Tennessee Becomes Eleventh State to Sign Interstate Counseling Compact into Law

May 31, 2022
The American Counseling Association and licensed professional counselors nationwide are celebrating the signing of Tennessee State Bill 1027 in support of the Counseling Compact, which will authorize counselors to practice across state lines once enacted.

The dream of many licensed professional counselors to practice across state lines continues on as Governor Bill Lee signed into law his state’s Counseling Compact legislation.

This milestone marks the eleventh state to sign the Counseling Compact into law, allowing professional counselors licensed and residing in a compact member state to practice in other compact member states without the need for multiple licenses. 

“ACA congratulates Tennessee on joining the Counseling Compact. Clearly, elected officials have realized how this action will help those in need of mental health services,” said S. Kent Butler, ACA President, “As a Governing Council, we knew that having ten states approve the Counseling Compact was our first major challenge. Today, Tennessee has helped ACA with the start of our second phase of this important public policy effort.”

“I am very pleased that our members and volunteer leaders in Tennessee helped to ensure that their elected officials understood the importance of joining the Counseling Compact,” said Richard Yep, ACA CEO, “I also want to recognize our professional partners who worked with us in this effort, especially the National Board for Certified Counselors, the American Association of State Counseling Boards, the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, the American Mental Health Counselors Association, the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, and our counseling honor society, Chi Sigma Iota.”

Funded and created by the American Counseling Association, the Counseling Compact was finalized in December 2020 and has now been passed by the legislatures in Georgia, Maryland, Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, Utah, Maine, Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska and Tennessee. Currently, the Counseling Compact has been introduced in 21 states this legislative session. 

Compacts provide a pathway for counselors to move seamlessly from one state to another through an agreement among states to recognize another state’s license. Previously, counselors have had difficulty transferring their licenses from one state/jurisdiction to another because of the independent nature of jurisdictional licensing rules and regulations. There was little consistency regarding the requirements for licensure and these varying requirements make it difficult to transfer one’s license. 

The Counseling Compact enables professional counselors who meet uniform licensure requirements to quickly obtain a privilege to practice, which is equivalent to a license to practice counseling in another state.  

For more information, please visit CounselingCompact.org 


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