Rhode Island Becomes 37th State to Sign Interstate Counseling Compact into Law

Jun 27, 2024

The dream of many licensed professional counselors to practice across state lines continues to move forward with Governor Daniel McKee signing into law his state's Counseling Compact legislation.

This milestone makes Rhode Island the 37th state to ratify the Counseling Compact, which allows professional counselors licensed and residing in a Compact member state to practice in other member states without the need for multiple licenses.

“The Compact continues to expand across the country as states recognize that the ability to practice across state lines is essential in meeting the mental health needs of so many people. The Compact represents the biggest change in the profession in 20 years and is truly historic. The significance of the changes the Compact will bring to practice represents a milestone for the profession. It’s heartwarming to think about how many people will be helped due to the number of states participating,” said Lynn Linde, project lead. 

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, Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Delaware, Wyoming, Arkansas, Virginia, Kansas, Washington, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Indiana, Vermont, Iowa, Missouri, Connecticut, Wisconsin, New Jersey, South Dakota, Arizona, South Carolina, Minnesota and Rhode Island. Currently, the Counseling Compact is currently pending in at least 4 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. The National Conference of State Legislatures have noted that interstate compacts are “an important strategy states may use to increase licensure portability across state borders.” 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.