In 2022, Act 117, An act relating to licensure of mental health professionals, was passed into law. Several parts of this act impact mental health counselors in Vermont.
One part of this Act updates Sec. 4. 26 V.S.A. § 3269 regarding continuing education requirements for licensing renewal. Here are the changes:
- Synchronous virtual continuing education credits shall be approvable and accepted as live in-person training.
- Continuing education requirements shall include requiring one or more continuing education units in the area of systematic oppression and anti-oppressive practice, or in related topic areas, consistent with the report recommendations from the Health Equity Advisory Commission required pursuant to 2021 Acts and Resolves No. 33, Sec. 5 for improving cultural competency, cultural humility, and antiracism in Vermont’s health care system.
You can read more about these changes by reading the text of Act 117, which is available on Vermont's Act 117 Legislature
webpage (page 4).
Another part of this Act requires OPR to conduct a Mental Health Licensure Study. The purpose is to consider:
- the possibility of streamlining the licensure of mental health professionals practicing in the State, including a review of the feasibility of creating one mental health professional license with endorsements for specific mental health professions;
- whether additional regulation of supervisors for mental health professionals in training is necessary, including a review of potential limits on areas of mental health work a supervisor may supervise based on the supervisor’s own work experience and education, the rate or fee a supervisor may charge for providing supervision, and the number of supervisees assigned to one supervisor; and
- the barriers for individuals who are Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Color (BIPOC), refugees and new Americans, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with low income, individuals with disabilities, and those individuals with lived mental health and substance use experience entering mental health professions regulated by the Office of Professional Regulation.
More information on this study can be found at the OPR's Mental Health Licensing Study