An individual must be licensed to practice counseling in the state of North Carolina. Pursuant to NC General Statute § 90-336 there are three levels of licensure for licensed professional counselors. This is a three tiered licensure format.
The LPCA license is a restricted license, which allows individuals to gain professional counseling experience while under the supervision of qualified mental health professional. This license is the pre-requisite for the LPC license for new graduates and/or new counseling professionals. LPCAs CAN NOT work unless an approved supervision contract is on file with the Board Office. LPCA license numbers start with an “A”, for example A0000. LPCAs must complete all licensure requirements before a license can be issued.
The LPC license is an independent, unrestricted license. LPCs have completed at least 3,000 of supervised professional practice, with at 100 hours of supervision. LPCs typically have the same license number as their LPCA license, but there is no letter at the beginning. For example, an LPC license number 0000. LPCs must complete all licensure requirements before a license can be issued.
The LPCS license is an independent, unrestricted license. This license supersedes the LPC license. The LPCS license allows a person to practice counseling and grants approval by the Board to provide clinical supervision to LPCAs. LPCSs have at least 5 to 8 years of professional counseling experience and have completed the minimum education requirements in clinical supervision as approved by the Board. A LPCS applicant must have an active license in good standing as a NC LPC and meet the requirements in order to be approved by the Board. LPCS license numbers start with an “S”, for example S0000.
All NC licensees must comply with the NC Licensed Professional Counselors Act, the NCBLPC Administrative Code, and the ACA Code of Ethics. In addition, LPCSs are also required to comply with the ACS Code of Ethics.
NCBLPC does not regulate members of other regulated professions who do counseling in the normal course of the practice of their profession. Please refer to NC General Statute Article 24 § 90-332.1 to determine if you are working in an exempt setting.
North Carolina does not have reciprocity with other states. However, certain actively licensed professional counselors in other states can apply for the LPC license by endorsement if they meet the requirements. For more information, please visit our endorsement page.
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