NEW JERSEY REGISTER
VOLUME 34, NUMBER 9

MONDAY, MAY 5, 2003
RULE ADOPTION
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
STATE BOARD OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY EXAMINERS
PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS
CONTINUING EDUCATION

Adopted New Rules: N.J.A.C. 13:34-15

Proposed: November 4, 2002 at 34 N.J.R. 3682(a).

Adopted: February 13, 2003 by the State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners, Florence Schatten, President.

Filed: April 11, 2003 as R.2003 d.190, with a technical change not requiring additional public notice and comment (see N.J.A.C. 1:30-6.3).

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:8B-13 and 45.

Effective Date: May 5, 2003.
Expiration Date: October 22, 2003.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is unnecessary as there are no Federal standards or requirements which address the subject matter. The Committee proposes these new rules pursuant to the State statutes governing the profession of professional counseling.

Full text of the adoption follows:

SUBCHAPTER 15. CONTINUING EDUCATION

<< NJ ADC 13:34-15.1 >>

13:34-15.1 License renewal and continuing education requirement

All licensed professional counselors shall complete 40 contact hours of continuing education for license renewal. The licensed professional counselor shall confirm on the renewal application that the licensee has completed all continuing education requirements pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:34-15.1 and 15.2 during the biennial period preceding application for renewal. Except as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:34-15.2, a professional counselor applying for renewal for the first renewal period following <<-(the effective date of these rules)->> <<+May 5, 2003+>> shall complete a minimum of 40 contact hours during this renewal period.

<< NJ ADC 13:34-15.2 >>

13:34-15.2 Contact-hour requirements for licensed professional counselors

(a) A professional counselor shall not be required to obtain continuing education contact hours during the period of initial licensure prior to the professional counselor's first biennial renewal period, but shall be subject to the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:34-15.1 for all subsequent biennial renewal periods.

(b) A licensed professional counselor shall complete at least five of the 40 contact hours required by N.J.A.C. 13:34-15.1 in ethical and legal standards in the counseling profession regardless of the number of contact hours accrued during the biennial period.

(c) If the licensed professional counselor earns more than 40 contact hours during a biennial period, the professional counselor may carry a maximum of 10 contact hours into the next succeeding biennial period.

<< NJ ADC 13:34-15.3 >>

13:34-15.3 Contact-hour requirements for licensed professional counselors with a specialty permit

A holder of a specialty permit shall satisfy the specialty permit continuing education requirements of the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). The required continuing education contact hours for the specialty permit may be used to satisfy the Committee's 40 contact hours of continuing education requirements for the licensed professional counselor set forth in this subchapter.

<< NJ ADC 13:34-15.4 >>

13:34-15.4 Approval of courses or programs

(a) The following are acceptable sources of continuing education courses, programs and articles as long as the courses, programs or articles fall within the content areas set forth in (c) below or are directly related to professional counseling:

1. Courses and programs approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors; the American Counseling Association; the American Psychological Association; the American Psychiatric Association; the National Association of Social Workers; the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy; the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselors Certification; the American Orthopsychiatric Association; the American Medical Association; the American Nursing Association; the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors; or the member boards of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, Inc.;

2. Teaching or completing graduate coursework at a regionally accredited institution of higher education;

3. Authoring a refereed article published in a professional journal within the preceding biennial period; and

4. Presentation of a course or program approved by one of the organizations listed at N.J.A.C. 13:34-15.4(a)1.

(b) Prior to seeking approval of continuing education credit from the Committee for attending or presenting a course or program that has not been approved by any of the organizations listed in (a)1 above, the professional counselor shall first apply to and obtain approval from one of the listed organizations.

(c) The following are acceptable content areas for continuing education:

1. Counseling theory and practice which provide basic theories, principles and techniques of counseling and their application to professional counseling settings;

2. The helping relationship which provides broad understanding of philosophic bases of helping processes, basic and advanced helping skills, consultation theories and their applications, client and helper self-understanding and self-development, and facilitation or consultee change;

3. Human growth and development and maladaptive behavior which provide a broad understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels, normal and abnormal behavior, personality theory, life- span theory, and learning theory within cultural contexts;

4. Lifestyle and career development which provides a broad understanding of career development theories, occupational and educational information sources and systems, career and leisure counseling, guidance and education, lifestyle and career decision-making, career development program planning, resources, and career option identification;

5. Group dynamics, processes, counseling and consulting which provide a broad understanding of group development dynamics, group counseling theories, group leadership styles, basic and advanced group counseling methods and skills, and other group approaches;

6. Appraisal of individuals which provides a broad understanding of group and individual educational and psychometric theories and approaches to appraisal, data and information gathering methods, validity and reliability, psychometric statistics, factors that influence appraisals, use of appraisal results in helping process and the specific ability to administer and interpret tests and inventories to assess abilities, interests, and identify career options;

7. Social and cultural foundations which provide a broad understanding of societal changes and trends, human roles, societal subgroups, social mores and interaction patterns, multicultural and pluralistic trends, differing lifestyles, and major societal concerns including stress, person abuse, substance abuse, discrimination and methods of alleviating these concerns;

8. Research and evaluation which provide a broad understanding of types of research, basic statistics, research and report development, research implementation, program evaluation, needs assessment, publication of research information and ethical and legal considerations; and

9. The counseling profession which provides a broad understanding of professional roles and functions, professional goals and objectives, professional organizations and associations, professional history and trends, ethical and legal standards, professional preparation standards and professional credentialing.

<< NJ ADC 13:34-15.5 >>

13:34-15.5 Continuing education credits and contact-hour calculation

(a) The Committee shall grant credit only for continuing education courses and programs that are at least one contact hour long and are directly related to professional counseling practice. For purposes of this subchapter, a "contact hour" means a 60-minute clock hour with no less than 50 minutes of content within the hour. Courses and programs may include one 10-minute break for each contact hour.

(b) A professional counselor shall complete and be able to verify the completion of a continuing education course, program or article as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:34-15.4 in order to receive continuing education credit. The Committee shall grant a professional counselor continuing education credit for each biennial renewal period as follows:

1. Completing graduate coursework at a regionally accredited institution of higher education: 15 continuing education contact hours for each semester course credit awarded beyond the required educational standards which the professional counselor must complete for licensure as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:34-11.3;

2. Teaching graduate courses offered at a regionally accredited institution of higher education: 15 continuing education contact hours for each semester course credit awarded for each new course which a professional counselor teaches. For the purposes of this subsection, "new" means a course that the professional counselor has not taught previously in any educational setting;

3. A refereed article published in a professional journal within the preceding biennial period: four continuing education contact hours per article with a maximum of eight contact hours per biennial period; and

4. Course or program presentation: one and one-half continuing education contact hours for each hour of a new offering up to a maximum of nine continuing education contact hours. For the purposes of this subsection, "new" means a course or program that the professional counselor has not previously presented.

<< NJ ADC 13:34-15.6 >>

13:34-15.6 Documentation of continuing education credit

(a) A professional counselor shall retain documentation of the continuing education hours which the professional counselor completes in order to verify program attendance or activity completion. Each professional counselor shall submit such documentation to the Committee upon its request. The Committee may periodically audit the records of professional counselors, on a random basis, to determine compliance with continuing education requirements of this subchapter.

(b) A professional counselor shall verify attendance at continuing education courses or programs by a certificate of attendance or by a statement from the course or program instructor. The verification shall include the name of the licensee, the name of the sponsor, the title, location and date of the course or program, the signature of a program official and the number of continuing education hours awarded.

(c) A professional counselor shall verify continuing education activities by retaining the following:

1. For publications, a copy of the published article;

2. For course or program presentations, copies of the program, syllabus, outlines and bibliographies;

3. For teaching, copies of the syllabus, bibliography, course outline and verification from the academic institution that the course was "new" as defined by N.J.A.C. 13:34-15.5(b)2; and

4. For graduate coursework, an official transcript.

(d) A professional counselor shall maintain verification documentation for five years following the renewal period for which the Committee has granted the professional counselor continuing education credit.

(e) Falsification of any information submitted with the renewal application or failure to meet the continuing education requirements may result in the Committee taking appropriate disciplinary measures, including suspension of license, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:1-21.

(f) The Committee may reject any continuing education contact hours claimed for continuing education credit that are not relevant to the practice of professional counseling in the State of New Jersey.

<< NJ ADC 13:34-15.7 >>

13:34-15.7 Waiver of continuing education requirements

(a) The Committee may waive continuing education requirements on an individual basis for reasons of hardship such as illness, disability, active service in the military or other good cause as established by the professional counselor.

(b) A professional counselor who seeks a waiver of the continuing education requirements shall provide to the Committee, in writing, the specific reasons for requesting the waiver and such additional documentation as the Committee may request in support of the waiver.

SUBCHAPTER 16. (RESERVED)


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