CRCC is committed to advocating for both its CRCs and the profession of rehabilitation counseling.
This includes three areas of focus:
CRCC advocates to general state licensing boards for the recognition of CRCs and the CRC Exam. Certiﬁcation and licensure are two diﬀerent types of professional credentials, both of which beneﬁt rehabilitation counselors, but in diﬀerent ways. What you should know!
Professional certiﬁcation signiﬁes that an individual has met certain standards of practice as set forth by an independent certifying organization and thus professional certiﬁcation assures that an individual is qualiﬁed to perform a speciﬁc job and/or provide speciﬁc services. Certiﬁcation programs are typically national in scope and are established to apply professional standards, elevate levels of practice, and to protect the public. Certifying organizations may be accredited, which ensures their certiﬁcation programs have met established standards. The Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) is a U.S.-based organization that sets rigorous standards for accreditation of certiﬁcation programs.
A certiﬁcation credential, such as Certiﬁed Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), is attained by individuals who have met eligibility criteria and who have successfully passed a requisite examination. Certiﬁcation credentials are typically valid for a speciﬁc period, upon which they must be renewed. As part of the renewal process, it is common for the certiﬁed individual to show evidence of continued learning or continuing education.
While certiﬁcation is generally not mandatory for professional practice, it may be required by employers for hiring and promotion.
Professional licensure also signiﬁes that an individual has met certain standards of practice; however, professional licensure is state-speciﬁc in that it is governed by state law and administered by a state licensing board. Professional licensure indicates that an individual is legally able to work or practice within a speciﬁed job title, area of practice, or profession within the state in which the license is issued.
A counselor license, such as Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), is attained by individuals who have met eligibility criteria and who have successfully passed a state’s requisite examination. Counselor licenses are typically valid for a speciﬁc period of time, upon which they must be renewed; however, renewal criteria vary from state to state.
In most states, a license is mandatory for practice within certain professions and under a particular scope of practice or title for that profession. It is important to investigate and understand licensing requirements speciﬁc to the state or states in which one desires to practice.
CERTIFICATION & LICENSURE
While both are important credentials, the need for and beneﬁts of certiﬁcation and licensure can be confusing. Licensure is a government-regulated, mandatory credential. In the context of professional counselor licensure, all states have adopted licensure laws that are based most often on a professional scope of practice, although a smaller number of states base their law instead on the use of a title such as Licensed Professional Counselor, or LPC. This means if you are practicing within the scope of practice as deﬁned by the state — or are using the title deﬁned by the state — you must be licensed in that state.
Certiﬁcation, on the other hand, is a peer-regulated, voluntary credential where the profession itself establishes the expectations for its certiﬁed professionals.
In the case of CRC certiﬁcation, the profession of rehabilitation counseling has established the CRC credential as the highest level of professional credentialing for rehabilitation counselors. This is not to diminish the importance of counselor licensure. Rather, CRC certiﬁcation establishes professional identity as a rehabilitation counselor providing services within the Scope of Practice for Rehabilitation Counseling and, when doing so, being held to practice in accordance with the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. CRCs, Certiﬁed Rehabilitation Counselors, have demonstrated their distinct knowledge in working with individuals across a broad range of disabling conditions, assisting them in returning to productive and meaningful work or, depending on the severity of their disability, assisting them in gaining the skills and resources necessary for the fullest possible independence and inclusion within society.
A POWERFUL COMBINATION — CRC CERTIFICATION PLUS A STATE-BASED LICENSE
While CRCC is the entity providing the CRC certification, a peer-regulated, voluntary credential, CRCC also recognizes the importance of a state-based, mandatory license for those practicing counseling as deﬁned within state regulation. In fact, CRCC advocates that rehabilitation counselors obtain both the CRC credential and a state-based counselor license. Having both may open many doors along one’s career path. A counselor license may be mandatory and provide access to certain reimbursement streams while the CRC certification sets one apart with its distinctive focus on rehabilitation and disability. In some instances, licensure will be required or preferred and in others, CRC certification will be what employers look for in a candidate. Still in other instances, the candidate with both may further set themself apart from the competition, both to employers and to clients.
STATE LICENSURE — RECOGNITION OF CRCs AND THE CRC EXAM IN COUNSELING LICENSURE
CRCC actively engages in educating state legislators and regulators regarding the benefits of CRCs in serving individuals with disabilities. By responding to ongoing rulemaking and through proactive engagement with state regulatory agencies and professional boards, CRCC seeks to ensure regulators understand that qualified services provided to individuals with disabilities are an important part of the counseling profession.
States that Recognize the CRC Exam (CRCE) in General Counseling Licensure
|BY RULE OR REGULATION|
|Arizona||District of Columbia||Illinois||Michigan|
|BY DEPARTMENTAL POLICY|
|STATES THAT RECOGNIZE THE CRC EXAM (CRCE) IN REHABILITATION COUNSELING LICENSURE|
State Professional Counselor Licensure Boards
CRCC encourages all those seeking licensure to contact their state directly as some states that don’t recognize the CRC Exam by rule, regulation, or department policy may consider recognition of the CRCE on a case-by-case basis. For state contact information and web links, go to State Licensure Boards.
THE REHABILITATION COUNSELING PROFESSION
Increasing Awareness, Understanding, and Appreciation of Rehabilitation Counseling
CRCC supports and engages in efforts to increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the profession of rehabilitation counseling. The Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) designation is the highest level of credentialing for rehabilitation counselors serving individuals with disabilities. It signifies a level of career–specific education, a demonstrated understanding and application of key competencies, and a commitment to ongoing career training and development. Individuals are measured and certified via a stringent CRC Examination and an ongoing certification renewal process as governed by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC).
The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification is a peer-regulated certifying organization that provides national certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. In support of the regulation of professional practice to ensure consumer protection, CRCC’s mission is to promote quality rehabilitation counseling services to persons with disabilities through its certification program.
CRCC believes all rehabilitation counselors should be certified as a CRC as the professional standard of practice. CRCC dedicates the vast majority of its resources in support of the CRC certification program. CRCC recognizes that rehabilitation counselors may seek additional credentials, including a state-issued counseling license offered by a government entity regulating the practice of counseling in a state.
In states that regulate the broad scope of practice of professional counseling, we support the development of consistent licensure laws and regulatory standards that recognize: 1) rehabilitation counselors as professional counselors, 2) rehabilitation counselor education programs designed to train counselors for such practice, and 3) the CRC Examination as an examination that prepares individuals for the practice of counseling.
In states that regulate the practice of clinical mental health counseling, we support: 1) the development of consistent licensure laws and regulatory standards that recognize rehabilitation counselor education programs designed to train counselors for such practice, and 2) the inclusion of a clause, typically within the exemption section, that permits rehabilitation counselors to continue to practice within the Scope of Practice for Rehabilitation Counseling and to use the title of counselor.
In the event of changes to licensure laws and/or regulatory standards, we support the grandparenting of existing credentialed rehabilitation counselors.
In relation to national or state-based legislation governing the practice of rehabilitation counselors in accordance with the Scope of Practice for Rehabilitation Counseling, CRCC supports the identification of CRCs as the sole professionals who are qualified to provide such services. Therefore, we support the CRC as the sole credential identified as a hiring requirement for such practice.
Where national or state-based legislation governs the practice of one or more individual practice components identified in the Scope of Practice for Rehabilitation Counseling, but not the full Scope of Practice, we support the identification of CRCs as professionals who are qualified to provide such services. Therefore, we support the CRC as being among those credentials identified as a hiring requirement for such practice.
In support of these levels of recognition for state counselor licensure, and in support of national or state-based legislation governing practice of rehabilitation counselors, CRCC will disseminate information through our electronic and social media channels when we become aware of proposed changes in laws and/or regulations, giving CRCs an opportunity to actively engage in advocacy on their own behalf and on behalf of the profession of rehabilitation counseling. CRCC will also make available, through its website, information about the CRC certification program and the CRC Examination that CRCs may use in their advocacy efforts.
In support of national legislation, and following assessment of such legislation to determine its direct impact on the practice of rehabilitation counseling, CRCC will research the issues and prepare a position statement that is directly responsive to the governing entity and also widely disseminated to CRCs.
CRCC Representation and Collaboration
CRCC is an active participant in conferences, summits, and leadership meetings representing both the rehabilitation and general counseling professions. In addition, CRCC provides information to a variety of organizations and publications to showcase rehabilitation counseling, promote the profession, and highlight the value and need for rehabilitation counselors, including the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH); US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Increasing Recognition of the CRC Credential Among Employers
CRCC advocates to facilitate employer understanding and recognition of the significant benefits associated with the CRC designation in both hiring and staffing practices. CRC certification is an important distinction in the workplace. For employers, CRC certification acknowledges rehabilitation counselor preparation and education to expertly assist individuals with disabilities in achieving their career, personal, and independent living goals. Specifically, CRC certification:
- Represents an advanced level of specialized education and training.
- Ensures adherence to rigid standards of ethical practice.
- Demonstrates an ongoing commitment to lifelong learning.
- Establishes a level of competency for employee hiring and evaluation.
- Provides counselors who specialize in working with individuals with a range of disabling conditions.
- Promotes consumer confidence and protection in the workplace.
CRCC advocates employer understanding and recognition of the significant benefits associated with the CRC designation in both their hiring and staffing practices.