Interstate Counseling Compact
The LPCANC Board of Directors unanimously voted to support proposed North Carolina legislation to enter the Interstate Counseling Compact.
What is it?
The Counseling Compact is an interstate compact, or a contract among states, allowing professional counselors licensed and residing in a compact member state to practice in other compact member states without the need for multiple state licenses. The compact reduces barriers to interstate portability for LCMHCs and recognizes out-of-state workers, military spouses, and the need for uniformity in enforceable interstate licensure standards. It provides qualified professional clinical counselors to practice in all states that join the compact, which removes the necessity to obtain separate licenses in each desired state of practice. Additionally, it improves access to professional clinical counseling services, preserves and strengthen state licensure systems, enhances mobility and public safety, supports relocating military spouses, and improves continuity of care when clients travel or relocate.
COMPACT, 10 STATES, BENEFITS, & IMPACTS! CHECK IT OUT!
We are not alone. Licensure compacts exist for many professions! Nurses, Physical Therapists, Psychologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Audiologists. Compacts continue to be developed for other similar professions.
Think Facts Not Myths
- As with the existing licensure compacts, the Counseling Compact has no impact on a state's scope of practice - this is NOT a takeover of state regulatory authority.
- As with existing licensure compacts, the Counseling Compact leaves state-specific licensure requirements in place - this is NOT a takeover of state licensing systems.
- The Counseling compact enhances states' authority to protect the public and regulate the counseling profession.
- The Counseling Compact will have no significant fiscal implications for states.
Counseling Compact Vs. Universal Recognition
What sets apart a Counseling Compact from Universal Recognition is its uniquely tailored design to include all states within the compact contract agreement and its sole focus on one profession; whereas, universal recognition aims to incorporate all professions a state regulates, but only with regard to practice within the state's borders. Though universal recognition aims to be less restrictive, the compact is more advantageous in that regard. The compact allows military personnel and spouses to continue their profession when relocating, it allows for both face-to-face and Telehealth in multiple states, and it does not require professionals to change their state of residence. The universal recognition criteria excludes military personnel and spouses, requires a change of state residence, and does not completely guarantee a true reciprocity.
Click here to learn more about the differences between the Interstate Counseling Compact & Universal Licensure Recognition: Key Differences
HB 791: An Act To Establish And Enter Into An Interstate Compact For The Practice Of Professional Counseling
SB 545: An Act To Provide A Universal Recognition Process For Licensure, Certification, Or Registration For Individuals Who Establish Residence in This State
North Carolina's Compact Status
In our NC legislature, a bill is first introduced into a committee, is reviewed, and, then, passed over to the other chamber. The "Cross-Over" deadline is important to make note of. If a bill does not meet this deadline it has no future of becoming legislation within that session. The House-Senate Crossover Deadline is May 13, 2021. In the event this proposed compact legislation did not make progress this year, LPCANC would continue working and preparing for the 2022 NC Legislation Session. Our LPCANC Lobbyists have been actively monitoring the legislation and its progress. The proposed interstate compact was in draft stage until May 3, 2021 when it was officially filed as HB 791: An Act To Establish And Enter Into An Interstate Compact For The Practice Of Professional Counseling. The bill has been assigned to the House Health Committee.
LPCANC would like to thank Representative Diane Wheatley, Representative John Szoka, Representative Grier Martin, and Representative Gale Adcock for serving as the primary sponsors of HB 791: An Act To Establish And Enter Into An Interstate Compact For The Practice Of Professional Counseling. If passed the compact would:
- Enhance states' abilities to protect public health and safety
- Support spouses of relocating military members
- Allow a remote state to hold a provider of services with a compact privilege
in that state accountable to that state's practice standards
- Facilitate the use of Telehealth technology
We hope you will take the opportunity to reach out to your state representative to ask that he or she support HB 791 Licensed Counselors Interstate Compact. You can find contact information for your NC House representative here.