The Profession

Increasing Awareness, Understanding, and Appreciation of Rehabilitation Counseling

The Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) designation is an important one in the field of rehabilitation counseling for individuals with disabilities. It signifies a level of career–specific education, a demonstrated understanding and application of key competencies, and a commitment to ongoing career training and development. Individuals are measured and certified via a stringent CRC Examination and an ongoing certification renewal process as governed by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC).

CRCC actively educates and promotes the importance of the CRC designation to facilitate:
  • Individuals with disabilities making informed decisions when seeking qualified and professional rehabilitation counselors;
  • Universities and colleges supporting the rehabilitation counseling profession with appropriate communication, curriculum, and testing to student populations;
  • Managers in employment settings understanding the added qualifications associated with the CRC credential in their hiring and staffing practices, and;
  • Recognition and acknowledgement by legislators and lawmakers of the importance of qualified, professional rehabilitation counseling services in maintaining and increasing access for individuals with disabilities.

CRCC Representation and Collaboration

CRCC is an active participant in conferences and summits representing rehabilitation counseling, including 20/20:  A Vision for the Future of Counseling and leadership meetings within both rehabilitation and general counseling professions.

In addition, CRCC provides information to a variety of organizations and publications to showcase rehabilitation counseling, promote the profession, and highlight the value and need for rehabilitation counselors. Publications include:
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH); US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
  • Health Care Careers Directory; American Medical Association (AMA)


Highlights of Current & Recent Activity

20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling
May 2013

Accomplishments

Since its inception in 2005, this 31-organization initiative, formed by ACA (American Counseling Association) and AASCB (American Association of State Counseling Boards), has sought to unify the profession by developing a strategic plan for optimally positioning the counseling profession by the year 2020. Through its consensus decision-making model (minimum 90% delegate agreement to request organization approval; minimum 90% organization approval for acceptance), the following has been accomplished:
  • Consensus via organization approval on seven "Principles for Unifying and Strengthening the Profession"
  1. Sharing a common professional identity is critical for counselors.
  2. Presenting ourselves as a unified profession has multiple benefits.
  3. Working together to improve the public perception of counseling and to advocate for professional issues will strengthen the profession.
  4. Creating a portability system for licensure will benefit counselors and strengthen the counseling profession.
  5. Expanding and promoting our research base is essential to the efficacy of professional counselors and to the public perception of the profession.
  6. Focusing on students and prospective students is necessary to ensure the ongoing health of the counseling profession.
  7. Promoting client welfare and advocating for the populations we serve is a primary focus of the counseling profession.
  • Consensus via organization approval on a clear definition of counseling
“Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.”
  • Delegate agreement on the title of "Licensed Professional Counselor" and a scope of practice - both in relation to efforts to promote unification of licensure standards and the concept of portability of licenses

Still Open

Upon conclusion of what was slated to be its final meeting in March 2013, the delegation had not reached consensus on educational standards. While delegates did endorse the concept that having a single educational accrediting body would be a clear benefit for the counseling profession, there has been much discussion since 2012, regarding the standards of the two counselor accrediting organizations, CORE and CACREP. A proposal submitted by CORE to the 20/20 delegation in September 2012 suggested a consortium model for counseling accreditation and unification as an organizational paradigm. (Read more about CACREP’s response to CORE’s proposal and the interactions between the two organizations on CORE’s website at www.core-rehab.org/WhatsNew.)

Most recently in March 2013, rehabilitation counseling and other delegates shared concerns regarding the education requirements proposal that recognized only one counseling specialty by requiring graduation from a CACREP mental health counseling program. While CORE’s delegate attempted to share alternative language, it was never fully disseminated to the delegates, as some objected to modifications to the proposal. With the meeting having extended beyond the scheduled time and objection to the current education requirements proposal by a number of rehabilitation counseling and other delegates around the table, the meeting concluded without vote on the education requirements proposal. While some delegates recommended continuing the dialogue, the oversight committee (ACA and AASCB presidential teams) indicated they would determine how, if, and when the issue of educational standards would move forward.

What’s Next?

The oversight committee may choose to send both the title and scope of practice statement forward to the 31 participating organizations for their review and possible consensus. CRCC will continue to work in collaboration with CORE and other organizations in support of recognition of rehabilitation counselors in the practice settings for which they are trained and qualified to practice to ensure individuals with disabilities continue to receive quality services.

For more information, including a full background on 20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling, read Advocacy Update, page 6 of the CRCC Connections Spring 2013 Newsletter.