ABEC does not have covid waivers for telemental health services, nor reciprocity with other states, nor a temporary licensure.
Alabama Code §34-8A-3(3) does allow up to 30 days of service. This does not grant any form of licensure, nor grants any legal protections through ABEC Code or Rules in the provision of clinical services. Past that 30 days the clinician must apply for licensure with ABEC to continue providing clinical services.
If you will be providing continuing mental health services to those in the State of Alabama we request and require that you apply for licensure under the Alabama Administrative Rules, specifically section 255-X-2-.01. You can also apply for licensure by endorsement based on your existing state license. Application forms can be found here: https://abec.alabama.gov/forms-and-applications/lpc-alc-applications/
LPC by Endorsement Applications
The ABEC LPC by Endorsement is an enlightened approach to licensure as it gives the Endorsement applicant the advantage of not having to meet current ABEC licensure requirements, but rather to meet the ABEC licensure requirements that existed at the time of their licensure with any other counseling licensing board (ABEC Administrative Rule 255-X-10-.02). This is double-edged as it also draws the line at the moment of licensure in that other state, where any additional and extraneous activities are not considered in the Endorsement application review because they were not a part of the original licensure qualifications. The Endorsement approach also has the requirements of verifying the applicants academic, supervisory, and experiential training.
Per the LPC by Endorsement application (pg. 7-9, Equivalency Categories) we have to verify that you completed the required overall and direct client hours for ABEC licensure.
From the LPC by Endorsement application:
It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide documentation that they completed, within their supervised experience for licensure, 3000 hours of supervised experience (to include a minimum of 2250 hours of direct service hours and 750 indirect service hours) under the supervision of a Supervising Counselor. These hours cannot be counted from practicum or internship used to satisfy the course content areas of this application, nor from work experience after licensure was obtained.
What is the general procedure for endorsement? Isn’t this reciprocity or is it a different procedure?
“Endorsement” differs from “reciprocity.” Endorsement involves a case-by-case review of an applicant with an existing license. Reciprocity is an agreement between states that any licensee from one state can interchangeably be licensed in the other state. Endorsement concerns establishing the equivalency of one’s license in another state (known as the “original license”) with the requirements in the state for which an applicant is seeking a “new license.”
How does the process of endorsement work in Alabama?
The ABEC views the endorsement process as a matter of public protection and with the same level of scrutiny that is required for an original license in Alabama. However, the key element of equity and equivalency in endorsement of an original license by the ABEC is the requirements in the administrative rules for securing Alabama licensure on the issuance date of the original license held by the applicant seeking endorsement. In this way, the scrutiny of the era is exactly the same as that employed by the ABEC to license an Alabama applicant on that date. This approach offers consistency as the measure of public protection for competent practice as a licensee. The equivalency review process is established in 255-X-10-.02 of the Administrative Code.
I've been licensed in other states for years. Will any of that impact or add to my LPC by Endorsement application?
No, while post-licensure work since your original licensure may be commendable, and does not question your training and experience, it will not impact the review of your ABEC Endorsement application. The requirement is that you must meet the ABEC licensure requirements that existed at the time of your licensure with another counseling licensing board.
I have licensure in several states. Can I combine them to apply for the LPC by Endorsement?
No. The LPC by Endorsement application is based on a single, current, and valid counseling license (in another state) that is comparable to the ABEC LPC that the applicant was directly qualified for and not one acquired by endorsement or reciprocity in that other state. We cannot pick-and-choose the best parts of multiple licenses to meet the ABEC requirements for licensure.
I didn't take the NCE for the counseling license I have in another state. Must I take the NCE for ABEC licensure?
The LPC by Endorsement process requires that you pass the examination in the state you are licensed. If you did not take and pass a required state examination (or the state cannot provide documentation of such), then you will be required to take and pass the NCE for ABEC licensure.
I am having trouble finding documentation for my supervised experience, can I send a letter from my former supervisor as documentation?
A letter from the supervising counselor(s) for your licensure can be used as long as it is specific to your supervised dates, specific hours accrued in both direct and indirect formats, clinical duties, location of client services, contact information of supervisor, and it is corroborated by available board licensure verification.
Can I use my NCC to apply for the LPC by Endorsement?
NCC is not a license, but a certification. LPC by Endorsement applications are based upon a single, current, and valid counseling license that is comparable to the ABEC LPC from another state’s licensing board. The client service hours (direct and indirect) must have been acquired for that state licensure and cannot include supervised experience acquired after licensure. While the hours you acquired for your NCC application may overlap with those you accrued for your state licensure, the LPC by Endorsement application only takes into account those accrued for state licensure of that single, current, and valid counseling license that is comparable to the ABEC LPC from another state's licensing board.
I need to send ABEC documentation of my supervised client service hours, what form do I use?
ABEC does not have a specific form for such documentation of hours. The documentation can take many forms including copies of the original application forms/documents to the state of your original counseling licensure (assuming the supervising counselors signatures are there), supervision logs (again with the necessary supervising counselors signatures), or supporting documentation from the licensure board where you are currently licensed.
If I can't meet the requirements for ABEC licensure through the LPC by Endorsement (such as lacking supervised experience hours or academic course work), how can I get licensed in Alabama as a counselor?
If you have a current counseling license in another state, and you are in, or near enough to, Alabama to work with Alabama residents, you might consider making a request to the Board for a Provisional license.
34-8A-2(6) PROVISIONAL LICENSE. A one-year, temporary licensure status equal to that of a licensed professional counselor or associate licensed counselor with specified stipulations for establishing substantial equivalency according to subdivision (4) of Section 34-8A-7.
255-X-10-.03 Provisional Licensure. (1) A provisional license may be issued to an applicant who is currently licensed by a counseling licensure board in another state and who has been found to be deficient in meeting academic, experience, or examination requirements of this Board. (2) An applicant seeking provisional licensure must provide to the Board a written proposal for addressing areas of deficiency. The proposal will be reviewed at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board. (3) If the proposal for addressing areas of deficiency is unacceptable, the Board will identify areas of concern and may offer recommendations. The Board will inform the applicant in writing regarding the reasons for denial of the proposal. (4) If the proposal is acceptable, the Board will approve the proposal and inform the applicant in writing. (5) The provisional license will be issued upon receipt of the licensure fee
As the Provisional is a contract agreement between you and the ABEC Board, gaining that for a year, or more, would grant you the licensure you would need to fill in the deficits of your previous academics and licensure as they relate to ABEC requirements. If the Board approves your request for a Provisional license you would be licensed as an ALC, which would allow you to fill in the deficits from previous licensure (e.g., under supervision of an ABEC approved LPC-S to accrue the hours that you need for LPC licensure working with Alabama residents, or to take and complete academic course work). This is essentially an ALC application, but with the difference of being based on your existing licensure.
If you wish to go forward with requesting a Provisional license you will need first to go through the LPC by Endorsement application (application forms can be found here: https://abec.alabama.gov/forms-and-applications/lpc-alc-applications/) so that the licensure deficits can be identified.
Then, after a review letter has been sent to you detailing what you would need for ABEC licensure, you may choose to send to the Board a request for a Provisional license with a Proposed Plan of Supervision (PPoS) (available here: https://abec.alabama.gov/forms-and-applications/lpc-alc-applications/) for the Board to review and determine if a Provisional license is merited in this circumstance. This request letter must be specific as to how many hours you are asking to be considered from your out-of-state licensure, how many hours (total, direct and indirect client service hours) you will be acquiring, who your LPC-S will be, and how/where you will acquire the needed hours with Alabama residents.