OCCUPATIONS CODE


TITLE 3. HEALTH PROFESSIONS


SUBTITLE I. REGULATION OF PSYCHOLOGY AND COUNSELING


CHAPTER 503. LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS


SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS


Sec. 503.001. SHORT TITLE. This chapter may be cited as the Licensed Professional Counselor Act.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.002. GENERAL DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Board" means the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors.

(1-a) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 5.318(6), eff. April 2, 2015.

(2) "Executive council" means the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council.

(3) "Graduate semester hour" means a semester hour or the quarter hour equivalent as defined by regional accrediting educational associations when applied only to domestic training programs.

(4) "Licensed professional counselor" means a person who holds a license issued under this chapter and who:

(A) represents the person to the public by any title or description of services incorporating the words "licensed counselor" and offers to provide professional counseling services to any individual, couple, family, group, or other entity for compensation, implying that the person offering the services is licensed and trained, experienced, or expert in counseling; or

(B) engages in any practice of counseling.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 5.318(6), eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.055, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.003. DEFINITION: PRACTICE OF PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING. (a) In this chapter, "practice of professional counseling" means the application of mental health, psychotherapeutic, and human development principles to:

(1) facilitate human development and adjustment throughout life;

(2) prevent, assess, evaluate, and treat mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders and associated distresses that interfere with mental health;

(3) conduct assessments and evaluations to establish treatment goals and objectives; and

(4) plan, implement, and evaluate treatment plans using counseling treatment interventions that include:

(A) counseling;

(B) assessment;

(C) consulting; and

(D) referral.

(b) In this section:

(1) "Assessment" means the selection, administration, scoring, and interpretation of an instrument designed to assess an individual's aptitudes, attitudes, abilities, achievements, interests, personal characteristics, disabilities, and mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, and the use of methods and techniques for understanding human behavior that may include the evaluation, assessment, and treatment by counseling methods, techniques, and procedures for mental and emotional disorders, alcoholism and substance abuse, and conduct disorders. The term does not include the use of standardized projective techniques or permit the diagnosis of a physical condition or disorder.

(2) "Consulting" means applying scientific principles and procedures in counseling and human development to assist in understanding and solving current or potential problems that the person seeking consultation may have with regard to another person, including an individual, group, or organization.

(3) "Counseling" means assisting a client through a therapeutic relationship, using a combination of mental health and human development principles, methods, and techniques, including the use of psychotherapy, to achieve the mental, emotional, physical, social, moral, educational, spiritual, or career-related development and adjustment of the client throughout the client's life.

(4) "Counseling treatment intervention" means the application of cognitive, affective, behavioral, psychodynamic, and systemic counseling strategies, including strategies for developmental, wellness, and psychological dysfunction that reflect a pluralistic society. The term does not permit or include the diagnosis or treatment of a physical condition or disorder. The term includes:

(A) an intervention specifically implemented in the context of a professional counseling relationship;

(B) individual, group, or family counseling or psychotherapy;

(C) the assessment, evaluation, and treatment of a person with a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder;

(D) guidance and consulting to facilitate normal growth and development, including educational and career development;

(E) the use of functional assessment and counseling for a person requesting assistance in adjustment to a disability or handicapping condition;

(F) research; and

(G) referrals.

(5) "Referral" means:

(A) evaluating and identifying the needs of a person being counseled to determine the advisability of referral to another specialist;

(B) informing the person of that judgment; and

(C) communicating to the person to whom the referral is made as requested by the person being counseled or as appropriate.

(c) The use of specific methods, techniques, or modalities within the practice of professional counseling is limited to professional counselors appropriately trained in the use of those methods, techniques, or modalities.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.004. PRACTICE OF MEDICINE NOT AUTHORIZED. This chapter does not authorize the practice of medicine as defined by the law of this state.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

SUBCHAPTER B. APPLICATION OF CHAPTER


Sec. 503.051. COUNSELING FOR GOVERNMENT OR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION. This chapter does not apply to an activity, service, or use of an official title by a person employed as a counselor by a federal, state, county, or municipal agency or, except as provided by Section 21.003(b), Education Code, by a public or private educational institution if the person is performing counseling or counseling-related activities within the scope of the person's employment.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 443 (S.B. 715), Sec. 40, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 503.052. COUNSELOR INTERN. This chapter does not apply to an activity or service of a student, intern, or trainee in counseling pursuing a course of study in counseling in a regionally accredited institution of higher education or training institution if:

(1) the activity or service is a part of the supervised course of study; and

(2) the person is designated as a "counselor intern."

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.054. COUNSELING BY OTHER LICENSED OR CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL OR BY RELIGIOUS PRACTITIONER. This chapter does not apply to an activity or service of any of the following persons performing counseling consistent with the law of this state, the person's training, and any code of ethics of the person's profession if the person does not represent the person by any title or description as described by the definition of "licensed professional counselor" in Section 503.002:

(1) a member of another profession licensed or certified by this state, including:

(A) a physician, registered nurse, psychologist, social worker, marriage and family therapist, chemical dependency counselor, physician assistant, or occupational therapist; or

(B) an optometrist engaged in the evaluation and remediation of learning or behavioral disabilities associated with or caused by a defective or abnormal condition of vision; or

(2) a recognized religious practitioner, including a Christian Science practitioner recognized by the Church of Christ Scientist as registered and published in the Christian Science Journal.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.055. PERSON LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW. This chapter does not apply to an activity, service, title, or description of a person licensed to practice law.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.056. COUNSELING FOR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION OR CHARITY. This chapter does not apply to an activity, service, title, or description of a person who is employed as a professional by or who volunteers in the practice of counseling for a public or private nonprofit organization or charity if the person:

(1) is accountable to the person's sponsoring organization; and

(2) does not use the title or hold the person out to be a licensed counselor.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.057. COUNSELING UNDER OTHER CERTIFICATION. This chapter does not apply to an activity, service, title, or description of a person certified by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification or the Commission on Certification of Work Adjustment and Vocational Evaluation Specialists who:

(1) is performing counseling consistent with state law, the person's training, and any code of ethics of the person's profession; and

(2) does not use the title or hold the person out to be a licensed counselor.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.059. EXEMPT PERSON VOLUNTARILY LICENSED UNDER CHAPTER. A person otherwise exempt under this subchapter who obtains a license under this chapter is subject to this chapter to the same extent as any other person licensed under this chapter.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.060. MUSICAL THERAPY SERVICES. This chapter does not apply to an activity, service, title, or description of a person who:

(1) is certified by the Certification Board for Music Therapists or listed with the National Music Therapy Registry;

(2) performs a music therapy service consistent with:

(A) state law;

(B) the person's training; and

(C) the code of ethics of the person's profession; and

(3) does not engage in the use of psychotherapy or use the title of licensed counselor or represent that the person is a licensed counselor.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.258(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

SUBCHAPTER C. TEXAS STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS OF PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS


Sec. 503.101. BOARD MEMBERSHIP. (a) The Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors consists of nine members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate as follows:

(1) five licensed professional counselor members, at least three of whom are in private practice and at least one of whom is a counselor educator; and

(2) four members who represent the public.

(b) Appointments to the board shall be made without regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin of the appointee.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 503.102. MEMBERSHIP QUALIFICATIONS. (a) To be qualified for appointment as a licensed professional counselor member of the board, a person must:

(1) be a citizen of the United States and a resident of this state for the 30 months preceding appointment;

(2) have engaged in the field of counseling for at least 24 months or 2,000 hours; and

(3) be licensed under this chapter.

(b) To be qualified for appointment as a public member of the board, a person must:

(1) be a citizen of the United States and a resident of this state for the 30 months preceding appointment; and

(2) be at least 18 years old.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.103. ELIGIBILITY OF PUBLIC MEMBERS. A person is not eligible for appointment as a public member of the board if:

(1) the person is registered, certified, or licensed by an occupational regulatory agency in the field of health care;

(2) the person's spouse is registered, certified, or licensed by an occupational regulatory agency in the field of mental health; or

(3) the person or the person's spouse:

(A) is employed by or participates in the management of a business entity or other organization receiving funds from the board;

(B) owns or controls, directly or indirectly, more than a 10 percent interest in a business entity or other organization receiving funds from the board; or

(C) uses or receives a substantial amount of funds from the board, other than compensation or reimbursement authorized by law for board membership, attendance, or expenses.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 503.104. MEMBERSHIP RESTRICTIONS. (a) In this section, "Texas trade association" means a cooperative and voluntarily joined statewide association of business or professional competitors in this state designed to assist its members and its industry or profession in dealing with mutual business or professional problems and in promoting their common interest.

(b) A person may not be a member of the board if:

(1) the person is an officer, employee, manager, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of health care; or

(2) the person's spouse is an officer, manager, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of mental health.

(c) A person may not be a member of the board if the person is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the board.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.056, eff. September 1, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.057, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.105. TERMS. Board members serve staggered six-year terms with the terms of three members expiring on February 1 of each odd-numbered year. In making an appointment to the board, the governor shall specify which member the new appointee succeeds.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.106. OFFICERS. (a) The governor shall designate a member of the board as presiding officer. The presiding officer serves in that capacity at the will of the governor.

(b) The board shall elect an assistant presiding officer to serve as provided by board rule.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.107. GROUNDS FOR REMOVAL. (a) It is a ground for removal from the board that a member:

(1) does not have at the time of taking office the qualifications required by Section 503.102;

(2) does not maintain during the service on the board the qualifications required by Section 503.102;

(3) is ineligible for membership under Section 503.103 or 503.104;

(4) cannot, because of illness or disability, discharge the member's duties for a substantial part of the member's term; or

(5) is absent from more than half of the regularly scheduled board meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year without an excuse approved by a majority vote of the board.

(b) The validity of an action of the board is not affected by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a member of the board exists.

(c) If the executive director of the executive council has knowledge that a potential ground for removal exists, the executive director shall notify the presiding officer of the board of the potential ground. The presiding officer shall then notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists. If the potential ground for removal involves the presiding officer, the executive director shall notify the next highest ranking officer of the board, who shall then notify the governor and attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.260(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.058, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.108. REIMBURSEMENT. A board member may receive reimbursement for expenses as provided by the General Appropriations Act.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 503.109. MEETINGS. The board shall hold at least two regular meetings each year as provided by board rule.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.110. TRAINING. (a) A person who is appointed to and qualifies for office as a member of the board may not vote, deliberate, or be counted as a member in attendance at a meeting until the person completes a training program that complies with this section.

(b) The training program must provide the person with information regarding:

(1) the law governing board operations;

(2) the programs, functions, rules, and budget of the board;

(3) the scope of and limitations on the rulemaking authority of the board;

(4) the types of board rules, interpretations, and enforcement actions that may implicate federal antitrust law by limiting competition or impacting prices charged by persons engaged in a profession or business the board regulates, including any rule, interpretation, or enforcement action that:

(A) regulates the scope of practice of persons in a profession or business the board regulates;

(B) restricts advertising by persons in a profession or business the board regulates;

(C) affects the price of goods or services provided by persons in a profession or business the board regulates; or

(D) restricts participation in a profession or business the board regulates;

(5) the results of the most recent formal audit of the board;

(6) the requirements of:

(A) laws relating to open meetings, public information, administrative procedure, and disclosure of conflicts of interest; and

(B) other laws applicable to members of the board in performing their duties; and

(7) any applicable ethics policies adopted by the board or the Texas Ethics Commission.

(c) A person appointed to the board is entitled to reimbursement, as provided by the General Appropriations Act, for the travel expenses incurred in attending the training program regardless of whether the attendance at the program occurs before or after the person qualifies for office.

(d) The executive director of the executive council shall create a training manual that includes the information required by Subsection (b). The executive director shall distribute a copy of the training manual annually to each board member. Each member of the board shall sign and submit to the executive director a statement acknowledging that the member received and has reviewed the training manual.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 25(2), eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.059, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.111. OFFICIAL OATH. Before assuming the duties of office, each board member shall file with the secretary of state a copy of the constitutional oath of office taken by the member.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

SUBCHAPTER E. POWERS AND DUTIES


Sec. 503.201. GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES OF EXECUTIVE COUNCIL. (a) The executive council shall:

(1) determine the qualifications and fitness of an applicant for a license, license renewal, or provisional license;

(2) examine for, deny, approve, issue, revoke, suspend, suspend on an emergency basis, place on probation, and renew the license of an applicant or license holder under this chapter;

(3) adopt and publish a code of ethics; and

(4) by rule adopt a list of authorized counseling methods or practices that a license holder may undertake or perform.

(b) The executive council may request and shall receive the assistance of a state educational institution or other state agency.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.061, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.2015. BOARD DUTIES. The board shall propose to the executive council:

(1) rules regarding:

(A) the qualifications necessary to obtain a license, including rules limiting an applicant's eligibility for a license based on the applicant's criminal history;

(B) the scope of practice of and standards of care and ethical practice for professional counseling; and

(C) continuing education requirements for license holders; and

(2) a schedule of sanctions for violations of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter.

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.062, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.207. LICENSE HOLDER REGISTRY.

Without reference to the addition of this subsection, this section was repealed by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.113(70), eff. September 1, 2019.


(c) The board may not include the home address of a person licensed under this chapter in a registry the board publishes on the board's Internet website unless the person requests that the person's home address appear in the registry on the website. A request under this subsection must be made in the manner prescribed by the board.

(d) The home address of a person licensed under this chapter that is included in the registry the board prepares under this section is public information and is not excepted from required disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 91 (H.B. 125), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.113(70), eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.208. COMPETENT PERFORMANCE OF PROFESSIONAL DUTIES. The board shall identify the key factors for the competent performance by a license holder of the license holder's professional duties.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

SUBCHAPTER G. LICENSE REQUIREMENTS


Sec. 503.301. LICENSE REQUIRED. A person may not engage in the practice of professional counseling unless the person is:

(1) licensed under this chapter; or

(2) exempt from this chapter under Subchapter B.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.302. QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSE. (a) A person qualifies for a license under this chapter if the person:

(1) is at least 18 years old;

(2) has a master's or doctoral degree in counseling or a related field;

(3) has successfully completed a graduate degree at a regionally accredited institution of higher education and the number of graduate semester hours required by executive council rule, which may not be less than 48 hours and must include 300 clock hours of supervised practicum that:

(A) is primarily counseling in nature; and

(B) meets the specific academic course content and training standards established by the executive council;

(4) has completed the number of supervised experience hours required by executive council rule, which may not be less than 3,000 hours working in a counseling setting that meets the requirements established by the executive council after the completion of the graduate program described by Subdivision (3);

(5) passes the license examination and jurisprudence examination required by this chapter;

(6) submits an application as required by the executive council, accompanied by the required application fee; and

(7) meets any other requirement prescribed by the executive council.

(b) In establishing the standards described by Subsection (a)(3)(B), the executive council shall review and consider the standards as developed by the appropriate professional association.

(c) The executive council may require the statements on a license application to be made under oath.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.263(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 15, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 25(3), eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.063, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.3025. EXPERIENCE REQUIRED TO ACT AS SUPERVISOR. The executive council shall allow a license holder who has practiced as a licensed counselor in another state to count that out-of-state experience toward any experience that the license holder is required by executive council rule to obtain to act as a supervisor under this chapter if the executive council determines that the other state has license requirements substantially equivalent to the requirements of this chapter.

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.064, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.303. SPECIALIZATION IN ART THERAPY. (a) A person qualifies for a license as a professional counselor with a specialization in art therapy if the person:

(1) meets the requirements for a license under Section 503.302;

(2) holds:

(A) a master's or doctoral degree in art therapy that includes at least 700 hours of supervised practicum from an accredited institution; or

(B) a master's degree in a counseling-related field if the person has completed at least:

(i) 21 semester hours of sequential course work in the history, theory, and practice of art therapy; and

(ii) 700 hours of supervised practicum from an accredited institution;

(3) completes the following postgraduate experience in addition to the requirements of Subdivision (2) under the supervision of a licensed professional counselor with a specialization in art therapy:

(A) at least 1,000 client contact hours, if the applicant holds a degree described by Subdivision (2)(A); or

(B) at least 2,000 client contact hours, if the applicant holds a degree described by Subdivision (2)(B); and

(4) demonstrates successful completion of the national Certification Examination in Art Therapy of the Art Therapy Credentials Board.

(b) The executive council shall accept an individual course from an art therapy program accredited through the American Art Therapy Association as satisfying the education requirements under Section 503.302(a)(3) if at least 75 percent of the course content is substantially equivalent to the content of a course required by executive council rule.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561, Sec. 25(4), eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 25(4), eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.065, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.304. REVIEW OF APPLICATION. (a) Not later than the 30th day before the examination date, after investigation of a license application and review of other evidence submitted, the executive council shall notify the applicant that the application and evidence submitted are:

(1) satisfactory and accepted; or

(2) unsatisfactory and rejected.

(b) If the executive council rejects an application, the executive council shall state in the notice the reasons for the rejection.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.066, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.305. LICENSE EXAMINATION. (a) The executive council shall administer examinations to determine the competence of qualified applicants at least twice each calendar year.

(b) The executive council shall contract with a nationally recognized testing organization to develop and administer a written professional counselor licensing examination to applicants who apply for a license under this chapter.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 25(5), eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.067, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.3055. JURISPRUDENCE EXAMINATION. (a) The board shall develop a jurisprudence examination to determine an applicant's knowledge of this chapter, executive council rules, and any other applicable laws of this state affecting the applicant's professional counseling practice. The executive council shall administer the examination at least twice each calendar year.

(b) The executive council shall adopt rules to implement this section, including rules related to the development and administration of the examination, examination fees, guidelines for reexamination, grading the examination, and providing notice of examination results.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.068, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.308. TEMPORARY LICENSE. (a) The executive council by rule may provide for the issuance of a temporary license. Rules adopted under this subsection must provide a time limit for the period a temporary license is valid.

(b) The executive council by rule may adopt a system under which a temporary license may be issued to a person who:

(1) meets all of the academic requirements for licensing; and

(2) enters into a supervisory agreement with a supervisor approved by the executive council.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.069, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.310. PROVISIONAL LICENSE. (a) On application and payment of applicable fees, the executive council may issue a provisional license to a person who holds a license as a counselor or art therapist issued by another state or by a jurisdiction acceptable to the executive council.

(b) An applicant for a provisional license must:

(1) be licensed in good standing as a counselor or art therapist in another state, territory, or jurisdiction that has licensing requirements substantially equivalent to the requirements of this chapter;

(2) have passed the required license examination; and

(3) be sponsored by a person licensed under this chapter with whom the applicant may practice under a provisional license.

(c) An applicant is not required to comply with Subsection (b)(3) if the executive council determines that compliance with that subsection is a hardship to the applicant.

(d) A provisional license is valid until the date the executive council approves or denies the provisional license holder's application for a license under Section 503.311.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.070, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.311. ISSUANCE OF LICENSE TO PROVISIONAL LICENSE HOLDER. (a) The executive council shall issue a license to the holder of a provisional license who applies for a license if:

(1) the executive council verifies that the applicant has the academic and experience requirements for a regular license under this chapter; and

(2) the applicant satisfies any other license requirements under this chapter.

(b) The executive council must complete the processing of a provisional license holder's application for a license not later than the later of:

(1) the 180th day after the date the provisional license is issued; or

(2) the date licenses are issued following completion of the next licensing and jurisprudence examinations.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.071, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.312. INACTIVE STATUS. (a) On request of a person licensed under this chapter, the executive council shall place the person's license on inactive status.

(b) A person whose license is inactive:

(1) foregoes the licensing rights granted under this chapter; and

(2) is not required to pay a license renewal fee or any penalty fee.

(c) A person whose license is inactive may apply to reactivate the license. The executive council shall reactivate the license if the applicant:

(1) pays a license fee;

(2) is not in violation of this chapter when the applicant applies to reactivate the license; and

(3) fulfills the requirements provided by executive council rule for the holder of an inactive license.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.072, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.313. RETIREMENT STATUS. The executive council by rule may adopt a system for placing a person licensed under this chapter on retirement status.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.073, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.314. DISPLAY AND SURRENDER OF LICENSE CERTIFICATE. (a) A person licensed under this chapter shall display the person's license certificate in an appropriate and public manner.

(b) A license certificate issued by the executive council is the property of the executive council and must be surrendered on demand.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.074, eff. September 1, 2019.

SUBCHAPTER H. LICENSE RENEWAL


Sec. 503.351. RENEWAL; ELIGIBILITY. A person licensed under this chapter may renew the license biennially if the person:

(1) is not in violation of this chapter when the person applies for renewal; and

(2) fulfills the continuing education requirements established by the executive council.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 20, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.075, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.352. LICENSE EXPIRATION DATE. The executive council shall adopt a system under which licenses expire on various dates during the year. On renewal of the license on the expiration date, the total license renewal fee is payable.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.264(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.076, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.353. NOTICE OF LICENSE EXPIRATION. Not later than the 30th day before the expiration date of a person's license, the executive council shall send written notice of the impending license expiration to the person at the person's last known address according to the executive council's records.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.077, eff. September 1, 2019.

SUBCHAPTER I. DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS


Sec. 503.401. DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS. (a) A person licensed under this chapter is subject to disciplinary action under Subchapter G, Chapter 507, if the person:

(1) violates this chapter or a rule or code of ethics adopted under this chapter;

(2) commits an act for which the license holder would be liable under Chapter 81, Civil Practice and Remedies Code;

(3) is legally committed to an institution because of mental incompetence from any cause; or

(4) directly or indirectly offers to pay or agrees to accept remuneration to or from any person for securing or soliciting a patient or patronage.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.113(80), eff. September 1, 2019.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.113(80), eff. September 1, 2019.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.113(80), eff. September 1, 2019.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.079, eff. September 1, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.113(80), eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 503.407. REFUND. (a) Subject to Subsection (b), the executive council may order a license holder to pay a refund to a consumer as provided in an agreement resulting from an informal settlement conference instead of or in addition to imposing an administrative penalty under Subchapter H, Chapter 507.

(b) The amount of a refund ordered as provided in an agreement resulting from an informal settlement conference may not exceed the amount the consumer paid to the license holder for a service regulated by this chapter. The executive council may not require payment of other damages or estimate harm in a refund order.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 561 (H.B. 1283), Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.080, eff. September 1, 2019.

SUBCHAPTER J. PENALTIES AND ENFORCEMENT PROVISIONS


Sec. 503.452. CRIMINAL OFFENSES. (a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly:

(1) engages in the practice of professional counseling without holding a license under this chapter;

(2) represents the person by the title "Licensed Professional Counselor" or "Licensed Counselor" without holding a license under this chapter;

(3) represents the person by the title "Licensed Professional Counselor -- Art Therapist," "Art Therapist," or by the initials "L.P.C. -- A.T." or "A.T." without:

(A) holding a license with a specialization in art therapy under Section 503.303; or

(B) holding a license under Section 503.309; or

(4) uses any title, words, letters, or abbreviations that imply that the person is licensed under this chapter if the person is not licensed under this chapter.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 503.453. REPORT OF ALLEGED OFFENSE. The executive council shall notify the appropriate prosecuting attorney of an alleged offense committed under this chapter.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (H.B. 1501), Sec. 2.081, eff. September 1, 2019.