California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday signed Assembly Bill 1759, making a couple of key changes in continuing education (CE) requirements for California MFTs, clinical counselors, and clinical social workers. There’s a new one-time Telehealth CE requirement for everyone, and a new annual Law and Ethics CE requirement for Associates.
The first significant change is a one-time, 3-hour training requirement in Telehealth. Applicants for BBS licensure will need to include proof of this training in their applications starting July 1, 2023. The requirement can be met through a telehealth CE course or through certification from your graduate program that the program included this training.
All active licensees (LMFT, LCSW, LPCC) will need to complete 3 hours of CE in Telehealth before their next license renewal happening after July 1, 2023. This requirement also could be met through a letter from the licensee’s graduate program certifying that the training was included in the program.
If the mechanics there sound familiar, it’s because the implementation is similar to how the BBS implemented the one-time requirement for 6 hours of CE in Suicide Prevention. However, one key difference is that the Suicide Prevention training requirement could be met through 6 hours of “applied experience” at a practicum or associateship site; the Telehealth requirement can only be met with specific education.
Law & Ethics CE for all Associates
Under current law, Associates who fail their Law & Ethics Exam and then renew their registrations prior to their next exam attempt must complete a 12-hour CE course in Law and Ethics before that next attempt. It’s a confusing requirement, and one that has caused headaches for many of those who don’t pass that test on their first try.
As of January 1, 2023, all California BBS associates (AMFT, ASW, APCC) must complete 3 hours of continuing education in Law and Ethics in each year of their associate registration. The requirement for some to take a 12-hour CE course to be eligible for re-examination will be removed.
You can read the full language of the bill here.