On Friday, the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) released a report detailing four years of data on its various exams. The report shows that white examinees were almost twice as likely as Black examinees to pass the ASWB Clinical Exam on their first attempt. This data supports the notion that license exams are more than passive recipients of existing inequities in training, and instead actively heighten racial disparities in the mental health work force.
If you’ve been confused by recent announcements related to California BBS supervision rules, you’re not alone. The Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), which governs LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs in the state, has been trying to get word out about three sets of supervision rule changes that are all happening on January 1, 2022. As of that date, remaining waivers expire, new regulations take effect, and new statutes come into effect as well. Here’s what you need to know.
Starting January 1, 2021, there are meaningful changes to the California MFT Clinical Exam, set forth in the new BBS Exam Plan. At Ben Caldwell Labs, we’re adding some video segments to our online prep program to address some new content areas. However, the most notable changes are in the balance of content on the exam.
Compare the old breakdown of question topics to the new one:
I’ve gotten a lot of questions in the past few days about how COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) is affecting the California BBS, or how it is likely to. I’m rounding up those questions here in hopes of making it easier to find the information you need. This post most recently updated on June 2, to include information about new BBS waivers.
Will license exams be cancelled or postponed?
The BBS-contracted testing provider Pearson VUE closed all of its US and Canada testing centers in March, and has been gradually reopening them since May. All exams scheduled while centers were closed have been cancelled and you will need to reschedule.
If your registration expired or is scheduled to expire between March 31 and June 30, 2020, see the information below on Law & Ethics Exam rule waivers.
The time period between completing a graduate degree and obtaining an MFT Associate registration number can feel like a strange state of limbo. You’re no longer a trainee, but you’re not yet a registered associate either. Thankfully, hours of supervised experience gained in that time can still count toward licensure — if you fall within the 90-day rule. What is the 90-day rule, and why does it matter so much?
We all want to pass our licensing exams. If we don’t pass, we may prolong our progress to licensure by several months. Preparing for exams takes a lot of time and money. One way people have sought to save money is by sharing an exam prep login. In other words, letting a friend or colleague access license exam test prep material under your username and password.
Paying half (or less) of the price feels a lot better than paying the whole price, and sharing an exam prep login provides a sense of community around your study experience. But before offering your password to someone else or using someone else’s account, here are some things you should consider.
Two of the most frequent questions to come up in social media groups for therapists involve licensing exams: What is the pass rate for [a specific license exam]? And, What is the passing score? Passing scores and pass rates are both good questions, and it’s easy to confuse them.
Sometimes people ask one when they mean the other. And sometimes people ask the question in a way that could mean either one, like “What’s the passing percentage?” Let’s clarify the difference, and answer both.
Around the US, most mental health professions have the same titles. A Psychologist in New York is likely to be pretty much the same, in terms of what they do, as a Psychologist in California, Montana, or anywhere else. Same for Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs). In other words, you can recognize the job by its title. If you’re a counselor, on the other hand, you may have any one of several different titles.
I mentioned recently that our old California MFT Law & Ethics Exam prep books kicked ass. But you know what was even better? Our California Clinical Social Work Law & Ethics Exam prep book.
It’s gotten more love than I ever expected, and only now do I see why: With a study guide and practice exam already baked in, it’s a power pack of exam prep. It’s a lot cheaper than the online prep programs available for L&E. And, like our books for the other professions, it’s efficient. We teach you what you need, without a lot of fluff that only serves to make people more anxious.
We gave the book an update for 2019.
Here’s a quick and easy lifehack for California mental health professionals working under supervision: Get automatic email notifications if your supervisor’s license lapses or changes status.
This has been available for a few years, and I’m surprised how few people seem to know about it. If a supervisor’s license lapses, any hours you gain while that license isn’t active will not count toward your own licensure. Unfortunately, I’ve known several folks who lost hours for precisely this reason. It’s imperative — and really easy! — to make sure your supervisor’s license remains current and active while you’re under their supervision.