AAP Application

Apprentice Addiction Professional (AAP)
(formerly Apprenticed Substance Abuse Counselor/ASAC)

Effective with the August exam date, the Apprentice Addiction Professional (AAP) credential is a renewable, 2 year credential. Those who currently hold the 6-year AAP/ASAC credential may choose to recertify on a 2-year cycle at the time their credentials expire by following the recertification procedures explained elsewhere. All currently certified individuals will be issued new certificates with the Apprentice Addiction Professional title.

Individuals who wish to pursue the AAP credential must now meet all of the requirements, explained below, in addition to passing the AAP exam.

Intent of the Apprentice Addiction Professional Credential (AAP):

The Apprentice Addiction Professional (AAP) credential is an entry level, non-reciprocal credential. Many people who provide direct substance abuse counseling services inclusive of the12 core functions to those who are identified as having a substance use disorder may be required by State regulations and/or contract to have this credential within a certain timeframe post-hire.

This credential is also intended for those who may be providing a wider range of substance use-related services and want to demonstrate that they have a specialized body of knowledge and are involved in professional development.

This is not an IC&RC credential, and it is not reciprocal.

This credential was developed from the following references and sources:

  • A National Review of State Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs and Certification Standards for Substance Abuse Counselors and Prevention Professionals. SAMHSA /CSAT. 2005
  • Developing Model Scopes of Practice for Substance Use Disorder Counseling.  SAMSHA/CSA. March 2010.
  • A written exam based on the SAMHSA/CSAT Counselor Technical Assistance Protocol (TAP 21)

In addition to the general requirements for AAP certification, applicants shall meet the following:

Must live or work 51% of the time within the Certification Board’s jurisdiction.

Must have received a high school diploma or GED and be 18 years or older.

Work Experience:
An AAP applicant must be currently working and/or volunteering in the field of substance abuse providing any, some or all of the 12 core functions.  The AAP applicant must be engaged in either paid or volunteer work of the aforementioned nature at least 16 hours per week and must be supervised one hour per week by an ADC or LADC.  See next section re: supervision.  

Supervision in the 12 Core Functions:
Supervision is defined as a formal, systematic process that focuses on skill development and integration of knowledge. The requirement is one hour of supervision per week by an ADC or LADC unless the supervisor meets the exception criteria under “Clinical Supervisor Qualifications.”  Unsupervised work experience may NOT be substituted for the experience requirement. All experience must be documented.  Supervised work experience must be in the 12 core functions as defined by the IC&RC/AODA, Inc.

12 Core Functions

A total of 40 hours is required.

Education/training is defined as formal, structured instruction in the form of workshops, seminars, institutes, college/university credit courses and distance learning. 

Education/training must be specifically related to the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the 12 core functions. Certificate(s) and/or official sealed transcript(s) must be sent to document all education/training and/or higher education coursework.

  • 34 hours must be specific to substance abuse: co-occurring treatment skills, theories, practices; prevention skills, theories, practices; recovery skills, theories, practices.
  • 6 hours must be specific to professional ethics, theory and practice and must be in classroom (face-to-face) format and include HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2.
  • All education/training must have occurred within the last 5 years.
  • 50% of the non–ethics hours (17 hours) may be accrued through distance learning, home study and on-line courses.
  • 1 hour of in-service credit is allowed for every 3 hours of in-service training with a limit of 15 hours total.
  • A 3-credit undergraduate course is the equivalent of 39 hours; a 3-credit graduate course is the equivalent of 45 hours.

In the event that an individual’s Apprentice Addiction Professional’s (AAP) application is not approved by the Board, the Board will provide an oral and/or written explanation for their decision and offer suggestions for remediation.  If the individual is not in agreement with the Board’s decision and recommendations, then his/her concerns, questions, and/or complaints need to be sent to the Board, summarized in writing, with additional supporting documentation.  The Board will respond as promptly as is possible and no later than a week after the next scheduled Board meeting.

The AAP applicant must pass the TAP 21 exam developed by the Southern Region ATTC and given by the VADACB Board on a quarterly basis. Please check the website for the schedule. This exam may be taken at any time during the application process; it is not contingent on having the supervised work/volunteer experience in place or completing the education requirements.  However, all requirements must be met and the application completed and submitted within two years of the date the applicant was notified that he/she passed the exam.  Failing to do so will result in having to re-test.
The AAP exam is comprised of 100 multiple choice questions and takes approximately 2 hours.  To download an order form for the study guide for this exam, please go to http://www.iaodapca.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Vermont-SG-Order-Form3WWeb4_12.doc.
For good cause demonstrated/documented, the standard exam may be administered orally.  If one needs test accommodations, one must contact the Board and be prepared to provide medical, psychiatric or academic documentation for verification.

Period of Validity:
Two Years