Colorado, Louisiana and Ohio Signs Interstate Counseling Compact into Law

Jun 15, 2022
The American Counseling Association and licensed professional counselors nationwide are celebrating the latest signings 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 moves toward reality as Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law their states’ Counseling Compact legislations.

This milestone marks fourteen states who have signed 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. 

“When the ACA Governing Council and staff discussed how the Counseling Compact could evolve, the biggest initial challenge was how we would achieve the passage of legislation in at least ten states that would then trigger the creation of the public commission to make the law operational,” said S. Kent Butler, ACA President, “Achieving and surpassing our goal of the ten state threshold this quickly speaks volumes about the awareness of states as to the need for increased access to licensed professional counselors.”

“In addition to state legislators and governors who have enacted the Counseling Compact, we need to thank professional counselors at the frontlines who helped advocate for the bills in their states,” said Richard Yep, ACA CEO, “I also want to make sure that our professional partners such as ACA branches, ACES, CACREP, NBCC, Chi Sigma Iota, and AMHCA also take pride in our joint efforts to realize the enactment of this Counseling Compact.”

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, Tennessee, Colorado, Louisiana and Ohio. 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 between states to recognize each other’s licenses. 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.  

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