When Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts signed Legislative Bill 752 into law in April, his state became the 10th to enact the Interstate Counseling Compact. Successfully crossing the 10-state threshold to activate the Compact and begin the next phase of the process is a huge step forward in advancing the counseling profession.
The Compact is a contract among states that will allow professional counselors who are licensed and residing in a Compact member state the privilege to practice in other Compact member states. The privilege to practice across state lines will expand the reach of these counselors and help to address the increasing need for mental health services.
Now that 10 member states have enacted the Counseling Compact legislation, those states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Utah, and West Virginia) will establish a governing structure to oversee the implementation of the Compact. Any additional state that enacts Compact legislation before the Commission meets for the first time will become part of the Commission’s foundational group that is tasked with developing the rules. The first meeting of the Commission is projected to occur in early fall 2022. The Counseling Compact Commission is ultimately the governing body for the Compact with the basic parameters being:
Each member state is entitled to exactly one delegate on the Commission selected by the state's licensing board.
The Commission can establish and maintain bylaws, rules, and a budget.
The Commission must elect an executive committee composed of 11 voting members and four non-voting members from national professional counselor organizations.
Once the initial governance structure and rules are put in place, which could take 6 to 12 months, participating states will be able to issue Compact privileges to individual counselors to practice within those 10 states (and eventually, others that follow in enacting the Compact).
The Compact is currently in effect only in states that have enacted the legislation. NBCC will be closely tracking the formation of the new Commission and expressing interest in serving as a non-voting member. You can read more about the Counseling Compact in our Grassroots Action Center, and we will keep you informed as this exciting development unfolds.