Certified Counselor - Frequently Asked Questions

Are certain practices and settings exempt from requiring a credential to practice counseling?

Yes. The legislature identified exemptions in statute. You may find the "exemption activities and individuals" in the rules under RCW 18.19.040 or WAC 246-810-011.

I'm a state employee providing counseling services as part of my position. Do I have to have a credential?

Yes, if you meet the definition of counseling as defined in RCW 18.19.020 you're required to have a counseling credential.

My degree is in a counseling-related field but is not listed in the rules. Can I still qualify?

You may qualify if you meet the requirements of WAC 246-810-024.

What is the scope of practice for a certified counselor?

Scope of practice is defined by WAC 246-810-0201, to include appropriate screening of the client's level of functional impairment using the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) tool as described in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Who can serve as a certified counselor supervisor or consultant or certified adviser supervisor?

Any healthcare provider listed in WAC 246-810-026 may serve as supervisor or consultant. This includes certified counselors, hypnotherapists, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, independent clinical social workers, advanced social workers, psychologists, chemical dependency professionals, sex offender treatment providers, sex offender treatment provider affiliates, medical physicians, osteopathic physicians, advanced registered nurse practitioners and naturopathic physicians.

Do I need a supervisor or a consultant?

All certified counselors who applied for their credential after July 1, 2010, are required to have a supervisor.

Where may I find someone to serve as my supervisor or consultant? Does the Department of Health or state professional associations have lists of individuals willing to serve as a supervisor or consultant?

The Department of Health and state professional associations don't have such lists. It's likely that your best opportunity to find a healthcare provider to serve as a supervisor or consultant will be by contacting the providers and associates you work with currently or previously.

A friend and I are both applying for certified counselor. Can we act as supervisor or consultants to each other to satisfy that requirement?

No. The rules prohibit such dual role relationships. WAC 246-810-026.

Do I have to apply to the state in order to serve as a supervisor or consultant?

No, we don't require you to apply to serve as a supervisor or consultant. However, supervisors, consultants and the credential holders must meet all requirements established in the rules. They may be asked to provide evidence to the department that they meet the requirements (WAC 246-810-026).

Will I able to get a reading list to study for the examination?

Yes. See information for exam preparation on our website.

What entities are approved to provide continuing education for certified counselors and certified advisers?

At this time only entities identified in WAC 246-810-0293 are approved to provide continuing education or endorse continuing education courses for certified counselors and certified advisers.

How do I renew my credential?

You may find out how to renew your credential, request a duplicate credential or change your name or address on our Customer Service webpage.