State Credentialing Board Research Project Instructions
Directions: The purpose of this project is to help you become familiar with the credentialing and regulatory processes that will govern your practice as a counselor. In order to complete this project, you will need to select a state to use as the basis for your research. You should select either the state in which you are now residing or a state in which you plan to practice in the future. The project consists of several activities that culminate in the writing of a paper that summarizes your research and your experiences in this project.
Identify the specific state credentialing or licensing board that governs the discipline that you plan to enter (e.g., professional counseling, chemical dependency counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, etc.). Identify the location, dates, and times of public meetings at which credentialing and complaint activities are conducted.
Identify sources of information about the board, including publications, Web sites, and board members or agency staff who may be able to provide you with information. You may also obtain information from professionals certified or licensed by the board, but this should not be your primary information source.
Develop a research plan that will provide you with the maximum possible exposure to the activities of the board. Your plan may include some or all of the following:
• Whenever possible, plan to attend a board meeting at which complaints against professionals will be heard.
• Interview board members or agency staff.
• Obtain public documents such as board or committee meeting minutes that describe the activities of these bodies.
• Research the contents of the board’s Web site, including detailed or summary information about professionals who have been sanctioned for unprofessional conduct (frequently identified as “Complaints” or “Adverse Actions”). Review the Web site of the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners as an example of a state licensing board Web site http://www.azbbhe.us/
• Obtain and read copies of the state statutes and rules that govern the board’s activities and that regulate professional practice. Read the standards of professional conduct and definitions of unprofessional conduct used to investigate complaints against professionals.
State Credentialing Board Research Project Assignment
Using the information you gathered in activities 1-3, write a paper. The contents of the paper will follow the instructions of either (1) or (2) below, depending on whether you attended an actual board or committee meeting:
1) Students who are not able to attend a board or committee meeting must summarize their research in a paper (1250-1500 words) that covers the following areas:
a) Identifying information about the Board (name, location).
b) Mission of the board.
c) Regulatory authority and scope (cite the statutes and rules that govern the board’s activities, describe the discipline(s) regulated by the board, and describe the scope of the board’s authority to regulate professional practice).
d) Board/committee structures through which the board performs its functions (committee names and responsibilities, frequency of meetings, topics included on board/committee agendas, and composition of board and committees).
e) Description of the credentialing/licensing process, including the kinds of information reviewed to establish an applicant’s eligibility for certification or licensure and the typical number of applications processed per month.
f) Description of the complaint process, from the initial receipt of a complaint to its final adjudication, and the typical number of complaints processed per month.
g) Description of the most common kinds of complaints and ethical violations investigated by the board, as well as their outcomes.
2) Students who are able to attend a board or committee meeting must write a paper (1250-1500 words) that summarizes their observations and personal reflections about what they observed at the meeting.