April 4, 2014

1. Purpose of the Committee
The Supervision Committee was appointed in November 2013. The Committee will conduct a holistic review of the current requirements for supervised work experience and requirements for supervisors.

The Committee’s work will focus on assessing the current requirements for supervised work experience, supervisor’s qualifications, and supervisor’s responsibilities to determine if these requirements adequately prepare candidates to serve California’s diverse population. Stakeholders and interested parties will be given an opportunity to provide input, feedback, and express their concerns regarding supervision.

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.

The Committee anticipates submitting its recommendations to the Board in 2015.

2. Review of Previous Assessments of Supervision Experience
In 2005, concerns regarding the quality and nature of candidates’ supervision experience were expressed to the Board. To gain a better understanding of supervised experience and preparedness for licensure, staff developed and mailed a survey to 687 Marriage and Family Therapist Interns and to 615 Associate Social Worker candidates to obtain this basic information.

The results of this survey were reported to the Board in 2006. Overall, the results indicated that registrants were satisfied with their supervision experience.

3. Review of Current Supervised Work Experience Requirements for LCSW, LMFT, LPCC, and LEP
Supervised experience requirements for licensure have some broad similarities between the professions regulated by the Board. Because many of the laws that set forth experience requirements were developed separately for each license type, there are naturally a number of differences. Some of the variances in requirements are explained by differences in the focus and philosophy of each profession. However, for other requirements, it is less clear why there may be a difference. It was noted that consumer protection is the primary charge of the BBS.

The Committee discussed:

  • Supervised Experience Hours and Categories
  • Supervision Requirements
  • Supervisor Qualifications
  • Supervisor Responsibilities
  • Employer/Work Setting Requirements

Supervised Experience Hours and Categories
There are a number of commonalities between the LCSW, LMFT and LPCC professions, including two years of supervised experience consisting of at least 3,000 hours, some hours of direct treatment, limits on client centered advocacy hours, and requiring all hours be gained within the 6-year period prior to application for licensure.
Beyond these requirements, the programs tend to differ, although LMFT and LPCC are most similar. LCSW license appears to be the most direct path to gaining hours. LMFT and LPCC have a variety of maximum and minimum of hours in various types of training (the “buckets”).

Primary concerns were raised about the inconsistencies in quality of supervision. It was also noted that it would be helpful if there could be consistency between the professions to assist with processing. There was discussion about providing more flexibility within the “buckets”.

Supervision Requirements
The requirements are nearly identical between the programs (except LEP); with the only difference being that ASWs are not required to keep a weekly log of experience.

Supervisor Qualifications
Again, LEP is quite different and the other license types very similar, with two exceptions that apply to supervisors of ASWs: the hours and content of required supervision training, and the ability to count time licensed in another state toward the two years of licensure required to supervise.

The BBS does not identify whether a person has meet all the requirements of supervision at the time the supervision is given.

Supervisor Responsibilities
ASWs have some requirements that differ from MFT Interns and PCIs. LEP law does not set forth supervisor responsibilities, likely because of the supervision structure inherent in school systems.
It was noted that the supervisor responsibility form has been the same since the 1990s and is in great need of reform to reflect the changes in the licenses over the years.

Employer/Work Setting Requirements
There are some significant differences among license programs.

4. Discussion of other State’s Supervision Requirements
FL, IN, OR and SC requirements were reviewed. Comparisons were made in the areas of requirements for supervisors, requirements for supervision, distribution of direct supervision, supervisor qualifications, and work setting requirements.

It was suggested that the BBS compare the states by license type, using the states with the highest amounts of each licensee instead of just the states that have each of the BBS licensees.

5. Discussion of Professional Association Supervisor Programs
A number of professional organizations provide guidance on supervisory-related issues, and several have a program that provides certification for supervisors who meet the association’s standards.

6. Future Supervision Survey
The BBS plans to survey registrants, supervisors and employers.