Agency Affiliated Counselor Rules in Progress

The rules writing process is open to the public. The public is welcome to take part in helping us write rules. Rules are also known as regulations, Washington Administrative Code, or WAC. The rule-making process includes public notices and workshops, and usually a public hearing before a rule becomes final.

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Current rules in progress

1. Rules Workshops for Developing Coursework Requirements for the new certified agency affiliated counselor and licensed agency affiliated counselor credentials

The Department of Health is hosting two workshops to begin developing rules for the coursework requirements for the new Certified Agency Affiliated Counselor and Licensed Agency Affiliated Counselor credentials created by HB 1724. The department will provide an overview of the rulemaking process and timelines and ask for feedback about the development of the coursework. We are looking for information and opinions from behavioral health providers, employers, behavioral health agencies, professional organizations, educational organizations, tribal partners, and any other interested parties who would like to participate.

You don't need to register in advance to participate in the workshop. You may join using the meeting link or phone number listed below. Please note the login information is the same for both sessions.

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device 
Meeting ID: 284 949 313 43 
Passcode: WpZZnv 

Download Teams | Join on the web
Or call in (audio only) 
+1 564-999-2000,,202076311#  United States, Olympia 
Phone Conference ID: 202 076 311# 

Meeting topics include:

  • Coursework requirements for bachelor’s level education
  • Coursework requirements for master’s level education 

Workshop Information

The department has scheduled the following workshops, although more will be added if needed: 

Date and Time Topic Materials

February 21, 2024

2 p.m.

Student intern draft language

LAAC coursework options

CAAC coursework options

Slide Deck Workshop #1 (PDF)

Slide Intern Draft Language (PDF)

March 20, 2024

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

LAAC coursework options

CAAC coursework options


Opportunities for Feedback

You may monitor the progress of rulemaking through this webpage or sign up for our GovDelivery notification system.

You may also email written ideas or recommendations.

2. The department is currently working to implement 2SHB 1724 which creates two new levels of agency affiliated counselors.

Legislation passed in 2023 (2SHB 1724 (PDF)) immediately creates two new levels of agency affiliated counselor credentials. It keeps the current registered AAC and adds a certified AAC and a licensed AAC. The department has refiled emergency rules to implement these new credentials under WSR 24-07-062. The department has also opened standard rulemaking to develop the coursework requirements and other aspects of these new credentials under WSR 23-16-044. The emergency rules will be rescinded when the permanent rules go into effect. 

All current AACs are registered AACs. Individuals will need to apply for the new credentials when they are available, however AACs who are designated as MHPs can practice under their current credential until it expires (please see policy statement below). Agency designations do not carry forward, and the applicants will need to provide their education and supervised experience in order to qualify for the credentials.

  • The certified AAC requires a bachelor’s degree in counseling or the social sciences and five years of supervised experience.
  • The licensed AAC requires an advanced degree in counseling or the social sciences and two years of supervised experience.
  • The current registered AAC requirements have not changed. Juvenile probation counselors, student interns, and peer counselors are all registered AACs. 

The bill is effective immediately, and the department is working to create these new credential types. The department has drafted a policy statement so AACs currently designated as MHPs can practice under their registration until their birthday, however we encourage you to apply for the licensed AAC at least three months before the current registration expires. 

Registered AACs who qualify for the certified AAC credential will need to apply for the new credential before they can work under the new scope of practice for that profession. Because there is currently no bachelor’s level MHP, there has been no prior review of their qualifications, so those individuals must apply for the new credential. 

If you have further questions contact the program manager and sign up for our GovDelivery notification system to receive future updates.  

3. The department is currently working to implement ESSHB 1504 to allow student interns to practice as agency affiliated counselors.

Proposed draft language that was previously reviewed in workshops is provided below and will be included in the new rulemaking process for discussion. 

You may want to subscribe to our GovDelivery notification system to receive further information.

More agency rule resources