Authority: Health Occupations Article, §17-205,
Annotated Code of Maryland
This chapter applies to all professional counselors and therapists who wish to renew or reinstate their licensure or certification in the State.
A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.
B. Terms Defined.
(1) "Accredited institution of higher education" means a college or university accredited by a national or regional accrediting body recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation.
(2) "Activity" means any program, publication, course, institute, seminar, lecture, conference, workshop, symposium, or professional meeting that meets the criteria and objectives of continuing education.
(3) "Approved program" means an activity that has been reviewed and approved by the Board for Category A credit.
(4) "Authorized sponsor" means an organization or individual reviewed and authorized by the Board, or automatically eligible, to present Category A programs.
(5) "Board" means the State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors and Therapists.
(6) "Committee" means the Advisory Committee for Continuing Education, appointed by the Board, consisting of at least one member of the Board.
(7) "Continuing education" means additional professional activities beyond that required for certification or licensure.
(8) "Continuing education unit (CEU)" means 60 minutes of activity that is approved by the Board to fulfill the continuing education requirements.
(9) "Course" means a series of meetings with defined content and systematic presentation with an instructor, as an expert, who imparts information to the participants.
(10) "Home study" means independent study that:
(a) Is not evaluated by a formal process documenting a minimum mastery of materials; and
(b) Does not issue a verification of program completion.
(11) "Renewal date" means the date upon which a certificate or license expires, as specified in the notice sent to the certified or licensed professional counselor by the Board in accordance with Health Occupations Article, §§17-309(b) and 17-3A-08(b), Annotated Code of Maryland.
(12) "Renewal period" means the 2-year period immediately before the renewal date.
(13) "Seminar" means a meeting or meetings of highly experienced participants or experts with an expert leader who conducts a discussion on a specific topic.
(14) "Symposium" means a presentation or presentations by two or more speakers with different views on a specific topic and with a discussant who summarizes the issues.
(15) "Workshop" means a meeting or meetings of general sessions and face-to-face groups with a leader, an expert in the defined content area, who imparts information to participants who have ample opportunity to interact.
A. CEU Requirements. The certificate or license holder shall complete a minimum of 40 CEUs in each renewal period, as follows:
(1) At least 30 CEUs shall be in Category A activities and not more than 10 CEUs may be in Category B activities; or
(2) All 40 CEUs may be in Category A activities.
B. CEUs that are in excess of requirements may not be carried over to the next renewal period.
C. A certificate or license holder who has a renewal period of less than 2 years shall complete a minimum of 20 Category A CEUs for that renewal period.
D. Proof of Completion.
(1) A license or certificate holder shall attest to completion of required CEUs at the time of renewal or reinstatement, on a form supplied by the Board.
(2) The license or certificate holder shall obtain the requisite documentation of CEU attendance and retain this documentation for the succeeding 4 years for possible inspection by the Board.
(3) Required Documentation of Category A and Category B Activities.
(a) The required documentation of Category A activities as defined in Regulations .04 and .05 of this chapter include:
(i) Certificates of participation;
(iii) Reprints of publications;
(iv) Proof of presentations; or
(v) Any other information necessary to verify compliance with the requirements of Regulations .04 and .05 of this chapter.
(b) The required documentation of Category B activities as defined in Regulations .04 and .06 of this chapter, include:
(ii) Names of presenters;
(iii) Outlines of presentations;
(iv) Topics of meetings; or
(v) Any other information necessary to verify compliance with the requirements of Regulations .04 and .06 of this chapter.
(4) The license or certificate holder shall demonstrate that the CEU activity fell within the renewal period.
.04 Continuing Education Qualifications.
A. To qualify for approval by the Board, continuing education activities shall employ didactic and experiential methods to meet one of the following objectives:
(1) Maintain professional competency;
(2) Increase professional skills and knowledge;
(3) Prepare for new roles or responsibilities in the practice of counseling or therapy; or
(4) Expand the science of counseling and therapy theory, method, or practice.
B. The following activities are specifically excluded from continuing education credit and do not meet any required objective:
(1) Business meetings, professional committee meetings, and meetings concerned with the management of a professional practice;
(2) Presentations and publications intended for a lay audience; and
(3) Home study.
.05 Categories of Continuing Education—Category A.
A. The Board may approve the following activities for CEUs in Category A:
(1) Attending formally organized Category A programs as follows:
(a) The programs shall meet the following criteria:
(i) The program is offered by a sponsor approved by the Board to present Category A programs,
(ii) The program is intended for a professional mental health audience,
(iii) The program has a stated purpose and defined content area,
(iv) Presenters are professionals qualified in the defined content area,
(v) The program's time period is clearly stated,
(vi) Registration and attendance is recorded by the program's sponsor,
(vii) Documentation of completion is provided, and
(viii) Participants are required to complete an evaluation of the program; and
(b) The program may be formally organized and classified as a course, workshop, seminar, or symposium;
(2) Developing and presenting a Category A program which is credited as follows:
(a) Up to 3 hours of CEU credit may be claimed by the presenter for each hour of presentation of the program with a maximum of 20 CEUs;
(b) Up to 3 hours of CEU credit may be claimed for each hour of presentation, at a professional or scientific organization, of a professional or scientific paper prepared by the licensee or certificate holder, with a maximum of 6 CEUs per paper; and
(c) Each program may be credited only once in each renewal period; or
(3) Authoring, editing, or reviewing a juried publication with CEUs earned only in the year of publication, and only to the following extent:
(a) Author of a book—maximum of 40 CEUs;
(b) Author of a book chapter or journal article—maximum of 15 CEUs;
(c) Editor of a book—maximum of 30 CEUs;
(d) Editor of a scientific or professional journal recognized by the Board—maximum of 30 CEUs for each year of service; or
(e) Reviewer of a professional book, scientific journal, or professional journal recognized by the Board—maximum of 10 CEUs for each year of service.
B. When a certificate holder or licensee, after meeting the education requirements for certification or licensure at the degree level at which the licensee or certificate holder became certified or licensed, completes for credit semester hours of qualifying graduate-level or undergraduate-level course work at an accredited institution of higher education, each semester hour is considered the equivalent of 15 hours of CEUs.
.06 Categories of Continuing Education—Category B.
A. The Board may approve the following activities for CEUs in Category B:
(1) Attendance at or presentation of informal courses, in-house colloquia, invited speaker sessions, in-house seminars, and case conferences which are specifically designed for training, teaching, or both;
(2) Attendance at or presentation of informal non-publicized programs offered at professional or scientific meetings of local, state, regional, national, and international professional or scientific organizations; or
(3) Individualized learning, such as receiving formal professional supervision (except administrative supervision), participation in peer case conference or peer supervision groups, and participation in distance learning programs with evidence of appropriateness, minimum mastery of materials, and completion.
B. Programs that do not meet the criteria for Category A may be eligible for Category B if the programs meet the objectives of this chapter.
.07 Authorization of Sponsored Continuing Education Programs.
A. Authorizing Sponsored Programs.
(1) The Board shall establish a committee to advise the Board on continuing education.
(2) The committee shall evaluate and the Board may authorize applicants to sponsor Category A programs.
(3) The committee may recommend Board approval of programs by authorized sponsors for Category A according to the objectives stated in Regulations .04A and .05 of this chapter.
B. Criteria for Program Eligibility.
(1) The Board shall evaluate each continuing education program submitted on the basis of the following criteria:
(a) Relevance of the subject matter to increase or support the development of skill and competence in counseling or therapy;
(b) Objectives of specific information or skill to be learned;
(c) Program content, educational methods, materials, and facilities used, including the frequency and duration of sessions and the adequacy to implement objectives; and
(d) Sponsorship and leadership of programs, including:
(i) The qualifications of the sponsoring individual or organization,
(ii) Program leaders if different from sponsors, and
(iii) The contact person if different from those in §B(1)(d)(i) or (ii) of this regulation.
(2) A program sponsored by the American Counseling Association, the National Board for Certified Counselors, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors, or their regional or state affiliates is automatically approved by the Board for Category A, unless otherwise excluded.
(3) A program sponsored by an accredited institution of higher education and state departments of health and mental hygiene is automatically approved by the Board for Category A, unless otherwise excluded.
(4) The following may be authorized to sponsor Category A programs upon application and approval by the Board:
(a) National, state, or local professional, scientific, or mental health organizations;
(b) Those individuals certified or licensed by the Board; and
(c) Other agencies, institutions, or organizations providing continuing education programs in the interest of carrying out the intent of Health Occupations Article, §§17-309 and 17-3A-08, Annotated Code of Maryland, and Regulations .04 and .05 of this chapter.
C. Procedures for Pre-approval.
(1) An application, on a form provided by the Board, shall be made and fee submitted to the Board for authorization of programs of sponsoring agencies meeting the requirements of these regulations.
(2) The application shall be submitted to the committee at least 10 weeks before the scheduling of each continuing education program.
(3) Authorized sponsors shall state in the continuing education program description the following:
(a) "A certificate for (number of hours) CEUs of Category A will be awarded upon completion of this (type of program)";
(b) "(Name of organization) has been approved by the Maryland State Board of Examiners as an authorized sponsor who may provide Category A CEUs for certified or licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and alcohol and drug counselors"; and
(c) "(Name of organization) maintains responsibility for the program".
(4) Authorized sponsors shall maintain documentation of registration and attendance records, stated purpose, content and presentation, time and length of the activity, and participant evaluations for a 4-year period following the program that may be audited by the Board.
(5) Approved sponsors' programs shall be approved for a 2-year period except as otherwise provided in §D of this regulation.
(6) Certificate holders and licensees may request, upon payment of a fee, that the Board review programs that do not have pre-approval for awarding CEU units.
D. Withdrawal of Approval. Authorization may be withdrawn when, in the judgment of the Board, the intent of Health Occupations Article, §§17-309 and 17-3A-08, Annotated Code of Maryland, and Regulations .04, .05, and .06 of this chapter are no longer served.
.08 Failure to Meet Continuing Education Requirements.
A. Reporting Requirements.
(1) The certificate holder or licensee shall complete and submit a form attesting to satisfactory completion of the continuing education requirements for each renewal.
(2) The certificate holder or licensee who is audited shall provide full documentation of CEUs as set forth in Regulation .03D of this chapter on a completed form provided by the Board.
(3) The Board shall audit a percentage of certificate holders and licensees to be determined by the Board each renewal period.
(4) A certificate holder or licensee who fails to renew by the renewal date shall provide full documentation as set forth in Regulation .03D of this chapter on a completed form provided by the Board.
B. Extension of Time to Meet CEU Requirements.
(1) A written request for an extension of time in which to complete CEU requirements shall be submitted by the certificate holder's or licensee's renewal date.
(2) The Board may grant an extension and renew a certificate or license if the Board determines that:
(a) Failure to fulfill the requirements is clearly a result of a significant illness, a procedural or technical difficulty, or other circumstances beyond the control of the certificate holder or licensee; and
(b) The certificate holder or licensee readily and appropriately attempted to fulfill the CEU requirements.
(3) The Board may deny the request for an extension, deny renewal of the certificate or license, or issue any other order the Board finds appropriate.
(4) CEUs which are acquired in order to fulfill the conditions of an extension may be credited only for the previous renewal period.
A. Within 1 calendar year after the certificate or license renewal date, the Board may reinstate the certificate or license of a certificate holder or licensee otherwise entitled to reinstatement under Health Occupations Article, §§17-310(b) and 17-3A-09(b), Annotated Code of Maryland, whose certificate or license was not renewed due to failure to complete continuing education requirements for renewal if the certificate holder or licensee:
(1) Completed within that year the minimum of 40 CEUs required during the prior renewal period as set forth in Regulation .03A of this chapter; and
(2) Pays to the Board a reinstatement fee set by the Board.
B. CEUs which are acquired in order to reinstate under §A(1) of this regulation may be credited only once and may not be credited for any future renewals.
.10 Inactive Status.
A. In accordance with Health Occupations Article, §§17-310 and 17-3A-09, Annotated Code of Maryland, a request to transfer a certificate or license to inactive status shall be granted on written request and payment of the fee set forth in COMAR 10.58.02.
B. The procedure as shown in §A of this regulation may occur only if the certificate or license is still active at the time application for inactive status is made.
C. A certificate holder or licensee on inactive status seeking to be reinstated to active status shall be required, as a condition of reinstatement, to submit proof of having completed:
(1) 40 Category A CEUs for 2 or less years of inactive status; or
(2) 80 Category A CEUs for 3 or more years of inactive status, at least 40 of which shall have been obtained within the 2-year period immediately preceding the application for reinstatement.
Effective date: May 13, 1991 (18:9 Md. R. 1009)
Regulation .09 adopted effective August 3, 1992 (19:15 Md. R. 1391)
Regulations .01—.09 repealed and new Regulations .01—.10 adopted effective September 4, 2000 (27:17 Md. R. 1621)