If you have questions about the "Diagnose" Law, read below.  AND FAQs posted by the Licensing Board 


OR use any one of these links  O.C.G.A 43-10A  (once on the Georgia Law site, scroll down to Requirements for Continuing Education 43-10A-16

OR  Georgia Legislative Assemble (once on that site click the Advanced Search Tab, then use the scroll arrow on that page for 2015-2016 Legislation, then Senate Bill, then type in the number 319 - you are searching for Senate Bill 319 which passed on March 24, 2016 and signed into law on April 26, 2016)

OR  visit the Georgia Society of Clinical Social Workers website or use this link  https://www.gscsw.org/  Scroll down the home page for the Law

THE LAW:  If you have questions about taking diagnosis training scroll down to Line 71-81   If you have questions about assessments scroll down to line 151-162 for the exemption.  

16 SB 319/HCSFA
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1 To amend Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to professions and
2 businesses, so as to provide that professional counseling includes diagnosing emotional and
3 mental problems and conditions; to clarify that persons licensed as professional counselors,
4 social workers, and marriage and family therapists are not authorized to conduct
5 psychological testing; to provide for legislative findings and intent; to provide for a
6 curriculum of continuing education relating to diagnosing; to provide for the establishment
7 of rules and regulations regarding testing conducted by licensed professional counselors; to
8 clarify that psychological testing is part of the practice of psychology; to provide that certain
9 licensed persons are able to perform certain tests other than psychological testing; to revise
10 definitions; to amend Code Section 37-1-1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated,
11 relating to definitions relative to the general provisions governing and regulating mental
12 health, so as to conform a cross-reference; to provide for related matters; to provide an
13 effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
16 The General Assembly finds that the mental health and wellness needs of Georgia's citizens
17 require the availability of trained mental health professionals who can accurately diagnose,
18 treat, prescribe, and appropriately assess the mental and emotional illnesses, disorders, and
19 conditions from which they suffer and the vocational, educational, interpersonal, and
20 intrapersonal needs essential to living and learning how to live productive and useful lives.
21 It is the intent of the General Assembly to assure geographical and financial access for all of
22 Georgia's citizens to excellent mental health services to the extent that Georgia's resources
23 and regulations permit. To these ends, Georgia regulates its licensed psychiatrists,
24 psychologists, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and clinical social
25 workers who provide graduate level professional services to Georgia's private and public
26 mental health services and to its public mental health, educational, and vocational support
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27 systems. The General Assembly seeks in such regulatory process to protect the public and
28 assure it receives high quality and appropriate services and to define the scopes of practice
29 and diagnostic authority for each of these professional groups consistent with the graduate
30 level training and supervision, or its equivalent, that the members of each profession have
31 sought and successfully completed. The General Assembly has empowered and authorized
32 the Georgia Composite Medical Board, the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, and
33 the Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and
34 Family Therapists to fulfill these responsibilities and expects them to work together to assure
35 a continuum of professional services that ensure appropriate diagnostic and assessment
36 functions for each profession and the psychotherapeutic and counseling treatment services
37 appropriate to each profession. The General Assembly recognizes that advances in medicine,
38 science, education, training, and service delivery occur constantly in our modern history and
39 therefore also expects the regulatory boards for each profession to assure that its licensees
40 seek and successfully complete appropriate continuing education and training for the
41 functions and services authorized to each profession.
43 Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to professions and businesses,
44 is amended in Code Section 43-10A-3, relating to definitions relative to professional
45 counselors, social workers, and others, by adding a new paragraph and by revising paragraph
46 (10) to read as follows:
47 "(4.1) 'Diagnose' means the use, administration, or application of any criteria contained
48 within standard classification or diagnostic systems for mental disorders and that are
49 related to the scope of practice as provided pursuant to this chapter. Diagnose shall not
50 mean the diagnosis of any neuropsychological functioning or conditions."

51 "(10) 'Professional counseling' means that specialty which utilizes counseling techniques
52 based on principles, methods, and procedures of counseling that assist people in
53 identifying and resolving personal, social, vocational, intrapersonal, and interpersonal
54 concerns; utilizes counseling and psychotherapy to evaluate, diagnose, treat, and
55 recommend a course of treatment for emotional and mental problems and conditions,
56 whether cognitive, behavioral, or affective, provided that the counselor shall have training
57 and experience working with people with mental illness, developmental disability, or
58 substance abuse; administers and interprets educational and vocational assessment
59 instruments and other tests which the professional counselor is qualified to employ by
60 virtue of education, training, and experience; utilizes information, community resources,
61 and goal setting for personal, social, or vocational development; utilizes individual and
62 group techniques for facilitating problem solving, decision making, and behavior change;
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63 utilizes functional assessment and vocational planning and guidance for persons
64 requesting assistance in adjustment to a disability or disabling condition; utilizes referral
65 for persons who request counseling services; performs service planning; and utilizes and
66 interprets counseling research."

68 Said title is further amended by designating the present provisions as subsection (a) and by
69 adding a new subsection to Code Section 43-10A-16, relating to continuing education for
70 professional counselors, to read as follows:

71 "(b) On or before January 1, 2017, the board shall develop a curriculum (the word "curriculum" means college course) of continuing
72 education relating to diagnosing by persons licensed under this chapter working with
73 people with mental illness, developmental disabilities, or substance abuse. (GSCSW, LPCAGA, GAMFT curriculum is at the licensing board)  All persons
74 licensed under this chapter who have not already completed as of January 1, 2017,  (if you filled in section 9 on your LPC application or took a college course before January 1, 2017 you do not need to take another class)
75 sufficient training, experience, or classes related to diagnosing as part of their licensure
76 requirements as required by the board shall complete such curriculum no later than January
77 1, 2018. As of the effective date of this subsection, persons licensed under this chapter
78 with at least ten years of experience as a professional counselor, clinical social worker, or
79 marriage and family therapist working with people with mental illness, developmental
80 disabilities, or substance abuse and in good standing with the board shall be exempt from
81 the requirements of this subsection." (exemption section means you were fully licensed - LPC- in Georgia before April 26, 2006 and kept your license current, than according to the attorneys you are exempt)

83 Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 43-10A-22, relating to restrictions on
84 the scope of practice relative to professional counselors, social workers, and marriage and
85 family therapists, as follows:
86 "43-10A-22.
87 (a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize persons licensed under this
88 chapter to practice nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, medicine, or
89 psychology, as regulated under Chapters 26, 28, 33, 34, and 39, respectively, of this title
90 nor shall anything in this chapter be construed to limit or regulate the practice of those
91 licensed under said Chapters 26, 28, 33, 34, and 39 of this title, nor shall anything in this
92 chapter be construed to authorize persons licensed under this chapter to perform
93 psychological testing as defined in Code Section 43-39-1.

SEE LINE 151 for exemption

94 (b) On or before January 1, 2017, the board, in consultation with the State Board of
95 Examiners of Psychologists, shall promulgate rules and regulations that define for its
96 licensees testing and assessments authorized by this chapter and not prohibited by this
97 Code section. The board shall retain its full authority to determine the education,
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98 experience, and training necessary and appropriate to any testing or assessments conducted
99 by its licensees. The board and the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists shall notify
100 each other in the event of any enforcement inquiry, penalty, or legal order relating to
101 testing or assessments that are not within the scope of authority for licensees of either board
102 and permit the other board to render any advice or comment relating to such action 30 days
103 prior to any final action by the board."
104 SECTION 5.
105 Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 43-39-1, relating to definitions relative
106 to psychologists, as follows:
107 "43-39-1.
108 As used in this chapter, the term:
109 (1) 'Board' means the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.
110 (2) 'Mental abilities' means abilities that are psychological in nature and are related to the
111 practice of psychology.
112 (3) 'Neuropsychological functioning' means the psychological manifestations of brain
113 functioning. Neuropsychological functioning includes but is not limited to sensory motor
114 functioning, attention, concentration, memory, language, abstraction, problem solving,
115 visual-spatial ability, executive functioning, and personality.
116 (2)(4) 'Neuropsychology' means the subspecialty of psychology concerned with the
117 relationship between the brain and behavior, including the diagnosis of brain pathology
118 through the use of psychological tests and assessment techniques.
119 (5) 'Personality characteristics' means personality characteristics that are psychological
120 in nature and related to the practice of psychology.
121 (6) 'Psychological testing' means the use of assessment instruments to both:
122 (A) Measure mental abilities, personality characteristics, or neuropsychological
123 functioning; and
124 (B) Diagnose, evaluate, classify, or render opinions regarding mental and nervous
125 disorders and illnesses, including, but not limited to, organic brain disorders, brain
126 damage, and other neuropsychological conditions.
127 (3)(7) 'To practice psychology' or 'practice of psychology' means to render or offer to
128 render to individuals, groups, organizations, or the public for a fee or any remuneration,
129 monetary or otherwise, any service involving the application of recognized principles,
130 methods, and procedures of the science and profession of psychology, such as including,
131 but not limited to, diagnosing and treating mental and nervous disorders and illnesses,;
132 rendering opinions concerning diagnoses of mental disorders, including, but not limited
133 to, organic brain disorders and brain damage,; engaging in neuropsychology,; engaging
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134 in psychotherapy,; interviewing, administering, and interpreting tests of mental abilities,
135 aptitudes, interests, and personality characteristics, including, but not limited to,
136 psychological testing, for such purposes as psychological classification or evaluation, or
137 for education educational or vocational placement, or for such purposes as psychological
138 counseling, guidance, or readjustment. When engaged in the practice of psychology,
139 licensed psychologists may describe or label any testing, assessment, or evaluation they
140 conduct within the scope of practice described in this Code section as 'psychological' in
141 nature; provided, however, that any such description or labeling shall not be construed
142 to alter the meaning of psychological testing as defined in paragraph (6) of this Code
143 section and in paragraph (9) of Code Section 43-39-7. Nothing in this paragraph shall be
144 construed as permitting the administration or prescription of drugs or in any way
145 infringing upon or restricting the practice of medicine as defined in the laws of this state."
146 SECTION 6.
147 Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 43-39-7, relating to the practice of
148 psychology without a license, use of psychologist title, and exceptions, by striking the word
149 "and" at the end of paragraph (7), by replacing the period at the end of paragraph (8) with
150 "; and", and by adding a new paragraph to read as follows:
151 "(9) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting any person licensed under
152 Chapter 10A of this title from providing services he or she is authorized to perform under
153 Chapter 10A of this title, including, but not limited to, administering and interpreting
154 educational and vocational tests; functional assessments; interest inventories; tests that
155 evaluate marital and family functioning; mental health symptom screening and
156 assessment instruments that evaluate emotional, mental, behavioral, and interpersonal
157 problems or conditions including substance use, health, and disability; or any other
158 assessments or tests which the person is qualified to employ by virtue of his or her
159 education, training, or experience within the scope of practice of professional counselors.
160 The Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage
161 and Family Therapists shall have sole authority to regulate assessment and testing
162 performed by persons licensed under Chapter 10A of this title."
163 SECTION 7.
164 Code Section 37-1-1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to definitions
165 relative to the general provisions governing and regulating mental health, is amended by
166 revising paragraph (17) as follows:
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167 "(17) 'Psychologist' means any person authorized under the laws of this state to practice
168 as a licensed psychologist as set forth in paragraph (3) of Code Section 43-39-1 duly
169 licensed to practice psychology in this state under Chapter 39 of Title 43."
170 SECTION 8.
171 This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law
172 without such approval.
173 SECTION 9.
174 All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.