NBCC ACEP Continuing Education Standards

Confidentiality of Information
The Mindful Ecotherapy Center and its instructors and representatives make every effort to protect the confidentiality of participant information related to qualifying programs, including the identity of participants, and the information and materials submitted to the Mindful Ecotherapy Center and its representatives by the participants. The Mindful Ecotherapy Center maintains a policy concerning the confidentiality and security of participant information. All information gathered is used only for reporting requirements required by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the South Carolina Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Addiction Counselors, and Psycho-Educational Specialists, and for use by the Mindful Ecotherapy Center for purposes of record keeping, continuing education verification, and quality improvement and control. Your personal information is kept on secure servers and will never be sold to third parties.

Program Complaint and Policy
Program participant complaints and disputes related to programs and continuing education courses provided by the Mindful Ecotherapy Center are resolved in the following manner(s):
Resolution of program participant complaints is limited to refund of purchase price of any courses, course materials, and certificates offered by the Mindful Ecotherapy Center. Program participants may request a refund of purchase price at any time prior to taking a final exam for a course. Taking the final exam for a course and receiving a Certificate of Completion is deemed to have consented to participating fully in the course. Once the course has been completed and a Certificate of Completion for the course has been issued, no refund is available.
If you wish to request a refund prior to taking the final exam and receiving your Certificate of Completion, notify the Director of the Mindful Ecotherapy Center within 14 days of purchasing the Product by email at chuck@mindfulecotherapy.com stating the reason why you are seeking a refund. If a refund is warranted, you will be contacted by email and your purchase price will be refunded. If 14 days have lapsed, you may be given credit, if due, for another Product of equal or greater value.
The Mindful Ecotherapy Center makes every effort to provide quality educational materials to all participants. If you find that any of our program content, instructors, course materials, or Learning Management System (LMS) does not meet your expectations, please contact us for resolution.

Program Evaluation and Quality Improvement
Each program sponsored by the Mindful Ecotherapy Center contains a course evaluation form. This evaluation is used for purposes of continuing quality improvement for all course materials and programs offered by the Mindful Ecotherapy Center. When participating in programs with the Mindful Ecotherapy Center, please complete the accompanying evaluation. We use the data gathered from this assessment to improve our programs and courses.

Complaint Reporting Requirements
In order to gain and maintain Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) status with the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the Mindful Ecotherapy Center must report to NBCC each complaint, dispute, or other grievance (complaint matter) that directly or indirectly relates to any terms and requirements of the National Board for Certified Counselors Approved Continuing Education Provider Policy, including all complaint matters received from a program participant, another organization, or a government agency or authority. Such complaint matters must be reported to NBCC within sixty (60) days of the Provider’s knowledge of the complaint, including all related written communications and materials.

Program Advertising Requirements
The Mindful Ecotherapy Center complies with all NBCC policies related to advertising, including policies concerning advertisements in NBCC and third-party publications and websites. The Mindful Ecotherapy Center makes all program advertising and marketing materials available to the public without restriction, unless the program is offered only as an in-service training.

Program Information Publication Requirements
Concerning each qualifying program, the Mindful Ecotherapy Center makes the following information available to the public in a complete and accurate manner, unless the program is offered only as in-service training, in which case it should be available to participants:
(a). Program registration requirements;
(b). Program content description and learning objectives;
(c). The name and qualifications of each program presenter or author;
(d). The number of NBCC hours offered for completion of the program; and,
(e). The Provider contact information, including mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and website address.

Program Information Access Requirements
Concerning each qualifying program, the Mindful Ecotherapy Center makes all published information available to program participants and NBCC without restriction, including program descriptions, presentation materials, name and qualifications of each presenter and author, and program agendas and schedules.

Failure to Satisfy Provider Requirements
In the event that the Mindful Ecotherapy Center fails to satisfy, or acts contrary to, the requirements of this Policy, NBCC reserves the exclusive right to impose conditions or sanctions, including termination of Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) or single program provider status.

QUALIFYING PROGRAM CONTENT REQUIREMENTS

The following standards for content, topics, instructors, and restrictions on same are required by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) in order to maintain the Mindful Ecotherapy Center’s status as an Approved Continuing Education Provider. These standards are provided for information for program participants of the Mindful Ecotherapy Center.
In order to qualify for NBCC continuing education credit, the program, course, or presentation (program) must satisfy the following content requirements:

  1. NBCC Content Area Requirement. The program content and information must directly relate to a qualifying NBCC Content Area identified in Section G of this Policy.
  2. Program Learning Objectives Requirement. The program content and information must include a clear statement of the program learning objectives showing compliance with the qualifying program requirements of this Policy.
  3. Professional Knowledge Requirement. The program content and information must be directly relevant to the professional knowledge and skills of graduate-level counselors.
  4. Clinically Sound Content Requirement. The content of programs presenting information concerning the diagnosis, evaluation, and/or treatment of clients must be clinically sound. Such content must be consistent with well-established theories, principles, and techniques accepted by the professional mental health community, as well as the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
  5. Program Materials Requirement. The program materials must be directly relevant to the program content, and must reflect current information, research, and professional knowledge.
  6. NBCC Ethical Standards Requirement. The program content and information must be consistent with the NBCC Code of Ethics and the NBCC Policy Regarding the Provision of Distance Professional Services.
  7. Qualified Presenter/Author Requirement. The program content and information must be presented and/or authored by a presenter/author with the appropriate qualifications, as required by Section F of this Policy. All program presenters and authors must be specifically and accurately identified in program materials, including all educational degrees and other qualifications related to the requirements of this Policy.

QUALIFYING PROGRAM CONTENT RESTRICTIONS AND PROHIBITIONS

In order to qualify for NBCC continuing education credit, the qualifying program content must be consistent with the following restrictions and prohibitions:

  1. Non-counseling Profession Content Restriction. The program content cannot be solely or primarily designed or intended for: professions other than professional counseling; the general public; paraprofessional counselors; or, any other individuals engaged in counseling or other mental health activities who are not graduate-level professional counselors.
  2. Physical Health Content Restriction. The program content cannot be solely or primarily concerned with the medical or physical health of clients.
  3. Political and Religious Content Restriction. The program content cannot state or imply in any manner that individuals who act inconsistent with, or who do not accept, a particular political or religious belief or principle are dysfunctional, or otherwise inappropriate, or that the belief itself is unacceptable or incorrect.
  4. Sexual Orientation Change Content Restriction. The program content cannot present or include information promoting Sexual Orientation Change Efforts as a therapeutic method.

PRESENTER QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

In order for a Provider to offer and issue NBCC continuing education credit, the program must satisfy the following requirements: the subject matter must be directly and primarily related to an NBCC Content Area; and, the presenter of the program, or author preparing the publication, must qualify as a presenter/author (presenter) for the subject matter presented.
Qualifying programs must be taught or authored by presenters who possess appropriate qualifications, as required by this Policy. Qualified presenters and authors are classified by three (3) specific categories. The following categories identify the relevant education and/or experience requirements for a presenter to qualify to present/author programs that are offered for NBCC continuing education credit.

1. Category 1 Presenter Qualifications
In order to qualify as a Category 1 Presenter, the individual must:
(a). Hold a graduate degree in a mental health field from a regionally accredited educational
institution; and,
(b). Be qualified by appropriate education, experience, and/or training to present/author the particular subject matter, or author the publication concerning the subject matter.

2. Category 2 Presenter Qualifications
In order to qualify as a Category 2 Presenter, the individual must:
(a). Hold a graduate degree from a regionally accredited educational institution directly related to the subject matter presented; and,
(b). Be qualified by appropriate education, experience, and/or training to present/author the particular subject matter, or author the publication concerning the subject matter.

3. Category 3 Presenter Qualifications
In order to qualify as a Category 3 Presenter, the individual must:
(a). Be qualified by appropriate education, experience, and/or training to present/author the particular subject matter, or author the publication concerning the subject matter.

4. Additional Presenter Requirements and Restrictions
(a). Each program presenter must qualify under this Policy to teach the particular subject matter presented by that individual.
(b). Honorary academic degrees must not be used to qualify a presenter to present or author programs offered for NBCC credit.
(c). Individuals who have received academic degrees outside the United States may or may not be qualified to present programs for NBCC credit. Such foreign degreed individuals may be required to submit the results of an international degree equivalency evaluation. NBCC will determine whether the individual qualifies as a presenter under this Policy.

NBCC CONTENT AREAS AND TOPICS

In order for a Provider to offer and issue NBCC credit, the program subject matter must be directly and primarily related to one (1) or more of the NBCC Content Areas identified below, and as required by this Policy. The following categories identify the NBCC Content Areas. The relevant content area(s) must be identifiable in the program objectives.
[NOTE: Regardless of the NBCC Content Area, a Category 1 Presenter is required to present/author the relevant portions of all programs that include content concerning counseling theory, counseling practice, counseling relationships, and the evaluation and/or treatment of clients, as well as all content specifically designated for a Category 1 Presenter.]

1. Counseling Theory/Practice and the Counseling Relationship
Continuing education programs in this content area provide an advanced understanding of the counseling processes, including, but not limited to, the following topics.
Category 1 Presenter required for the following topics:
>Foundational and well-established counseling theories, principles, and techniques of counseling and their application in mental health settings.
> Diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.
> Wellness and prevention within counseling and treatment.
>Crisis intervention techniques for counselors to use in response to disaster or other rapid onset trauma-causing events, including but not limited to, psychological first aid strategies.
>Psycho-physiological awareness and mindfulness in the counseling process.
>Distance counseling.
>Biofeedback used in a mental health setting.

2. Human Growth and Development
Continuing education programs in this content area provide an advanced understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at developmental levels, and are relevant to professional counselors and the counseling profession. A Category 1 Presenter is required for all program content related to the counseling and/or treatment of clients. Human Growth and Development topics include, but are not limited to, the following topics.

Category 1 or 2 Presenter required for the following topics:
>Foundational and well-established theories, including, but not limited to, personality theory, life span theory, learning theory, and human development theory.

Category 1, 2, or 3 Presenter required for the following topics:
>End-of-life issues within the scope of practice of mental health professionals.
>Information related to developmental crises; disabilities; and, situational, transitional, and environmental factors that affect behavior.

3. Social and Cultural Foundations
Continuing Education programs in this content area provide an understanding of the issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society that impact professional counselors and the counseling profession. A Category 1 Presenter is required for all program content and information related to the counseling and/or treatment of clients. Social and Cultural Foundations topics include, but are not limited to, the following topics.
Category 1 Presenter required for the following topic:
>Multicultural competency as a professional counselor.
Category 1, 2, or 3 Presenter required for the following topics:
>Societal subgroups.
>Societal changes and trends.
>Mores and interaction patterns.
>Major societal concerns.
>Social justice.
>Cross-cultural effects, such as acculturation, assimilation and multicultural and pluralistic trends.

4. Group Dynamics and Counseling
Continuing education programs in this content area provide an advanced understanding of therapeutic group development, dynamics and counseling theories; and, group counseling methods and skills, including, but not limited to, the following topics.
Category 1 Presenter required for the following topics:
>Group counseling theories and group counseling leadership styles.
>Developmental stages in group counseling and related principles of group dynamics.
>Group counseling methods and skills.
>Group members’ roles and behaviors within a mental health setting.

5. Career Development and Counseling
Continuing education programs in this content area provide an advanced understanding of career counseling, development and related life factors. A Category 1 Presenter is required for any program content related to the counseling and/or treatment of clients. Career Development and Counseling topics include, but are not limited to, the following topics.
Category 1 Presenter required for the following topics:
>Theories, principles, and techniques of counseling as applied to work and career.
>Career counseling processes and resources, including, but not limited to, those applicable to specific communities and populations.
>Career/life planning and decision-making models.
>Life-work role transitions, including, but not limited to, outplacement and retirement counseling.
Category 1, 2, or 3 Presenter required for the following topics:
>Career development program planning, resources, and program evaluation.
>Assessment of work place environment for purposes of job placement.
>Trends in job search.
>Career avocational, educational, occupational and labor market information, and resources and career information systems.

6. Assessment
Continuing education programs in this content area provide an advanced understanding of approaches to assessment and evaluation in counseling practice. A Category 1 Presenter is required for all program content related to the counseling and/or treatment of clients. Assessment topics include, but are not limited to, the following topics.
Category 1 Presenter required for the following topics:
>Diagnostic interviewing.
>Clinical assessment and interpretation for use in treatment planning.
>Ethical strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and evaluation instruments.
Category 1 or 2 Presenter required for the following topics:
>Information on the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
>Implementation and interpretation of standardized assessment instrument protocols.
>New and existing assessments.
>Issues related to assessment development.
>Legal issues related to counselor authority to administer and interpret tests and inventories that assess psychopathology, abilities, interests, and career options.
>Information on basic classification, indication and contraindications of commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications, in order to make appropriate referrals for medication evaluations, and to identify the side effects of medication.

7. Research and Program Evaluation
Continuing education programs in this content area provide an advanced understanding of research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment and evaluation, and ethical and legal considerations in research. A Category 1 Presenter is required for all program content related to the counseling and/or treatment of clients. Research and Program Evaluation topics include, but are not limited to, the following topics.
Category 1 Presenter required for the following topics:
>Critical evaluation of research findings and its clinical implications.
>Development of measurable outcomes for counseling interventions.
Category 1 or 2 Presenter required for the following topics:
>Foundational and well-established research design and methods.
>Statistics in research.
>Research report development and information on disseminating research findings.
>Critical evaluation of research findings.

8. Counselor Professional Identity and Practice Issues
Continuing education programs in this content area provide an understanding of various aspects of professional functioning as graduate-level counselors. A Category 1 Presenter is required for all program content related to the counseling and/or treatment of clients. Counselor Professional Identity and Practice Issues topics include, but are not limited to, the following topics.
Category 1 Presenter required for the following topics:
>NBCC and/or ACA ethical codes and conduct standards in professional counseling and/or counseling research.
>Ethical decision-making models directly related to counseling practice.
>NBCC certification, state licensure, and related mental health public policy.
>Professional counseling organizations and associations, limited to NBCC, CACREP, ACA and its branches and divisions.
>Roles and processes related to counselor advocacy on behalf of the profession and the client.
>The counselor’s role and function as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
>Starting and maintaining a counseling practice to include business-planning, quality control, service delivery, billing and reimbursement, fee-setting, capacity-building, referrals, and ethical marketing.
>Effective and ethical utilization of social media.
>Counselor self-assessment to address areas for ongoing professional growth.
>Critical analysis of emerging issues in the counseling profession.
>Clinical supervision models, practices, and processes for professional counselors.
>The counselor’s role and function as a professional consultant.
>The counselor’s role and function as a forensic interviewer.
Category 1 or 2 Presenter required for the following topic:
>Legal issues in professional counseling and/or counseling research.
Category 1, 2, or 3 Presenter required for the following topics:
>Self-care strategies and burnout prevention appropriate to the counselor role.
>Grant writing for counselors and counseling programs.

9. Wellness and Prevention
Continuing education programs in this content area provide psycho-educational information for counselors to enhance their ability to promote optimal wellness related to client mental health. A Category 1 presenter is required for all program content related to the counseling and/or treatment of clients. Wellness and Prevention topics include, but are not limited to, the following topics.
Category 1, 2, or 3 Presenter required for the following topics:
>Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM).
>Community-based wellness initiatives.
>Conflict resolution.
> Sex education.
>Sleep hygiene.
> Nutrition.
>Anger management.

PARTICIPANT PROGRAM EVALUATION REQUIREMENTS

1. Evaluation Content Requirements
The Provider must make available to each qualifying program participant a print or electronic evaluation document, which includes a rating scale. This document must identify the title and date of the program, and must permit the individual to indicate satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the following:
(a). The content of the program;
(b). The knowledge and presentation skills of each program presenter;
(c). The facility and accommodations, if a live program;
(d). The content and quality of the program materials; and,
(e). The relevance of the program to professional counselors.
In addition, this document must allow the participant to submit written comments concerning the program and indicate whether the program met his/her expectations. The Provider must collect and maintain the evaluations for at least five (5) years from the date of each program. The Provider is required to report to NBCC whether programming has been modified based on participant evaluations. Such reports will be included with the Provider’s audit forms.

2. Evaluation Summary Requirements
As part of the audit process, the Provider must submit to NBCC a summary of all participant evaluations received for a specific time period with respect to identified programs. Such evaluation summaries must provide the following information with respect to each program:
(a). Title and date(s) of the program;
(b). Number of program participants;
(c). All comments received from participants for each item of information required by Section H.1; and,
(d). The composite evaluation rating scores for each item of information required by Section H.1.
The Provider must not submit individual participant evaluations to NBCC, unless requested by NBCC