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Division of
Professional Regulation

Professional Counselor of Mental Health Licensure



 

General Information

The application asks you whether you are applying for a license as a Professional Counselor of Mental Health by examination or reciprocity.

  • If you hold a current Professional Counselor of Mental Health license in another jurisdiction (state, District of Columbia or U.S. territory), apply by reciprocity.
  • If you do not hold a current Professional Counselor of Mental Health license in another jurisdiction, apply by examination.

Read all instructions carefully before completing and submitting your application. Failing to follow instructions may delay your licensure. All auxiliary forms you need are included.

 

Requirements for All Applications

These items are required for all applications, regardless of whether you are applying by examinaion or reciprocity.

  • Enclose the non-refundable processing fee by check or money order made payable to the “State of Delaware.” If you hold an active Delaware Associate Counselor of Mental Health license and are applying for upgrade to a Professional Counselor license, enclose the upgrade fee instead of the full processing fee.
  • Complete the Criminal History Record Check Authorization form to request State of Delaware and Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background checks. Follow the instructions on the authorization form to arrange to be fingerprinted.
  • Arrange for the Board office to receive a verification of licensure from each jurisdiction (state, U.S. territory, District of Columbia) where you now hold, or have ever held, a license to practice as a mental health professional. You may use the Verification of Licensure form accompanying the application to request the verification.
  • National Counselor Examination scores (NCE), National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), or other examination acceptable to the Board as follows:
    • If you have passed the NCE or NCMHCE, follow the instructions for requesting a score report on the National Board Certified Counselors (NBCC) website at nbcc.org/Exams.
    • If you have passed another exam equivalent to the NCE or NCMHCE, arrange for the organization to send your score report directly to the Board office.

 

Additional Requirements for Applications by Examination

When applying by examination instead of reciprocity, you must submit documentation of your mental health counseling education and post-Masters mental health counseling experience in addition to the requirements listed in the Requirements for All Applicants section above. Both you and your supervisor(s) should carefully follow the instructions for completing the required forms. Incomplete or incorrectly completed forms delay processing of your application. A resume will not be accepted in lieu of or in addition to the forms.

  • Arrange for your college/university to send an official transcript directly to the Board office.
  • Documentation of your coursework is needed when your graduate program of studies is not from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or your degree is in a discipline other than clinical mental health counseling. If you do not have a Master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling with at least 60 graduate semester hours or an equivalent degree in clinical mental health counseling, submit the following:
    • completed Evaluation of Coursework form (included with the application)
    • course catalog or course descriptions
  • If you have 30 post-Masters credit hours in the field of counseling, arrange for the Board office to receive an official transcript showing these graduate credits, sent directly from the school(s) to the Board office. You may substitute these credit hours for up to 1,600 of the 3,200 hours of post-Masters mental health counseling experience that are required. See Post-Masters Mental Health Counseling Experience Requirements for more information.
  • To verify the minimum 1,600 hours of direct supervision, arrange for the Board office to receive one or more Direct Supervision Reference forms completed and signed by your approved clinical supervisor(s). The supervisor(s) must mail the forms directly to the Board office.
  • If you do not have 30 post-Master credit hours, you must arrange for the Board office to receive one or more Counseling Experience Verification forms to verify the experience that you gained when you were not under the direct supervision of a clinical supervisor.
    • For experience while you were employed, arrange for your clinical or administrative supervisor(s) to complete and mail one or more Counseling Experience Verification-Employment forms directly to the Board office.
    • For experience while you were self-employed, arrange for a professional colleague, supervisor or other individual who has personal knowledge of your professional practice while self-employed to complete and mail one or more Counseling Experience Verification-Self-Employment forms directly to the Board office. The person who attests to your experience while self-employed cannot be your spouse, former spouse, parent, step-parent, grand-parent, child, step-child, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin or in-law.
    • All Counseling Experience Verification forms must clearly state the total number of post-Master’s mental health counseling hours
      that you have provided. Providing only the dates of your employment or self-employment is not sufficient.
    • When combined, the mandatory 1,600 hours verified on the Direct Supervision Reference forms added to the hours verified on all of the Counseling Experience Verification-Employment and Counseling Experience Verification-Self-Employment forms must total at least 3,200 hours. All of these hours must span a period of not less than two but no more than four years.

 

Additional Requirements for Applications by Reciprocity

To apply by reciprocity, you must hold a current Professional Counselor of Mental Health license in another jurisdiction (state, District of Columbia or U.S. territory), and the license must be in good standing. You must also meet the requirements in the Requirements for All Applicants section above.

  • Whether or not you need to submit any more documentation depends on how long you’ve been licensed in the jurisdictions where your license is current.
    • If you have been licensed at least five years in any one jurisdiction, no further documentation is needed. You may be licensed by reciprocity.
    • If you have been licensed less than five years in each of them, submit copies of the licensing law/rules and regulations from each jurisdiction where you hold a current license in good standing.

When required to submit law and rules as explained above, the Board will review the licensing standards of the other jurisdictions and determine if any of them is substantially similar to Delaware’s standards.

  • If any of the jurisdictions has substantially similar standards, you may be licensed by reciprocity. No further documentation is needed.
  • If none of the jurisdictions has substantially similar requirements, the Board office will notify you that you cannot be licensed by reciprocity. However, you may apply for an Associate Counselor of Mental Health license.

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