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Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

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

  • Provide transcripts showing graduation from a CACREP program or a 48-hour master's degree in counseling from an accredited institution.
  • Provide a passing score on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification.
  • 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.

Passing the National Counselor Examination (NCE) is required prior to the approval of a Plan of Supervision. The examination is computer based. An applicant for a Plan of Supervision should contact the National Board of Certified Counselors to register for the exam and/or request an official score report to be sent to the South Dakota Board office to evidence passing the examination.

How to access and register online for the exam.

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 $225 must accompany an application for licensure.

A license must be renewed by November 30th in even-numbered years.

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

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