Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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Licensing Professional Counselor - Mental Health (LPC-MH)

The first step towards licensure as a professional counselor-mental health is to submit an application for a Plan of Supervision.  To be approved for a Plan of Supervision, an applicant must:

  • Hold a valid Professional Counselor license;
  • Provide transcripts showing graduation from a CACREP program or a 48-hour master’s degree in counseling from an accredited Institution; and
  • Propose a Board Approved Supervisor to oversee the required supervision and direct client contact hours for full licensure

No supervision or direct client contact hours will be counted towards licensure before the date of an approved Plan of Supervision.  A non-refundable application fee of $100 must accompany an application for a Plan of Supervision.

Prior to application for full licensure, passing the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) is required. The examination is computer based.  An applicant for licensure should contact the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) to register for the exam and/or request an official score report be sent to the South Dakota Board office to evidence passing the examination.

Following the completion of the required hours under an approved Plan of Supervision, an applicant for full licensure must complete an application for licensure.  A refundable license fee of $75 must accompany an application for licensure.

A license must be renewed annually by December 31st.  A license not renewed by January 1st is subject to a $50 late fee.

A licensee must show 40 hours of continuing education, including at least 4 hours of ethics, biennially.  Continuing education is due in each odd-numbered year.

The LPC-MH must abide by the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.