FAQ: General Questions About Grandparenting

The deadline for grandparenting applications was December 31, 2011.

What is grandparenting and who qualifies for it?

The intent behind grandparenting is to include counselors, who have been practicing before licensing standards were in place. To qualify for grandparenting, counselors must have the equivalent of two years of post-degree counseling experience, but they will have an additional 12 months to accrue experience after they submit their application for grandparenting. Applicants for grandparenting must meet requirements for education, supervision and examination. View 4999.54 regarding grandparenting.

How does a counselor begin to prepare for grandparenting?

Step 1: Be sure that you have a qualifying degree. (You will need several copies of your transcript, one for you and sealed copies for your application, to be sent to the BBS, and another for your registration to take the national exams, to be sent to the NBCC.) A qualifying degree must be a graduate degree from an regionally accredited university and include:

  • 48 semester-units or 72 quarter-units (30 semester-units or 45-quarter units for pre-1996 degrees)
  • 7 of the 9 required core content areas (6 of the 9 for pre-1996 degrees)
  • 6 semester-units or 9 quarter-units of practicum or fieldwork (3 semester-units or 4.5 quarter-units for pre-1996 degrees)

You must have one degree that contains the requirements, as described above. There are limits on what you can add to your qualifying degree. See Licensing Requirements during Grandparenting Period

Step 2: Arrange to take the additional courses, that you are allowed to add to your degree, if needed. Even though a qualifying degree may be acceptable with fewer courses or units than required, all applicants must complete 48 semester-units and all 9 core areas before licensure. See Descriptions of Core Content Areas, Course Providers

Step 3: Arrange to take the additional required continuing education courses, unless you can document that the topics were included in your graduate or undergraduate coursework, and the psychopharmacology course. See Additional Coursework , Course Providers

Step 4: Arrange for documentation of 1,700 hours of post-degree supervised experience. See Licensing Requirements During Grandparenting Period ,FAQ: Questions about Supervision for Grandparenting

Step 5: Arrange to take the national exams required for licensure.  See:Exams for Licensure , Course Providers , FAQ: Questions About Examinations for Grandparenting

How much time do counselors have to meet the grandparenting requirements?

Counselors will submit their applications to the BBS by December 31, 2011.  The BBS will evaluate the applications and send a letter to each applicant outlining any deficiencies.  Counselors will then have 12 months form the date of this letter to make up any deficiencies listed by the BBS.  Deficiencies that can be completed during those 12 months include the two years post-degree experience, supervised hours, coursework and examinations.  The end of that 12-month period is the end of the grandparenting period for that applicant.  If all the requirements are not met at that time, the applicant cannot be grandparented into licensure.

What about May 2010 or 2011 graduates? Can they qualify for grandparenting?

May 2010 graduates, who begin to gain counseling experience upon graduation, will be able to meet the grandparenting timeline by utilizing the 12 months described above to meet the two-year post-degree experience requirement. 

May 2011 graduates would not have time to accrue two years counseling experience in order to qualify for grandparenting, unless it takes the BBS until May 2012 to send them their letter of deficiencies, after which they would have another 12 months to complete their two years counseling experience.  It is most realistic for 2011 graduates to follow the traditional path to licensure.  See the next question. 

What about counselors who will not qualify for grandparenting?

Counselors, who cannot meet the two-year post-degree experience required for grandparenting, should follow the traditional path to licensure.  Once they have met all the education requirements, including the additional CE courses,  they would register as an intern with the BBS to earn 3,000 hours over a two-year period.  View a summary of requirements for those beginning graduate study before 2012 or view 4999.32.

Can MFTs and LCSWs be grandparented as LPCCs?

MFTs and LCSWs who are currently licensed in California can be grandparented, if they have at least three-semester-units or 4.5-quarter-units of coursework in each of the nine core content areas required for the LPCC. They have already met requirements for supervision. View a description of the required core content areas The BBS Board has determined that MFTs and LCSWs will need to pass an examination on the differences between the practices of their professions and the practice of professional clinical counseling, in order to be grandparented as LPCCs. These differences appear to be in the areas of research, appraisal/testing, and career development. These “gap” exams will be administered this fall by the BBS. MFTs and LCSWs should contact their professional organizations if they have further questions.

What about certificates? Will they be accepted for grandparenting?

Certificates are not accepted for grandparenting. All counselors will need to meet the same requirements for education, supervision and examination. Counselors with certificates may have already met these requirements, but they will have to submit documentation of each area to the BBS.

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