ADC Guidlines

ADC
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor

INTENT OF ADC COUNSELOR CREDENTIAL
ACCORDING TO THE IC&RC
The IC&RC counseling credential is meant for primary therapists, those clinicians who are providing addiction therapy as the main focus of their job.  Many people in the field have the skills and knowledge of many of the counseling domains.  However, if as part of their job they are referring the client to a primary therapist rather than providing that therapy themselves, then they are not considered an addiction counselor under the definition and intent of the IC&RC.

12 Core Functions 

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

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

Experience:
The experience requirement is 6,000 hours (three years) of *supervised work experience providing alcohol/drug counseling services within 10 years prior to the date of the application. Supervised work experience may be paid or voluntary experience as a counselor who provides direct counseling services to AODA clients. An AODA client is a person with a diagnosis of alcohol and/or other drug abuse or dependency. Fifty percent of the total 6,000 hours must be direct one-on-one counseling, group counseling, and/or family counseling with the involvement of the primary substance abuser.   Supervised work experience must be in the IC&RC/AODA, Inc. twelve core functions. 
All work experience must have been supervised 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. 

An applicant may substitute a higher education/degree for part of the work experience as follows as per the IC&RC and the VSA Title 33, Chapter 8:

  • If applicant has a high school diploma, s/he needs 6,000 supervised work hours. 3,000 of the 6,000 hours must be direct one-on-one counseling, group counseling, and/or family counseling with the involvement of the primary substance abuser.
  • If applicant has an Associate’s degree in behavioral science or a human services field, s/he needs 5,000 post-graduate supervised work hours, documented by an official, sealed transcript.  2,500 of the 5,000 hours must be direct one-on-one counseling, group counseling, and/or family counseling with the involvement of the primary substance abuser.
  • If applicant has a Bachelor’s degree in behavioral science or a human services field, s/he needs 4,000 post-graduate supervised work hours, documented by an official, sealed transcript. 2,000 of the 4,000 hours must be direct one-on-one counseling, group counseling, and/or family counseling with the involvement of the primary substance abuser.
  • If applicant has a Master’s degree or doctorate in behavioral science or a human services field, s/he needs 2,000 post-graduate supervised work hours, documented by an official, sealed transcript. 1,000 of the 2,000 hours must be direct one-on-one counseling, group counseling, and/or family counseling with the involvement of the primary substance abuser.
  • Internships and practica are considered work experience, not training, so they should not be listed or counted on the training sheets.

Supervision in the 12 Core Functions:
The supervision requirement is a total of 300 hours specific to the IC&RC 12 core function areas with a minimum of 10 hours in each. The applicant must document that s/he has had 10 hours of face-to-face supervision in each of the 12 core functions, or 120 hours of direct supervision.  The remaining 180 supervision hours may be derived from actual work experience in the 12 core functions in the course of providing treatment to an individual who is diagnosed with an alcohol and/or drug problem.

Education:
The education requirement is a total of 270 hours. Education is defined as formal, structured instruction in the form of workshops, seminars, institutes, college/university credit courses and distance learning. Education must be specifically related to the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the 12 core functions. One official sealed transcript must be sent to document all higher education coursework. All training hours must be divided into 2 categories: substance abuse and counseling.

  • 90 hours must be specific to the skills, theories and practice of counseling.
  • 180 hours must be specific to substance abuse theory and practice.
  • 6 hours must be specific to professional ethics, theory and practice which includes HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2, and must be in classroom (face-to-face) format. 
  • 135 hours must have occurred within the last 10 years.
  • 135 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.

IC&RC provides the minimum standards for each reciprocal credential, but Member Boards may set higher standards for their credentials.

ADC Application Appeals Process:
In the event that an individual’s ADC 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.

Examination:
Candidate must pass the IC&RC/AODA, Inc.’s international written examination. This exam may be taken at any time, but candidates must complete all certification requirements and submit their ADC applications within 2 years of the date they are notified they passed the exam.   For good cause shown, the standard exam may be administered orally.  If you need test accommodations, please contact the Board.  

Period of Validity:
Two Years

Credential Abbreviation:
ADC