WSR 15-13-125
[Filed June 16, 2015, 5:05 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: WAC 246-809-210 Definitions specific to licensed mental health counselors and licensed mental health counselor associates, the department of health is considering amending the definition of an "approved educational program" to clarify that programs may be accredited by a body recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 18.225.040 and 18.225.090.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The current rule only permits education programs to be accredited by accrediting bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Without a change in rule, accrediting bodies in Washington state that no longer choose to be members of CHEA place the colleges and universities they accredit in jeopardy of not meeting requirements in law to educate licensed mental health counselors or advisers. Including accrediting bodies recognized by the United States Department of Education may provide an acceptable alternative for those bodies no longer wanting to continue membership in CHEA.
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 Kim-Boi Shadduck, Department of Health, P.O. Box 47852, Olympia, WA 98504-7852, phone (360) 236-2912. The department staff will send notification to interested parties through the licensed counselors' listserv and postings to our web site. The department will also consider all comments submitted in writing or given at the required public hearing.
June 16, 2015
John Wiesman DrPH, MPH