August 18, 2016

1. Purpose of the Committee

The Supervision Committee was appointed in November 2013. The Committee is nearing the end of their three year holistic review of the current requirements for supervised work experience and requirements for supervisors to determine if these requirements adequately prepare candidates to serve California’s diverse population. The Committee, stakeholders, and interested parties have evaluated relevant data and information to establish standards for supervisors and supervision that ensures consumer protection and does not impede the licensure process.

2. Issues Discussed
During August’s meeting, proposed language was submitted to the public and stakeholders encompassing the changes put forward to date. CAMFT has been very vocal on the changes discussed, with the BBS accepting most of CAMFT’s suggestions and critiques. Here are some of the changes moving forward:

Revised Definitions of “Intern” and “Applicant”: The definitions of “Intern” and “Applicant” have been amended. The definition of “Intern” now includes either someone who is registered with the Board, or someone who is in the process of registering within 90 days of receiving his or her degree. The definition of “Applicant” was renamed “Applicant for licensure.” This definition now refers to a person who has completed the education and experience requirements for licensure and who is no longer gaining supervised experience.

Definition of Supervision: The definition of “supervision” has been revised to include responsibility for, and control of, the quality of services being provided. Some of the changes include: reinforcing that consultation or peer discussion is not supervision; mandating regular feedback to the intern or trainee; requiring the supervisor to monitor/attend to countertransference, intrapsychic, and interpersonal issues that may affect the supervisory or the practitioner-patient relationship; and, a requirement to directly observe or review recordings of provider/client session (with client consent).

Handling Crises and Emergencies: The American Counseling Association’s Ethical Code requiring supervisors to establish and communicate to supervisees procedures for contacting either the supervisor, or an alternate on-call supervisor, in a crisis was adopted.

Supervisors Licensed for at Least Two Years: An amendment allowing a licensee to supervise if he or she has a current California license, and has been actively licensed in California or holds an equivalent license in any other state for at least two of the past five years immediately prior to commencing any supervision.

Required Training and Coursework for Supervisors: A new requirement that supervisors commencing supervision for the first time must complete a 15 hour supervision course covering specified topic areas. Any supervisor who has not supervised in 2 of the last 5 years, must re-take a 6 hour course.

This new section also specifies that supervisors must complete 6 hours of continuing professional development in each subsequent renewal period while supervising. This can consist of a supervision course, or other professional development activities such as teaching, research, or supervision mentoring. CAMFT requested additional clarification on what constituted “research” for purposes of this section.

Amount of Direct Supervisor Contact Required for Applicants Finished Gaining
Experience Hours:
Currently, the law does not specifically define how much direct supervisor contact an MFT intern needs once he or she is finished gaining experience hours needed to count toward licensure. Amendment was introduced specifying that interns and applicants who have finished gaining experience
hours must obtain at least one hour of supervision per week for each setting in which direct clinical counseling is performed. Supervision for nonclinical practice is at the supervisor’s discretion.

Definition of “One Hour of Direct Supervisor Contact”; Triadic Supervision: These revisions provide a specific definition of one hour of direct supervisor contact. Triadic supervision (one supervisor and two pre-licensees) is included in this definition.

Supervisory Plan for LMFTs: LCSW and LPCC law requires the supervisor and the supervisee to develop a “supervisory plan” that describes goal and objectives of supervision. The registrant is required to submit this form when applying for licensure. The proposed law will require a supervisory plan for LMFT applicants as well.

Annual Assessment: LCSW regulations require a supervisor to complete an annual assessment of the strengths of the registrant and to provide the registrant with a copy. The proposed law will require this for supervisors of LMFT interns and trainees as well.

Supervisor Registration: All supervisors will register with the Board, initiated by a licensee’s submission of a “Supervisor Self-Assessment Report,” signed under penalty of perjury. This report will include the supervisor’s qualifications, as well as an acknowledgement of certain responsibilities. For those who qualify as a supervisor, the Board will add a supervisor status to the licensee’s record. The effective date of this requirement will be delayed to January 1, 2020 to allow time for the Breeze online system to be modified so that supervisors will be searchable. In addition, the deadline date for existing supervisors (those supervising prior to January 1, 2020) is proposed to be March 31, 2020.

Documentation of Supervisor Qualifications and Audits: A new section will be added allowing the Board to audit supervisor’s records to verify they meet the supervisor qualifications. It requires supervisors to
maintain records of completion of the required supervisor qualifications for seven years after the termination of supervision, and to make these records available to the Board for an audit upon request.

3. Next Steps
The final language of the proposed regulations and statute will be put before the BBS Policy and Advocacy Committee in September 2016, and then the full Board in November 2016. After final approval, the BBS will introduce the full package for legislative and regulatory amendment in 2017.
If a stakeholder, consumer or provider has comment on the proposed language, there are still ample opportunities to do so during the upcoming BBS meetings mentioned above, as well as simply reaching out to the BBS directly. To review the full package, please see: http://www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/agen_notice/2016/0816_supervisionmtg_material.pdf