Reaccreditation Update 2/20/18


(California Association for Alcohol and Drug Educators) (Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California)
Reaccreditation Update

This correspondence is meant both as an update and to correct misrepresented and deceptive information that is being circulated in our community by certain organizations and specific individuals attempting to further their own agendas.

The ACCBC and CAADE have refrained from responding to unethical and misrepresented reports in our community to this point because they did not warrant a response, nor did it serve the consumer (you) to do so. At this time however, it is prudent that you have the facts and not continue to be subject to an ongoing barrage of uninformed rhetoric.

Fact: The California Association of Alcohol and Drug Educators is “NOT” dead and by no means irrelevant. CAADE’s mission has always been:

To be a leader in state and national collaborative efforts that improve the overall health and welfare of those afflicted with substance use disorders. CAADE promotes and supports quality higher education in addiction studies by:
Providing continuing education and professional development.
Leading the state and national levels in the development and implementation of certification and licensure standards for addiction service professionals.
Developing and implementing accreditation standards for higher education in addiction studies.
Providing public policy education and advocacy among consumers and other stakeholders.

CAADE continues to have a very strong presence in Sacramento and continues to lead the way with crafting legislation to bring higher education and standards to the addiction treatment profession.

CAADE is the first and “only” of certifying organizations that has had legislation passed that impact the addiction treatment community. The passage of AB575 now mandates elder abuse reporting for certified addiction treatment counselors.

CAADE continues to accredit addiction studies educational programs that meet or exceed the national standards of higher education in the addiction treatment community. CAADE is aware that California will not be able to continue to require minimum standards for addiction treatment counselors and will need to follow the rest of the nation and raise the requirements to meet national standards in the near future. When that happens, CAADE accredited educational programs will already meet those requirements, unlike other programs requiring only the state minimum.
CAADE will continue to provide state exam prep workshops and approve CEU providers for the addiction treatment community (CEU’s are currently accepted by CADTP and NAADAC).

Everything listed above is how CADDE started out 34 years ago and CAADE will continue to promote its vision and mission for many more years to come. CAADE education has absolutely nothing to do with the actual process of certifying addiction treatment counselors. Certification is the sole function of the ACCBC.

Now that you are updated on the continuing efforts of CAADE, we would like to invite you to join us for our annual conference on April 20th, 21st and 22nd at the Sheraton Gateway in Los Angeles where the focus will be on “excellence in education” and co-sponsored by NAADAC!

Without making excuses, and with great regret for those affected, the reason the ACCBC lost its accreditation and our ability to certify counselors, is because we were not prepared for a number of events that converged all at the same time that derailed our reaccreditation efforts. When that happened, it created a ripple effect in our organization that made us stop and carefully evaluate our circumstances. What we found was a need to completely reorganize the ACCBC and make substantial changes to policies and procedures so we could effectively make sure that when we obtain our ability to certify counselor again, we would be able to maintain it and serve our stakeholders (you) with the integrity they deserve.
The CAADE board of directors charged the ACCBC in December, after appointing a new Chair of the ACCBC, with pursuing reaccreditation status and evaluating the most effective, reasonable and prudent strategy to accomplish this goal. During the same period of time, the CAADE board was also in talks with a number of other organizations to probe the feasibility of collaboration and to do whatever it could to assist those affected by the loss of the ACCBC’s ability to certify.
Those talks resulted in a collaboration with two organizations that were very eager to assist the process and help anyway they could. The rumors being circulated by those with their own agenda about an actual merger with another organization that was turned down by the CAADE board are absolutely false and grossly misrepresent the facts. One organization did present a proposal to take over all management and that prevented all reaccreditation efforts or collaboration with other organizations, but that is not a merger, it is an acquisition and was not considered as a remedy that aligned with the CAADE mission statement or the CAADE Board’s prior commitment to seeing the ACCBC become reaccredited. Again, there are those that would like for consumers to have no option of higher education, unfortunately for them, CAADE and the newly designed ACCBC will always provide that option.
After careful evaluation of what was needed to accomplish the task of completely reorganizing the ACCBC and becoming accredited again, it was the recommendation of the ACCBC that the January 31st deadline to submit our application was not feasible and that the April 30th deadline would be our goal. Once our application is successfully submitted, the process can take up to three months. Our goal is to begin certifying counselors again in the summer of 2018.
What this means to you if you are certified though the ACCBC:
For those of you who currently need your certification to work in the industry, the DHCS (Department of Health Care Services) requires that you have a valid certification through one of the two remaining recognized certifying organization (CADTP or CCAPP) within six (6) months of the official date (12/05/17) we received notice, which means you have until June 1st to obtain a transfer. If you have any difficulty getting through to these organizations, please call the ACCBC office at 1-800-991-2997 and we will help to expedite the process for you. You can also contact the ACCBC at:
If you do not need your certification to work in the industry (MFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs etc.) then there is no rush for you to transfer and in fact if you wish to stay with the ACCBC your certification will be renew at no cost to you once we are approved again.
Again, we will not make any excuses for our loss of accreditation, we can only move forward and learn from this experience to better serve our stakeholders. Once we are reaccredited we will make announcements regarding anyone who wants to transfer back at no cost to the ACCBC and its higher standards of education. We respect all who choose to remain with any certifying organization they are currently with or will need to transfer to during our waiting period. You can also expect monthly updates from CAADE and the ACCBC on current efforts.

With great gratitude, respect and sincerity,
Drew Williams, MA, CATC IV
Chair, ACCBC