Although you are not required to complete continuing education courses until you are licensed, these courses are a great way for pre-licensed clinicians to earn additional hours of experience and expand their knowledge and skills. In addition, as of January 1, 2021 there is a new Suicide Risk Assessment and Prevention requirement that can be satisfied with a continuing education course. Continue reading
Until you are licensed as an LMFT, LPCC or LCSW, continuing education hours do not technically count as CEs. Continuing education hours should be logged in the category of workshops and trainings. The BBS does not require you to submit or retain any documentation of the training. As long as your supervisor approves the training and the hours are documented on a signed experience verification form, they can be claimed toward licensure.
What is the 6-year rule?
California Associates may only claim hours earned within 6 years of the date they submit their application for examination and licensure. The only exception to this rule is that AMFTs may claim up to 500 pre-degree practicum hours in the categories of counseling and supervision (other categories may not be claimed). The BBS has recently reiterated that there are no COVID waivers related to the 6-year rule and no exceptions will be made.
What if I am unable to complete my 3,000 total hours by December 31, 2020, but I want to be evaluated under Option 2 (old requirements)?
On Friday, May 15 the BBS hosted a Facebook Live event and stated that if you are unable to complete the Option 2 requirements by December 31, 2020 as a result of issues related to COVID-19 you should post-mark your application by that date (the deadline for submitting under the old requirements). The BBS will review your application and you will receive a deficiency letter. You will have one year from the date of the deficiency letter to submit additional hours and you will still be evaluated under the Option 2 requirements. You must post-mark your application by December 31 or you will lose the ability to choose Option 2.
Under current law MFT trainees are permitted to counsel clients outside of practicum as long as the period of lapsed enrollment in the practicum is less than 90 calendar days. The BBS has issued a waiver that extends the lapsed enrollment period from 90 days to 180 days. Note that the waiver only applies to trainees who were last enrolled in a practicum course between March 31, 2020 and May 1, 2020. These trainees are permitted to counsel clients while not enrolled in practicum if the period of lapsed enrollment is less than 180 calendar days, and if that period is immediately preceded by enrollment in a practicum course and immediately followed by enrollment in a practicum course or completion of the degree program.
A link to the text of the wavier can be found here.