LPCA Information

A Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA) license allows a person to engage in supervised practice of counseling in the state of North Carolina. LPCA license numbers start with an A (example: A0000). Please see additional information below regarding the license. The LPCA application consists of multiple sections and additional documents:

Applying for LPCA Licensure

Application Information

To expedite the application review process we encourage applicants to apply using the application portal. Please expect an additional 2-3 weeks processing time for paper applications. If you would like to apply by paper, you are welcome to print and mail the paper application. All printable applications are made available in portable document format (PDF) and available only by request to the Board office. If mailing the application, ALL application materials should be sent in one application packet. The LPCA application consists of multiple sections and additional documents:

  1. General Information
  2. Credentials
  3. Legal & Ethics History
    1. If you answer yes to any question in this section please be sure to provide required additional explanation information.
    2. Information received is considered when reviewing applications.
  4. Education
    1. Official Graduate Transcript(s) from each university listed in this section should be submitted.
    2. We encourage applicants to send transcripts with the application. Official transcript(s) can be issued directly to the student as long as they arrive at NCBLPC still sealed from the registrar.
    3. If the transcript course titles are ambiguous or do not convey the pertinent content of the courses, the Board shall require additional documentation from the applicant, such as a course description or syllabus from the same time period that the applicant was enrolled.
    4. If the degree is in a related field (e.g. psychology, counseling psychology, rehabilitation counseling, marriage and family therapy, etc.) please submit course descriptions and syllabi for completed coursework.
    5. If the transcript is not available (due to upcoming graduation) the applicant must submit a receipt showing the request and payment to the educational institution for an official transcript to be sent to the Board in order to possibly be considered for Candidate for Licensure Pending (CFL-P) status.
    6. Official transcripts can also be sent electronically to transcripts@ncblpc.org.
  5. References
    1. Applicants are to provide a list of three individuals (may include supervisors) who are acquainted with their professional counseling work.
    2. At least one reference must be a licensed professional counselor.
    3. References are to complete the Applicant Reference Form.
    4. The completed forms must be returned directly to the applicant in a sealed envelope with the reference’s signature over the seal or sent directly to the Board.
    5. Unsigned forms/envelopes will be returned.
  6. Graduate Counseling Experience
    1. Provide your graduate Practicum and Internship experiences.
    2. These experiences should appear on your graduate transcript(s).
    3. Send Verification of Graduate Counseling Experience form(s) to your University. A faculty member/university supervisor should complete the form and send it directly to the NCBLPC.
    4. Practicum and Internship are defined in Rule .0701(B) of the Administrative code.
  7. Graduate Courses
    1. Each coursework area must have at least one 3-semester hour or 5-quarter hour course unless otherwise specified.
    2. A course may only be used to satisfy ONE coursework area.
    3. If courses are received from multiple universities, please be sure that a transcript is received for each university.
  8. Application Validation – Notary Public
    1. You will need to complete and sign the application affidavit from in the presence of a notary public.
  9. Criminal Background Check
    1. Fingerprints are used to perform a search of the State’s criminal history record file and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s files.
    2. Background checks are completed pursuant to NCGS § 90-345.
    3. Background checks completed for other agencies or licenses cannot be used.
  10. Other Application Items
    1. Payment – $238 (includes $38 Criminal Background Check Fee)
    2. Verification of Graduate Counseling Experience Form
    3. LPCA Professional Disclosure Statement (PDS)
      1. PDS Instructions
      2. PDS Template
    4. Jurisprudence Exam Certificate of Completion
    5. Official National Exam (NCE, NCMHCE, or CRC) test scores

Educational Requirements

In accordance with NC GS 90-336 and rules .0206 and .0701 applicants for LPCA licensure must meet the following educational requirements:

  • Graduate education must be documented by an official transcript from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
  • Master’s Degree credit hour requirements:
    • If enrolled prior to July 1, 2009 applicants will need 48 Semester Hours or 72 Quarter Hours
    • If enrolled prior to July 1, 2013 but after June 30, 2009 applicants will need 54 Semester Hours or 81 Quarter Hours
    • If enrolled after June 30, 2013 applicants will need 60 Semester Hours or 90 Quarter Hours
  • Graduate Coursework in Counseling for 9 areas of study – 3 semester hours or 5 quarter hours per course area of study
  • HELPING RELATIONSHIPS IN COUNSELING – Studies in this area provide an understanding of counseling and consultation processes, including the following:

    1. counseling and consultation theories, including both individual and systems perspectives, as well as coverage of relevant research and factors considered in applications;
    2. basic interviewing, assessment, and counseling skills;
    3. counselor or consultant characteristics and behaviors that influence professional counseling relationships, including age, gender, and ethnic differences; verbal and nonverbal behaviors; personal behaviors; and personal characteristics, orientations, and skills;
    4. client or consultee characteristics and behaviors that influence professional counseling relationships, including age, gender, and ethnic differences; verbal and nonverbal behaviors; and personal behaviors; personal characteristics, orientations and skills; and
    5. ethical considerations.
  • COUNSELING PRACTICUM AND INTERNSHIP – Practicum and internship experience should be provided in a supervised graduate counseling experience in a regionally accredited program of study. This graduate counseling experience shall be completed as defined in Administrative Rule .0206. To assist applicants with the application process the Board has adopted definitions of practicum and internship coursework. Please click here for more information regarding these definitions.

  • PROFESSIONAL ORIENTATION TO COUNSELING - Studies in this area provide an understanding of all aspects of professional functioning, including history, roles, organizational structures, ethics, standards, and credentialing, including the following:

    1. history of the counseling profession, including significant factors and events;
    2. professional roles and functions of counselors, including similarities and differences with other types of professionals;
    3. professional organizations (primarily the ACA, its divisions, branches and affiliates), including membership benefits, activities, services to members, and current emphases;
    4. ethical standards of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) or ACA and related ethical and legal issues, and their applications to various professional activities (e.g., appraisal, group work);
    5. professional counselor preparation standards, their evolution, and current applications;
    6. professional counselor credentialing, including counselor certification, licensure and accreditation practices and standards, and the effects of public policy on these issues;
    7. public policy processes, including the role of the professional counselor advocating on behalf of the profession and its clientele; and
    8. ethical considerations.
  • HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT THEORIES IN COUNSELING - Studies in this area provide an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels, relevant to counseling practice, including the following:

    1. theories of individual and family development, and transitions across the life span;
    2. theories of learning and personality development;
    3. human behavior, including an understanding of developmental crises, disability, addictive behavior, psychopathology, and environmental factors as they affect both normal and abnormal behavior;
    4. counseling strategies for facilitating development over the life span; and
    5. ethical considerations.
  • SOCIAL AND CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS IN COUNSELING - Studies in this area provide an understanding of issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society that impact professional counselors and the counseling profession, including, the following:

    1. multicultural and pluralistic trends, including characteristics and concerns of counseling individuals from diverse groups;
    2. attitudes and behavior based on factors such as age, race, religious preferences, physical disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity and culture, family patterns, gender, socioeconomic status, and intellectual ability;
    3. individual, family, and group counseling strategies with diverse populations; and
    4. ethical considerations.
  • GROUP COUNSELING THEORIES AND PROCESSES - Studies in this area provide an understanding of group development, dynamics, and counseling theories; group counseling methods and skills; and other group work approaches, including the following:

    1. principals of group dynamics, including group counseling components, developmental stage theories, and group members’ roles and behaviors;
    2. group leadership styles and approaches, including characteristics of various types of group leaders and leadership styles;
    3. theories of group counseling, including commonalities, distinguishing characteristics, and pertinent research and literature;
    4. group counseling methods, including group counselor orientations and behaviors, ethical standards, appropriate selection criteria, and methods of evaluation of effectiveness;
    5. approaches used for other types of group work in counseling, including task groups, support groups, and therapy groups; and
    6. ethical considerations.
  • CAREER COUNSELING AND LIFESTYLE DEVELOPMENT - Studies in this area provide an understanding of career counseling, development, and related life factors, including the following:

    1. career-counseling theories and decision-making process;
    2. career, avocational, educational, and labor market information resources; visual and print media; and computer-based career information systems;
    3. career-counseling program planning, organization, implementation, administration, and evaluation;
    4. interrelationships among work, family, and other life roles and factors, including multicultural and gender issues as related to career counseling;
    5. career and educational placement counseling, follow-up, and evaluation;
    6. assessment instruments and techniques relevant to career counseling;
    7. computer-based career-development applications and strategies, including computer assisted career-counseling systems;
    8. career-counseling processes, techniques and resources, including those applicable to specific populations; and
    9. ethical considerations.
  • ASSESSMENT IN COUNSELING - Studies in this area provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation in counseling practice, including the following:

    1. theoretical and historical bases for assessment techniques in counseling;
    2. validity, including evidence for establishing content, construct, and empirical validity;
    3. reliability, including methods of establishing stability, internal, and equivalence reliability;
    4. appraisal methods, including environmental assessment, performance assessment, individual and group test and inventory methods, behavioral observations, and computer-managed and computer-assisted methods;
    5. psychometric statistics, including types of assessment scores, measures of central tendency, indices of variability, standard errors, and correlations;
    6. age, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, and cultural factors related to the use of assessment and evaluation in counseling services;
    7. strategies for selecting, administering, interpreting and using assessment and evaluation instruments, and techniques in counseling; and
    8. ethical considerations.
  • RESEARCH AND PROGRAM EVALUATION - Studies in this area provide an understanding of types of research methods, basic statistics, and ethical and legal consideration in research, including the following:

    1. basic types of research methods to include qualitative and quantitative research designs;
    2. basic parametric and nonparametric statistics;
    3. principles, practices, and applications of needs assessment and program evaluation;
    4. uses of computers for data management and analysis; and
    5. ethical and legal considerations.

Examinations

In accordance with NC GS 90-336 and rules .0305, .0307, and .0701 applicants for LPCA licensure must meet the following two (2) examination requirements:

  1. National Exam
    1. One of the following national exams shall be taken to complete the examination requirement for licensure as a licensed professional counselor associate and licensed professional counselor:
      1. the National Counselor Examination (NCE) – provided by the National Board for Certified Counselors;
      2. the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) – provided by the National Board for Certified Counselors; or
      3. the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Examination (CRC) – provided by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification
    2. The Board shall accept examinations administered by other state counselor licensing boards and professional counselor credentialing associations if the Board determines that such examinations are equivalent to the NCE, NCMHCE, or CRC relative to content and minimum satisfactory performance levels for counselors.
    3. Additional Exam Information Documents
    NCE and NCMHCE Exam Registration Form
  2. Jurisprudence Exam

    The jurisprudence exam is required for licensure application at each level and must be taken within six months prior to application to the Board.

Graduate Counseling Experience

In accordance with rule .0206 of the Administrative Code all applicants must complete graduate counseling experience in both a practicum and an internship. Supervised graduate counseling shall be verified by a university faculty member on the Verification of Graduate Counseling Experience Form(s). The requirements for each are dependent on the applicant’s enrollment in their master’s program:

  • Applicants enrolled in master’s programs before July 1, 2015, a separate practicum and an internship shall be completed as part of the graduate course of study with:
    1. at least 17 hours of graduate counseling supervision, as defined in Rules .0210 and .0211;
    2. a minimum of 300 hours of supervised graduate counseling experience at a rate of not less than one hour of clinical supervision per 40 hours of graduate counseling experience, as defined by Rule .0701(2)(b); and
    3. at least 180 hours of this counseling experience shall be direct counseling experience as defined in Rule .0205.
  • Applicants who enroll in a master’s program on or after July 1, 2015, graduate counseling experience shall consist of the following separate courses:
    1. one or more courses in practicum totaling at least three semester hours or five quarter hours;
    2. one or more courses in internship totaling at least three semester hours or five quarter hours; and
    3. The experience should have:
      • at least 17 hours of graduate counseling supervision as defined in Rules .0210 and .0211;
      • Supervised graduate counseling shall consist of a minimum of 300 hours of graduate; counseling experience at a rate of not less than one hour of clinical supervision per 40 hours of graduate counseling experience, as defined by Rule .0701(2)(b); and
      • At least 180 hours of this counseling experience shall be direct counseling experience as defined in Rule .0205.

Professional Disclosure Statement Requirements

  • In accordance with NC GS 90-343 and rule .0204 of the Administrative code all LPCAs must have a Professional Disclosure (PDS) Statement, which is on file with the Board.
  • LPCAs must include disclosure of supervision arrangements
  • The PDS must be provided to clients prior to rendering counseling services
  • A signed copy must be retained in client records
  • Must include all items listed in Rule .0204
  • Once licensed, applicants will need to update their professional disclosure statement.
  • A current copy of this statement must be provided to each client prior to the performance of professional counseling services. The counselor must retain a file copy of the Professional Disclosure Statement signed by each client.
  • Additional LPCA PDS Information