What Are California’s Continuing Education Requirements for Mental Health Professionals to Renew Their License?

What Are California’s Continuing Education Requirements for Mental Health Professionals to Renew Their License?

For mental health professionals practicing in any state, licensure renewal requirements are an important aspect of the job. License renewal helps you stay up-to-date with new treatments, methods, and best practices within your field. If you’re practicing in California, review our guide to help keep your licensure renewal on track.

(Note A detailed list by state can be found here.)

Frequency of Renewal

The Board of Behavioral Sciences in California requires that Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC), Licensed Educational Psychologists (LEP), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) renew their license every two years. This renewal must occur during your birth month.

There are two ways in which LPCCS, LMFTs, LCSWs, and LEPs in California can renew their license—online or manually through the Board of Behavioral Sciences. Online renewals are instant, while a manual renewal can take up to six weeks to be completed.

Requirements for Renewal

Licensed mental health professionals must complete 36 continuing education hours to receive their license renewal. If this is your first time renewing your license, then only 18 hours are required. LPCCs are required to keep their continuing education paperwork for two years in case of random audits. If you do not renew your license within three years, your license will be canceled. Once a license is canceled, you must re-apply and meet all of the current requirements for licensure.

Specific Continuing Education Course Requirements

There are specific continuing education courses required for first-time renewals. For LMFTs, LCSWs, and LPCCs, a course covering HIV/AIDs is required. LEPs are required to complete a course on child abuse assessment and reporting, as well as a course on alcoholism and other chemical substance dependencies during their first renewal.

For every renewal following the initial license renewal, there is a separate set of specific courses required. All mental health care professionals must complete six hours’ worth of coursework in California law and ethics. In addition to these courses, LPCCs must also complete marriage and family therapy-related courses.

CONCEPT Continuing and Professional Studies at Palo Alto University provides convenient continuing education programs and online certification courses to help enhance your practice and maintain licensure. View our self-paced professional training programs and on-demand webinars to learn more about our available trainings.