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Archives - State Agencies - Addiction Counseling Examiners, Board of

[Authorized:  NDCC Section 43-45-02]

Legislation in 1987 created the North Dakota Board of Addiction Counseling Examiners for the purpose of examining, licensing, and disciplining addiction counselors (S. L. 1987, Ch. 536). The function of certifying professional addiction counselors had formerly been a duty of the Department of Human Services. 

The Governor appointed a seven member board made up of four members who were licensed addiction counselors actively engaged in the practice of addiction counseling, two laypersons, and one who was a director of coordination for an addiction counseling training program.  Board members served a three year term and served no more than two consecutive terms. 
The Board met quarterly and appointed other members to assist them in carrying out their duties (S. L. 1987, Ch. 536).

The Board increased to nine gubernatorial appointed members in 1993 and it included six who were licensed addiction counselors, two laypersons, and one licensed addiction counselor engaged in private practice. Initially the Board only issued licenses to addiction counselors, but in 1993 it included addiction counselors in private practice in the licensing process. Licenses were permitted at intern sites for students and trainers. The Board registered clinical trainers, interns, and clinical supervisors. The Board could license an addiction counselor by reciprocity if the applicant met the requirements established by the Board. All licenses were to be displayed prominently the place of business. The Board was authorized to address the issue of misrepresentation by any person claiming to be an addiction counselor (S. L. 1993, Ch. 438).

In 2007 legislation changed the Board to seven members, of whom the Governor appointed five licensed addiction counselors, one engaged in private practice, and two laypersons. Licenses were to be renewed annually (S. L. 2007, Ch. 383) and continuing education was required for renewal. Specific qualifications for licensing, registration, and exemptions were listed in the Century Code [NDCC 43-45]. The Board administered and enforced the provisions of the law. It evaluated applicants, issued all licenses and registrations for addiction counselors. The Board approved training programs, approved and administered examinations, and established continuing education requirements. It collected fees for examinations, licenses, and renewals.  The Board established an ethical standard of practice and provided disciplinary action for violators and it recommended necessary legal action to the Attorney General.

The Board could deny, refuse to renew, suspend, or revoke an application. It could call a hearing and place on probation an applicant or holder of a license who engaged in unprofessional conduct. A license holder could resubmit an application for an initial license one year after the date of the revocation. The Board recommended prosecution to those in violation of the law (S. L. 2007, Ch. 383). Violation resulted in a class B misdemeanor (S. L. 2009, Ch.359). All complaints were submitted to the Board in writing.

During the 2015 session, the State Legislature intended to dedicate funding for the purpose of providing infrastructure, expertise, and experience for certain behavioral health professions, to establish relationships and provide statewide assessment of viable internship sites for addiction counselors, and to implement and provide oversight for the program through the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.  This would be accomplished in partnership with academic professionals in addiction counseling. Also during the 2015-2016 interim, legislation asked that behavioral health licensure boards develop a plan in collaboration with the other boards concerning the administration and implementation of licensing and reciprocity standards for qualified licensees.  The plan also included licensing and adequate standards relating to evaluation and reciprocity on a regional, national, or international level. Findings submitted to Legislative Management by each board were to include a proposed plan or changes. Other boards in this act were the Board of Counselor Examiners, Board of Social Work Examiners, State Board of Psychologist Examiners, State Board of Medical Examiners, and the Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure Board. (S. L. 2015, Ch. 391). 
As of 2017 legislation created and enacted a new section to the Century Code [NDCC 43-45]  relating to licensed clinical addiction counselors. It also amended sections of the Code that concerned the scope of practice for addiction counselors and the licensure authority of the Board of Addiction Counseling Examiners.  Two specific definitions included in the legislation were "Addiction counseling" defined as the provision of counseling or assessment of persons regarding their use or abuse of alcohol, or a controlled substance of an individual regarding a substance, or a related or addictive disorder as found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The second definition "Private practice of addiction counseling" meant the independent practice of addiction counseling by a qualified individual, either self-employed on a full-time or part-time basis, and responsible for an independent practice. Legislation also specified that a person was considered in the private practice of addiction counseling when registered by the Board of Addiction Counseling Examiners and proved the required eligibility for private practice under criteria established by Board rule. Relating to grounds of disciplinary proceedings for unprofessional conduct, the Board could deny an application and refuse license renewal after a hearing. The Board could suspend, revoke, or place on probationary status any licensee. In other legislation the appointment of members to the Board of Addiction Counseling Examiners was amended. Seven-members included five licensed addiction counselors, licensees actively engaged in the practice of addiction counseling, one actively engaged in the private practice of addiction counseling, and two laypersons. Qualified prospective candidates were selected as members and appointed for three-year terms by the Governor (S. L. 2017, Ch. 298).


1987       North Dakota Board of Addiction Counseling Examiners replaced the Department of Human Services for the licensing of addiction counselors. The Governor appointed seven members (S. L. 1987, Ch. 536).

1993       The Board increased to nine members and a new section was added to the Century Code relating to the powers and duties of the Board. Licensing of private practice addiction counselors was addressed by the legislature (S. L. 1993, Ch. 438).

2003       Requirements for licensing of addiction counselors changed and new laws were added on disciplinary actions (S. L. 2003, Ch. 378).

2007       Legislation changed the Board membership to seven. Criteria for private practice counselors was set by the board (S.L. 2007, Ch. 383).

2009       Violation of the law was considered a misdemeanor [NDCC 43-45-05.2]; (S.L. 2009, Ch. 359).

2015       A new section was added to Code [NDCC 43-45] concerning loans for certain behavioral health professions and another amendment concerned the authority and duties of the Board of Addiction Counseling Examiners. Additional legislation also addressed the internship loan program, revolving fund, and continuing appropriation through the Bank of North Dakota. (S. L. 2015, Ch. 307).  Legislation also provided for behavioral health licensure boards to individually develop a plan in collaboration with the other boards for the administration and implementation of licensing and reciprocity standards for licensees (S. L. 2015, Ch. 391).

2017   The Legislature addressed in other amendments Board duties, meetings, and requirements for licensing an addiction counselor, licensed clinical addiction counselor, or masters addiction counselor. Amendments were also made concerning additional considerations in the reciprocity process (S. L. 2017, Ch. 298).


32128 Records


North Dakota Board of Addiction Counseling Examiners Website.
North Dakota Century Code.
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.

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