Florida becomes 8th State to sign Counseling Compact

Florida becomes 8th State to sign Counseling Compact

In 2020, American Counseling Associated fund created the Counseling Compact. This effort aimed to provide a pathway for licensed counselors to be able to legally practice across state lines. Currently some states offer reciprocity and Florida offers endorsement, both of which allow clinicians to apply for licensure based on their education, experience, and licensure in other states as opposed to completing the entire licensure progress. However, these processes are inconsistent and burdensome, especially for clinicians seeking licensure in multiple states. 

The Counseling Compact will bring benefits to clinicians as well as clients. Since telehealth and face-to-face services are both approved, clients will be able to continue working with their counselors when traveling or relocating. Counselors will have flexibility to maintain continuity of care if relocating temporarily or permanently, so long as telehealth is appropriate for their clients. Counseling Compact states will clearly communicate and exchange information about license verification and disciplinary sanctions. 

The Counseling Compact has been passed by legislatures in Georgia, Maryland, Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, Utah, Maine, Florida, and Kentucky. Once one more state (for a total of 10) enacts the legislation, the compact will go into effect, enabling professional counselors who have licenses that are clear and in good standing, to quickly obtain approval to legally practice in other states. 

Once officially in effect, the Counseling Compact will join other professions, including psychology, that allow licensed professionals to offer services across state lines. Barriers to service delivery will be removed as our industry continues to grow and we see an increased demand for counseling services. 

The full Florida Bill, HB 1521, can be found here: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/1521/BillText/er/PDF 

An infographic describing this effort and its benefits can be found here: https://counselingcompact.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/CC_Infographic.pdf