License to Fulfill: Completing Candidacy
Throughout their 2 to 5-year candidacy, LPC candidates must log at least 3,000 clinical hours to qualify to apply for licensure. Each time a candidate submits a 6-month review, the board will send them an email with how many hours remain until they qualify for licensure. Here are factors for candidates to consider when they are nearing their final hours.
Watch for Agency Deadlines
The Board of Behavioral Health regularly updates its website with agency deadlines for license renewal, application deadlines, and other important dates. Once LPC candidates reach their final 6 months of candidacy, they will need to be mindful of the cutoff date licensure, which is 21 days before the next scheduled board meeting. For example, if a candidate hopes to be licensed at the October board meeting, their final hours and licensure packet must be submitted to the board by the middle of September.
Alert the Board of Behavioral Health
If an LPC candidate believes that they are about to submit their final hours, it is important that they inform the Board of Behavioral Health. Candidates should do so by writing “final hours” on their hours log before submitting, as well as letting the board representatives know by emailing the office at info.BehavioralHealth@bbhl.ok.gov Even if more than 3,000 are met, a candidate must remain under supervision and log their weekly hours until they receive a physical copy of their license.
After the Board is alerted of one’s final hours and verifies that the LPC candidate has logged at least 3,000 hours, a representative from the Board will email a final licensure application packet to the candidate. The only way to acquire this packet is to alert the Board when it is believed that 3,000 have been logged. If a candidate does not alert the Board that they are submitting their final hours, the Board will not issue the packet.
Submit the Final Packet
The candidate must complete all forms and submit them along with $135 payment to the Board no later than 21 days prior to the next scheduled Board meeting to be eligible for the Board to grant their license. As long as the final licensure application packet is returned to the Board along with the fee at least 21 days prior to the Board’s bimonthly meeting, LPC candidates should find their name listed on the Board meeting agenda.
Watch for the Board's Meeting Agenda
The agenda is typically released approximately 7 days prior to the Board meeting and includes all names of candidates who meet the requirements for licensure at that time. The Board members then vote to grant or deny licenses to the candidates on the agenda. As with any Board meeting, candidates may choose to attend this Board meeting to witness the vote. If a candidate does not find their name on the Board’s meeting agenda despite submitting their final packet before the 21 day deadline, they should contact the board immediately.
Keep Practicing Under Supervision
If an LPC candidate is granted licensure, they will be emailed by a Board representative the following week. The email will contain notification of the granting of their license with an attachment of their license number, expiration date, and pocket cards. However, candidates must continue to practice under supervision and log their hours until their license is available to download from the licensee portal on the Board of Behavioral Health website. If the license is not available within 10 business days of being granted their license, the Board should be contacted.
Go Forth and Practice
Once an LPC candidate receives their license, they are no longer considered a candidate and do not need to attend supervision. The license and pocket cards must be displayed in the office wherever the clinician practices. If the clinician is rendering homebased services, they must have a physical copy of the pocket card at all times when practicing.
Begin Accruing Continuing Education Credits
The initial license granted by the Board of Behavioral Health is active for 24 months. During that time, newly licensed LPC clinicians must accrue 40 hours of continuing education training. Luckily, the Oklahoma Counseling Institute is always adding new live and on-demand continuing education opportunities. Keep in mind, the renewal date of the initial license may not be June 30th, which is the typical annual deadline for clinicians to renew their license. Newly licensed clinicians will find their initial license expiration date on their pocket cards.
For more information on completing LPC candidacy, make sure to check out the free e-book "Putting the CAN in Candidacy: A Practical Guide for Oklahoma LPC Candidates."