WSR 19-20-055
[Filed September 26, 2019, 8:57 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapters 246-809, 246-810 and 246-811 WAC, the department of health (department) is considering amending and adding new sections to existing behavioral health professions' rules to implement licensure requirements addressed in ESHB 1768 and 2SHB 1907. The department is also considering adopting a new chapter of rules to establish licensure requirements for a co-occurring disorder specialist enhancement to certain behavioral health professions as required by statute. The following behavior[al] health professions may be affected: Substance use disorder professionals, certain agency affiliated counselors, mental health counselors, advanced social workers, independent clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: ESHB 1768 (chapter 444, Laws of 2019), 2SHB 1907 (chapter 446, Laws of 2019); RCW 18.205.060, 18.225.040, 18.19.050, 43.70.110, and 43.70.250.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Rule making is necessary to implement requirements established during the 2019 legislative session in ESHB 1768 and 2SHB 1907. The statute and subsequent rule making is intended to increase the mental health professional workforce in Washington state. To implement new laws the department is considering: Creating a co-occurring disorder specialist enhancement to certain behavioral health professionals as required by statute, including a fee for the enhancement; changing titles in chapter 246-811 WAC of [from] chemical dependency professional to substance use disorder specialist, and other technical corrections; adjusting requirements to become a clinical supervisor of applicants as well as clinical supervision requirements for the applicants to become licensed; and setting the time limit for agency affiliated counselor applicants to complete licensure requirements while beginning employment at a state agency.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: Collaborative.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting James Chaney, P.O. Box 47850, Olympia, WA 98504-7850, phone 360-236-2831, fax 360-236-2901, TTY 360-833-6388 or 711, email
Additional comments: Rule development will take place in open public meetings prior to a formal rule proposal and comment period. All rule-making notices will be mailed via GovDelivery to various behavioral health professions lists. Notices for this rule making will be the same regardless of the GovDelivery list it will be sent to. To receive notices, interested persons may sign up for any or all of the lists mentioned here. Please go to After signing in, please click open the box labeled "Health Systems Quality Assurance." Next click open the box labeled "Health Professions." From there you may check the box next to one or more of the follow professions: Agency affiliated counselor, board of psychology, certified counselors/certified advisers, licensed counselors.
September 26, 2019
John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH