Licensure and Mental Health Practice Act Updates

NASW-CO ANNOUNCES: In the final days of the Legislative Session, our Mental Health Practice Act Sunset bill, HB20-1206, passed with all of our key requests intact! We expect the bill to become law on July 16th. The improvements in this bill for MSW graduates, LSWs, and LCSWs are enormous and only made possible by NASW Member dues supporting lobbying efforts. Here are bill highlights, which continues the regulation of mental health professionals until 2029:

  • Finally, after decades of working on this issue, the bill ceases new Registered Psychotherapists and renames current RPs to Unlicensed Psychotherapists;
  • Creates a new option for MSW graduates, in addition to the LSW, of Clinical Social Worker Candidate, which has no ASWB exam requirement thus allowing immediate accrual of clinical hours toward the LCSW (upon passage of Jurisprudence Exam and completion of DORA application);
  • Permits 100% tele-supervision for clinical hours toward the LCSW;
  • Expedites licensing by allowing DORA staff to approve applications for licensure without ratification from the respective board unless the board deems ratification necessary;
  • Allows fulfillment of all 40 hours (rather than 20) per license renewal cycle of continuing competency requirements through “coursework” (i.e. CE such as academic courses, seminars, conferences, in-service trainings, and workshops);
  • Requires a mental health professional to disclose to clients that the client's medical records may not be maintained longer than 7 years (in lieu of sending follow-up notifications);
  • Clarifies that a mental health professional may (permissively) disclose confidential communications if there is a threat to a school or its employees and personnel;
  • Clarifies that it is not a prohibited activity for a mental health professional to offer or accept payment for services provided from a referral;
  • Clarifies that mental health professionals are not required to form a professional service corporation;
  • Clarifies that mental health professionals may administer opiate antagonists;
  • Repeals the requirements that members of the mental health boards must be United States citizens; and,
  • Creates a workgroup to make recommendations regarding 1) Letters of Admonition and 2) non-violent felony records of applicants.

For more information on licensure in Colorado, please visit our LSW and LCSW Information page.