Administrative Rules for Social Workers

Working Draft #15

December 2, 2013


Annotated version



ADMINISTRATIVE RULES FOR CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKERS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART 1.         GENERAL INFORMATION ON LICENSURE OF CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKERS

THE PURPOSE OF LICENSURE...........................................................................................1

            BUSINESS LOCATION..........................................................................................................1

            ADVISORS TO THE DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAL REGULATION ...........................1

1.                     LAWS THAT GOVERN LICENSURE...................................................................................1

PART 2.       INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS

            DEFINITIONS .........................................................................................................................1

2.                     APPLICATION........................................................................................................................2

3.                     QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSURE AS A CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER..................2

4.                     LICENSURE WITHOUT EXAMINATION ..........................................................................3

5.                     RIGHT TO A WRITTEN DECISION AND APPEAL............................................................3

PART 3.       INFORMATION FOR LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKERS

1          RENEWING LICENSURE BIENNIALLY.............................................................................3

2          CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS .................................................................3

3          ELIGIBLE CONTINUING EDUCATION ACTIVITIES.......................................................3

4          CONTINUING EDUCATIONAL CREDIT REQUIREMENT...............................................4

5          DOCUMENTATION...............................................................................................................4

6          FAILURE TO MEET CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS .............................5

7          REINSTATING LICENSURE.................................................................................................5

8          CHANGE OF NAME OR ADDRESS.....................................................................................5

9          PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS............................................................................................5

PART 4.        COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE ..................................................................................................5

DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS ....................................................................................................5

DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION.......................................................................................5

PSYCHOTHERAPY PRACTITIONERS IN COMMUNITY MENTAL

HEALTH CENTERS AND HOSPITALS ...............................................................................6


Table of Contents


Part 1 General Information

1.1       Administrative Rules

1.2       General Definitions

1.3       Business Location

1.4       Advisors to the Direct of the Office of Professional Regulation

1.5       Laws Governing Regulation of the Profession

1.6       Legislative Changes Affecting Rules

1.7       Advisory Opinions

1.8       Other Sources of Information: The Web Page


Part 2 Licensed Master’s Social Worker Licensure

2.1       Routes to Licensure

2.2       Licensure by Examination

2.3       Licensure by Endorsement

2.4       Licensed Experience: Five Year Rule


Part 3 Licensure of Independent Clinical Social Workers

3.1       Routes to Licensure

3.2       Licensure by Examination

3.3       Licensure by Endorsement

3.4       Licensed Experience: Five Year Rule


Part 4 Decisions on Licensure


4.1       Right to a Written Decision

4.2       Right to Appeal Licensing Decisions


Part 5 Supervised Practice

5.1       Supervised Practice Toward Licensure as an L.M.S.W.

5.2       Supervised Practice Toward Licensure as an L.I.C.S.W.

5.3       Registration Requirements

5.4       Unlicensed or Un-Rostered Practice

5.5       L.I.C.S.W. Supervised Practice Disclosure Requirements

5.6       Supervisors: Experience and Standing Requirements

5.7       Verification of Supervisor Credentials

5.8       Areas of Practice

5.9       Frequency and Nature of Supervision

5.10     Supervision Settings

5.11     Supervisor Prerequisites

5.12     Supervision of L.M.S.W. Applicants

5.13     Excluded from Supervising

5.14     Supervisors Outside Vermont

5.15     Distribution of Supervised Practice Hours

5.16     Time Allowed for Supervised Practice

5.17     Current Competency: Timing of Supervised Practice

5.18     Expiration of Applications

5.19     Supervision Reports


Part 6 Information for Licensees

6.1       License Display

6.2       Change of Name or Address

6.3       Continuing Education Requirements

6.4       Eligible Continuing Education Subject Areas

6.5       Ethics Requirement

6.6       Formal Educational Activities

6.7       Informal or Self-Directed Educational Activities: For L.I.C.S.W.’s Only

6.8       Ineligible Activities

6.9       Pre-Approved Activities and Sponsors

6.10     Documentation and Retention of Records

6.11     Continuing Education Audits


Part 7 Disclosure for L.I.C.S.W.’s and Those in Supervised Practice Toward Licensure as L.I.C.S.W.’s.

7.1       Disclosure of Information

7.2       Definition

7.3       Timing of Disclosure


Part 8 Renewals

8.1       License Renewal

8.2       Lapsed (Expired) Licenses

8.3       Inactive License Status


Part 9 Discipline

9.1       Unprofessional Conduct

9.2       Sanctions for Unprofessional Conduct

9.3       Disciplinary Procedure

9.4       Confidentiality

9.5       Appeal




PART 1. General Information on Licensure of Clinical Social Workers


1.1       Administrative Rules

The Director of the Office of Professional Regulation is authorized to make these rules by Chapter 61 of Title 26. In making or revising rules, the Board Director must follow the Administrative Procedure Act (“Act”). These rules are approved by the Vermont Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules and have the force of law. 3 V.S.A. § 845(a).


(a) Title 26 Chapter 61 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated gives the Director of the Office of Professional Regulation (Director) certain powers and duties regarding licensure and discipline of licensed masters and independent clinical social workers to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. The Director has adopted these rules to aid applicants, licensees, and the general public in understanding the requirements for these professions. 


(b) Copies of these rules and more information about the regulation of social workers may be obtained by contacting the Office of Professional Regulation (Office) at 802-828-1505. This information may also be obtained from the Office of Professional Regulation website at http://vtprofessionals.org/.

 

1.2       General Definitions These words and phrases are defined as follows:

(2 a) “Accredited Social Work Education Program” means a program approved by the Council on Social Work Education or the Council’s equivalent.


(b) “A.S.W.B.” means Association of Social Work Boards.


(c) “Completed application” means an application which shows that the applicant has fulfilled all prerequisites to licensure.


 (d) “Direct service” means time spent with a client directly regardless of setting, or in consulting with another professional about the client, for example, the client’s physician or psychiatrist. It may include any phone time or emergency time with the client, but over all it involves being with the client or the client’s other service providers.


(e) “Indirect service” means creating case notes, staff meetings, supervision, workshops and conferences, general consultation, teaching, case management activities, advocacy and policy work, and any other social work other than direct client contact.


(f) “Director” means the Director of the Office of Professional Regulation;


(g) “L.M.S.W.” means licensed master’s social worker as set forth in Part 2 of these rules.


(h) “L.I.C.S.W.” means Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.


(i) “N.A.S.W.” means National Association of Social Workers;


(j) “N.A.S.W. Vermont” means, the National Association of Social Workers, Vermont Chapter.


(k) “Office” means the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR);


(l) “Trainee” means a person engaged in supervised practice towards licensure as an independent clinical social worker.


(m) “V.S.A.” means the Vermont Statutes Annotated.


2.1       Definitions Terms defined in the Clinical Social Worker Act have the same meaning when used in these rules. In addition, when used in these rules:


1.1       The Purpose of Licensure The Director of Professional Regulation (Director) has been given certain powers by Vermont law. The purpose is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by setting standards, licensing applicants, and regulating licensed clinical social workers and their practices.

 

1.2 1.3 Business Location

The business location is the Office of the Secretary of State, Office of Professional Regulation, Redstone Office Building, 26 Terrace Street, Montpelier (the Office). The mailing address is Office of the Secretary of State, Office of Professional Regulation, Pavilion Office Building, Montpelier, Vermont 05609-1106. The telephone number is (802) 828-2363. An interested person may get copies of these rules and more information about licensure and its requirements and procedures by writing or telephoning the Office.


The Office’s business location is the Office of the Secretary of State, Office of Professional Regulation, in the City Center in Montpelier. Its mailing address is:


Vermont Secretary of State

Office of Professional Regulation

89 Main St., Fl. 3

Montpelier, VT 05620-3402


1.3       1.4       Advisors to the Director of the Office of Professional Regulation The Secretary of State appoints two licensed independent clinical social workers to serve as advisors, helping to assist the Director of the Office of Professional Regulation carry out the licensure program in the regulation of this profession. The Director of Professional Regulation refers complaints and disciplinary matters to a special panel, made up of the advisors and a public member. In case of disqualification, the Secretary of State appoints a substitute licensed clinical social worker.

The appointees also advise the Director on such matters as selecting an examination, setting a passing score, making administrative rules, and denying licensure.


1.4       Laws That Govern Licensure

Licensure is governed by a specific state law that establishes responsibilities for setting standards, issuing licenses, and regulating the profession. The law is the Clinical Social Workers Act, Title 26, Vermont Statutes Annotated, Chapter 61. In addition, the Office is obligated to comply with several other state laws, such as the Administrative Procedure Act (Title 3, Vermont Statutes Annotated, Sections 801-849), the Open Meeting Law (Title 1, Vermont Statutes Annotated, Sections 311- 314), the Access To Public Records Law (Title 1, Vermont Statutes Annotated, Sections 315-320), and the Professional Regulation Law (Title 3, Vermont Statutes Annotated, Sections 121-131). These laws spell out the rights of an applicant, licensed clinical social worker, or member of the public.


1.5       Laws Governing Regulation of the Profession The Director of the Office of Professional Regulation is authorized by Chapter 61 of Title 26, Vermont Statutes Annotated, to set standards, issue licenses, and regulate the profession. The statutes are online at http://www.leg.state.vt.us/statutes/chapters.cfm?Title=26. The Director’s authority is also conferred by subchapter III of Chapter 5 of Title 3 “Professional Regulation,” the statutes creating and governing the Office of Professional Regulation ( 3 V.S.A. §§ 121-132). In addition to the “Professional Regulation” statutes, the regulation of this profession is subject to other state laws including the “Administrative Procedure Act” (3 V.S.A. §§ 801-849), the “Open Meeting Law” (1 V.S.A. §§ 310-314), and the “Access to Public Records Law” (1 V.S.A. §§ 315-320). In contested cases, the Office follows the Vermont Rules of Evidence, as amended by the Administrative Procedure Act. These laws set forth the rights of applicants, license holders, and members of the public. Applicants and licensees should be aware that Chapter 5 of Title 3 of the Vermont Statutes contains several statutes which govern regulation of licensed professionals. See among them, 3 V.S.A. § 129a which defines unprofessional conduct.


1.6       Legislative Changes Affecting Rules Legislative changes from time to time may create inconsistencies between statutes and administrative rules. When a statute and rule are inconsistent, the statute governs.

1.7       Advisory Opinions Interpretation of the meaning of this profession’s administrative rules and statutes often occurs in the course of deciding an unprofessional conduct case. The Office is not authorized to issue advisory opinions.


1.8       Other sources of information: The web page. The OPR web site at http://vtprofessionals.org contains information including periodic news letters, information about licensing, discipline, and other matters of interest to practicing social workers. Practitioners are encouraged to visit the web page regularly.





 

PART 2       Information for Applicants Licensed Master’s Social Worker Licensure


2.1       Routes to Licensure There are three routes to licensure as a master’s social worker:

(a) licensure by examination;

(b) licensure by endorsement: and

(c) five year rule.


2.2       Licensure by Examination To be eligible for licensure as a licensed master’s social worker by examination an applicant must:

(a) receive a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited social work educational program;

 

(b) successfully complete 1,200 hours of supervised practice as specified in Part 5 of these rules;

 

(c) successfully complete the Association of Social Work Boards master’s level examination or its successor examination as selected by the Director taken within five years of submitting an application; and

 

(d) successfully complete the Vermont jurisprudence examination.


2.x       Examination used Applicants are required to successfully complete the Association of Social Work Boards (A.S.W.B.) clinical examination, or a successor or replacement examination selected by the Director.


3) For supervision provided prior to January 1, 1989 by a clinical social worker, no licensure is required at the time of supervision if the supervising social worker had met the education and supervised practice requirements of these rules, and subsequently passed the examination and was granted licensure.  


2.4       Licensure Without Examination To qualify to be licensed as a clinical social worker based on credentials, an applicant must be licensed in another jurisdiction which has essentially the same requirements, that is, a master’s or doctoral degree, two years of supervised practice, and passage of the examination or its equivalent in accordance with the provisions of Rule 2.3(c). Before deciding that an examination is equivalent, the Director may consult appropriate testing specialists or others. An applicant must provide the information necessary to make an equivalency decision and may have to pay the cost of consulting the necessary specialists. An applicant who is licensed and in good standing in another jurisdiction, whose licensing requirements are substantially equivalent to Vermont may be granted a license without written examination. 


2.3       Licensure by Endorsement To be eligible for licensure as a licensed master’s social worker by endorsement an applicant must:

a) hold an active license to practice licensed master’s social work or licensed independent clinical social work in another state or Canadian province whose requirements for licensure are substantially equivalent to Vermont’s requirements; and

 

b) successfully complete the jurisprudence examination.

 

2.4       Licensed Experience: Five Year Rule The Director may grant a license to practice as a master’s social worker to a person licensed in another United States or Canadian jurisdiction whose licensing requirements are determined by the Director to be not substantially equivalent to those of this state if:

 

(a) the applicant holds an active unencumbered license and has no disciplinary history in any jurisdictions currently or previously licensed;

 

(b) the applicant has practiced 1,200 hours per year or more for a minimum of five years;

 

(c) the Director, in his or her discretion, has determined that the applicant’s practice experience or education overcomes any lesser licensing requirements of the other jurisdiction(s); and


            (d) the applicant has successfully completed the Vermont jurisprudence examination.

 

* * *

x.y Apply Early Applicants to be a licensed clinical social worker are advised to apply as soon as they have met their graduation requirements so that they may be qualified for the licensing examination at the earliest time.


    Apply before Supervision Applicants should not wait to complete supervision requirements before applying for licensure. In fact, early application can help the Board provide applicants a clear understanding of any remaining licensure requirements.



 

Part 3 Licensure of Independent Clinical Social Workers


3.1       Routes to Licensure There are three routes to licensure as an independent clinical social worker:

            (a) licensure by examination;

 

(b) licensure by endorsement; and

 

(c) five year rule.


3.2       Licensure by Examination To be eligible for licensure as an independent clinical social worker by examination an applicant must:

 

(a) receive a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited social work educational program;

 

(b) successfully complete 3,000 hours of supervised practice as specified in Part 5 of these rules;

 

(c) successfully complete the Association of Social Work Boards clinical examination or its successor examination as selected by the Director; taken within five years of submitting an application; and

 

(d) successfully complete the Vermont jurisprudence examination.


3.x       Examination used Applicants are required to successfully complete the Association of Social Work Boards (A.S.W.B.) clinical examination???, or a successor or replacement examination selected by the Director. 


3.3       Licensure by Endorsement To be eligible for licensure as an independent clinical social worker by endorsement an applicant must:

 

a) hold an active license to practice independent clinical social work or its equivalent in another state or Canadian province whose requirements for licensure are substantially equivalent to the Vermont’s requirements; and

 

b) successfully complete the Vermont jurisprudence examination.


3.4       Licensed Experience: Five Year Rule The Director may grant a license to practice as an independent clinical social worker to a person licensed in another United States or Canadian Jurisdiction whose licensing requirements are deemed by the Director to be not substantially equivalent to those of this state if:

(a) the applicant holds an active unencumbered license, and has no disciplinary history in any jurisdictions currently or previously licensed;

 

(b) the applicant has practiced full-time for at least 1,200 hours per year for a minimum of five years;

 

(c) the Director, in his or her discretion, has determined that the applicant’s practice experience or education overcomes any lesser licensing requirements of the other jurisdiction(s); and


            (d) the applicant has successfully completed the Vermont jurisprudence examination.


x.y Apply before Supervision Applicants should not wait to complete supervision requirements before applying for licensure. In fact, early application can help the Board provide applicants a clear understanding of any remaining licensure requirements.


2.2       Application An applicant must submit a completed application form with all supporting documentation and the fee to the processing agency listed on the application. Examination applicants must submit the application, computer examination form and the fee by the deadline date in order to be allowed to sit for the examination, although the additional required documentation may be submitted after that date.


The Office reviews applications only after the completed file is forwarded by the processing agency.

Degree requirement: A master’s or doctoral degree in social work from an accredited social work program.

Examination: The Office currently administers an examination selected by the Director. The passing score is established by the use of objective psychometric standards. The examination will be given at least twice a year at a time and place set well in advance. Applicants can get more information about the examination from the Office. Results of examinations are normally available within 60 days.




Part 4 Decisions on Licensure


2.5       Right to a Written Decision and Appeal If the Director denies an applicant licensure, the Director will give specific reasons in writing and inform the applicant of the right to request a hearing for review of this decision. The hearing will be held by a special panel made up of the Advisors and a public member appointed by the Secretary of State. After giving the applicant an opportunity to present his or her application and any additional information, the special panel will affirm, reverse, remand or modify the Director’s preliminary decision. The applicant may appeal the special panel’s decision to an appellate officer.


4.1       Right to a Written Decision

(a) The Office will notify applicants in writing of all decisions to either grant or deny a license or license renewal. If a license or renewal is denied, the Office will give the applicant specific reasons and will also inform the applicant of the right to appeal the decision. This is called a “preliminary denial.”


(b) The Office most often issues a preliminary denial of licensure or renewal when it appears from the application and accompanying documents that the applicant does not meet all of the requirements for licensure. When this occurs, the applicant is notified of the right to file an appeal which is heard as a formal hearing by an Administrative Law Officer. At the hearing the burden of proof is on the applicant to show that the preliminary denial was in error. After that hearing the Administrative Law Officer issues a final decision in writing. If the decision affirms the preliminary denial of a license, the decision informs the applicant of his or her appellate rights.


4.2       Right to Appeal Licensing Decisions If the applicant is not satisfied with the final decision concerning the denial of a license or renewal, the applicant may appeal the decision to the Director. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date of the denial. An appellate officer will review the record made before the Administrative Law Officer for legal errors. Information about the appeal process may be obtained from the Office or online at http://vtprofessionals.org/.




 

Part 5 Supervised Practice


5.1       Supervised practice toward licensure as an L.M.S.W. Supervised practice toward licensure as an L.M.S.W. means social work practice that is supervised by a qualified supervisor who is familiar with the nature of the applicant’s social work activities and who monitors the quality of the work and contributes to the enhancement of self-knowledge and of social work practice.


5.2       Supervised Practice toward licensure as an L.I.C.S.W. Supervised practice toward licensure as an L.I.C.S.W. by an applicant, means

(a) clinical social work that is supervised by a qualified supervisor who is familiar with the nature of the applicant’s clinical activities and who monitors the quality of the work and contributes to the enhancement of self-knowledge and of clinical work. who The supervisor is responsible for an applicant’s work.

 

(b) Provision of psychotherapy must comprise 2,000 of the required 3,000 hours of supervision. The definition of “psychotherapy”is found in 26 V.S.A. § 3201(4).

 

(c) Applicants for licensure as L.I.C.S.W.s who are already licensed as Licensed Masters Social Workers are required to do 2,000 hours of supervised practice providing psychotherapy.


5.3       Registration Requirements

(a) For L.I.C.S.W. applicants already licensed as master’s social workers: No supervised practice toward licensure within the State of Vermont and no psychotherapy services may be provided as part of any supervised practice in Vermont until and unless the licensed master’s social worker has registered the with the Office. This registration shall be renewed with the license during the period of supervised practice. A licensee who provides psychotherapy services without registering with the Office is engaged in unauthorized practice and subject to disciplinary action. No unauthorized practice of psychotherapy will be counted toward the supervised practice requirement. 


(b) For L.I.C.S.W. applicants not already licensed as master’s social workers: No supervised practice toward licensure within the State of Vermont and no psychotherapy services may be provided in Vermont as part of supervised practice in Vermont before the applicant has been entered on the roster of non-licensed and non-certified psychotherapists. Applicants are required to remain on the roster for the duration of the supervised practice.

 

5.4       Unlicensed or Un-Rostered Practice: Responsibilities and Penalties

(a) Both the supervisor and person engaged in supervised practice are responsible for verifying that the applicant is properly registered with the Office.


(b) Supervisors should have a copy of the supervision form before supervision begins. Both the supervisor and applicant are expected to be familiar with these administrative rules at the beginning of the supervised practice.


(c) Unlicensed, unregistered, or un-rostered supervised practice is unauthorized practice and may subject the applicant and the supervisor to disciplinary action.


(d) Unauthorized practice in Vermont will not be counted toward the supervised practice requirement.


5.5       L.I.C.S.W. Supervised Practice Disclosure Requirements Individuals engaged in supervised practice in Vermont toward independent clinical social worker licensure must comply with the disclosure requirements of Part 7 of these rules.


5.6       Supervisors: Experience and Standing Requirements Supervised practice beginning after the effective date of these rules must occur under a supervisor who:

 

(a) has acquired 4,500 hours licensed practice in no fewer than three years, and

 

(b) at all times during the period of supervision holds an unencumbered license in a permitted supervisory licensed profession in the jurisdiction where the supervised practice occurs.

(c) who has taken within the preceding three years of commencing supervision the social worker statutes and rules jurisprudence examination.


5.7       Verification of Supervisor Credentials If the supervised practice occurred in a Canadian province or a state other than Vermont, the supervisor must submit verification of his or her licensure, registration, or certification directly to the Office. The verification must come from the licensing or certifying authority of the other state or province. Supervision reports will be reviewed only after the verification is received.


5.8       Areas of practice An applicant will receive credit in an area of practice only if the clinical supervisor is knowledgeable and experienced in that area, and only for work that is acceptable to the supervisor and satisfies the requirements of these rules.


(1) An applicant must have one hour of clinical supervision during each forty thirty (30) hours of supervised practice. The supervision must occur in a face-to-face setting.

 

5.9       Frequency and Nature of Supervision

An applicant must have one hour of clinical supervision during for each forty thirty (30) hours of supervised practice. in a face-to-face setting. The supervision must occur in a face-to-face setting. Face-to-face supervision via HIPAA compliant electronic media is acceptable.


5.10     Supervision Settings Face-to-face supervision may be in either an individual setting, between the supervisor and the applicant, or in a group setting, including the supervisor and up to eight trainees. Of the total hours of supervision, at least half must be in an individual setting.


5.11     Supervisor Prerequisites For supervised practice commencing after the effective date of these rules, a supervisor of anyone engaged in supervised practice toward licensure as an independent clinical social worker must be currently engaged in licensed practice and have no less than three years experience in licensed practice as: Clinical Supervisor means a:

(a) a licensed independent clinical social worker; or

            (b) a licensed clinical mental health counselor; or

            (c) a licensed psychologist; or

licensed physician or a licensed osteopathic physician who has completed a residency in psychiatry. a person licensed or certified in another state or Canada in one of these professions or their substantial equivalent.


5.12 Supervision of L.M.S.W. Applicants Supervision of applicants for licensure as L.M.S.W.s may be provided by:

(a) Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers; or

(b) Licensed Masters Social Workers; or

(c) a person licensed or certified in another state or Canada in one of these professions or their substantial equivalent.


5.13     Excluded from Supervising Preface: Successful supervision requires that the future licensee and supervisor have a full and candid exchange regarding all aspects of the supervised practice. Treatment issues, including issues of sexual attraction and other matters between practitioner and client, and work conditions affecting practice should be fully explored. Because full candor is needed, conflicts of interest between supervisor and future licensee must be avoided.

 

(a) Certain persons are excluded from being supervisors.

(1) A “clinical supervisor” may not include a spouse, life partner, former spouse, or family member.

(2) To avoid financial conflicts of interest, persons who gain financially from the practice of the applicant may not provide clinical supervision toward licensure. Excluded from providing clinical supervision toward licensure, therefore, would be employers, financial partners, shareholders in the same counseling enterprise, or other persons who gain financially from the practice of the applicant.

 

(b) An individual who:

(1) meets the requirements to be a supervisor; and

(2) is an employee of the same employer as the applicant, and

(3) does not personally financially gain from the practice of the applicant is not disqualified from providing clinical supervision.

 

(c) The following arrangements are examples of those which cannot be accepted for clinical supervision toward licensure:

(1) Supervision by current or former family members or any other persons where the nature of the personal relationship prevents or makes difficult the establishment of a professional relationship;

 

(2) Administrative supervision (for example, clinical practice performed under administrative rather than clinical supervision of an institutional director or executive);

 

(3) Classes, workshops, or seminars;

 

(4) Consultation, staff development, or orientation to a field or program, or role-playing of family interrelationships as a substitute for current clinical practice.


5.14     Supervisors Wherever Supervision Occurs The supervisor must be licensed or otherwise properly credentialed in the jurisdiction where the supervised practice occurs. a person certified, or licensed in another state or Canada in one of these professions, or in a licensed profession which is their substantial equivalent, and


Direct client contact

(5) supervised practice toward licensure as an independent clinical social worker shall include:

(a) shall include a minimum of 2,000 hours of assessment, Clinical diagnosis and psychotherapy and


5.15     Distribution of Supervised Practice Hours

(a) L.I.C.S.W: Of the 3,000 required practice hours 2,000 hours shall be the provision of psychotherapy services, with the remaining 1,000 hours in either direct or indirect social work services.


(b) Master’s: The 1,200 required practice hours required for licensure at the master’s level may include direct or indirect services.


(c) “Direct service” means time spent with a client directly regardless of setting, or in consulting with another professional about the client, for example, the client’s physician or psychiatrist. It may include any phone time or emergency time with the client, but over all it involves being with the client or the client’s other service providers.


 (d) “Indirect services” means creating case notes, staff meetings, supervision, workshops and conferences, general consultation, teaching, case management activities, and any other related social work practice other than direct client contact.


(e) An applicant must have one hour of clinical supervision during each 30 hours of supervised practice in a face-to-face setting .


5.16     Time allowed for supervised practice (3)

(a) Supervised practice towards licensure as an independent clinical social worker supervised practice may be completed in no less than two years.


(b) Supervised practice towards licensure as a master’s level social worker may be completed in not less than eight months.


5.17     Current Competency: Timing of Supervised Practice and Examinations


(a) The issuance of a license reflects the applicant’s demonstration of current minimum competence to practice social work. To ensure current competence, only supervised practice which takes place within five years of an applicant’s completed application will count toward the required supervised practice hours.


(4) (b) No more than 1,500 hours per year may be credited toward supervised practice requirement.


(c) Part-time practice of less than 16 hours per week will not count toward the supervised practice requirement. 


5.18 Expiration of applications Applications not completed within five years of their filing expire. They will receive no further action. After five years, a new application and filing fee will be required for anyone seeking licensure.


Duration of supervised practice:

(a) Two years of supervised practice ] , beginning no earlier than the completion of the graduate program.


5.19     Supervision Reports A supervision report must be submitted by a clinical supervisor. The supervision report shall contain sufficient detail to permit the Board to evaluate an applicant’s supervised practice. The supervision report must contain, at a minimum:

            (a) Applicant’s name;

(b) Supervisor’s name, signature, address, certification or licensure number, state where granted, date granted, and area of specialization;

(c) Name and nature of the practice setting, and a description of the client population served;

(d) Specific beginning and ending dates of practice covered;

(e) Number of practice hours during this period listing separately direct service hours and indirect service hours (to include all duties);

(f) Applicant’s specific duties;

(g) Number of one-to-one supervisory hours;

(h) Number of group supervision hours with a maximum of eight supervisees in a group supervised by at least one clinical supervisor;

(i) Detailed assessment of the applicant’s performance;

(j) Ethical practices reviewed;

(k) for L.I.C.S.W. applicants only: an evaluation of the applicant’s ability to provide psychotherapy and practice as an independent clinical social worker;

(l) A statement of the supervisor’s belief that the applicant is competent and qualified to practice.

 

Part 3             Supervised Practice


3.1       Supervised practice by an applicant, means clinical social work that is supervised by a qualified supervisor who is familiar with the nature of the applicant’s clinical activities and who monitors the quality of the work and contributes to the enhancement of self knowledge and of clinical work.


An applicant must have one hour of clinical supervision during each forty (30)hours of supervised practice in a face-to-face setting.


(a) After receiving the degree in social work, the applicant must complete 3,000 hours of supervised practice over a period of no less than 2 years. The supervised practice can begin only after the graduate program is completed.


An applicant must have one hour of clinical supervision during each forty hours of supervised practice in a face-to-face setting.


The supervision report shall include, but not be limited to:

, including:

A.

( ) The applicant’s name;

( ) The supervisor’s name, signature, address, license number, state where granted, date granted, certification of active practice, and area of specialization;

( ) The name and nature of the practice setting, and a description of the client population served;

( ) Specific dates of practice covered in the report;

( ) Number of practice hours during this period (to include all duties);.]

( ) The applicant’s specific duties;

( ) Number of one-to-one supervisory hours;

( ) Detailed assessment of the applicant’s performance;

( ) The clinical skills supervised;

( ) The ethical practices reviewed; and

 

( ) A statement of the supervisor’s belief that the applicant is competent and qualified to practice independent clinical social work.

 

A verification of certification or license regarding the supervisor if the supervisor is certified or licensed in another state. The verification must be provided directly to the Director from the other state.





PART 3. Part 6         Information for Licensed Clinical Social Workers Licensees


6.1       License Display The license, or a photo copy if the licensee practices at more than one location, must be conspicuously displayed in the licensee’s place(s) of practice. Licensees may black out or cover their residence address if it appears on the license.


Renewing Licensure Biennially Licenses expire every two years. Licensees must renew by the expiration date printed on the license. Before the expiration date, the Office will mail each licensee a renewal application and notice of the renewal fee. A license will expire automatically if the renewal application and fee are not returned to the Office by the expiration date.


3.86.2  Change of Name or Address A licensee is responsible for notifying the Office immediately within 30 days if he or she changes name, mailing address or business address. 3 V.S.A. § 129a(a)(14)


3.2 6.3 Continuing Education Requirements All Vermont licensed clinical social workers are required to complete Continuing education is intended to enhance the licensee’s knowledge and skills toward the goals of safe, ethical, and competent practice of clinical social work.

 

(a) As a pre-condition for renewal,

(1) each licensed independent clinical social worker is required to document and complete twenty (20) hours of continuing education taken during the concluding licensing period.

(2) each licensed master’s social worker is required to document and complete ten (10) hours of continuing education taken in a formal setting during the concluding licensing period.

 

(b) Only actual time spent in acceptable educational activities may be claimed. Breaks and meals are excluded.

All licensees shall attest to the completion of 20 contact hours of eligible education taken within the previous two-year license period and submit documentation on a form provided by the Office of Professional Regulation. These submissions may be randomly scanned for compliance and further audit.

The continuing education requirement does not apply for the renewal period during which a person initially obtained licensure. It will begin with the first full two-year renewal period following initial licensure.

 

(c) For applicants granted an initial license to practice, the mandatory continuing education requirement begins with the first day of the first full biennial licensing period following the issuance of initial license. The Board recommends, but does not require continuing education for initial licensees before that time.

 

(d) For those licensees granted an initial license within 90 days of the end of the licensing period/renewal date and who are not then required to renew their licenses, the continuing education requirement begins with the first day of the biennial licensing period so that all people licensed for two years at the time of their first renewal must satisfy the continuing education requirements.


3.3 6.4            Eligible Continuing Education Subject Areas Relevant areas of continuing education may include but shall not be limited to:

(1a) clinical theory and techniques; human growth and development; child and family development; individual, marital, family and social change;

 

(2b) social and health research; social and public policy development and implementation (for example, welfare, mental health laws, health care regulation); social work education and supervision;

 

(3c) topics in the fields of medicine, law, administration, education, and behavioral sciences, if specifically relevant to the safe and competent practice of clinical social work.

 

(d) Those who serve as supervisors are encouraged to take some continuing education training related to supervision.


6.5       Ethics Requirement At least one and one half hours of the total 20 required hours shall be in ethics of social work practice, including such issues as boundaries, confidentiality, and dual relationships.

 

6.6       Formal Educational Activities

(a) For L.I.C.S.W.’s: At least 15 contact hours shall consist of formal in person education. experiences. (described below).


(b) For master’s social workers: All hours must consist of formal education.

Formal educational activities shall may include but are not be limited to:

(1)       (1) Conferences, workshops, seminars, academic courses, in-service programs (regularly scheduled staff meetings are not eligible);

(2) Offerings approved or sponsored by national, regional, or state professional organizations in social work and allied disciplines and accredited social work universities and colleges. ;

(3) First-time presentations, training, or courses. One and one-half times the actual instructional time will be given for first-time presentations, training, or courses.


6.7       Informal or Self-Directed Educational Activities: for L.I.C.S.W.’s Only No more than five hours of continuing education may be in informal or self-directed educational activities. Informal or self-directed educational activities may include:

(a) Viewing of educational or training videos, or taped programs if they are in relevant areas, have written objectives, are attended by at least four people, and are lead by a qualified individual;

 

(a) independent study projects or study groups sponsored by the organizations listed in these rules or approved by the Director. following section.

 

(b) on line courses or programs approved by organizations specified in these rules.

 

6.8       Ineligible activities

(a) Lectures, teaching, or other activities performed for financial remuneration are not eligible for continuing education credit.


(b) peer supervision is not eligible for continuing education credit.


3.4       Continuing Educational Credit Requirements


6.9       Pre-Approved Activities and Sponsors The Office will accept eligible continuing education activities offered by the following organizations:

(1)       (a) Courses and continuing education activities offered by accredited colleges and universities;


(2)       (b) Seminars, courses, conferences, or workshops sponsored or approved by official national, regional, or state social work professional organizations or state boards;

 

(3)       (c) Seminars, courses, conferences or workshops sponsored or approved by national, regional, or state professional organizations in the related specialties of marriage, family and group counseling, psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, psychology, pastoral counseling;


(4)       (c) Courses and continuing educational activities sponsored and approved by the appropriate national, regional, or state professional organization in the fields of medicine, law, administration, education, and behavioral sciences;


(5)       (d) In-service and continuing education activities sponsored by hospitals, public and private human service agencies and schools which have been approved for continuing education credit by the above organizations.

 

(Be) Credit hours assigned by sponsoring organizations for independent study projects will be accepted by the Office. up to a maximum of five continuing education credit hours.

Questions regarding other sponsors will be reviewed by the Office and must be submitted for approval 90 days prior to the activity for which approval is sought.

 

(f) Professional development programs, regardless of format, approved by N.A.S.W., N.A.S.W. Vermont, Council on Social Work Education, or A.S.W.B. qualify as approved continuing education programs.


Continuing education credit hours will be assigned accepted as follows:

            (1) For formal educational activities:

(A) One continuing education credit hour will be given for each clock (content) hour of instructional time. Breaks and meals are excluded.


(B) Breaks and meals are excluded.


(2) (g) No more than five hours may be claimed for informal or self-directed educational activities. This includes eligible study groups and viewing of educational or training videos, on line offerings or taped programs.

, a maximum of five hours may be accepted. credited as follows:

(A) Eligible study groups and the viewing of educational or training videos or taped programs will be given the same continuing education credit as formal educational activities for actual contact time, to a maximum of five hours.


3.5       Documentation Upon application for license renewal, licensees shall attest to the completion of 20 hours of eligible continuing education taken within the previous two-year licensing period and submit documentation on a form provided by the Office. These submissions may be randomly scanned for compliance and further audit.


6.10     Documentation and Retention of Records Licensees shall maintain the following evidence of continuing education for six four years and shall make such evidence available to the Office upon request:

(1)       (a) Verification documentation of formal educational activities shall should include programs listing content and speakers, date offered, actual contact hours of attendance, certification of attendance, course outlines, statements of attendance signed by the instructor, pamphlets, brief summary of work content, and transcripts, if applicable.

 

(2)       (b) Verification documentation of informal educational activities shall include outline of curriculum, objectives, names, addresses and qualifications of speakers or leaders, names and addresses of other participating members, and annotated bibliographies as appropriate, and verification of attendance.


 Licensees shall maintain verification (see “Documentation” below) of continuing education for six years and shall make such verification available to the Office upon request.


6.11     Continuing Education Audits

(a) The Office will conduct continuing education audits of randomly selected licensees as well as licensees whose licenses are conditioned. The Office may also audit late renewing licensees, and licensees who in any of the preceding two renewal cycles were initially found to have not met continuing education renewal requirements.


(b) When a licensee appears on the audit list, the Office will request documentation from the licensee showing a detailed account of the various credits claimed. The Office will review the documentation and determine if continuing education requirements have been satisfied.


(c) Under 3 V.S.A. § 129(k) the Director may give a licensee 90 days to develop and complete a corrective plan to correct any deficiencies in his or her continuing education requirements.


(d) Failure to comply with a corrective plan may result in disciplinary action. 3 V.S.A. § 129a(a)(4).


3.6       Failure to Meet Continuing Education Requirements The Office may require a licensee who cannot produce satisfactory documentation of continuing education, as set forth above, to develop and complete a specific corrective action plan within 90 days. The Office will extend the license during the 90-day corrective action period but will not renew it if the licensee fails to complete the plan.




Part 7 Disclosure


4.2       7.1       Disclosure of Information

(a) As used in this Part only, the term “Social Worker” includes both a L.I.C.S.W. and a person in supervised practice toward licensure as a L.I.C.S.W.


(b) Each licensed clinical social worker Each Social Worker who provides psychotherapy services shall disclose to each client the following information, printed or typed in easily readable format:

(1) The licensed clinical social worker’s Social Worker’s professional qualifications and experience, including

(A) all relevant graduate programs attended and all graduate degrees and certificates earned, including the full legal name of the granting institution, and (B) a brief description of any special qualifications and areas of practice.

 

(2) A copy of the statutory definition of unprofessional conduct (26 V.S.A. § 3210).

Information on the process for filing a complaint with, or making a consumer inquiry to, the Director. Sample information cards disclosure forms are available from the Office.


7.2       Definition Disclosure means, at a minimum,:

 

(a) posting the information and informing the client where the information is posted, or

 

(b) having the information printed, displaying the printed information in an easily accessible location, and informing the client where the information is displayed, or

 

(c) having the information printed and directly handing a copy of the information to the client.


7.3       Timing of Disclosure

(a) Not later than the third office visit, the licensed clinical social worker Social Worker shall present to the client for signature a document stating that the information required to be disclosed in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) above has been was disclosed to the client. The clinical social worker Social Worker shall also sign the document and shall retain the signed original. If, by the third office visit, disclosure cannot be made or the client declines to sign, the licensed clinical social worker Social Worker shall prepare and sign a written statement explaining the omission, which shall be retained in place of the signed copy.


(b) A licensed clinical social worker A Social Worker who provides psychotherapy services to an institutionalized client shall not be required under this rule to repeat information already disclosed to the client pursuant to requirements of other governmental regulatory agencies such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). However, in such cases, the licensed clinical social worker Social Worker shall obtain from the client the signed document required in the paragraph immediately preceding, clearly indicating that the information required to be disclosed under this rule was disclosed to the client pursuant to the requirements of this rule or the requirements of another governmental regulatory agency.


(c) When the client is not able to understand the disclosure, as in the case of an institutionalized person, a minor, or an adult who is under the supervision of a guardian, the disclosure shall be made to a suitable parent or legal guardian.

 

(d) The Director may audit a licensed clinical social worker’s a Social Worker’s records of information disclosure. Social workers to be audited may be selected at random.


4.3       Psychotherapy Practitioners in Community Mental Health Centers and Hospitals Effective July 1, 1996, individuals practicing clinical social work, who provide psychotherapy services and who are employees of or under contract with a community mental health center or hospital, are no longer exempt from licensure. However, any such individual who was employed by or under contract with a community mental health center or hospital before July 1, 1996, may continue to practice clinical social work until July 1, 1999, without being licensed as a clinical social worker, if:

1. His or her name is included on the roster of nonlicensed and noncertified psychotherapists (see 26 V.S.A. §§ 4081-4093), and

2. He or she continues to be employed by or under contract with a community mental health center or a hospital.


The Office will provide information upon request about entry on the roster of nonlicensed and noncertified psychotherapists.




Part 8 Renewals


3.7 Reinstating Licensure


8.1       License Renewal Licenses are issued for a two-year period on a schedule set by the Office of Professional Regulation, and must be renewed by the expiration date printed on the license certificate.

(a) The Office sends renewal notices in advance of the expiration date. A licensee is responsible for renewal whether a notice is received or not, and a license is not valid after its expiration.

 

(b) Initial licenses issued within 90 days of the renewal date will not require renewal and payment of the renewal fee. The license will be issued through the next full license period. Applicants issued an initial license more than 90 days prior to the renewal expiration date will be required to renew and pay the renewal fee.


8.2       Lapsed (expired) Licenses A lapsed license may be reinstated as permitted by statute upon payment of the required fees.


8.3       Inactive License status         A license may be placed on inactive status as permitted by statute.

If a license has expired because it was not renewed on time, the licensee must apply for reinstatement and pay a reinstatement fee and the renewal fee for the current renewal period.


The Director may also revoke a license, after an opportunity for a formal hearing, if it has lapsed for five years or longer.



 

Part 9          Discipline


9.1       Unprofessional Conduct

(a) Unprofessional conduct for social workers is defined by 26 V.S.A. § 3210 and 3 V.S.A. § 129a. Unprofessional conduct includes failing to comply with provisions of federal or state statutes or rules governing the practice of the profession. Violation of the provisions of the N.A.S.W. Code of Ethics may constitute unprofessional conduct.

 

(b) The N.A.S.W. Code of Ethics may be found at the NASW website,

 http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/default.asp.


3.9       Professional Standards Licensed clinical social workers may be disciplined for any of the categories of unprofessional conduct listed in 26 V.S.A. § 3210 or 3 V.S.A. § 129a. In addition, 3 V.S.A. § 129(a)(6) provides a ground for discipline in this state if a licensee or applicant has been disciplined in another state for an offense which would constitute unprofessional conduct in Vermont.

9.2       Sanctions for Unprofessional Conduct and Unauthorized Practice

(a) The licensee may be disciplined following a hearing upon a finding of unprofessional conduct. Possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed on the license of a licensee may include, but are not limited to:

(1)warnings or reprimands;

 

(2)suspension for a period of time to be determined by the Board;

 

(3)revocation;

 

(4)limitations or conditions on practice;

 

(5)setting conditions for practice or resumption of practice;

 

(6)denial of renewal or reinstatement; or

 

            (7)       imposition of civil penalties.


(b) All disciplinary actions are public records available online or from the Office.


(c) A civil penalty of up to $1000 for each instance of unprofessional conduct or unauthorized practice may be imposed.


4.0       Complaint Procedure The Office has a procedure for receiving, investigating and acting on complaints of unprofessional conduct. Copies of the procedure are available from the Office.


9.3 Disciplinary Procedure The Office has a procedure for processing, investigating, and prosecuting unprofessional conduct and unauthorized practice complaints. A copy of the complaint procedure may be obtained from the Office or online under “Disciplinary Procedures” at http://vtprofessionals.org/ .


4.1       Disciplinary Actions Hearings on charges of unprofessional conduct are held before a special panel, consisting of the Advisors and a public member appointed by the Secretary of State. The panel may appoint its legal counsel to conduct the hearing, or may appoint a hearing officer to take evidence and report to the panel.


A party aggrieved by a decision of a special panel may, within 30 days of the decision, appeal by filing a written notice with the Director. The appeal shall be decided by an appellate officer on the basis of the record before the panel.


9.4       Confidentiality The Office follows the confidentiality provisions of 3 V.S.A. § 131. All identifying information related to complaints remains confidential until disciplinary charges are filed.


Disciplinary Process  The disciplinary process and disciplinary hearings are conducted as set forth by statute and the Office Administrative rules, See, http://vtprofessionals.org/. Persons who are the subject of disciplinary action are notified of their obligations and appellate rights.


9.5       Appeal A party aggrieved by a final decision in a disciplinary matter may appeal that decision by filing a notice of appeal with the Director. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date of the decision. Information about the appeal process may be obtained from the Office.

 



Rule Adopted: March 2, 2000

Effective Date of Rule: April 1, 2000


* * *

Deleted or Replaced Portions of Rules


2.3       Qualifications for Licensure as a Clinical Social Worker As set forth in the Act, the basic qualifications for licensure are

(1) a graduate degree from an accredited social work program,

(2) two years of supervised practice, and

(3) passing the examination.

( ) In addition, the applicant must submit the names of three persons who can attest to his or her professional competence. Those persons must have the same qualifications as a clinical supervisor.