Rehabilitation Counselor Requirements in Idaho: How to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor in Idaho

Idaho counselors are master’s level professionals. They are state licensed unless they fall under exemption categories described in Title 54 (http://legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title54/T54CH34SECT54-3402.htm).

A rehabilitation counselor can be state licensed if he or she meets requirements of the Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists. Idaho issues two counseling licenses, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). A rehabilitation counselor can earn the higher license, though it will entail meeting some requirements that are focused on mental health and/ or clinical practice.

Organizations like Vocational Rehabilitation (http://www.vr.idaho.gov/) have requirements that are different than the professional counseling board; they are more specific to rehabilitation counseling. It is possible, however, to meet both sets of requirements.

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Educational requirements for those seeking LPC Licensure as a Rehabilitation Counselor

An individual who seeks state licensure as an LPC will need to complete a planned graduate program of at least 60 semester hours that includes an advanced practicum of at least six semester hours (http://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/24/1501.pdf). The student must earn a degree at the master’s level or higher.

Idaho will accept programs that are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or the Commission on Rehabilitation Counseling Education (CORE) or that otherwise meet requirements outlined in state rule. A program not accredited by CACREP or CORE may be approved if it includes an appropriately supervised practicum as well as coursework in eight content areas identified by the Board. They are as follows:

  • The helping relationship
  • Human growth and development
  • Social and cultural foundations
  • Research and evaluation
  • Appraisal of individuals
  • Career and lifestyle development
  • Groups
  • Professional orientation

CORE is the traditional accrediting agency for counseling rehabilitation counseling. Completion of a CORE-accredited program facilitates third party certification. An individual can be nationally certified as a rehabilitation counselor on the basis of a master's program as short as 48 semester hours provided that the program was CORE-accredited.

Rehabilitation Counselor/LPC Supervised Practice Requirements

An individual who seeks licensure as an LPC will need to complete 1,000 hours of supervised counseling experience; the Idaho Board will credit internship taken at the graduate level, but only if the experience meets supervision requirements delineated in state rule.

The LCPC license requires fully 2,000 hours of client contact, earned after licensure. At least 1,000 of the hours must be under the supervision of a clinical professional counselor who is registered with the Board; the Board will accept supervision by another appropriately credentialed professional for the remaining hours. The supervisory recommendation can influence the licensing process.

All experience requirements for third party rehabilitation counselor certification can be met in the context of university-supervised internship, provided that the program is CORE-accredited. A graduate of a master’s program not accredited by CORE will need experience providing rehabilitation counseling services. If the program was in rehabilitation counseling but did not have the preferred accreditation, the requirement is 12 months (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/eligibility_requirements/69.php).

Examination Requirement

A candidate for LPC licensure will need to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE); this is a generalist counseling examination offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. An Idaho candidate is allowed to register directly with the NBCC; the NBCC will require an official graduate transcript (http://www.nbcc.org/stateboardmap//ID). The candidate will also need to remit $195. The approval process may take a month; an approved candidate will be allowed to schedule his or her own computer-based testing session, either at the Pearson VUE assessment center in Boise or at an approved center located in another state. Examinations are available on a monthly basis.

A professional who seeks third party rehabilitation counseling will take the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examination. The examination is available three times per year. Students in CORE-accredited programs may be registered before graduation. Information is available from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/eligibility_requirements/69.php).

A counselor who seeks the higher state license will take the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). This is also offered by the NBCC and entails a similar process as the NCE.

The Application Process

License application forms are available from the website of the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses (http://ibol.idaho.gov/IBOL/BoardAdditional.aspx?Bureau=COU&BureauLinkID=930).

Official transcripts will be required at the LPC level.

The applicant will need to attach a recent passport photo and have the application notarized. He or she will attest to having read the state laws and rules that govern professional practice.

There is an application fee of $75 at ether the LPC or LCPC level; the $75 initial licensure fee is paid at the same time.

An individual who registers as an intern will pay a $25 application fee.

All license application materials should be in at least seven days in advance of a scheduled Board meeting.

Additional Information

The Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists (http://ibol.idaho.gov/IBOL/BoardAdditional.aspx?Bureau=COU&BureauLinkID=100) can be reached at (208) 334-3233. An applicant or other interested individual can reach a board specialist by emailing ‘cou at ibol.idaho.gov’.

The Idaho Counseling Association is an additional professional resource (http://www.idahocounseling.org).

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