Per California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 9, Chapter 8, Subchapter 3, Section 13035(f)(1) and (2): “Registrants shall complete certification as an AOD counselor within five (5) years of the date of registration (with ANY Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) approved certifying organization)” and “the certifying organization may allow up to two (2) years additional time for a leave of absence due to medical problem or other hardship…”. No more than seven (7) total years of registration time from date of initial registration with any DHCS approved certifying organization will be allowed, in compliance with State regulations.
Hardship requests are granted based on the following criteria:
1. The applicant has begun their AOD/ADS specific education at an approved regionally accredited school or ACCBC accepted education equivalent within their initial five (5) year registration period. If you did not attend an approved AOD/ADS program, you must submit an Education Equivalency Application and Education Equivalency fee with the Hardship Request. If you have not yet begun your AOD education, your Hardship request will be denied.
2. The applicant is within their fifth year of registration. Hardship Requests will not be accepted more than sixty (60)days prior to the end of the fifth year of registration.
3. The applicant has not been able to complete the certification process due to some type of personal hardship.
4. The applicant would be able to complete the certification requirements within the time allotted if granted an approval of hardship request.
5. The applicant cannot have passed more than seven (7) years from the initial date of registration. Registration time runs consecutively, and the time continues even if you leave the field or do not maintain your registration.