Vol. 36 Iss. 9 - December 23, 2019

Chapter 20
Withdrawal of Proposed Regulation

Title of Regulation: 18VAC115-20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Professional Counseling (amending 18VAC115-20-49).

Statutory Authority: ยง 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Notice is hereby given that the Board of Counseling has WITHDRAWN the proposed regulatory action for 18VAC115-20, Regulations Governing the Practice of Professional Counseling, which was published in 33:19 VA.R. 2132-2141 May 15, 2017. On November 22, 2019, the Board of Counseling voted to withdraw its proposed action to require Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accreditation for counseling education programs. In doing so, the board acknowledges that there continues to be opposition but has also reiterated its support for accreditation. Accreditation of educational programs is the standard by which health regulatory boards determine quality and consistency.

The core function of the boards that license health professions is the protection of the health and safety of the public, and essential to that responsibility is the assurance of minimal competency to practice. Boards have neither the expertise nor the resources to evaluate every educational program to determine whether its offerings, its facilities, and its faculty meet minimal standards. Accordingly, health regulatory boards rely on national accrediting bodies to perform that function. In social work, the board requires graduation from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. In psychology, the board relies on accreditation of programs by the American Psychological Association in clinical or counseling psychology. Likewise, other boards at the Department of Health Professions require graduation from a program with national accreditation as an indication of competency in educational preparation to practice.

Statements made during official comment periods and by persons outside of comment periods have contained inaccuracies. For example, CACREP does not require all faculty to be graduates of a CACREP-accredited program. Only about half of classes must be taught by core faculty, and that faculty must have a background in counselor education; the rest of the faculty may come from other disciplines. Likewise, numerous comments have been made about the board's attempt to limit licensure by endorsement to only applicants from CACREP-accredited programs. To the contrary, the board has proposed additional options to its current requirements for licensure by endorsement that provide greater opportunity for applicants from other states. While the Board of Counseling acknowledges that this may not be the appropriate time for promulgating this regulation, it firmly believes that accreditation is the best way to assure educational competency and protect the public.

Agency Contact: Jaime Hoyle, Executive Director, Board of Counseling, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23233, telephone (804) 367-4406, FAX (804) 527-4435, or email

VA.R. Doc. No. R14-36; Filed December 5, 2019, 11:38 a.m.