GA LPC Requirements – Clarifying Facts and Busting Myths
The following information is based upon 7 years on the GA Composite Board , enforcing GA LPC Requirements and processing over 7000 LPC/LAPC applications. I provide LPC supervision and ethics workshops for LPC SW and MFT. The following is also valuable info for GA LPC CPCS Supervisors.
In order to best utilize this page, click on the following companion links. They will open in a new browser window so you can refer back to this page while you study this information. Much of the information is also applicable to social workers and marriage and family therapists.
1) CEU Requirements made simple.
2) Weekly updates with the most accurate info available on compliance with psychological testing and diagnosing requirements in Georgia
3) Inside tips for supervisors and LAPC’s on the licensing process for LPC’s
4) ETHICS CEU WORKSHOPS FOR GA CPCS
5) “Understanding Composite Board Complaints and Investigations” Atlanta ethics CEU training
7) Subscribe to my “Ethics Demystified” newsletter for breaking news–directly in your mailbox
Understanding GA LPC requirements can be confusing. Particularly for new graduates and applicants. I will explain ways for making the process easier. This is also valuable info for GA LPC CPCS supervisors.
Georgia Composite Board Rules. At the top menu hover your mouse over ‘ Laws Rules and Policies ‘. Select ‘ Board Rules ‘. Attest to the copyright agreement. The page will display 11 headings. Click on “Requirements for Licensure”.
What is the difference between Composite Board Rules and Georgia Law?
There are two components related to enforcing psychotherapy practice: law and rules. There are several GA law sections applicable to the board. The Composite Board writes rules based upon these laws.
1) Our Practice Law. GA Code 43-10A-11. This section of Georgia Law governs scope of practice for LPC LCSW and MFT’s, educational requirements the process for governor appointments and general board procedures.
2) The Georgia Administrative Procedures Act.
3) Sections of Georgia’s Criminal Code.
4) GA Code chapter, “Evidence”. Limits patient communication and information (“privilege”) admissible as evidence in court proceedings.
Our Practice Law requires the board to write rules for the purposes of establishing licensing and CEU requirements, a code of ethics and so on. The GA LPC Requirements and Rules cannot violate either our Practice Law or other Georgia Law. The rules can only further clarify the law and add detail. A key role of the board attorney is to render legal opinions so the board can ensure a rule doesn’t violate law (you may notice that whenever the board proposes a rule change, a notice is posted on the Secretary of State website stating the proposed rule change is not in violation of law.) The board does not make the law. It enforces law and writes rules that interpret it.
A great example of this is that historically the Board has denied advanced practice nurses as eligible supervisors because the GA law requires supervisors to be psychiatrists, psychologists or LPC LCSW LMFT–they cannot be approved as supervisors per law. Within the law however, the board can write rules that clarify and provide detailed requirements for licensure.
Composite Board Rules
The Chapter 135, “Requirements for Licensure” are board rules and not our practice law. As the needs of the public and profession change, so do the rules. The board has flexibility for changing the rules even when the law has not changed.
How can I maximize the chances that my license will be approved?
First: thoroughly study the requirements for licensure. The most important paragraph of the licensing application rule is “…year of post masters directed experience under supervision in a work setting acceptable to the board.” Nearly every word in that sentence is accompanied by a definition. Read the “Definitions” section carefully. Do not READ INTO the rules. If a rule is not explicit, don’t assume it is a requirement. If a rule is explicit, assume it will be enforced. If you thoroughly understand the GA Composite Board licensing requirements, you can most likely complete the application without assistance. Your clinical supervisor should at minimum understand proper submission of forms and the licensing application process. Your professional association- LPCA, GAMFT, NASW-GA- can provide limited assistance. The objective is getting your licensing application approved and not have to go through a denial/appeals process. Check your application thoroughly before submitting it.
In fact, apply the same diligent study to any section of the rules–the new 2015 GA Telemental Health rules and training requirements, our codes of ethics, supervised experience, CEU requirements, diagnose and so on. The Composite Board of LPC LCSW and LMFT does not expect you to interpret our practice law, but know the rules.
Here are four exercises to help you learn how to read the rules:
1) Can a Supervisor provide Supervision in a place outside of their office?
2) Do hours of telephone counseling count towards my hours of Directed Experience?
3) Psychiatrists can legally practice psychotherapy in Georgia. Can I substitute one of the Two Years of required Supervision by an LPC with Supervision by a psychiatrist?
4) I am in Group Supervision. The rules say ‘one supervisor with a maximum of 6 supervisees’. There are 7 supervisees in my group, but it is led by 2 supervisors. Is this qualified Group Supervision?
Read the rules and ponder: Does my situation meet the stated requirements? Am I reading into the rules? Hint: note the terms above that are capitalized and refer to them in the Definitions section which can be found at the beginning of “Requirements for Licensure”.
Important Strategies for Completing the Application
1) Less is more! Provide only the documents that are requested. The larger your application, the more difficult it is to process. If the board needs more info, they will request it. If submitting on paper, print large and legibly.
2) Though not always possible, provide a single Form C (directed experience) and a single Form E (supervisor).
3) Submit application for LAPC as soon as you meet requirements. All other things equal, transcripts, practicum and internship will not need to be reviewed again when you apply for your full LPC.
4) Try to submit your application 3 weeks prior to the date of the monthly Board meeting. The board will likely review and vote on your application at that meeting. 2017 Composite Board Meeting Schedule, Macon GA.
GA Composite Board Application Review Process
The GA Composite Board of LPC SW and MFT does not pre-review applications. Questions about applications are generally not addressed via telephone. The applications are processed in the context of the official meetings. You must submit all required documents. Board staff will present it to the board at the next meeting. The LPC standards committee reviews it. Their decision is presented to the board for a vote. You will usually be notified of the decision prior to the next board meeting via U.S. mail. If your application is denied you may appeal. You may also request a face to face meeting at the board offices in Macon GA. Use the meeting to clarify what the board may have missed in their review. Together, you can review again whether you have met GA LPC requirements. Remember: The GA Composite Board is overwhelmed with work so submit a clean and clear application.
Wishing you much success as a therapist and peer!- Eric.
The Georgia Council on Problem Gambling generously sponsors a 5 CEU One of a kind Ethics!: Understanding and Avoiding Composite Board Ethics Complaints”. Ethics for LPC LCSW and MFT are all governed by the same rule section so register regardless of your license.