Committee” means a group of directors elected or appointed to act on
105 behalf of, and within the powers granted to them by, the Commission.
106 (k) “Home State” means the Member State that is the Licensee’s primary State of
107 residence.
108 (l) “Impaired Practitioner” means an individual who has a condition(s) that may impair
109 their ability to practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor without some type of intervention
110 and may include, but are not limited to, alcohol and drug dependence, mental health impairment,
111 and neurological or physical impairments.
112 (m) “Investigative Information” means information, records, and documents received or
113 generated by a Professional Counseling Licensing Board pursuant to an investigation.
114 (n) “Jurisprudence Requirement” if required by a Member State, means the assessment of
115 an individual’s knowledge of the laws and Rules governing the practice of Professional
116 Counseling in a State.
117 (o) “Licensed Professional Counselor” means a counselor licensed by a Member State,
118 regardless of the title used by that State, to independently assess, diagnose, and treat behavioral
119 health conditions.
120 (p) “Licensee” means an individual who currently holds an authorization from the State
121 to practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor.
122 (q) “Licensing Board” means the agency of a State, or equivalent, that is responsible for
123 the licensing and regulation of Licensed Professional Counselors
124 (r) “Member State” means a State that has enacted the Compact.
125 (s) “Privilege to Practice” means a legal authorization, which is equivalent to a license,
126 permitting the practice of Professional Counseling in a Remote State.
127 (t) “Professional Counseling” means the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of
128 behavioral health conditions by a Licensed Professional Counselor.
129 (u) “Remote State” means a Member State other than the Home State, where a Licensee
130 is exercising or seeking to exercise the Privilege to Practice.
131 (v) “Rule” means a regulation promulgated by the Commission that has the force of law.
132 (w) “Single State License” means a Licensed Professional Counselor license issued by a
133 Member State that authorizes practice only within the issuing State and does not include a
134 Privilege to Practice in any other Member State.
135 (x) “State” means any state, commonwealth, district, or territory of the United States of
136 America that regulates the practice of Professional Counseling.
137 (y) “Telehealth” means the application of telecommunication technology to deliver
138 Professional Counseling services remotely to assess, diagnose, and treat behavioral 100 health
139 conditions.
140 (z) “Unencumbered License” means a license that authorizes a Licensed Professional
141 Counselor to engage in the full and unrestricted practice of Professional Counseling.
142 Sec. 3. State participation in the Compact.
143 (a) To Participate in the Compact, a State must currently:
144 (1) License and regulate Licensed Professional Counselors;
145 (2) Require Licensees to pass a nationally recognized exam approved by the
146 Commission;
147 (3) Require Licensees to have a 60 semester-hour (or 90 quarter-hour) master’s
148 degree in counseling or 60 semester-hours (or 90 quarter-hours) of graduate 110 course work
149 including the following topic areas:
150 (A) Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice;
151 (B) Social and Cultural Diversity;
152 (C) Human Growth and Development;
153 (D) Career Development;
154 (E) Counseling and Helping Relationships;
155 (F) Group Counseling and Group Work;
156 (G) Diagnosis and Treatment; Assessment and Testing;
157 (H) Research and Program Evaluation; and
158 (I) Other areas as determined by the Commission.
159 (4) Require Licensees to complete a supervised postgraduate professional
160 experience as defined by the Commission;
161 (5) Have a mechanism in place for receiving and investigating complaints about
162 Licensees.
163 (b) A Member State shall:
164 (1) Participate fully in the Commission’s Data System, including using the
165 Commission’s unique identifier as defined in Rules;
166 (2) Notify the Commission, in compliance with the terms of the Compact and
167 Rules, of any Adverse Action or the availability of Investigative Information regarding a
168 Licensee;
169 (3) Implement or utilize procedures for considering the criminal history records of
170 applicants for an initial Privilege to Practice. These procedures shall include the submission of
171 fingerprints or other biometric-based information by applicants for the purpose of obtaining an
172 applicant’s criminal history record information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the
173 agency responsible for retaining that State’s criminal records;
174 (A) A member state must fully implement a criminal background check
175 requirement, within a time frame established by rule, by receiving the results of the Federal
176 Bureau of Investigation record search and shall use the results in making licensure decisions.
177 (B) Communication between a Member State, the Commission and among
178 Member States regarding the verification of eligibility for licensure through the Compact shall
179 not include any information received from the Federal Bureau of Investigation relating to a
180 federal criminal records check performed by a Member State under Public Law 92-544.
181 (4) Comply with the Rules of the Commission;
182 (5) Require an applicant to obtain or retain a license in the Home State and meet
183 the Home State’s qualifications for licensure or renewal of licensure, as well as all other
184 applicable State laws;
185 (6) Grant the Privilege to Practice to a Licensee holding a valid Unencumbered
186 License in another Member State in accordance with the terms of the Compact and Rules; and
187 (7) Provide for the attendance of the State’s commissioner to the Counseling
188 Compact Commission meetings.
189 (c) Member States may charge a fee for granting the Privilege to Practice.
190 (d) Individuals not residing in a Member State shall continue to be able to apply for a
191 Member State’s Single State License as provided under the laws of each Member State.
192 However, the Single State License granted to these individuals shall not be recognized as
193 granting a Privilege to Practice Professional Counseling in any other Member State.
194 (e) Nothing in this Compact shall affect the requirements established by a Member State
195 for the issuance of a Single State License.
196 (f) A license issued to a Licensed Professional Counselor by a Home State to a resident in
197 that State shall be recognized by each Member State as authorizing a Licensed Professional
198 Counselor to practice Professional Counseling, under a Privilege to Practice, in each Member
199 State.
200 Sec. 4. Privilege to practice.
201 (a) To exercise the Privilege to Practice under the terms and provisions of the Compact,
202 the Licensee shall:
203 (1) Hold a license in the Home State;
204 (2) Have a valid United States Social Security Number or National Practitioner
205 Identifier;
206 (3) Be eligible for a Privilege to Practice in any Member State in accordance with
207 Section 4(d), (g) and (h);
208 (4) Have not had any Encumbrance or restriction against any license or Privilege
209 to Practice within the previous two (2) years;
210 (5) Notify the Commission that the Licensee is seeking the Privilege to Practice
211 within a Remote State(s);
212 (6) Pay any applicable fees, including any State fee, for the Privilege to Practice;
213 (7) Meet any Continuing Competence/Education requirements established by the
214 Home State;
215 (8) Meet any Jurisprudence Requirements established by the Remote State(s) in
216 which the Licensee is seeking a Privilege to Practice; and
217 (9) Report to the Commission any Adverse Action, Encumbrance, or restriction
218 on license taken by any non-Member State within 30 days from the date the action is taken.
219 (b) The Privilege to Practice is valid until the expiration date of the Home State license.
220 The Licensee must comply with the requirements of Section 4(A) to maintain the Privilege to
221 Practice in the Remote State.
222 (c) A Licensee providing Professional Counseling in a Remote State under the Privilege
223 to 189 Practice shall adhere to the laws and regulations of the Remote State.
224 (d) A Licensee providing Professional Counseling services in a Remote State is subject to
225 that State’s regulatory authority. A Remote State may, in accordance with due process and that
226 State’s laws, remove a Licensee’s Privilege to Practice in the Remote State for a specific period
227 of time, impose fines, and/or take any other necessary actions to protect the health and safety of
228 its citizens. The Licensee may be ineligible for a Privilege to Practice in any Member State until
229 the specific time for removal has passed and all fines are paid.
230 (e) If a Home State license is encumbered, the Licensee shall lose the Privilege to
231 Practice in any Remote State until the following occur:
232 (1) The Home State license is no longer encumbered; and
233 (2) Have not had any Encumbrance or restriction against any license or Privilege
234 to Practice within the previous two (2) years.
235 (f) Once an Encumbered License in the Home State is restored to good standing, the
236 Licensee must meet the requirements of Section 4(a) to obtain a Privilege to Practice in any
237 Remote State.
238 (g) If a Licensee’s Privilege to Practice in any Remote State is removed, the individual
239 may lose the Privilege to Practice in all other Remote States until the following occur:
240 (1) The specific period of time for which the Privilege to Practice was removed
241 has ended;
242 (2) All fines have been paid; and
243 (3) Have not had any Encumbrance or restriction against any license or Privilege
244 to Practice within the previous two (2) years.
245 (h) Once the requirements of Section 4(g) have been met, the Licensee must meet the
246 requirements in Section 4(a) to obtain a Privilege to Practice in a Remote State.
247 Sec. 5. Obtaining a new home state license based on a privilege to practice.
248 (a) A Licensed Professional Counselor may hold a Home State license, which allows for
249 a Privilege to Practice in other Member States, in only one Member State at a time.
250 (b) If a Licensed Professional Counselor changes primary State of residence by moving
251 between two Member States:
252 (1) The Licensed Professional Counselor shall file an application for obtaining a
253 new Home State license based on a Privilege to Practice, pay all applicable fees, and notify the
254 current and new Home State in accordance with applicable Rules adopted by the Commission.
255 (2) Upon receipt of an application for obtaining a new Home State license by
256 virtue of a Privilege to Practice, the new Home State shall verify that the Licensed Professional
257 Counselor meets the pertinent criteria outlined in Section 4 via the Data System, without need for
258 primary source verification except for:
259 (A) a Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint based criminal
260 background check if not previously performed or updated pursuant to applicable rules adopted
261 by the Commission in accordance with Public Law 92-544;
262 (B) Other criminal background check as required by the new Home State;
263 and c. completion of any requisite Jurisprudence Requirements of the new Home State.
264 (3)