Rehabilitation Counselor Requirements in Virginia: Certified Rehabilitation Providers

The Virginia Board of Counseling is the regulatory authority for many of the state's rehabilitation professionals. Individuals with bachelor's degrees or RN licenses can be certified as Certified Rehabilitation Providers. Those with education at the master's level may be eligible for credentialing as Licensed Professional Counselors.

The LPC is a generalist license. Rehabilitation counselors may seek adjunct credentialing as Certified Rehabilitation Counselors, or CRCs. Some Virginia civil service rehabilitation counseling positions are specifically for individuals who have either earned a CRC or whose education qualifies them for CRC examination. The CRC is also accepted as an alternative examination for individuals seeking certification as Certified Rehabilitation Providers.

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Certified Rehabilitation Provider Requirements

The foundation for certification is a baccalaureate degree or RN license. The individual will need to accrue 2,000 hours of training and/or work experience under supervision. The supervisee must perform services applicable to workers' compensation claimants. Supervised internship may be credited toward the work experience requirement. Supervision must total at least 100 hours. The trainee should average two hours of supervision per week.

The supervisor must meet credentialing and experience requirements set by the Board. The Board can accept supervision by a professional who holds licensing in any of a variety of fields (for example, clinical social work or substance abuse treatment) provided that the practitioner has the requisite experience in rehabilitation counseling. Supervision by a CRP is also permissible, provided the CRP holds an accepted national certification or meets the Board's experience requirements.

The rehabilitation provider will also need to pass a state administered examination unless he or she possesses current certification as a CRC or as a Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS). The CRC examination is currently offered only to individuals with education at the master's level or higher.

The "forms" section of the Board website includes a list of frequently asked questions that addresses who does, and does not, need to seek certification as a Virginia CRP. Application forms can be downloaded from the same page (https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/counseling/counseling_forms.htm#Rehab).

There is a $90 application fee at the Certified Rehabilitation Provider level. The prospective certificate holder will need to submit transcripts. Application materials include a form that must be completed and submitted by a supervisor.

Rehabilitation Counselor LPC License Requirements

Education: A prospective LPC must earn a graduate degree and must complete at least 60 semester hours of graduate counseling coursework. He or she will need at least one three semester hour course in each of the following:

  • Psychotherapy and counseling theories
  • Psychotherapy and counseling techniques
  • Professional counseling identity and ethics
  • Human growth and development
  • Career counseling and development
  • Multicultural counseling
  • Abnormal behavior and psychopathology
  • Appraisal, diagnosis, and evaluation
  • Diagnosis and treatment of addiction disorder
  • Group counseling theories and techniques
  • Marriage and family systems
  • Research

The program is to include at least 600 hours of internship.

The Board notes that coursework reviews are based on when supervised practice began.

Residency: The prospective LPC must complete a 3,400 hour residency. The licensing agency specifies that the residency is to provide experience with a variety of populations and clinical problems. The resident is to practice a range of counseling services, including case management, treatment, and diagnosis. The prospective licensee must submit a supervisory plan at the onset.

The resident will need 200 hours of supervision over the course of the experience period. Supervision hours are to be provided by an experienced and licensed mental health professional; at least 100 of the required hours are to be provided by an LPC.

Graduate level internship hours may be credited if they were in excess of the 600 required. A maximum of 300 graduate hours may be credited.

Examination: The Virginia Board of Counseling has approved the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). It is administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. Candidates will seek Board approval before submitting their registration materials to the NBCC. The examination fee is currently listed as $275. A registrant will schedule at an AMP assessment center after receiving confirmation from the NBCC; this process may take four weeks. Examinations can be scheduled in Virginia in Fredericksburg, Norfolk, Richmond, or Roanoke. Candidates are also authorized to schedule at any of more than 180 AMP assessment centers around the nation. The NBCC has provided an information page specifically for Virginia candidates (http://www.nbcc.org/directory/VA).

The License Application Process

Prospective LPCs will come under Board jurisdiction when they register their supervision. They will submit transcripts at the registration stage.

Application forms can be downloaded from the Board website (https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/counseling/counseling_forms.htmApplicants). Applicants must affirm having read the regulations.

The LPC application fee is $140.

An out-of-state licensee who does not meet Virginia’s education and experience standards may be licensed if he or she has practiced at least 24 of the prior 60 months (and has met the standards of his or her own jurisdiction). The same application package is used for license by requirements and license by endorsement.

Adjunct CRC Certification

Certification as a CRC is granted by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. It may be achieved more quickly by students who complete CORE-accredited rehabilitation counseling programs. However, individuals with master’s degrees in counseling and related fields can be certified after a work experience period. They must also complete coursework in particular areas mandated by the CRCC. Once approved, candidates take a multiple choice examination that covers medical, psychosocial, and functional aspects of disability, vocational consultation and employer services, and mental health counseling, as well as seven other content areas identified by the CRCC (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/crc_exam_overview/120.php). The examination is available three times per year.

Additional Information

Credentialing information is available from the Virginia Board of Counseling (https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/counseling/). The Board can be reached by email at 'coun at dhp.virginia.gov'. Regulations change periodically. The Board has stated that applicants have the responsibility of staying current on regulatory change.

State professional associations include the Virginia Rehabilitation Association (https://www.vra.org) and the Virginia Chapter of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (https://connect.rehabpro.org/virginia/home).

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