A "licensed professional counselor associate" (LPCA) is a person engaged in the supervised practice of counseling who holds a license as a licensed professional counselor associate issued under the provisions of the LPC Act.
Important Reminders for LPCAs (Rule .0702)
- You shall only provide counseling while under the supervision of a qualified clinical supervisor with a supervision contract approved by the Board.
You must receive approval of the supervision contract prior to rendering counseling services.
- At least 1 contract is required per supervisor.
- You may have multiple supervisors, but a separate contract is needed for each of the supervisors.
- Notification must be given to the Board within 2 weeks of termination of or a change in supervision contract.
- If not receiving supervision, it shall be the responsibility of the LPCA to report such to the Board.
- Final Report to be filed at conclusion or termination of supervision. If you have multiple supervisors, a Final Report is required from each supervisor.
LPCA Supervised Professional Practice
In order to meet requirements for an LPC (non-restricted) license, LPCAs must complete a minimum of 3,000 hours of supervised professional practice.
"Supervised professional practice” means counseling experience under the supervision of a qualified clinical supervisor, as defined in Rule .0209 of the Administrative Code. No hours can be applied from Masters level practicum or internship experiences.
This supervised professional practice includes:
Direct counseling experience – live contact with individuals, groups, or families through counseling as defined in G.S. § 90-330(a)(3) a and b.
- At least 2,000 hours must be direct counseling.
- Indirect counseling experience – counseling‐related work such as phone calls and paper work
- No more than 40 hours per week.
- a minimum of 1 hour of individual or 2 hours of group clinical supervision per 40 hours of supervised professional counseling practice.
Individual and group clinical supervision hours do not count towards the 40 hours of supervised professional practice.
LPCA Clinical Supervision
During the attainment of supervised professional practice hours LPCAs must receive at least 100 hours of clinical supervision. This Clinical Supervision can be provided in individual and group settings:
Individual Supervision (Rule .0210)
- Face-to-face supervision with one or two supervisees and a qualified clinical supervisor.
- Supervision is live, interactive, and visual. Video supervision is permitted as long as the session is synchronous and involves verbal and visual interaction during the supervision.
- A minimum of 1 hour of individual per 40 hours of supervised professional counseling practice.
- Face-to-face hours with the qualified clinical supervisor do not count toward the 40 hours of supervised professional practice.
Group Supervision (Rule .0211)
- Face-to-face supervision with groups of supervisees, not to exceed 12 supervisees per group, and a qualified clinical supervisor.
- A minimum of 2 hours of group clinical supervision per 40 hours of supervised professional counseling practice.
- At least 75 hours must be individual supervision
Supervision must be based on one of the following forms of observation or a combination of the following forms of observation. Written materials and self-reports by the supervised counselor may supplement the supervision process but shall not be the sole basis of any supervision session.
- Direct/Live Observation
- Audio or Video Recordings
- Live Supervision
Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPCS)
The credential of licensed professional counselor supervisor shall be granted by the Board to a licensed professional counselor who has satisfied the following requirements
- obtained an independent license that is not under supervision as defined in G.S. § 90-336(d)(4);
- earned the equivalent of three semester graduate credits in clinical supervision training from a regionally accredited institution of higher education as documented by an official transcript, or 45 contact hours of continuing education in clinical supervision;
- documented licensed professional counseling experience as defined in G.S. § 90-336(d)(2); and
- submitted a complete application for licensed professional counselor supervisor.
A “qualified clinical supervisor” is:
(1) A LPC with the following:
- an independent license that is not under supervision;
- the equivalent of 3 semester graduate credits in clinical supervision from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or 45 contact hours of continuing education in clinical supervision; and
- a minimum of 5 years of post-graduate counseling experience with a minimum of 2 years of post-licensure experience;
(2) An equivalently and actively licensed mental health professional.
A mental health professional includes the following individuals:
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT);
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) with a master’s degree in social work from a school of social work accredited by the Council of Social Work Education;
- Licensed Psychologists;
- Licensed Medical Doctors with a Medical Board certification in psychiatry;
- Nurse Practitioners approved to practice in North Carolina and certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as an advanced practice nurse practitioner and certified in psychiatric nursing; and
- Clinical Nurse Specialists certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Psychiatric Nurse Association as an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).
“Equivalently and actively licensed” means that the mental health professional shall have:
- at least a master’s degree as defined in G.S. § 90-336(b)(1);
- an independent license that is not under supervision and is in good standing with the respective licensing board;
- the equivalent of 3 semester graduate credits in clinical supervision from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or 45 contact hours of continuing education in clinical supervision;
- a minimum of 5 years of post-graduate counseling experience, with a minimum of 2 years of post licensure experience; and
- a minimum of 10 contact hours of continuing education in professional knowledge and competency in the field of counseling supervision completed every two years and submitted to the Board.
Supervision contract must be completed using the Supervision Contract form provided by the Board. LPCAs must receive approval of supervision contract prior to rendering counseling services. Notifications of approvals (or denials) are sent to the Supervisor. However, LPCAs can view their approved supervisors by logging in to their online update. Contracts are usually reviewed within 2 weeks of receipt.
The Supervision Contract must have the following information:
- Name of the qualified clinical supervisor.
- Contact information for the qualified clinical supervisor.
- The modality of supervision to be provided, such as direct (live) observation, co-therapy, audio and video recordings, and live supervision.
- The frequency of supervision.
- The location of the proposed supervision.
If receiving supervision from more than one supervisor, a separate supervision contract form shall be filed for each individual qualified clinical supervisor. A separate supervision contract form shall be filed for each separate work setting and each supervisor must be approved.
The supervisor, in collaboration with the supervisee, shall maintain a log of clinical supervision hours that includes the following:
- the date;
- supervision start and stop times;
- the modality of supervision to be provided, such as live observation, co-therapy, audio and video recordings, and live supervision; and
- notes on recommendations or interventions used during the supervision.
Please see the example of a supervision log. Supervisors may develop their own form as long as the required elements as defined in Rule .0208 are documented on the log. This form is not required to be provided to the NCBLPC Board unless formally requested.
The Supervisor shall maintain copies of these logs for a minimum of seven years beyond termination or completion of supervision and shall provide copies to the Board for inspection upon request.
Supervisors may develop their own log form as long as the required elements, as defined in Rules .0208 and .801(e) of the Administrative Code, are documented on the log. This log form is not required to be provided to the NCBLPC Board unless formally requested.
The supervisor must report each quarter that supervision has occurred using the Quarterly Supervision Report form provided by Board.
Quarters are based on the calendar quarter system and should be submitted no later than the end of the month after the quarter ends. Quarterly Report due dates are:
- Q1 (Jan 1 – March 31) – report must be submitted by April 30
- Q2 (April 1 – June 30) – report must be submitted by July 31
- Q3 (July 1 – Sept 30) – report must be submitted by October 31
- Q4 (Oct 1 – Dec 31) – report must be submitted by January 31
The Board does not require the submission of hours on Quarterly Supervision Reports. All hours are to be reported to the Board on Final Supervision reports.
All hours are to be reported to the Board on Final Supervision reports.
A supervisor must submit final report upon termination or completion of supervision. This report should be submitted to the Board within 2 weeks of termination of supervision and within 2 weeks of a change in the conditions specified in the supervision contract form on file with the Board.
The report should be filed by supervisor directly to the Board using the Final Supervision Report provided by Board. The report must have the following information:
- General information
- Supervision description
- Supervision summary
Professional assessment – Supervisor will be asked to assess following areas:
- Individual counseling skills
- Diagnostic skills
- Treatment planning implementation
- Appropriate referral making
- Appropriate record keeping
- Group counseling skills
- Personal integrity
- Consulting skills
- Insight into client’s problems
- Ability to relate to co-workers
- Ability to be objective on the job
- Knowledge of assessment instruments
- Ethical conduct
- Concern for the welfare of clients
- Sense of responsibility
- Recognition of own limits
- Ability to keep material confidential
- Reference/ Recommendation
- Verification of modality and frequency of supervision
SUPERVISION MUST CONTINUE UNTIL THE LPCA/APPLICANT RECEIVES HIS/HER LPC LICENSE
Updating Your Information
The licensee shall inform the Board of any change in his or her mailing address within 60 days after any change. Updated address information shall be submitted online via the licensee portal or by mail using the change of address form.
Moving to another State
The Board does not have an “inactive or hold” status for licensure. If moving outside of the state licensees may still choose to keep the license active by completing the biennial renewal. However, if a licensee fails to renew their license within one year of their date of expiration, the license shall be reissued only upon a new application for a license. All current licensure requirements shall apply to the new application.
The licensee shall inform the Board of any change in his or her name within 60 days after any change. A name change form shall be submitted and must include any required legal documentation, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order.
Professional Disclosure Statements Updates (Rule .0204)
A current copy of this statement shall be provided to each client prior to the performance of professional counseling services. The counselor shall retain a file copy of the Professional Disclosure Statement signed by each client. An updated Professional Disclosure Statement (PDS) shall be submitted at the time of renewal to the Board's office. If you need to update your PDS in between renewals you may notify the Board by mailing or emailing an updated copy to PDSUpdate@ncblpc.org.
In response to questions about ordering additional or replacement certificates, you may do so by sending a letter to the Board office stating your reasons for the request. Each additional certificate is $15. Your written request should include a check for the number of certificates needed, made payable to NCBLPC, and the Board payment form. The certificate remains the property of the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors, which has the authority to suspend or revoke licenses for legal and/or ethical violations.
Licensure can be verified online for free using the public information service provided by the Board. Citizens may utilize the online verification service to review the status of licensees in the state of North Carolina. If you need the Board to provide written verification of your license you may request license verifications by using the payment form or the online portal. License verifications are $5 each and take up to 2 weeks to process.
LPCAs typically have their LPCA license for 2-3 years, prior to applying for LPC licensure. However, due to various reasons a LPCA may have their license for a longer period of time. In order to keep the LPCA license active licensees are required to renew their license no later than the June 20th prior to the expiration of the license. The LPCA license must be active, prior to applying for LPC licensure
For more information regarding renewals, please visit the Renewals page.
Applying from LPCA to LPC
- Upon completion of the 3,000 hours of supervised experience, licensees may APPLY for the LPC license. Otherwise LPCAs may remain an LPC Associate. Supervision must continue until LPCA receives their LPC license.
- The LPCA license must be active, prior to applying for LPC licensure
- To apply for LPC, complete the LPCA to LPC Licensure Application, pay the $238 fee, submit a new PDS using LPC requirements, Criminal Background Check information, and submit a Certificate of Completion for the LPC Jurisprudence Exam completed within six (6) months of applying.
- LPCAs may apply for the LPC license 60 days prior to completion of the supervision hours.