August 11, 2014
Are you confused about the different Laws and Rules courses?  3-Hours versus 8-Hours?  Online versus Live? This commentary is intended to help clarify the current expectations associated with the relevant rules.

Rule 64B4-3.0035 requires that applicants for licensure must demonstrate knowledge of the laws and rules for licensure by attending an eight (8) hour course (live or online) that includes subject areas including:

“64B4-3.0035  . . .
(a) Chapter 456, Part II, F.S., (Regulation of Professions and Occupations, General Provisions)

(b) Chapter 90.503, (Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege)

(c) Chapter 394, F.S., (Part I Florida Mental Health Act)

(d) Chapter 397, F.S., (Substance Abuse Services)

(e) Chapters 415 and 39, F.S., (Protection from Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation)

(f) Chapter 491, F.S., (Clinical, Counseling and Psychotherapy Services) and,

(g) Chapter 64B4, F.A.C., (Rules of the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling).  The rule states how the applicant is to document completion of the course.”

The Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling is considering is considering some changes and/or clarifications to the current rule.

First, a requirement is being considered that online Laws & Rules courses require participants to pass an exam to demonstrate their knowledge of the laws and rules.  Draft language referring to a passing score was set at 80% and a requirement that a Florida attorney be available during the course was removed.  Further revisions to the language for this change to 64B4-3.0035 rule are in the hands of the Board’s Counsel and will likely be addressed at the October Board meeting in Tampa.

Secondly, it has been my long-time recommendation that Registered Interns complete the 8-hour Laws and Rules course early in their internship rather than later.  The Board is currently exploring whether or not Registered Interns may be required to complete the course during their internship rather than at the end.

Finally, Rule 64B4-6.001 Renewal of Active License (4) states that completion of the 3-hour Renewal Laws and Rules course is required of licensees every third biennium.  That means that we currently licensed mental health professionals have to first complete the course by March 31, 2019.  If we take a Renewal Laws & Rules course any time before that date, we would need to repeat the course 6 years after the date of that course.

– Catherine L. Waltz, PhD, is an adjunct professor in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Barry University.  She is a continuing education provider in the state of Florida providing courses on professional ethics, laws and rules, supervision, mental health error prevention:  http://drwaltz.corecommerce.com/Florida-Laws-Rules-p21.html  You can contact her at the Contact Us link above.

The educational commentaries provided by Dr. Waltz do not constitute a legal opinion.  If legal advice is needed, it is recommended that contact be made with an attorney qualified in the jurisdiction in which you practice or is applicable to your case.  We recommend that you use your knowledge of the law and your code of ethics in conjunction with this information (and any other) when deciding upon a course of action.