On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, Governor Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) signed a bill (NO. 31-0134), which will result in the creation of a professional licensing board to regulate the counseling profession in the USVI.
“An Act amending title 27 of the Virgin Islands Code adding chapter 4A establishing the Board of Licensed Counselors, and Examiners, providing for the licensure of persons to practice counseling for other purposes related matters” is a result of years of advocacy by members of the American Counseling Association of the Virgin Islands (ACAVI) and assistance from the American Counseling Association (ACA).
Discussions regarding provisions of the bill started in spring of 2015. In early December, two members of the ACA Government Affairs team met with the bill sponsor, Sen. Sammuel Sanes, as well as Edward Browne, the ACAVI member who led the charge. The bill passed on December 17, 2015 and had been awaiting the Governor’s signature.
The USVI will now work to implement the bill and make adjustments as needed. While the creation of a licensing board can be a lengthy process, regulation is critical to securing a solid path for the counseling profession and the many important services counselors provide.
To view the full bill and learn more about how the board will operate in the USVI, click here.
To view the Governor's letter authenticating approval of the bill, click here.