How to Effectively and Efficiently Navigate Your State's Professional Licensing Board
If you were anything like me, you heard a collection of stories, good and not so good, regarding the licensing board and getting your professional license. I was quite worried about what type of interactions I would have with the board, but I decided to move forward the best way I knew how. I adhered strictly to the board rules and application guidelines, and when in doubt, I consulted with others.
By the time most counselors finish their graduate course, they have completed 18 or more years of formal education. The desire for relaxation and a moment to breathe are common amongst recent graduates due to balancing class, internships, assignments, self, family, and friends for the last 2-3 years. Please, do not stop just yet. This is not the time to relax or skip corners, keeping doing what got you to this point! Besides…isn’t getting fully licensed to help others the reason you went to graduate school?!?!
Thinking of licensure as a post-graduate “course” may help. Follow the syllabus (board rules). Submit all assignments (applications) on time. Read and research provided materials. Get involved with organizations. Surround yourself with those peers that are a positive influence.
Over the years colleagues, professors and supervisors have offered advice and I want to share some tips with you to make your experience gaining licensure, a positive one.
Way to Effectively and Efficiently Navigate Your Professional Licensing Board
1. Download a copy of the board rules and read them in its entirety! Print a hard copy so that you can highlight specific areas.
2. Consult with knowledgeable professionals that may be on the board or have a working relationship with board members.
3. Stay informed – Subscribe to emails from the licensing board. Check the licensing board website frequently for updates.
4. Get involved with your state’s professional group – Consider becoming a member.
5. Comply with all rules set by the board.
6. Ensure your documents reach the licensing board when intended – I suggest sending all submission via priority mail, request tracking information and request a signature.
7. Save all correspondences with the board.
8. Ask questions – When in doubt, contact the licensing board directly.
9. Adhere to deadlines. Submit information early when possible.
10. Present yourself in a professional manner at all times.
One additional key aspect of navigating the professional licensing board is to select a supervisor that is well informed and complies with the board. When seeking a supervisor, select one that has the appropriate supervision credentials. Your supervisor can be a great person to ask questions regarding the board. I’m sure if they do not have the answer, they will know how to help you find it.
Disclaimer: I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Certified Professional Counselor Supervision (CPCS) in Georgia. I am not a member of the Georgia Composite Board and do not represent them. Rules regarding requirements for professional licenses vary by state and license being pursued.