June 26, 2014

Jill Epstein, JD
Executive Director

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A. Continuing Education Regulations
In 2012 and 2013, the BBS underwent an extensive committee process to revise its regulations related to continuing education. The regulations were reviewed by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and several changes were recently proposed. The substance of these changes required another review by the BBS, to be followed by a 15-day comment period.

The Board discussed:
1. Continuing Education Course Content Language – OAL suggested that the subsection dealing with course content should be replaced with language that CE courses must “be supported using research practices and procedures which are generally accepted in mental health research and which have been subjected to external peer review”.

The Board’s preference was to delete the language that was proposed by the OAL since the goals requiring courses have a methodological, theoretical, research or practice knowledge base are accomplished elsewhere in the regulatory language.

The OAL deleted the section that had stated that “courses shall not predominantly reflect the commercial views of the provider or any other person giving financial assistance to the provider”. The Board agreed that the risk is minimal and the language was too vague and, thus, agreed to deleting the section.

Finally, the OAL amended the section on records of course completion to require the provider to include the board-recognized approval agency name or a statement that the provider is one of the entities recognized by the board to provide continuing education. The Board agreed with that amendment.

2. Timeline/phase out period to account for the delay of the regulation package - The new proposed timelines are:

  • January 1, 2015 – The Board begins accepting documentation from entities wishing to become a Board-recognized approval agency. At this time, the Board also ceases accepting applications for new Board-approved CE provider numbers.
  • July 1, 2015 – Language implementing the Board’s existing CE approval program sunsets. Board approved CE providers will no longer be renewed. CE providers expiring after July 1, 2015 cannot be renewed early to avoid the deadline. All Board-approved CE providers with a number that expires after July 1, 2015 may continue providing CE coursework until the provider number expires.

B. AB 186 Military Spouses: Temporary Licenses
This bill would require a board within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to issue a temporary license to a spouse of a military member who is already eligible for an expedited license. The BBS does not currently offer temporary licenses. Existing law requires the BBS to expedite the licensing process for an applicant (who holds a current license in another state in the same profession for which he/she is seeking a CA license) who is married to or in a domestic partnership with an active member of the US Military who is assigned to active duty in California.

An amendment was accepted to require passage of the CA law and ethics exam, but other requested amendments have not been made to date.

CAMFT raised concern that these applicants would not be immediately subject to the requirements imposed on other applicants for licensure.

The Board voted to oppose unless amended to exempt the BBS from this bill.

C. Future Agenda
CAMFT requested that a future agenda include a discussion about waiving the intern registration fee for interns who have submitted all hours and are waiting in the 8+ month queue for review when their registration renewal comes due.