Texas Register Preamble

The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council adopts new §801.261, relating to Requirements for Continuing Education. In response to comments, §801.261 is adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the April 22, 2022, issue of the Texas Register (47 TexReg 2098) and will be republished.

Reasoned Justification.

This adopted new rule consolidates all the continuing education requirements contained in multiple rules into this single rule. Additionally, this rule adds and changes some of the requirements for each renewal cycle. For example, LMFTs will now be required to complete three hours of cultural diversity or competency, licensees with supervisor status must now complete six hours in supervision as opposed to three hours previously, and lastly licensees can now claim up to one hour of self-study continuing education credit.

List of interested groups or associations against the rule.


Summary of comments against the rule.

Comments voiced opposition to the changes made to the continuing education requirements in this new rule. A commenter believed these changes will make acquiring continuing education hours more difficult and complicated. A commenter opined that the rule change will require licensees to get fifty percent of all continuing education hours from education entities, which the commenter did not agree with. Another commenter asked for clarification regarding the cultural diversity or competency requirements, whether the requirements were for every two-year renewal period, how Council staff will implement this rule when reviewing a licensee's claimed continuing education credits, and clarification regarding the prohibition against reusing or claiming credit more than once during a renewal cycle. A commenter questioned why international professional organizations have been included in the rule. A commenter opined that requiring at least fifty percent of continuing education to come from one of the providers listed in subsection (f) will make it more difficult for licensees to obtain continuing education that they are interested in and will limit the format and structure of such continuing education because it will need to come from a larger organization that some licensees may not be able to easily access or attend. A commenter objected to the one-hour of self-study because the commenter believed this would apply to online trainings from organizations focused on improving a licensee's professional practice. A commenter objected to the part of the rule that prohibits this agency from pre-evaluating or pre-approving continuing education hours or providers.

List of interested groups or associations for the rule.


Summary of comments for the rule.


Agency Response.

The Council declines to make all the changes requested by commenters, but the Council does adopt this rule with some changes responsive to comments. For example, the Council has included a definition for the term self-study in subsection (h), so that there should be no confusion as to what this term is intended to mean. Self-study is defined as credit that is obtained from any type of activity that is performed by an individual licensee acting alone. Such activities include, but are not limited to, reading materials directly related to the practice of marriage and family therapy. Time spent individually viewing or listening to audio, video, digital, or print media as part of an organized continuing education activity, program, or offering from a third-party is not subject to this self-study limitation and may count as acceptable continuing education under other parts of this rule. Additionally, the Council has added graduate-level licensees with supervisor status to the list of providers in subsection (f). Therefore, if a graduate-level licensee with supervisor status provides continuing education or a graduate-level licensee with supervisor status approves or endorses continuing education provided then the continuing education will qualify under subsection (f). While the rule will require at least fifty percent of a licensee's continuing education to come from a provider listed in subsection (f) there is no requirement that these providers only offer in-person continuing education, there is no prohibition or limitation regarding online continuing education hours. The Council believes the addition of graduate-level licensees with supervisor status to subsection (f) should include other well-trained providers because other structured organizations or entities devoted and designed to address mental health issues will likely have a licensee with supervisor status on staff or under contract, and therefore should be able to qualify under subsection (f) if so desired. The Council made clarifying changes such as, that subsection (h) is not impacted by the requirements of subsection (f), meaning the activities stated in subsection (h) do not have to come from a provider listed in subsection (f). And typographical corrections were made to subsection (a). The Council declines to make any of the other requested changes made by the commenters because the Council believes such requested changes are not currently needed and do not align with the purposes for the adoption of this rule, such as the standardization of continuing education rules for all Boards under the Council.

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