October 23, 2015


 

1. Purpose of the Committee
The Supervision Committee was appointed in November 2013. The Committee is in the process of conducting a 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 will evaluate relevant data and information to establish standards for supervisors and supervision that ensures consumer protection and does not impede the licensure process.

Also, stakeholders and interested parties will continue to have the opportunity to provide input, feedback, and express their concerns regarding supervision.

The Committee, as well as stakeholders from CAMFT and AAMFT, met on April 4, 2014, June 27, 2014, August 29, 2014, October 24, 2014, January 30, 2015, April 10, 2015, June 26, 2015, and October 23, 2015.

2. Update on Prior Committee Decisions and Remaining Topics to Discuss
The Committee reviewed its formal decision on supervised experience hours. Staff reported that the “buckets” legislation, authored by Senator Marty Block (SB620), was signed by the Governor. The law will take effect on January 1, 2016. The law reflects the committee’s and the stakeholders’ desire to remove most of the “buckets” for LMFT and LPCC, and instead requires a minimum of 1,750 hours of direct counseling, and a maximum of 1,250 hours of non-clinical experience. The language in the bill allows for a 5-year transition period to ensure that no applicant is adversely affected by the changes.

The Committee reviewed its formal decision regarding telehealth supervised work experience. Stakeholders raised concern that SB 620 (the “bucket” legislation) removes the limit on experience hours gained via telehealth. Current law limits LMFT and LPCC applicants to no more than 375 hours providing counseling services via telehealth. The committee decided that the bill language should not be amended. There was a consensus that stipulating a limit on the hours would be arbitrary at this time. It was noted that more research and monitoring of telehealth experience would be beneficial in order to identify future issues that may indicate a need for such a limit.

The Committee reviewed its informal decisions including, whether the time licensed in another state should be able to count towards two years of licensure for all supervisor/license types; whether the requirement that a supervisor practice psychotherapy (or supervise individuals who practice psychotherapy) for two out of the past five years should not be changed (language requiring competency in the areas of clinical practice and techniques being supervised should be added); allow triadic supervision in place of individual supervision (this topic will be discussed at upcoming supervision committee meetings); offsite supervision laws should be consistent across license types; and, offsite supervision laws should encompass offsite supervisors who are employed or contracted by the employer (as opposed to only addressing volunteers).

3. Discussion and Possible Recommendation Regarding Advanced Supervisor Certifications
The Committee has been discussing the possibility of accepting an “advanced” supervisor certification issued by a professional association in lieu of the BBS requirement that individuals be licensed for two years before supervising. Additionally, courses taken for the certification would automatically fulfill the BBS supervisor training requirement. This idea was brought to the Committee for consideration after staff found that several other states waive their qualifications for such individuals, and believed this could allow a person who has not been licensed for two years, but is otherwise qualified, to supervise. The Committee discussed acceptable certification programs, which included CAMFT and AAMFT.

After discussion about the details of such a proposal at the June 2015 meeting, the Committee asked staff to take another look to determine what the potential benefits might be. In preparation for the October 2015 meeting, staff verified the current requirements of each program and found that two of the associations have updated their requirements since the initial review. Three of the four certification programs now require a minimum of 2 years of licensure. The fourth program will require 5 years of post-degree experience starting next year. The Committee discussed accepting the supervisor certifications in lieu of the BBS requirement that individuals be licensed for two years and the six-hour renewal course requirements.

4. Discussion and Possible Recommendation Regarding Required Supervisor Training
The Committee discussed increasing the initial training of LMFT and LPCC supervisors to 15 hours for consistency with current requirements for LCSW supervisors, and to include the following content: competencies necessary for new supervisors; practical application of supervision techniques, including providing effective feedback and implementing interventions; Supervisor-supervisee relationship; legal and ethical issues related to supervision (California law); knowledge of cultural variables, including but not limited to, gender, social class, and religious beliefs; knowledge of contextual variables, such as treatment modality, work setting, use of technology; familiarity with supervision theories and literature; and documentation.

The Committee discussed requiring the continuing education supervisor training course to be taken within the two years prior to commencing supervision. If course is two to five years old, the supervisor must take a six-hour “refresher” course. If the course is a graduate level supervision course, the supervisor must take the course within the four years prior to commencing supervision. If course is older than five years, the supervisor must take a six-hour “refresher” course. The rationale behind this is that a graduate level course will likely provide the equivalent of 45 hours of training, three times the required amount.

The Committee discussed the possibility of using a competency-based model rather than a traditional continuing education (CE) for the six-hour ongoing supervisor training requirement currently in place for LPCC and LMFT supervisors, and proposed to be added for LCSWs. A competency-based model, often referred to as continuing professional development (CPD), is more individually tailored, flexible, and affords more opportunity for interaction with other licensees, and reduces the professional isolation that can sometimes lead an individual to make flawed judgments. A CPD model allows the individual to determine what he or she specifically needs to learn, to take actions within a set of guidelines to meet those learning needs, and to document the actions taken to meet the requirements. The Committee discussed the proposed framework to include the following activities that would count toward CPD for supervisors: completing coursework directly pertaining to supervision; teaching an “advanced” supervision course; authoring research pertaining to supervision that has been peer-reviewed or a book that has been published professionally; receiving mentoring of supervision from an experienced professional; and attending professional supervisor consultation groups (the Committee discussed the possibility of having the mentor or supervisor sign off on logs that would be submitted to the BBS upon auditing).

5. Discussion and Possible Recommendation of a BBS Approved Supervisor Status
The Committee has been considering a framework that would involve the Board in approving a supervisor’s qualifications at the time a licensee begins supervising, as opposed to retrospectively as is done currently. The goal is to provide a structure that increases accountability and improves communication without major changes to the current system. The Committee discussed a registry on the BreEZe system where supervisors can self-report their supervisor status and when the BBS audits the individuals, the BBS can also audit supervisor qualifications as well.

6. Outstanding Issues for Discussion
The outstanding issues that still require discussion include, but are not limited to, the definition of supervision; supervision ratios; averaging supervision; group supervision; supervisor sick leave; supervision of applicants in the examination process; issues surrounding interns employed as independent contractors; and issues surrounding the “six-year rules.”

The next Supervision Committee meeting is tentatively scheduled for February 5, 2016.

NOTE: CAMFT strongly recommends any pre-licensee, supervisor, or academic interested in the supervisory process, requirements or qualifications to attend these BBS Supervision Committee meetings. The Committee welcomes all public comment. While CAMFT attends all meetings, and is very vocal about each issue which is discussed, this is a great way to have any personal opinions heard. To date, there have been only a few members in attendance at each meeting.