State Board of Addiction Counselor Examiners: News


New 2019 Legislation

On May 31, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed HB19-1129 Prohibit Conversion Therapy for a Minor. The new law goes into effect on August 2, 2019, and prohibits a licensed physician specializing in psychiatry or a licensed, certified, or registered mental health care provider from engaging in conversion therapy with a patient under 18 years of age. Any licensee who engages in these practices is subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate mental health licensing board or the Colorado Medical Board, respectively.

On May 6, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed SB 19-201 Open Discussions About Adverse Health Care Incidents. This new law creates the "Colorado Candor Act” and establishes a process for the communication between a patient and a healthcare provider or health facility after an adverse health care incident. Under the new law, if an adverse health care incident occurs, a health care provider involved with the incident, either individually or jointly with the facility involved, may request that the patient enter into an open discussion concerning the incident. The request must include certain components listed in the law. 

If an offer of compensation is made, the new law requires certain processes for payment and financial resolution to be followed. If a health care provider or health facility determines that no offer of compensation is warranted, the health care provider or health facility shall orally communicate that decision with the patient.

A health care provider or facility may provide de-identified information about an adverse health care incident to any patient safety centered nonprofit organization.


Sunset Review Underway

The Colorado Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform is conducting a sunset review of the Addiction Counselor Examiners. Analysis in a sunset review is performed to determine whether the regulatory program is necessary and should be continued, modified or eliminated. This review will produce a report with recommendations to the Colorado General Assembly and result in subsequent legislation based on the recommendations in the report. Your input is an important component of a successful sunset review. If you would like to submit comments online, please visit COPRRR's website.  


Mandatory Reporting Reminder

Did you know you are a mandatory reporter? Under Colorado law, more than 40 professions are required to report suspected child abuse and elder abuse. These professions include many regulated through the Division of Professions and Occupations (DPO) at DORA, such as:

  • Physicians (including physician assistants and physicians in training);
  • Podiatrists;
  • Dentists and dental hygienists;
  • Chiropractors;
  • Nurses (including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse practitioners);
  • Nursing home administrators;
  • Occupational therapists;
  • Optometrists;
  • Physical therapists;
  • Pharmacists;
  • Veterinarians;
  • Mental health professionals (including psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, registered psychotherapists and all candidates for licensure);

Online trainings help mandatory reporters recognize and report abuse, neglect and exploitation. Licensees of the regulatory boards at DPO may accrue credit towards continuing education and continuing competency requirements for completing the trainings (should they exist for their profession).  

Section 19-3-304, C.R.S. outlines the persons required by law to report child abuse and/or neglect. To assist mandatory reporters, a training is available on the Colorado Department of Human Services website at http://coloradocwts.com/mandated-reporter-training.

Section 18-6.5-108, C.R.S outlines the persons required by law to report abuse and exploitation of at-risk elders and at-risk adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Further information and an online training can be found on the Colorado Department of Human Services website at http://www.coloradoaps.com/about-mandatory-reporting-update.html.  

If you have further questions regarding these requirements, please contact the Colorado Department of Human Services.

For questions regarding mandatory child abuse reporting, please contact the Office of Children, Youth, and Families’ Child Welfare Training System at 800-390-9619 or support@coloradocwts.com.

For questions regarding mandatory reporting of at-risk elders and at-risk adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, please contact the Office of Community Access and Independence’s Division of Aging and Adult Services at cdhs_aps_questions@state.co.us.


Toolkit Available from Colorado Crisis Services

Colorado Crisis Services is Colorado’s first statewide resource for mental health, substance use or emotional crisis help, information and referrals. It was formed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services, to strengthen Colorado’s mental health system by providing greater access to mental health services, and ensuring Coloradans get the right services in the right locations at the right time. A new toolkit is available to help the many organizations and mental health professionals that work with Colorado Crisis Services. The toolkit provides links to branding graphics and consistent messaging for public information related to Colorado Crisis Services.


Education Equivalency Review Process

To make the education equivalency review process more efficient and improve customer service to our applicants, the Division has contracted with the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE) to conduct all education equivalency reviews. This includes services for the Board of Addiction Counselor Examiners, the Board of Licensed Professional Counselor Examiners, the Board of Marriage and Family Therapist Examiners, and the Board of Psychologist Examiners.

The new process will allow applicants to seek a review prior to submitting an application and paying an application fee. Applicants will now know if they meet educational requirements for licensure, prior to filing an application. The Division expects this new process to expedite the application process and reduce the regulatory burden.

For questions, please contact the Program Director of the Mental Health Programs, Darcie Magnuson, at darcie.magnuson@state.co.us. For inquiries related to the Center for Credentialing Education, please call 888-817-8283 or visit their website at www.cce-global.org.


Bill Clarifies License Pathways 

House Bill 16-1103 Concerning Clarifying License Pathways for the Mental Health Professional Workforce affects psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, and any other individual who is actively working toward mental health licensure and is enrolled in a professional training program at an approved school. The bill streamlined the application process, reduced regulatory burden, and moved qualified professionals into the workforce more quickly to increase access to mental health services.

The bill features two key components:

  • Clarifies that graduates must “have completed” their degrees (rather than "hold") in order to fulfill the educational requirements for licensure. This change will expedite the licensure process significantly. Often times, new graduates do not receive, or “hold” their actual degree certificate for many weeks after graduation. As a result, they must wait to apply, even if they have a job offer. With this change, applications can be submitted with an unofficial transcript or a letter from the academic program as soon as an applicant completes a graduate program.  
  • Clarifies the recommended pathway a student should take for licensure in Colorado. For instance, the legislation clarifies that students participating in internships do not need to register with DORA as registered psychotherapists. However, as soon as they hold their degree, they are encouraged to register as a candidate under the board that will govern their licensure. This type of clarification helps simplify the process and reduces the regulatory burden on students.