Pre-2012 LPCC In-State Applicant Requirements

The following is a brief overview of the requirements for an in-state LPCC applicant, who enrolled in a qualifying degree program prior to August 1, 2012, and completed their program on or before December 31, 2018. In-state applicants must register as a Professional Clinical Counselor Intern (PCCI) upon graduation in order to gain hours of experience. Upon receipt of an application deficiency notice, if one is necessary, the applicant will have one year to remedy any application deficiencies identified in the BBS' evaluation. The intern registration cannot be issued until deficiencies have been resolved.

Education Requirements

The education requirements described in the section below, apply only to applicants who enrolled in a qualifying degree program prior to August 1, 2012 and completed their program on or before December 31, 2018.

(Sources: Business and Professions Code Sections 4999.32; California Code of Regulations Title 16, Section 1806.)

Please see the Board’s Post- 2012 LPCC In-State Applicant Requirements, for qualifying degree programs beginning, on or after August 1, 2012, or completed after December 31, 2018.

 

Degree Requirements

Applicants must possess a master's or doctoral degree that is at least 48 semester or 72 quarter units and "counseling or psychotherapy in content and from a regionally accredited or Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) approved institution, as defined under BPC Section 4999.12." Specifically, this means a degree must include:

  • Seven of nine required core content areas;
  • Six semester or nine quarter units of supervised practicum or field study with a minimum of 150 hours of face-to-face supervised clinical experience counseling individuals, families, or groups; and,
  • A minimum of twelve semester units or eighteen quarter units of advanced coursework.

If an applicant's degree includes only seven of the nine core content areas, the missing two content areas can be completed via post-master's or postdoctoral coursework at a regionally accredited or BPPE approved institution, as defined under BPC Section 4999.12. LPCC programs offering the required coursework may be found through the California Association of Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (CALPCC) website, or the Board's Schools with LPCC-related Programs page.

Additional Coursework

Additional coursework requirements, which can be a part of the qualifying degree program or completed after earning a degree, are:

  • A two semester or three quarter unit course in psychopharmacology;
  • 15 contact hours of training in alcoholism and other chemical substance abuse dependency;
  • 10 contact hours of training in human sexuality;
  • 15 contact hours of training in spousal or partner abuse assessment, detection, and intervention;
  • Seven contact hours of training in child abuse assessment and reporting;
  • 18 contact hours of training in California law and professional ethics;
  • 10 contact hours of training in aging and long-term care; and,
  • 15 contact hours of instruction in crisis or trauma counseling.

With the exception of the course in psychopharmacology, which must be a two semester unit or three quarter unit survey course, the additional coursework requirements can be fulfilled with either university courses or approved continuing education providers. The Board’s Continuing Education Provider Information page contains additional information on approved continuing education providers. The CALPCC website also provides valuable continuing education information for applicants.

Supervised Work Experience Requirements

Supervised work experience must be gained after the conferral date of the applicant's qualifying degree. All hours of supervised work experience must be gained while registered as a PCCI, with the exception of the following:

  • Supervised work experience hours gained immediately after graduation, but prior to registration as a PCCI, may be credited towards experience requirements, provided they:
    1. a. Apply for PCCI registration within 90 days of the qualifying degree conferral date; and
    2. b. Complete application deficiencies within one year of being notified and receive the registration number.
  • Supervised work experience gained out of state, no more than six years prior to the date the application for examination eligibility is filed.

Additionally, a PCCI cannot work or gain supervised experience in a private practice setting, until officially registered with the BBS.

Supervised Weeks

In order to qualify for licensure examination eligibility, a PCCI must complete at least 104 weeks of supervision. The minimum amount of supervision required per week is either one hour of individual supervision or two hours of group supervision. Of the 104 weeks of supervision, at least 52 weeks must be weeks in which the registrant received at least one hour of individual supervision.

A PCCI working in a governmental entity, a school, a college, or a university, or an institution that is both non-profit and charitable may obtain the required direct supervisor contact via videoconferencing.

Hours of Experience

In order to claim any work experience towards the required 3,000 hours of experience, a PCCI must receive at least one hour of individual supervision or two hours of group supervision during the same week that the hours were gained. A PCCI who earns in excess of 10 hours of direct counseling work experience in a week, must obtain one additional hour of individual or two additional hours of group supervision. A maximum of 40 hours of work experience may be gained in a week. Additionally, at least 150 hours of clinical experience must be gained in a hospital or community mental health setting.

Detailed breakdowns for the categories of supervised experience, which an applicant may claim are found in the Board’s New Option for Supervised Experience Categories document.

Examination Eligibility

Once a PCCI meets all experience requirements, they will submit the application for examination eligibility. The law stipulates that at the time the Board receives the application for examination eligibility, the qualifying supervised work experience shall be gained no more than six years prior to application.

For example, the Board receives Susan's application for LPCC examination eligibility on April 27, 2013. The hours of supervised work experience earned between April 27, 2007 and April 27, 2013 will meet the six-year requirement.

Examinations

Applicants must receive a passing score on the following examinations:

  1. California Law and Ethics Examination
  2. National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE)

Applicants must first pass the California Law and Ethics Examination before they can take the NCMHCE. Please continue to check the Board’s website for future updates relating to LPCC licensure requirements.

(Sources Business and Professions Code Sections 4999.45, 4999.46, California Code of Regulations Title 16, Section 1820.)

Fingerprinting Requirements

All applicants must be fingerprinted with the BBS. The Applicant Fingerprinting Requirements provides specific information on the fingerprinting process.

Application Packets