Frequently Asked Questions
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Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (AZBBHE)
1400 W Washington, Suite 350
Phoenix AZ 85007
State certification should not be confused with certification by private entities, such as the NBCC, which has no legal enforcement capability. Certification, in this context, is a voluntary process that the professional chooses to go through to obtain “certification” by the state. This certification can then be used to demonstrate a level of competence to potential clients or patients, to third-party payers such as insurance companies or managed care organizations, and to other entities that might be seeking counseling services. Certification is considered a moderate level of regulation because you do not have to be certified to practice the profession.
Licensure is the highest level of regulation for a health profession. When a profession is licensed, anyone engaging in the practice of that profession in this state must be licensed. Licensure is a mandatory process and is legally enforced by the BBHE. Engaging in the practice of behavioral health without a license will be punishable as a class 2 misdemeanor after the licensure statutes take effect on July 1, 2004. The BBHE also has the power to issue cease and desist orders to stop the unlawful practice of behavioral health counseling.