37-35-202. Licensure requirements -- examination -- fees -- temporary practice permit. (1) To be eligible for licensure as a licensed addiction counselor, the applicant shall submit an application fee in an amount established by the department by rule and a written application on a form provided by the department that demonstrates that the applicant has completed the eligibility requirements and competency standards as defined by department rule.
(2) A person may apply for licensure as a licensed addiction counselor if the person has:
(a) received a baccalaureate or advanced degree in alcohol and drug studies, psychology, sociology, social work, or counseling, or a comparable degree from an accredited college or university; or
(b) received an associate of arts degree in alcohol and drug studies, addiction, or substance abuse from an accredited institution.
(3) Prior to becoming eligible to begin the examination process, each person shall complete supervised work experience in an addiction treatment program as defined by the department, in a program approved by the department, or in a similar program recognized under the laws of another state.
(4) Each applicant shall successfully complete a competency examination, in writing only, as defined by rules adopted by the department.
(5) (a) Except as provided in subsections (5)(d) and (6), an applicant who has completed all licensure requirements except the required supervised work experience may apply for a temporary practice permit that authorizes the applicant to complete the required supervised work experience.
(b) Temporary practice permits must be issued if it is determined that:
(i) a complete application approved by the department has been submitted;
(ii) initial screening by program staff shows no current disciplinary action against the applicant in this or any other state;
(iii) the applicant for a temporary practice permit may only function under the supervision of a supervisor who is trained in addiction counseling or a related field as defined by rule and who has an active license in good standing in Montana or any other state; and
(iv) the applicant has completed all educational requirements as prescribed in subsection (2)(a) or (2)(b).
(c) A person may practice licensed addiction counseling under a temporary practice permit until the person either fails the first license examination for which the person is eligible following issuance of the temporary practice permit or passes the examination and is granted a license.
(d) A student is not required to obtain a temporary practice permit.
(6) The provisions of subsection (5) do not apply until the department has adopted rules implementing this section. The rules must provide for a waiver of the provisions of subsection (5) for a person who is engaged in a supervised work experience prior to the adoption of the rules.
(7) A person holding a license to practice as a licensed addiction counselor in this state may use the title "licensed addiction counselor".
(8) For the purposes of this section, "comparable degree" means a degree with accredited college course work, of which 6 credit hours must be in human behavior, sociology, psychology, or a similar emphasis, 3 credit hours must be in psychopathology or course work exploring patterns and courses of abnormal or deviant behavior, and 9 credit hours must be in counseling. For the 9 credit hours in counseling, 6 credit hours must be in group counseling and 3 credit hours must be in the theory of counseling. The credit hours specified in this subsection may be obtained in an associate or master's degree program if the applicant does not have a qualifying baccalaureate degree.
History: En. Sec. 5, Ch. 507, L. 1997; amd. Secs. 9, 10, Ch. 23, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 41, Ch. 126, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 37, Ch. 109, L. 2009.