International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium

IC&RC News

  • May 02, 2013 9:00 AM | Deleted user

    IC&RC, the world leader in addiction-related credentialing, is pleased to announce the completion of its new Prevention Specialist Job Task Analysis (JA).

    A JA is the methodical process of determining what elements of practice and knowledge are important to assess as part of a certification examination and serves as the blueprint for the examination. It is the process that directly links an examination score to a specific job and ensures that an exam is valid, reliable, and legally defensible. To stay relevant to current trends and practices, a JA must be updated every five to seven years.

    The updated Prevention Specialist Job Analysis will be used to develop a new examination to be administered for the first time on December 13, 2013 by IC&RC member boards.

    The new examination will include the following six domains:

    1. Planning and Evaluation
    2. Prevention Education and Service Delivery
    3. Communication
    4. Community Organization
    5. Public Policy and Environmental Change
    6. Professional Growth and Responsibility

    In addition to the new Communication domain, the former domain of Education and Skill Development has been changed to Prevention Education and Service Delivery. The new JA also broadens the scope of a Prevention Specialist from focusing strictly on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) to encompassing aspects of mental, emotional, and behavioral health. The full exam content outline and updated reference list can be found on the following pages.

    The new examination will continue to have 150 questions, of which 25 will be non-weighted, pretest questions. For more information on pretesting, please read Important Information Regarding IC&RC Exams.

    IC&RC is the only organization offering standards and an examination for Prevention Specialist certification and is proud to stay in the forefront of the ever evolving field.

    To learn more detailed information, please download the 2013 Prevention Specialist JTA Announcement. This document may also be used to share the news of the updated Job Task Analysis.

    Please direct any questions to Rachel Witmer, Assistant Director, at or via phone at +1-717-540-4457 Ext. 105.

  • April 02, 2013 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    At its 2013 Semi-Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, USA, the IC&RC Board of Directors elected Annie Ramniceanu, MS, LCMHC, LADC, Associate Executive Director of Clinical Programs at Spectrum Youth & Family Services, as the organization’s Vice President. She will hold office until Fall 2014.

    Ramniceanu has worked at Spectrum for over 15 years, and she has focused on creating an organization where every system is based on research and evidence based practices. She has alos been the Principle Investigator on a three-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) ROSC grant and an Adolescent Treatment Enhancement grant. Currently, she is the Chair of the Vermont Alcohol and Drug Certification Board, and since October 2011, she was served as IC&RC’s Marketing Committee Chair.

    Ramniceanu attended Amherst College and is a graduate of Columbia University.  She completed a Master’s in Science in Counseling at the University of Vermont. She is licensed in Vermont as both a Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

    In 2012, she was awarded the Burlington Business & Professional Women (BPW) Woman of Achievement award. She was also chosen as one of Vermont’s 25 Most Outstanding Women by Vermont Works for Women Labor of Love 25th anniversary celebration.

    “I am very honored to serve the IC&RC as Vice President and look forward to contributing my skills and knowledge to a great  organization and dedicated leadership team,” said Ramniceanu after the election.

    During the meeting, the Board of Directors also approved Minnesota Certification Board to adopt the Co-Occurring Disorders Professional (CCDP) and Co-Occurring Disorders Professional Diplomate (CCDPD) credentials.

  • March 06, 2013 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    The future of the profession is at stake, and the nation’s leading addiction organizations are working to preserve it.

    Due to the rapid changes expected in the addiction profession through the Affordable Care Act and parity, three leading organizations in the field – NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCC AP) and the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) – are discussing collaborative activities to ensure professional quality in the delivery of prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery support services.

    In its Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) named substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors as one of the fastest growing professions, expected to grow 21 percent by 2018. Despite this positive outlook, changes to practice legislation and funding streams make the future of the profession difficult to predict.

    “Our field is at a real turning point with drivers such as the Affordable Care Act, parity, and myriad challenges facing the addiction workforce looming large,” stated Mary Jo Mather, IC&RC Executive Director. 

    The leaders of NAADAC, NCC AP and IC&RC view great strength in the strategy of collaboration. Together, the three organizations will work to influence federal policy, including workforce development issues within Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and other departments. The goal of working together is to protect the addiction profession as a specialty within the primary healthcare system. Ideally, an economy of scale can be achieved in the managing, administering, programming and serving the addiction profession.

    “Now, perhaps more than ever, the addiction profession needs strong voices, unified messages and cohesiveness that our respective organizations can take the lead through joining forces and working collaboratively,” stated Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NAADAC’s Executive Director.

    Shirley Beckett Mikell, NCC AP’s Director of Certification, agrees.  “NCC AP and IC&RC have a tremendous amount of respect for one another as addiction credentialing organizations. What better demonstration of that high esteem for one another than working together.”

    Areas of collaboration include:

    • Joint internal and external communications concerning credentialing and licensing, including conducting surveys and publicizing the results,
    • Developing a common advocacy agenda and combining advocacy efforts, including co-hosting the Advocacy Leadership Summit on April 16 and 17, 2013 in Washington, D.C., and,
    • A crosswalk of credentials, leading toward standardized credentials and a national system of credentialing.

    With a shared goal of advancing the profession, NAADAC, NCC AP, and IC&RC are committed to cooperating as they meet the challenges ahead.


    NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, represents the professional interests of more than 75,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada and abroad. NAADAC’s members are addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals, who specialize in addiction prevention, treatment, recovery support and education.

    The National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCC AP) has since 1990, instituted nationally recognized credentials specifically for addiction professionals. The NCC AP operates as an independent credentialing body, managing credentials and additional services, including test administration, certification standards, ethics codes of conduct and rules of credentialing development and procedure.

    IC&RC, the world leader in addiction-related credentialing, has protected the public by establishing standards and facilitating reciprocity for professionals since 1981. Today, IC&RC represents 76 member boards and 45,000 professionals from 24 countries, 47 U.S. states and territories. IC&RC’s nine credentials include counselors, clinical supervisors, prevention specialists, criminal justice, co-occurring disorders professionals, and peer recovery coaches.

  • November 02, 2012 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    At its 2012 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, the IC&RC Board of Directors elected Bob Field, Executive Director of the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals (OCDP) Board, as its new Vice President and David Turpin to a second term as Secretary. Both offices carry two-year terms.

    Field has led Ohio’s state licensing and certification board that credentials chemical dependency treatment and prevention professionals since November 2003. He has served on a number of IC&RC committees and task forces, including Finance, Prevention, Clinical Supervision, and Business and Operations. He also served briefly as the Administrators’ Representative between 2005 and 2006.

    Previously, Field served for four years as the legislative liaison for the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS), where he worked on a number of state and federal issues.  He is currently a member of the U.S. Army Reserve’s Individual Ready Reserve where he holds the rank of Colonel (COL), after having served thirty-two years in the Army National Guard.

    Turpin is the IC&RC Delegate from North Carolina and has been affiliated with IC&RC for 20 years. Involved with the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board since its inception, he is currently its Treasurer and former Board President and Secretary. Turpin said, “The past two years that I have spent as your Secretary have been rewarding and exciting as I was able to work alongside the dedicated members of the Executive Committee on issues facing the field.”

    Expanding the Reach of Credentials

    During the meeting, the Board of Directors also approved new credentials for existing boards:

    • The Mexican Certification Board for Professionals on Addiction, Alcoholism & Tobacco gained the Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ADC) and Prevention Specialist (PS).
    • The Maryland Addictions Professional Certification Board adopted the Co-Occurring Disorder Professional (CCDP).
    • The Oklahoma Drug & Alcohol Professional Counselor Certification Board added the Co-Occurring Disorder Professional Diplomate (CCDPD) to its credentials.

    The additions maintain the trend of co-occurring disorders credentials being the fastest growing at IC&RC. In five years, they have grown by over 500 percent.

    Honoring a Leader

    “This woman has always done whatever she has been asked for IC&RC – with courage and perseverance. She has served on numerous committee and task forces, chaired the Finance Committee, and served on the Executive Committee. Her integrity is beyond reproach, her dedication is without match.” With these words, President Phyllis Gardner introduced the 2012 Presidential Leadership Award recipient: Kristie Schmiege of Michigan.

    Kristie R. Schmiege, MPH, CCS, CADC, CPC-M is a graduate of the University of Michigan-School of Public Health and has worked in the addiction field for 28 years including 10 years in local public health. She is currently Director of Prevention and Health Promotion for Genesee County Community Mental Health in Flint, Michigan and President of the Michigan Association of Substance Abuse Coordinating Agencies. Kristie is also Vice President of the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals. She is IC&RC’s Chair of the Credentialing Services and Peer Mentor Credential Committees.

    Schmiege accepted the Award with great emotion, saying “Thank you. I am extraordinarily committed to this organization. I feel so deeply grateful to work with the staff and all of you. The dedication in this room is just the most extraordinary thing I’ve seen. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of you for all of these years.”

    Since 1981, IC&RC has protected the public by establishing standards and facilitating reciprocity for the credentialing of addiction-related professionals. IC&RC represents 76 member boards and 45,000 professionals from 22 countries and 53 U.S. states and territories. IC&RC’s seven credentials include counselors, clinical supervisors, prevention specialists, criminal justice, and co-occurring disorders professionals. The organization is in the process of developing a Peer Mentor credential.

  • October 18, 2012 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    The Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) network just released its long-awaited report, “Vital Signs: Taking the Pulse of the Addiction Treatment Profession,” prepared for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

    ATTC writes, “In the national Vital Signs report, the ATTC Network provides a unique picture of the state of the SUD treatment field and taps into the considerable experience and expertise of clinical directors and thought leaders from across the country to illustrate the challenges that lay ahead for the field as well as the ways that the workforce will change to remain viable in the future. The potential impact of this report is significant.”

    IC&RC, the world leader in addiction-related credentialing, has prepared several responses to the report:

    • IC&RC has long been concerned about the shortage of professionals entering the workforce and we do everything we can to promote the profession.
    • We certainly support the recommendations - improving reimbursement rates, healthcare benefits, access to continuing education - that will increase the number of professionals entering and staying in the field.
    • IC&RC supports a career ladder for prevention, treatment and recovery professionals, but it must include all levels of education and clinical practice. It is for this reason that our credentials offer a pathway for advancement, from entry-level to advanced practitioners.
    • Our first concern is protecting the public. As always, IC&RC credentials demonstrate that professionals - regardless of background, degree, or license - have adequate training in evidence-based and recovery-oriented methods of treatment and prevention.
    • A final caution: In this climate of integrating substance use disorders into the larger mental health field, it is very important to remember that treating co-occurring disorders is a distinct discipline and requires specific training. While professionals may have mental health-specific or addiction-specific training, any professional treating clients with co-occurring disorders should have competency in the interaction of substance use disorder and mental illness. IC&RC has the right credentials - the CCDP and AADC - to allow professionals to demonstrate competency in this area.

    Since 1981, IC&RC has protected the public by establishing standards and facilitating reciprocity for the credentialing of addiction-related professionals. IC&RC represents 76 member boards and 45,000 professionals from 22 countries and 53 U.S. states and territories. IC&RC’s seven credentials include counselors, clinical supervisors, prevention specialists, criminal justice, and co-occurring disorders professionals. The organization is in the process of developing a Peer Mentor credential.

  • June 29, 2012 9:00 AM | Deleted user

    In 2009, IC&RC released a white paper on the necessity for prevention credentialing. Over the last year, the organization's Credentialing Services Committee has prepared white papers for three other credentials:

    • "Assuring Public Safety in the Delivery of Substance Abuse Treatment Services: An IC&RC Position Paper on Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ADC) Credentialing" (April 2012)
    • "Assuring Public Safety in the Delivery of Substance Abuse Services: An IC&RC Position Paper on the Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) Credential" (April 2012)
    • "Assuring Public Safety in the Delivery of Clinical Supervision of Substance Use Disorder Services" (March 2012)

    These documents can be used to educate legislators, treatment providers, educational programs, and others about the importance of credentialing.

  • June 15, 2012 9:00 AM | Deleted user

    IC&RC has selected Deanne Bergen, ICPS, as the recipient of the 2012 IC&RC Prevention Professional of the Year Award. The IC&RC Prevention Professional of the Year Award seeks to honor the best of the best:  the certified preventionist who best embodies the ideal of the profession and of IC&RC. This year, IC&RC received nominations from Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.

    Bergen was the founding President of the Prevention Credentialing Consortium of Georgia (PCCG). During her four-year tenure, she stabilized the fledging organization. She has worked with Georgia Family Connection Partnership, Inc., Drug Free Coalitions, and Suicide Prevention Awareness in multiple counties, as well as KidsNet Savannah and Positive Parenting and Teen Pregnancy Prevention classes. She has developed multiple trainings, such as Ethics for Preventionists, How to Survive the Credentialing Process, and the Fundamentals of Prevention. She is a true champion within the prevention community locally and statewide. She remains the "go to" person for consultation, training and education and is widely acclaimed in Georgia.

    In its nominating statement, PCCG wrote:

    “For the past 32 years, Deanne Bergen has devoted every working day to the advancement of prevention. She goes about this mission in an unassuming manner that belies her passion for the work. Frequently confronted with some monumental challenges such as bureaucratic inertia and scarcity of resources, she, nonetheless, doggedly remains focused and on track until positive outcomes are achieved. She maintains a balanced approach to the daily work so as to keep herself refreshed and ready for the next inevitable challenge.”

    Substance abuse is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time, and its success depends on a workforce of qualified prevention professionals trained in evidence-based practices. IC&RC’s competency-based Prevention Specialist (PS) credential offers a consistent standard of knowledgeable and well-qualified individuals practicing prevention in our communities. Certified prevention professionals help ensure that programs and their funders are delivering on their mission of ensuring public safety and well-being.

    Adopted in 1994, the Prevention Specialist is one of the fastest growing credentials in the field of addiction-related behavioral health care. This credential is recognized worldwide as the gold standard for competency in the field, and it is written into U.S. state and national practice regulations and insurance legislation.

    Prevention professionals are working all over the world – partnering with parents, community groups, coalitions, faith-based organizations, health care professionals, law enforcement, businesses, and educators – to make a difference in their communities. Among them are the professionals who go above and beyond, truly standing out in their dedication, intelligence, compassion, and effectiveness.  It is those professionals – like Deanne Bergen of Georgia - whom IC&RC seeks to recognize.

    Since 1981, IC&RC has protected the public by establishing standards and facilitating reciprocity for the credentialing of addiction-related professionals. IC&RC represents 76 member boards and 45,000 professionals from 24 countries and 47 U.S. states and territories. IC&RC’s seven credentials include counselors, clinical supervisors, prevention specialists, criminal justice, and co-occurring disorders professionals.

  • November 04, 2011 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    At the annual meeting of IC&RC, the Board of Directors, representing 78 certification boards from 25 countries and 45,000 reciprocal-level credentialed professionals, elected new leadership. Phyllis Gardner, Professor of Sociology at Texarkana College, was elected President, and Jessica Hayes, Executive Director of the Illinois Certification Board Inc. (ICB), is the new Treasurer. Both offices hold two-year terms.

    Gardner expressed thanks, in her acceptance speech: “I’m grateful for the evolution of this organization, and the way this organization lets me evolve and grow. I appreciate the trust that you have shown, and I will endeavor to live up to that trust.”

    Gardner holds a doctoral degree in Sociology from Texas Woman’s University and is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, Certified Clinical Supervisor, and Certified Advanced Addictions Counselor. She has served the Texas Certification Board of Addiction Professionals in various capacities since 1990 and is a past president of the Texas Association of Addiction & Prevention Professionals. Her most recent role at IC&RC was Chair of the Credentialing Services Committee, which oversees the maintenance of all IC&RC examinations and credentials, as well as related products.

    Hayes began her career in the field of addictions in 1997 as the financial manager for the ICB. She took on the role of Executive Director in 2009. She has been associated with IC&RC for fourteen years, most recently as Chair of the ADC Committee then Chair of the Business & Operations committee. She told the group, “I am certainly both humbled and excited about the election as Treasurer.”

    The Board Administrators elected Debbie Gilbert as their Representative to the Executive Committee. Gilbert has been Executive Director of the Iowa Certification Board for almost a decade, and she has served as the Chair of IC&RC’s Marketing Committee for six years.

    Immediate Past President Rhonda Messamore passes the gavel to newly elected Dr. Phyllis Gardner.

  • November 04, 2011 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    At the 30th Anniversary meeting of IC&RC, the Board of Directors, representing 78 certification boards from 25 countries and 45,000 reciprocal-level credentialed professionals, approved two levels of Peer Recovery Support credential for alcohol and other drugs, mental health, and co-occurring disorders. Based on federal guidelines, as well as several jurisdictions already offering a peer credential, the domains were set as:

    • Advocacy
    • Mentoring/Education
    • Recovery Support
    • Ethical Responsibility

    Both levels will require:

    High school diploma or jurisdictionally certified high school equivalency.
    46 hours specific to the domains.
    -10 hours in each of the first three domains
    -16 hours must be specific to ethics
    Examination: Applicants must pass the IC&RC International Written PRS Examination.
    Code of Ethics: Applicants must sign a code of ethics or affirmation statement.
    Recertification: 20 hours of continuing education earned every two years including six hours of ethics training.

    Level II will additionally require:

    Experience: 100 hours of supervised volunteer or paid practical experience specific to the PRS domains
    Supervision: The 100 hours of experience specific to the domains must be supervised by an appropriately certified or licensed individual in the behavioral health field.

    IC&RC provides the minimum standards for each reciprocal credential, but Member Boards may set higher standards for their credentials. The organization will now proceed with developing a full Job Task Analysis and a fully referenced examination.

  • November 04, 2011 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    For its 30th anniversary meeting, IC&RC, the world leader in addiction-related credentialing, was proud to host Pamela J. Hyde, Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as its keynote speaker.

    Hyde, an attorney with more than 30 years of experience in management and consulting for public healthcare and human services agencies, has led the agency since November 2009. Previously, she had served as a state mental health director, state human services director, city housing and human services director, as well as CEO of a private non-profit managed behavioral healthcare firm.

    In her remarks, Hyde stated that “We know a lot more about prevention and recovery and the whole spectrum than other healthcare providers know – and than local policymakers know.” She highlighted the fact that the misunderstanding of substance use disorders (SUD) as a social problem, instead of a health problem, leads to serious undertreatment. Only 11 percent of people with SUD are receiving treatment, as compared with 84% of diabetics – even though they affect similar numbers of the populations. Diabetes is diagnosed in 25.8 million people, substance use disorder in 22.5 million people.

    In addition to lack of treatment, Hyde also voiced federal concerns about disparities in disease rates and in the workforce. SAMHSA is coordinating efforts to address the needs of underserved populations: ethnic minorities, American Indian/Alaskan Native, lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer, and women/girls. She stated that minorities make up 30 percent of the population, but only 20 percent of counselors.

    Hyde described SAMHSA’s focus on recovery. With extensive input, they have developed a working definition: “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to achieve their full potential.” She informed IC&RC delegates of a new technical assistance center for recovery, called (BRSS TACS). This strategic initiative will include funding for Recovery Support Services in health reform and the block grant.

    Hyde encouraged IC&RC to convene people working the area of peer recovery. Later that day, the IC&RC Board of Directors voted to approve two levels of Peer Recovery Support credentials, including standards. The next steps are to develop a Job Task Analysis, then a fully referenced examination.

    Hyde encouraged professional standards to include cross-training in mental health and substance use - for career as well as clinical flexibility. Beyond that, she emphasized the need for widespread public education about substance abuse and mental health: “Most people know about physical health these days. Most know CPR, as it is required in our workforce. Most Americans do not understand mental health issues, the signs of addiction and suicide, or the role of early childhood trauma in contributing to these diseases.”

    Hong Kong, Nicaragua Become New Members

    More than 75 delegates from Member Boards gathered to set the direction for the future of the international organization. Two new boards were proudly welcomed into the organization:

    • Associación Centro de Especialidades en Adicciones (Nicaragua) – Alcohol and Drug Counselor
    • Hong Kong Association of Professionals Specializing in Addiction Counseling Limited (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and China) – Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Clinical Specialist

    The Board of Directors also approved new credentials for existing boards:

    • Utah adopted the Prevention Specialist.
    • California will now offer the Co-Occurring Disorders Professional Diplomate credential.

    Stevens Honored

    Rhonda Messamore, IC&RC President, presented the Presidential Leadership Award to Julie Stevens, Chair of the Prevention Committee, in recognition of outstanding contributions and support given to IC&RC and the substance abuse and prevention profession.
    A Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and an Advanced Certified Prevention Specialist with 25 years’ in the prevention field, Stevens is currently employed as Training Specialist for the University of Oklahoma’s Southwest Prevention Center.

    Stunned into silence, Stevens held back tears: “I’m shaking. I’m floored, shocked. I’m so appreciative. This is so important to me. The work this body does, because it is the work I do in my heart. It is a purpose for me. I just thank you so much. I don’t know what else to say.”

    Additional News

    IC&RC was also proud to welcome new delegates from member boards:

    • David Barnes, Maryland
    • Pamela Gillen, Colorado Prevention
    • Ailala Kay, Colorado Prevention

    Julie Hogan, Co-Director of the National Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) and an inaugural member of the IC&RC Advisory Council, joined the meeting as a special guest.

    President Rhonda Messamore (right) presents an award of gratitude to SAMHSA Administrator Pamela J. Hyde.

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