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Laws and Rules in State Licensure and Certification and Public Policy

Laws and Rules in State Licensure and Certification and Public Policy

Sample Answer 

Laws and Rules in State Licensure and Certification and Public Policy

Criteria and Standards for Becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia

A counselor must meet the following requirements to acquire the license legally and safely practice in Georgia. There are two main counselor title licenses that can be acquired in Georgia; Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Associate Licensed Professional Counselor (ALPC). The educational requirements for these two licenses include a Master’s degree or higher in any program that primarily includes counseling content or applied psychology in any institution that is recognized by Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or accredited by a regional body. This license also requires a supervised practicum of at least 300 hours (Counselor Education, 2019).

Experiential requirements include 2,400 hours or four years of clinical experience in a counseling work setting that is acceptable by the licensing board. At least 120 of those hours need to be supervised. Another requirement is licensure by the National Board of Certified Counselors or Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia (LPCAGA) (Counselor Education, 2019).

The scope of practice for licensed counselors in Georgia includes using psychotherapy and counseling to evaluate and treat mental health issues, whether behavioral, effective, or cognitive. Counselors are expected to use community and information resources to promote the personal, social, and professional development of their clients. They are also expected to use group and individual techniques to facilitate behavior change and problem-solving (Counselor Education, 2019).

The Difference between Licensure, Certification, and Accreditation

Licensure is a form of permission given to a counseling professional who has demonstrated the ability to safely and legally practice. Licensing exists primarily to ensure the safe and quality delivery of healthcare services by ensuring that all professionals meet practice standards. Licensing is often done by a state licensing body. On the other hand, certification is given to demonstrate capability. For instance, a person who has completed an education in counseling can receive certification. However, this does not always show the ability to provide safe and quality care. Thus, one may need to undergo additional training to meet the licensing requirements. Lastly, accreditation is the recognition of an institution that has met best practice standards. Accreditation is given to institutions after the assessment of their practice standards.

Ethical Code of Conduct or Professional Standards used for licensed professional counselors in Georgia

Professionals in the state of Georgia are expected to practice according to the requirements of the American Psychology Association (APA) Code of Ethics. Georgia has a supplemental code of ethics that covers additional issues such as state standards of licensure and accreditation of institutions. However, the practice standards of the state are derived from APA’s guidelines for professional practice in psychology and counseling in the United States (Stat of Georgia, n.d.).

The Concept of Core Provider Status and the Implications of this Concept to Accessibility to and Funding for Mental Health Services

The concept of core provider status describes the list of professionals who are considered primary care service providers in key sections of the Social Security Act (SSA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The professionals listed as core providers include clinical social workers, physicians, qualified psychologists, certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, physician’s assistants, and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Many private and government health plans often state a lack of core provider status as a reason not to cover healthcare costs. Counselors are not listed in the core providers’ list; thus, a lot of people struggle to pay for counseling services (Smith & Robinson, 1995). This limits access to mental health services for a lot of people who may need the services of counselors. Thus, it is important for mental health professionals to seek the requirements to achieve core provider status to provide services to a wider range of people in need.

Public Policies that Would Impact the Quality and Accessibility of Mental Health Services

Public policies directly impact the quality and accessibility of mental health services in America. Health policies influence the constraints of the actions that different stakeholders can take in different areas of healthcare. In mental health, policies influence the standards of practice, thus, affecting the quality and safety of mental health delivery (Ramlall, 2019). It is also through health policy that mental health costs and payments are determined. Therefore, these policies influence how well patients can access mental health care at affordable costs.

Mental health professionals understand the challenges and potential areas of improvement that can be enhanced through policy. It is their responsibility to act as advocates to influence the development of health policies (Ramlall, 2019). For instance, the concept of the core provider is a policy issue that reduces the accessibility of mental health services for many people. Counselors can advocate for the inclusion of mental health care providers in provider status to enable better access to their services.


Counselor Education (2019). Georgia LPC requirements. Retrieved from:

Ramlall, S. (2019). Advocacy for mental health and mental illness: silence is complicity. Mental Health Matters, 6(2), 1-2.

Smith, H. B., & Robinson, G. P. (1995). Mental health counseling: Past, present, and future. Journal of Counseling & Development, 74(2), 158-162.

State of Georgia (n.d). Rules and Regulations of the State if Georgia: Code of Ethics. Retrieved from:


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Laws and Rules in State Licensure and Certification and Public Policy

Essay #2: Laws and rules in state licensing and/or certification; and public policy

Common Assignment 2: Laws and rules in state licensure and/or certification; and public policy

Discuss in detail the following:

  1. Describe the criteria and standards for becoming a licensed professional counselor in your state of proposed practice. Include educational and experiential requirements for licensure, and the scope of practice for the selected state of practice.
  2. Distinguish between licensure, certification, and accreditation.

    Laws and Rules in State Licensure and Certification and Public Policy

    Laws and Rules in State Licensure and Certification and Public Policy

  3. Specifically describe the Ethical Code of Conduct or Professional Standards used for licensed professional counselors in your state of proposed practice.
  4. Describe the concept of core provider status and the implications of this concept to accessibility to and funding for mental health services.
  5. Describe public policies that would impact the quality and accessibility of mental
    health services. Include the concept of advocacy in your response.

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