Uniform path to counselor certification in California
Sharing the common goal of providing addiction professionals with credible and meaningful credentials, Breining Institute, which has provided higher education, training and certification for addiction professionals since 1986, has collaborated with the prestigious California Association for Alcohol / Drug Educators (CAADE), in order to establish a uniform State-approved entry-level AOD/SUD counselor certification in California.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers regarding this transition that only applies to California counselors:
Most recent update: September 18, 2014
Q: My employer needs me to confirm I am registered with CAADE, and in compliance with California law requiring my registration. How can I do this?
A: You may confirm your registration with CAADE at the Centralized Data Base, which includes alcohol and other drug / substance use disorder (AOD/SUD) professional counselors who are registered and/or certified in accord with California law, including all Breining counselors recently transferred to and re-registered with CAADE in August, 2014. The Centralized Data Base may be accessed here: http://breining.edu/RASCalifornia.htm
Q: My employer received a notice from the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), Notice No. 14-028, that says I need to re-register with another certifying organization by March 19, 2015, or I will lose my right to work. Is this true?
A: No. The DHCS notice is confusing and incorrect, and we have requested DHCS retract and correct the misinformation in that notice. The law is clear that, because all Breining California counselors have already been re-registered with CAADE in August 2014 as part of the Breining/CAADE transition to a uniform certification standard in California, these counselors do not need to re-register with any other certifying organization, and the RAS counselors certification remains valid until its expiration date. (California Code of Regulations, Title 9, Div. 4, Chap. 8, Sections 13035(d) and (e).)
Q: My employer is getting notices and letters saying my RAS Credential is no longer valid, and that I have to get a different certification within six months. Is this true?
A: No. State law says your RAS Credential will remain valid until your renewal date. When you renew your credential, Breining will renew and transition your RAS Credential to the CATC Credential, another State-approved and recognized certification. When you renew through Breining, we will also renew your RAS and other Breining credentials at no extra cost. You can renew now, if you wish, by using the RAS-to-CATC transition application which is available here: http://breining.edu/RASCalifornia.htm
Q: California law says I need to be registered with a State-approved certification organization, and I’ve been registered or certified with Breining for years. Other certification organizations are telling me I need to switch my registration to them. Do I need to switch?
A: No. As part of this transition to a uniform certification standard in California, all current California counselors registered and/or certified with Breining have now been registered with CAADE, at no cost to the counselors, so they meet the California registration requirement.
Q: Now that I have been “registered” with CAADE, does this mean I am “certified” with CAADE and have the CATC credential?
A: No. State of California law requires “registration” of AOD/SUD counselors, whether or not they are “certified” as AOD/SUD counselors. All Breining counselors in California have now been “registered” with CAADE, so that you maintain your compliance with California law.
However, in order to hold the CATC “certification,” you must either get your RAS Credential transitioned to the CATC Credential through Breining, or earn and be awarded the CATC Credential directly through CAADE. If you transition to the CATC through Breining, we will also continue to award you the nationally-recognized RAS Credential, which is held by AOD/SUD counselor professionals in 47 US States. An RAS-to-CATC transition application is available here: http://breining.edu/RASCalifornia.htm
Q: I let my registration or certification with Breining lapse, but would like to be part of this transition to a uniform California credential. Can I still do this?
A: Yes. Bring your registration or certification up-to-date with Breining, then we can transition you to the CAADE system and the CATC Credential career track. Use this link to bring your registration or certification up-to-date: https://www.addictionspecialists.com/renew.php
Q: I already have the RAS Credential. What do I need to do to get the CATC Credential?
A: You may wait for Breining to invoice you as you approach your renewal date, or you may complete your renewal and receive the CATC Credential now, by using the “RAS to CATC Application” at this link: http://breining.edu/RASCalifornia.htm
Q: I have advanced RAS or specialty Credentials from Breining. What happens to me?
A: Breining will continue to issue and renew its advanced RAS II, RAS III and M-RAS Credentials, as well as the Specialty Credentials including the CSC, MCA, CWTS, MATC, FAC and CCDS. Counselors with the advanced RAS II, RAS III, or M-RAS Credentials will be renewed with both the CATC and their advanced credential, so that they remain in compliance with California law (relating to the entry-level certification) and still retain the recognition of having earned their advanced and specialized credentials.
Q: I am registered with Breining as an RAS Intern, and want to earn the CATC. How do I do this?
A: Complete a 45-unit Addiction Studies Certificate program with Breining (or other approved CAADE school); complete/document 2,080 hours of clinical experience and 160 hours of supervised clinical experience; and then pass the CATC exam administered by CAADE. More information about how you can earn the CATC Credential is available at this link: California CATC Credential
Q: I am new to the field, need to be registered with a State-approved certification organization, and want the CATC Credential. How do I do this?
A: Get registered with CAADE, which you may do through the Breining web site, and then follow the steps listed in the question above to earn the CATC. Here is a link to get registered with CAADE: http://breining.edu/RASCalifornia.htm
Q: I’d like to be awarded the CATC Credential in California, but also continue to keep my RAS Credential, which is nationally-recognized and held by addiction professionals in 47 US States. Can I still maintain my RAS Credential?
A: Yes. Transitioning to the CATC is for the establishment of a uniform standard in California, but the RAS Credential will continue to be awarded by Breining to counselors throughout the United States, as well as to California counselors. When you transition your RAS to the CATC through Breining, there will be no additional charge for us to renew your RAS or other Breining-issued advanced and specialty credentials.
Q: Are CAADE and Breining merging into one organization?
A: No. Breining and CAADE have teamed up to administer this uniform and credible professional certification in California, but each will remain separate organizations as they continue to work together to develop more programs and services for addiction professionals. More information about these organizations can be found at their respective websites at www.caade.org or www.breining.edu
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More information about this tremendous opportunity for all California AOD/SUD professional counselors seeking a meaningful counselor certification can be found here: http://breining.edu/RASCalifornia.htm