HB1028 

Introduced by: The Committee on Health & Human Services at the request of the Board for Counselor Examiners and Marriage and Family Therapists

This bill proposes changes to the current licensing structure in South Dakota for counselors. For a section by section summary of what has been changed, click Here

Here is a full copy of the bill.  HB1028P.pdf

LRC Website

A Letter from SDCA Addressing Commonly Asked Questions

As the New Year begins work continues to update the Counselor Practice Code in South Dakota.  As many of you are aware of the State Codified Code that counselor license operate under is more than 20 years old.  In the past months SDCA and SDMHCA have worked with Jennifer Stalley the Counseling Board Executive Secretary to modernize and streamline the code while maintaining the highest professional standards for the counselor profession in our state.

With the start of the 2019 legislative session the Counseling Board will submit a “Board Bill” HB 1028 to the legislature that aims to move the licensure to a single tier license in SD.  As stated the goal is to streamline the process of professionals getting licensed.  As the professional organization that represents SD counselors, we have taken a position of leadership that supports this effort.  We know that there continue to be questions and we would like to take this opportunity to try and answer some of these.

FAQ

Q   "If I am currently under a plan of supervision for my LPC-MH should I continue to track hours and test, or just wait until this new bill comes though?"

Yes,  continue to track as prior, at this point nothing has changed and there is no guarantee that any changes will be approved by the legislature or signed into law by the Governor.  No one should do anything different at this point.

Q "Does this address proving telehealth with clients both in and outside of SD?"

The code does provides the following concerning telehealth services 

   - SECTION 48. Any person who, while located outside this state, practices counseling through electronic means and provides the counseling services to a patient located in this state, is   engaged in the practice of counseling in this state.
   - SECTION 49. Any services provided by a licensee or supervisee through electronic means shall comply with the provisions of this chapter

 - Currently, counselors are able and are providing different types of telehealth services. Counselors are advised to consult their ethics and other professionals to receive assistance and supervision in this area.

Q  "Will I lose my license? "

No one will lose their license.  If you currently hold an LPC this license will remain intact.  There had been some discussion of grandfathering

Q "Are LPCs going to be grandfathered in to the LPC-MH?"

This is an on going point of discussion.  Currently the plan is that any one with an LPC can maintain their LPC.  If an LPC wishes to move up to the next level they will be required to follow the prescribed process. 

Q  "I am applying to be an LPC, should I get an LPC-MH supervisor or just an LPC?"

This would depend on the ultimate licensure goal.  If your goal is an LPC then and LPC supervisor is sufficient. If you plan to gain the LPC-MH you will eventually need an MH supervisor.  If the new code is passed the only license issued going forward will be the LPC-MH and you will   require and MH supervisor. 

Q "What happens if I am already working on a plan of supervision toward LPC?"

Any person who has been issued a plan of supervision as a licensed professional counselor as of June 30, 2019, shall complete two thousand hours of supervision, as prescribed by the board, notwithstanding the supervision requirements of section 22, and shall meet the examination requirements of section 22 to be eligible for licensure as a professional clinical counselor. Any plan of supervision issued by the board on or after July 1, 2019, shall meet the educational and examination requirements of section 22. Licensure will move to a 60 hour masters, as of 2026.

Q  "Do I still have to take the NCE and NCMHCE?"

 Licensure requirements state all applicants have to passed the national exam.

Q  "How will Reciprocity Work?"

A license maybe be issued via reciprocity if that candidate has  
- 3 years of continuous practice with
- 1,500 hours of clinical experience at the highest level of another stat
- Passed the national exam and
_-is In good standing with the prior state board

If their a prior state does not require testing for licensure a 90 temporary license can be granted for the candidate to take the test. A reciprocity candidate can be granted a provisional license. If an candidate is missing hours or if their state does not require particular requirements as South Dakota the board can grant a temporary provisional license for up to 2 years.  

All members are encouraged to review and submit comments to SDCA by January 21, 2019.  SDCA members will be in Pierre for Day on the Hill January 25th to advocate for this important update.