What is NCBLPC?
The North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors (NCBLPC or the “Board”) was established under provisions of the Licensed Professional Practicing Counselor Act (LPC Act), which was ratified on July 24, 1993 as Article 24, Chapter 90, General Statutes of the State of North Carolina, to become effective July 1, 1994. The LPC Act regulates the activities of persons who render counseling services to the public. The Board, which is appointed by the Governor, is empowered by the LPC Act to carry out the provisions of the Act, which include, among other, examining and passing on the qualifications of applicants, issuing licenses and license renewals, adopting ethical standards and examination materials, establishing standards for continuing professional counselor education, and conducting investigations and hearings as necessary to enforce the LPC Act.
The Licensed Professional Counselor Act of 1993 replaced the Registered Professional Counselor Act passed by the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1983. Both of these bills were sponsored and supported by the North Carolina Counseling Association (NCCA) and its forerunners (the NC Personnel and Guidance Association and the NC Association for Counseling and Development). The North Carolina Counseling Association consists of professional counselors who practice in mental health agencies, schools, colleges, family counseling clinics, private practice, and other settings. NCCA is a chartered state branch of the American Counseling Association, which has promoted the licensure of professional counselors in the United States.
Since implementation of the licensing act in 1994, the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors (NCBLPC) has the responsibility of administering and enforcing the provisions of the bill. In that capacity, the Board uses national standards of counselor preparation and ethical codes of the counseling profession for guidance. National standards for the preparation of professional counselors are found in two resources used by the Board. One is the National Board of Certified Counselors, which sets standards for the preparation and certification of counselors and has also developed the National Counselor Examination (NCE). The NCE is used by many states (including North Carolina) to assess the eligibility of licensure applicants. The second resource for standards of counselor preparation is the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a corporate affiliate of the American Counseling Association.
The code of ethics and standards of practice published by the American Counseling Association (2005) have been adopted by the NCBLPC. The Board uses these resources to develop standards of preparation and ensure that licensed counselors in the state practice according to ethical standards, but it neither endorses nor promotes the American Counseling Association, the North Carolina Counseling Association, the Licensed Professional Counselor Association of North Carolina, the National Board of Certified Counselors, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, or any other professional association of counselors.