37-23-101. Purpose. (1) The legislature finds and declares that because the profession of professional counseling profoundly affects the lives of people of this state, it is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the common good by:
(a) ensuring the ethical, qualified, and professional practice of professional counseling; and
(b) instituting an effective mechanism for obtaining accurate public information regarding an applicant's criminal background:
(i) to prevent convicted criminal offenders who committed crimes relevant to working with children, the elderly, the mentally ill, or other vulnerable persons from obtaining a Montana professional counseling license as an attempt to gain access to and perpetrate crimes against new victims; and
(ii) to protect the state from claims of negligence.
(2) This chapter and the rules promulgated by the board under 37-22-201 set standards of qualification, education, training, and experience and establish professional ethics for those who seek to engage in the practice of professional counseling as licensed professional counselors.