LPCC Frequently Asked Questions
- I already submitted fingerprints to the Board of Behavioral Sciences (Board) when I applied for a different license. Do I need to submit fingerprints again?
If you have submitted fingerprints to the Board in the past and are a current registrant, associate, or licensee with the Board, then you do not have to submit fingerprints again.
If you submit your application without fingerprints and the Board does not have any fingerprints on record, then the Board will notify you that you need to be fingerprinted before the Board can complete its evaluation of your application.
- I'm not sure whether or not I qualify for LPCC licensure. Can I go over all of my experience and education with someone at the Board before I send in my application and pay the application fee?
No. The Board will only review your education and experience if you submit an application with the required fee. The application fee is an earned, non-refundable fee to cover the costs of reviewing and evaluating an applicant's information.
If you would like personal assistance with determining whether or not you qualify for LPCC licensure, then there are a couple of organizations currently offering assistance with the LPCC application process.
The California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors is offering its members assistance with the application process. Visit their Web site at http://calpcc.org/ for more information on becoming a member.
Alliant International University is also offering free assistance with the LPCC application. You can contact Alliant's Continuing Education Division at 1-800-457-1273 or CE@alliant.edu. The Board does not endorse the services provided by Alliant University, or any other entity, and consultation with Alliant or any other entity, does not preclude or supplant Board evaluation of an individual's education, training and coursework.
- I'm currently registered with the Board as an MFT Intern and would like to apply for LPCC licensure through the Traditional path. What do I need to do?
You must apply for a professional clinical counselor intern registration. Once you receive your registration number, you may begin accruing experience hours towards licensure. You may count experience hours towards both LMFT and LPCC licensure as long as you maintain a current MFT and PCC intern registration with the Board and the experience meets the requirements for each license.
- How is the LPCC different from an LMFT or LCSW?
Please refer to the scope of practice for each license type in the Business and Professions Code. The Board's Web site also provides an outline of each license's scope of practice (http://www.bbs.ca.gov/consumer/what_is.shtml).
- Does the school have to mail the Board my official transcripts or can I mail them to the Board?
Either the school or the applicant may mail the transcripts, as long as they are official, sealed transcripts. For more efficient processing of your application and to ensure the Board receives all application materials, you may want to send all documents together.
- I graduated from my master's program last year. Can I still apply to be a PCC Intern?
Yes. You may apply for PCC intern registration at any time. However, you cannot count any postdegree hours of experience until you are a registered intern with the Board unless you submit your intern application within 90 days of your degree conferral date. If you submit your intern registration application within 90 days, then you may count post degree experience hours gained after your degree conferral date.
- My school is closed. How do I get an official transcript and/or have someone sign off on my Degree Program Certification form?
Please refer to the What to do When the Board Requests Course Syllabi fact sheet located on the LPCC Schools Web page for a list of organizations that may be of assistance.
- How do I know if I need to submit course syllabi?
If you have an out-of-state degree, you must submit course syllabi, EXCEPT those who graduated from a CACREP accredited program in 1983 or later ONLY need to submit syllabi for course(s) claimed to meet the "principles of the diagnostic process" core content area. The Board may require additional syllabi after evaluating your application.
Please refer to the What to do When the Board Requests Course Syllabi fact sheet located on the LPCC Schools Web page for more information on the syllabus requirement.
- Who may sign the Degree Program Certification form and/or the Additional Coursework Certification form as an "Authorized Designee"?
The school determines who is allowed to sign these forms as the "Authorized Designee."
- I have not taken many of the additional courses required for LPCC licensure, but I have extensive work experience in most of these areas. Can I count my work experience towards the coursework requirements?
No. Experience may not be substituted for the education requirements. However, if you are applying as a Non-BBS-Licensed individual through the "grandparenting" path, then you may remediate up to two core content areas with experience as a graduate level counselor educator for courses taught that are equivalent to the core content areas.
- What is a contact hour?
A "contact hour" is an hour of instruction. One hour of instruction is equal to one continuing education (CE) hour. One semester unit is equal to 15 contact hours. One quarter unit is equal to 10 contact hours.
"Grandparenting" Path Applicants
- I taught graduate level courses that are equivalent to the core content areas. Can my experience as a counselor educator count towards the required nine core content areas?
If your qualifying degree program contains at least seven of the nine required core content areas, then you may receive credit for up to two deficient core content areas if you can provide documentation verifying that you taught graduate level courses that were equivalent to the core content areas.
- How long do I have to remediate all of the deficiencies outlined in the deficiency letter I received from the Board?
You have one year from the date you receive a deficiency notice from the Board to submit proof that you have remediated those deficiencies. Your application will not be complete and you cannot move forward in the licensing process until you submit all required documentation.
- How do I sign up to take the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) or the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE)?
Once the Board completes its evaluation of your application, you will receive a notice from the Board outlining any deficiencies that need to be remediated and information on registering for the required examinations. You will also receive a National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) examination registration form that you must complete and send to NBCC with the necessary fee.
- How can I retake the NCMHCE or the NCE?
A re-registration form may be downloaded from the NBCC's Web site. You must complete this form and send it to NBCC with the necessary fee.
- Once I pass the NCMHCE or NCE, will the Board automatically receive my scores?
If you first received a notice from the Board before you took the examination, then your scores will be automatically sent to the Board.
If you did not first receive a notice from the Board, then you must request NBCC to send the Board a score verification certificate. The Board will not accept unofficial score reports. NBCC score verification certificates do not have to be in a sealed envelope.
- How do I request special accommodations for any of the exams?
You must submit a request for accommodation to the Board at least 90 days before the date you wish to take your examination. The Request for Accommodation of Disabilities Package is available on the Board' Web site under the "Forms and Publications".
If you need special accommodations for NBCC-administered exams, then once the Board reviews your request, the Board will forward approved accommodations to NBCC. NBCC is responsible for the provision of special accommodations, so any questions or concerns regarding the accommodations provided at the testing site should be directed to NBCC.
What study guides are available for taking the exams?
The NBCC provides a candidate handbook and study materials for the NCMHCE and the NCE on their Web site (http://www.nbcc.org/directory/CA).
Candidate handbooks for the GAP and the Jurisprudence and Ethics examinations are available on our "Forms and Publications page and PSI's Web site (PSI is the exam administrator).
The California Association for Professional Clinical Counselors Web site also provides information on examination study materials.
How long do I have to pass the exams?
You have one year from the date of your deficiency letter sent by the Board to pass all of the required examinations.
Out-of-State Education or Experience
- I am licensed in another state as a counselor. Does California provide reciprocity?
No, California does not provide reciprocity. You must apply for licensure and meet all education, experience, and examination requirements stipulated in law. Please refer to the Business and Professions Code, commencing with section 4999.10, and Title 16, California Code of Regulations, commencing with section 1820, for education, experience, and examination requirements for LPCC licensure. The Board's Web site also provides an overview of the LPCC licensure requirements. Specific information is available on our LPCC Out-of-State Applicants page.
- I've been licensed as a clinical counselor in another state for one year. Do I have to apply as an intern first, or can I apply directly for examination eligibility?
If you have been licensed in another state for less than two years, then you must first register as a PCC Intern in order to gain 250 hours of supervised experience in California. Once you gain this in-state experience and meet all other requirements, then you may apply for examination eligibility. If you have been licensed for two years or more, you may apply directly for examination eligibility.
- I am a licensed clinical counselor in another state. Can I use the "Verification of Licensure in Another State" form to verify my experience instead of having my supervisor fill out the "Experience Verification" form? Can the other state licensing board just send the Board all of my experience records that they have on file?
You can use the "Verification of Licensure in Another State" form, but if the Board is not able to verify that you meet all of the California experience requirements based on the information provided by the other state licensing agency, then you will need to submit the "Experience Verification" form.
The other state licensing agency may submit the experience records they have on file for you, but these records must be submitted by the agency, not you. The Board may require you to submit the "Experience Verification" form if the information provided by the other state licensing agency does not verify that you meet all of the California experience requirements.
- I'm currently enrolled in an online master's degree, but I plan on moving to California before I finish my degree program. Would my degree be considered an in-state degree or an out-of-state degree?
A degree is "out-of-state" if you resided in another state when you completed the degree program, or when the degree was conferred. If you move to California to finish your degree, then your degree would be an in-state degree.