Federal Agencies Recognize CACREP Graduates
Three federal agencies have made graduation from a CACREP accredited program a requirement for independent practice in counseling.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released qualification standards that formally recognize licensed professional mental health counselors who have graduated from CACREP accredited programs as mental health specialists within the Veterans Health Administration. The full text of the standards is available online at http://www1.va.gov/vapubs/viewPublication.asp?Pub_ID=507&FType=2
Prior to the passage of legislation and creation of qualification standards, mental health counselors were not eligible for employment within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Department of Defense will require a CACREP accredited Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Mental Health Counseling degree in order to obtain the TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselor credential, which grants the authority to provide independent care to TRICARE beneficiaries after December 31, 2016. There is a phase-in period through December 31, 2016 which allows for a graduate without one of those two degrees to qualify by meeting an alternative series of requirements. Prior to this legislation, mental health counselors could not practice independently in the TRICARE system. For more information see the Federal Register Listing.
Army Substance Abuse
Beginning in July 2011, only LPCs with a degree from a CACREP accredited program may be employed as Fully Functioning Army Substance Abuse Program Practitioner. This requirement is waived for those already employed by the Army Substance Abuse Program for those in the application process at the time the regulation was adopted.