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Learn the steps, requirements, and regulations for becoming an Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor.

Become an SUD Counselor

CADTP is one of three SUD counselor certifying organizations recognized by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), Licensing and Certification Division (LCD).   As required in the regulations, all certifying agencies are currently accredited by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), a part of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Substance Use Disorder Counselor Certification is required by law for all those who provide counseling services in any program that is licensed or certified by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). (California Code of Regulations, Title 9, Section 13000, et seq., as effective on April 1, 2005). The regulations are available at www.dhcs.ca.gov.

Before being employed as a counselor in a DHCS licensed or certified program an applicant must register as a Substance Use Disorder Registered Counselor (SUDRC) by completing the Registration Application along with the following:

All registrants are required to renew annually. For renewal requirements go here: Renewal Requirements.

Applicants will have five years from the date of being registered as an SUD counselor to complete the following:

  • 315 hours of formal SUD related education
  • 2,080 hours of SUD related work experience (160 hours of supervised practicum)
  • Passing the IC&RC Exam (for more information on the exam click HERE)

Approved SUD Education

Explore schools and universities that offer SUD education.

Start Here

Preview and download all the forms, handbooks, and guidelines you need to get started on your career as an SUD Counselor.

Registration Application

Complete the Registration Application as your first step to becoming a registered SUD Counselor.

Code of Ethics

Initial and sign the Code of Ethics document.

Certification Candidate Handbook

The information you need to become a certified SUD Counselor.

Certification and Exam Application

Complete this application when you are ready to take the exam.

Practicum Verification Form

Practicum experience documentation for becoming a certified SUD Counselor.

Work Hours Verification Form

Work hours documentation for becoming a certified SUD Counselor.

Education Review

Complete this application if you would like to have your education reviewed prior to submitting your certification application.

TAP 21

A SAMHSA technical assistance publication. Addiction counseling competency. Knowledge, skills, and attitudes of professional practice.

Certification Requirements

Become a Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor – SUDCC.

CADTP Certification Levels

Explore the Requirements for each Certification Levels below. View and Download the entire list here: CADTP Certification Levels.

SUDRC

  • In accordance with HSC Section 11833(b)(1), any individual who provides counseling services in a licensed or certified DHCS AOD program, except for licensed professionals, must be registered or certified with a DHCS approved certifying organization.
  • Registration is not equivalent to and is not an alternative to certification. Once registered the requirements for certification must be completed within five years, with an exception of a requested and approved personal hardship extension of an additional two (2) years.

SUDCC II

SUDCC II - Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor – Advanced Experience

⇒ Passed the IC&RC Exam
⇒ 315 hours of formal SUD related education,
⇒ 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience.

SUDCC III-CS

SUDCC III-CS – Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor Clinical Supervisor (effective 1/1/19 all former CAODC-CS counselors will be grandfathered to the SUDCC III-CS upon renewal)

⇒ Passed the IC&RC Exam
⇒ Bachelor’s degree in SUD related education
⇒ 5-years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience which includes 2 years’ experience in the direct supervision of SUD Counselors
⇒ Completed 40 hours of Clinical Supervisor specific education

 

SUDCC

SUDCC - Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor

⇒ Passed the IC&RC Exam
⇒ 315 hours of formal SUD related education,
⇒ 2080 hours of SUD related work experience (160 practicum)

SUDCC III

SUDCC III - Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor – Advanced Experience and Bachelor’s Level Education

⇒ Passed the IC&RC Exam
⇒ Bachelor’s degree in SUD related education
⇒ 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience.

SUDCC IV

SUDCC IV – Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor – Advanced Experience and Master's Level Education

⇒ Passed the IC&RC Exam
⇒ Master’s degree in formal SUD related education
⇒ 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience

SUDCC IV-CS

SUDCC IV-CS – Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor Clinical Supervisor

⇒ Passed the IC&RC Exam
⇒ Master’s degree in formal SUD related education
⇒ 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience which includes 2 years’ experience in the direct supervision of SUD Counselors.
⇒ Completed 40-hours of Clinical Supervisor specific education