GET READY:  PROPOSED NEW AMENDMENTS TO THE PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR AND CLINICAL PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR LICENSING ACT

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”) has proposed several amendments to the Professional Counselor and Clinical Professional Counselor Licensing Act (“Act”). While these amendments are not in effect as of the date of this article, it is important to be aware of changes to the practice of clinical counseling that are coming in the future.

 Clinical Supervision Defined

First, the proposed amendment would define “clinical supervision” as review of counseling and case management that is “live, interactive, and visual.” This is important for those who are undergoing supervision over video calls as the video calls need to be synchronous and there needs to be verbal and visual interaction during the session.

Educational Requirements Without Examination

Second, starting on July 1, 2026, the education requirements for licensure without an examination have changed. Effective July 1, 2026, license applicants must have completed a master’s or doctoral degree program in counseling, psychology, or rehabilitation counseling at a regionally accredited institution that includes at least 60 (currently 48) semester hours of instruction in 13 core subjects (including, but not limited to, counseling techniques, group and family dynamics, professional ethics, pathology/maladaptive behavior, and addictions) and at least 30 (currently 24) hours of residency. Applicants whose degree required fewer than 48 semester hours of instruction in these subjects, or fewer than 60 semester hours if applying after 7/1/26, may make up the difference by taking additional classes from an accredited counseling program that issues degrees accepted by IDFPR for licensure. Independent study, self-study/correspondence courses, workshops or continuing education courses will not count toward the core subject requirements.

Renewal Requirements

Third, there are proposed changes to the renewal requirements. The 24 hours of continuing education (CE) required each renewal cycle must now include 3 hours related to professional ethics and, for clinical professional counselors, a one-time requirement of 9 hours in clinical supervision training following the second license renewal. Additionally, the license renewal fee is now $120 per 2-year renewal period instead of $60 per year and fees will no longer be charged for duplicate licenses, wall certificates, or rosters of licensees (all of which can be obtained online).

Additional Changes

Finally, other provisions require licensees to maintain up to date contact information, including email addresses, with DFPR; expand the list of approved CE sponsors; update examples of unethical, dishonorable or unprofessional conduct warranting disciplinary action; and allow variances from rules to be granted by the Director of DFPR without having to obtain approval of the Board first.

Crick Walanka Law Group is available to answer any questions you may have regarding these proposed changes.  Contact us at 312-335-8860 or at www.crickwalankalaw.com.

Disclaimer: This web site is addressed to those who hold professional licenses issued by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and by similar licensing agencies in other states. Suggestions herein are, in most circumstances, valid for any type investigation, whether administrative, criminal, or civil. However, it should be noted that in some other states, one who holds a professional license may be required to submit to an investigative interview as a condition of being licensed. Whatever the circumstances, a licensed professional who becomes the subject of an investigation would be wise to immediately retain legal counsel. No content, whole or in part, is to be considered as “legal advice,” and by reading this document, no attorney-client relationship is formed with the Crick Walanka Law Group, Ltd.