Rehabilitation Counselor License Requirements in Massachusetts

Massachusetts rehabilitation counselors are licensed as Licensed Rehabilitation Counselors by the Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Human Service Professions. The license is granted on the basis of graduate education, examination, and supervised practice.

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Education Requirements for those seeking Rehabilitation Counselor Licensure

A prospective rehabilitation counselor must earn a master's or doctoral degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field. The Board considers counselor education and psychology to be related fields. An education degree could be accepted if the concentration was in counseling or psychology. Other degrees may, at Board discretion, be determined related. The program from a recognized institution: that is, one that is state licensed and meets national standards.

The program is to be at least 48 semester hours and is to include an internship as well as coursework in each of the following content areas:

  • Medical aspects of disability
  • Vocational evaluation and assessment
  • Job placement and development/ transferable skill development
  • Vocational and affective counseling
  • Development of rehabilitation plans

Students are allowed to make up some coursework outside the degree. The Board may accept internship completed post-degree. The experience must, however, be part of a clearly defined program. Written evaluations must be in accordance with Board rule.

Examination Requirements

The required examination is the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Examination offered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). This exam is typically taken as part of a certification process. After establishing eligibility, paying fees, and passing the examination, a candidate can become a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, or CRC. Students who are enrolled in programs accredited by the Commission on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) may take it before graduation. Students who enroll in rehabilitation counseling programs that are not CORE-accredited will be eligible after one to two years of work experience. If the student had a 600 hour internship that was supervised by a CRC, the work experience requirement may be met in 12 months. Students who complete programs in other counseling disciplines have a variable experience requirement.

The CRC examination is administered three times a year. Materials must be submitted more than four months in advance. Application can be made online (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/forms___fees/70.php). Once approved, the candidate can schedule at his or her choice of more than 300 Prometric assessment centers (https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/crcc/Pages/landing.aspx).

The Massachusetts Board does not mandate that rehabilitation counselors are certified, merely that they have passed the exam.

CRCC can be reached at 847-944-1325. Questions about the examination/ certification process can be sent by email contact form (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/contact_us/4.php).

Supervision/Experience Requirements

The prospective licensee will need to work under supervision for the equivalent of two full-time years. The Board considers 35 hours a week full-time; 48 such weeks can be credited as a year. The requirement may be reduced by an amount equal to one-half the internship hours accrued in a qualifying 48 semester hour program.

Experience can be accepted if performed under the supervision of an approved supervisor or in a clinic or hospital that is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, licensed by the Department of Mental Health, or considered equivalent.

The trainee will need 200hours of supervision. At least 100 must be individual. At the time of application, the supervisor will supply verification. The form asks the professional who provided supervision to confirm the belief that he or she meets the definition of an approved supervisor.

An approved supervisor may be a CRC or a licensed rehabilitation counselor. Other professionals may be approved if they have five years of experience in rehabilitation counseling. The professional may have a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling or a qualifying related field. He or she may have training at the doctoral level as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Supervisor requirements are describe in Board rules and regulations (http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/mh/regulations/rules-and-regs/262-cmr-400.html).

The Application Process

Application materials can be downloaded from the website of the Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Human Service Professions (http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/mh/forms/).

Individuals are asked to obtain a copy of the relevant state code (262 CMR) before application. The code is available online (http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/mh/regulations/rules-and-regs/). An applicant may also call (617) 727-2834 to receive a copy.

Graduate transcripts should be included in sealed envelopes.

Internship and post-degree supervised practice are to be documented by the approved supervisor.

The application packet also includes reference forms; these should be completed by the most recent supervisors. The Board requires at least two references.

The Board will accept an examination score report or current CRCC membership certificate as evidence that the examination requirement has been met.

The application fee is $117; a separate licensing fee will be assessed later.

The applicant will attach a small photograph to the application form.

Applicants who answer “yes” to questions about adverse legal or professional history are directed to attach explanation.

The applicant will need to sign a consent form for a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check.

Identity must be verified. If the applicant hand delivers his or her application, a Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) employee can verify identity. Otherwise, a notary may verify identity.

Out-of-state licensees are to provide official license verification. (This is the case even if the license was issued in another profession.)

An applicant who submits an incomplete application package will be granted six months to provide documentation that all requirements have been met.

Other Licensing Options: Mental Health Counseling Licensure

An individual whose educational background is in rehabilitation counseling is also eligible for mental health counseling licensure, provided additional requirements are met; rehabilitation counseling is accepted as a related degree (http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/mh/regulations/rules-and-regs/262-cmr-200.html). A prospective LMHC will need at least 60 total semester hours of qualifying education. There are additional coursework requirements (for example, psychopathology). The prospective LMHC will need to take the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). Total experience requirements are comparable, but there are a number of differences in mandates. The LMHC credential will, for example, need some supervision by an LMHC.

Additional Information

Licensing information is available from the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Human Service Professions (http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/mh). The Board can be reached at 617-727-3080.

The International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals-New England is an additional professional resource (https://connect.rehabpro.org/newengland/home).

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