FAQ for Counselors

Compact License Application and Cost

To provide counseling services through the compact, counselors use the counseling license granted by their home state (their primary state of residence) to apply for the privilege to practice in other member states.

Applications are expected to open after the midpoint of 2024. This website will have application information when it becomes available.

Your license is granted by your home state. A compact privilege to practice is granted by other compact member states after your have applied for the privilege to practice in those states through the compact.

Applications for compact privileges are currently not open. The compact commission is working hard to open applications to practitioners as soon as possible.

Once applications for compact privileges open (expected mid-2024), the link to the application will be available on this website. In the meantime, practitioners should ensure their home state license is in good standing. They may also want to prepare for a jurisprudence exam if such an exam is required by the state in which they plan to apply for a compact privilege.

No. Although your state passing the compact is an important step, it does not automatically approve your license for use in other states. Counselors must apply for the privilege to practice in each state through the compact. We expect applications for compact privileges to open in mid 2024.

When it opens, the application will be linked on this website.

For the purpose of the compact, a counselor’s home state is the state in which they primarily reside. Counselors need a license in their home state in order to participate in the compact.

For some counselors, their home state may be different from the state where they currently practice and hold a license.

For you to practice in other states through the compact, your home state must be a compact member. The best way for you to practice in a non-compact member state is to apply for a single-state license directly through the state licensing board.

Practitioners interested in advocating for their state to join the compact can learn more about the process below.

To participate in the compact, a practitioner must join via their home state license. A license from a state other than the home state does not qualify.

The compact explicitly requires counselors to use a license from their home state to participate in the compact. Other licenses can still be used to practice in the state that issued them but cannot be used for participation in the compact.

For a practitioner to apply for a compact privilege in another state, that state must first be a member of the compact. If that state has not joined the compact, they have not agreed to the terms of the compact or may not qualify to join based on the state participation requirements of the compact. Therefore, practitioners cannot use the compact to practice in non-member states.

The Compact is not currently granting the privilege to practice in other states. Therefore, you cannot use the compact to see clients in other states. Once the compact is granting privileges, you can apply for a privilege in the client’s new state.

Counselors must have a license or a privilege to practice in the state where the client is located.

Only counselors who hold an unencumbered license to independently diagnose, assess, treat, and practice at the highest level in a participating state may apply for a privilege to practice in the Counseling Compact. Licensed professional counselors who do not hold degrees in counseling but in a closely related field are potentially eligible to apply for a privilege if they meet all requirements for licensure as a licensed professional counselor in their home state which is a member of the Compact and if all requirements of Section 3 and 4 of the Compact are met. 

The cost of a Compact privilege is set by each state. Once states are ready to issue privileges, more information on the exact cost of a privilege for that state will be available.

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Legislative Process

The compact map shows which states are compact members: https://prod761aul1.wpenginepowered.com/map/. If your state has not yet introduced legislation, introducing it is the first step. See below for how to help with this process.

Because the legislative process is unpredictable, it is impossible to guarantee a compact bill will be introduced or enacted in a particular state. When bills are introduced or enacted, the website map is updated promptly, so you may refer to that page for up-to-date information.

If your state is listed as “not enacted” on the map, this means the bill was introduced during your state’s most recent legislative session but did not pass. Your state may introduce the bill and try to pass it next year.

When legislation is pending in a state, that state will eventually either enact the legislation, or the bill will fail. If your state went from light blue to gray, the compact bill did not pass this year.

It is still possible that your state may join the compact in a future year.

If you would like to advocate for the Compact in your state, please contact your state legislators, the state chapter of your national membership organization or your state board.

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As with other compacts, and in accordance with the Counseling Compact’s Rule on Rulemaking and Section 10 of the Compact legislation, the Compact prioritizes  transparency and notice to the public in the rulemaking process.

Rules are first proposed and discussed in the Rules Committee, and then the Executive Committee must approve the proposed rules for a vote of the full Compact Commission. Prior to the Commission meeting, rules are posted for a 30-day public comment period with all comments being considered. A hearing may also be requested.

Meetings of the Rules Committee, Executive Committee, and full Commission are all open to the public unless there is an item which specifically qualifies for closed session pursuant to the terms of the Compact.

Please refer to this sheet for information about the Counseling Compact and professional identity.

Additional Licensing Concerns

Only counselors who hold an unencumbered license to independently diagnose, assess, treat, and practice at the highest level in a participating state may apply for a privilege to practice in the Counseling Compact. Licensed professional counselors who do not hold degrees in counseling but in a closely related field are potentially eligible to apply for a privilege if they meet all requirements for licensure as a licensed professional counselor in their home state which is a member of the Compact and all requirements of Section 3 and 4 of the Compact are met.

Social workers may be interested in the Social Work Licensure Compact.

Psychologists may be interested in PsyPact.

Practitioners practicing through the compact must have license to practice independently. If your role requires supervision (such as student, assistant, or other type of provisional license), you are not eligible to practice through the compact.

The compact only covers counselors who can practice independently, without supervision. Transferring supervised hours between states is a matter for the state board where counselors intend to apply for an independent license.

The compact does not extend to cover supervisor credentialing. State regulatory boards in each state oversee supervisor credentialing.

For a state to join the Compact, it must currently require that counselors complete a 60-hour degree in counseling or 60 hours of graduate coursework in designated areas.  Each member state must also require passage of an examination.

The state licensing requirements in the Compact ensure all member states have the same minimum requirements for individuals entering the profession. If you received your license under previous licensing requirements, but your state has since changed the licensing requirements, you can likely be grandparented into utilizing the compact.

Practitioners only need to complete CEUs for their home state.

Practitioners do need to complete jurisprudence examinations in each state where they want to apply for a privilege to practice.

The Counseling Compact, as needed, will provide general guidance to insurance companies about the legal authorization a compact privilege provides for practice in another compact member state. However, the exact policies of individual insurance companies are not yet known to the
Compact.

Here is a statement from CMS regarding recognition of licensure compacts and Medicare.