VA LPC's Continued Competency Requirements for License Renewal
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Looking for ways to meet the Continued Competency Requirements for Virginia's LPC Licensure Renewal? 

VCA can help!

The Virginia Counselors Association, the state branch of the American Counseling Association,  is also a NBCC (National Board of Certified Counselors) approved continuing education provider. 

Earn your required 20 hours by participating in VCA's

  • Annual Convention is held each November.  Participants and presenters can earn one-for-one contact hours of approved professional development activities.  (Typical conventions offer up to 16-20 hours--based on participation & Presenters earn additional hours)
  • Participate in local, regional and state-wide workshops held year-around.  Check out our professional development calendar for upcoming events.
  • Becoming involved as a VCA leader!  Serve as a leader in your chapter, division or the VCA Board of Directors.
  • Become published in VCA's refereed journal, The Virginia Counselors Journal.

  Public Notice regarding licensure renewal  for "Retired-Active" LPCs


Complete Regulations are posted on the Virginia Board of Counseling website.  The following in an excerpt from the Virginia Administrative Code: Regulations Concerning the Practice of Professional Counseling (Chapter 20; Part 1-General Provisions)

18 VAC 115-20-105.  Continued competency requirements for renewal of a license.


A.  After July 1, 2004, licensed professional counselors shall be required to have completed a minimum of 20 hours of continuing competency for each annual licensure renewal.  A minimum of two of these hours shall be in courses that emphasize the ethics, standards of practice or laws governing behavioral science professions in Virginia.

B. The board may grant an extension for good cause of up to one year for the completion of continuing competency requirements upon written request from the licensee prior to the renewal date.  Such extension shall not relieve the licensee of the continuing competency requirement. 

C.  The board may grant an exemption for all or part of the continuing competency requirements due to circumstances beyond the control of the licensee such as temporary disability, mandatory military service, or officially declared disasters.


D. Those individuals dually licensed by this board will not be required to obtain continuing competency for each license.  Dually licensed individuals will only be required to provide the hours set out in subsection A of this section or subsection A of 18 VAC 115-50-95 in the Regulations Governing the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy, or subsection A of 18 VAC 115-60-115 in the Regulations Governing the Practice of Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Providers.

18 VAC 115-20-106.  Continuing competency activity criteria.


A.  Continuing competency activities must focus on increasing knowledge or skills in one or more of the following areas:


1.   Ethics, standards of practice or laws governing behavioral science professions;

2.   Counseling theory;

3.   Human growth and development;

4.   Social and cultural foundations;

5.   The helping relationship;

6.   Group dynamics, processing and counseling;

7.   Lifestyle and career development;

8.   Appraisal of individuals;

9.   Research and evaluation;

10. Professional orientation;

11. Clinical supervision;

12. Marriage and family therapy; or

13. Addictions.


B.  Approved hours of continuing competency activity shall be one of the following types:


1.  Formally organized learning activities or home study. Activities may be counted at their full hour value. Hours shall be obtained from one or a combination of the following board-approved mental health related activities:


a. Regionally accredited university or college level academic courses in a behavioral health discipline. 


b. Continuing education programs offered by universities or colleges.


c. Workshops, seminars, conferences, or courses in the behavioral health field offered by federal, state or licensed health facilities and licensed hospitals.


d. Workshops, seminars conferences or courses in the behavioral health field offered by an individual or organization that has been certified or approved by one of the following:


(1)  The American Association of Marriage and Family Counselors and its state affiliates.

(2)  The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and its state affiliates.

(3)  The American Association of State Counseling Boards.

(4)  The American Counseling Association and its state and local affiliates.

(5)  The American Psychological Association and its state affiliates.

(6)  Commission on Rehabilitation Education.

(7)  NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals and its state and local affiliates.

(8)  National Association of Social Workers.

(9)  National Board for Certified Counselors.

(10)  A national behavioral health organization or certification body.

(11)  Individuals or organizations that have been approved as continuing competency sponsors by the American Association of State Counseling Boards or a counseling board in another state.


2.  Individual professional activities. 


a. Publication/presentation/new program development

(1)  Publication of articles. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours.  Publication activities are limited to articles in refereed journals or a chapter in an edited book. 


(2)  Publication of books. Activity will count for a maximum of 18 hours.


(3)  Presentations. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours. The same presentations may be used only once in a two-year period.  Only actual presentation time may be counted.


(4)  New program development. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours.)New program development includes a new course, seminar, or workshop.  New courses shall be graduate or undergraduate level college or university courses.


b.  Dissertation. Activity will count for a maximum of 18 hours. Dissertation credit may only be counted once.


c.  Clinical supervision/consultation. Activity will count for a maximum of ten hours. Continuing competency can only be granted for clinical supervision/consultation received on a regular basis with a set agenda.  Continuing competency cannot be granted for supervision that you provide to others.


d.  Leadership. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours. The following leadership positions are acceptable for continuing competency credit: Officers of state or national counseling organization; editor and/or reviewer of professional counseling journals; member of state counseling licensure/certification board; member of a national counselor certification board; member of a national ethics disciplinary review committee rendering licenses; active member of a counseling committee producing a substantial written product; chair of a major counseling conference or convention; other leadership positions with justifiable professional learning experiences.  The leadership positions must take place for a minimum of one year after the date of first licensure.


e.  Practice related programs. Activity will count up to a maximum of eight hours. The board may allow up to eight contact hours of continuing competency as long as the regulant submits proof of attendance plus a written justification of how the activity assists him in his direct service of his clients.  Examples include: language courses, software training, medical topics, etc. 


18 VAC 115-20-107.  Documenting compliance with continuing competency requirements.


A.   All licensees are required to maintain original documentation for a period of two years following renewal. 


B.  After the end of each renewal period, the board may conduct a random audit of licensees to verify compliance with the requirement for that renewal period.


C.  Upon request, a licensee shall provide documentation as follows:


1.  To document completion of formal organized learning activities the licensee shall provide:

a.  Official transcripts showing credit hours earned; or

b.  Certificates of participation.

2.  Documentation of home study shall be made by identification of the source material studied, summary of content, and a signed affidavit attesting to completion of the home study.


3.  Documentation of individual professional activities shall be by one of the following:

a.  Certificates of participation;

b.  Proof of presentations made;

c.  Reprints of publications;

d.  Letters from educational institutions or agencies approving continuing education programs;

e.  Official notification from the association that sponsored the item writing workshop or continuing education program; or


f.  Documentation of attendance at formal staffing by a signed affidavit on a form provided by the board.

D. Continuing competency hours required by a disciplinary order shall not be used to satisfy renewal requirements.


Virginia Counselors Association
316 Hodges Cove Road, Yorktown, VA 23692 | Ph: 757.766.5466 | Fax: 757.766.5467 |