Certification as an Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor (CAODC)
Mandatory Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor Certification is required for all those who provide counseling services in any program that is licensed or certified by the California Department of Health Care Services or DHCS. (California Code of Regulations, Title 9, Section 13000, et seq., as effective on April 1, 2005). The regulations are available at www.adp.ca.gov.
There are nine AOD counselor certifying organizations recognized by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the California Association of DUI Treatment Programs (CADTP) is one of several. As required in the regulations, all nine are currently accredited by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), formerly, National Commission for Certifying Organizations (NCCA).
CADTP’s Requirements to become a Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CAODC™):
1. Within six months of being employed as a counselor in a DHCS licensed or certified program, or when six months service as such has accumulated, an applicant must register with and submit a signed code of ethics to CADTP for certification.
- The fee for registration is $75.
- The downloadable registration form and code of ethics are found on our Certification Forms page.
2. Applicants will have five years from the date of beginning employment as an AOD counselor in a DHCS certified or licensed program to complete the following:
- After providing proof (original transcript or certified copy) of completion of at least 320 hours of formal, in-classroom, post secondary alcohol and/or other drug education, the applicant must take and pass an exam, which covers the TAP 21 standards for substance abuse counselors. The exam, also known as the CAS exam, is administered for CADTP by The CAARR Institute
- Potential exam takers must be registered with CADTP and complete the exam application (available at this web site) and pay the exam fee ($150).
- If the application is approved, applicants will be notified by mail of how to make exam arrangements (appointment, locations, etc.) and will receive a study guide that conforms to the exam.
- NOTE: The exam is computer-based, offered at many locations throughout California – and even other states, appointments can be made to take it on Monday through Friday, and results (pass/fail) will be available immediately on completion of the exam.
- After passing the exam, applicants will be responsible for submitting the exam results, proof of work experience as specified in the above-noted regulations (if not already submitted), and a $150 certification fee to CADTP. They will then receive their Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAODC) certificate.
- There is a thirty day waiting period for those who do not pass the exam and wish to re-apply to take it again. There is also a re-exam fee of $75.
Visit the Certification Forms page to get the latest versions of required certification forms.
CADTP Certification levels effective 9/1/11
CADTP Alcohol/Other Drug Counselor (CAODC)
• Register with CADTP as an applicant for certification. Registration includes signing a statement that the registrant agrees to abide by CADTP's Code of Ethics. Once registered, applicants have up to five (5) years to complete the remaining requirements.
• Complete 155 hours of formal classroom education related to alcohol and other drug abuse.
• Complete one hundred and sixty (160) hours of supervised training as a substance abuse counselor.
• Complete of two thousand and eighty (2,080) hours of paid or unpaid experience as a substance abuse counselor.
• Achieve a passing grade on a written examination that is based on the standards outlined in "Addiction Counseling Competencies: Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes of Professional Practice", Technical Assistance Publication 21, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
CADTP Alcohol/Other Drug Counselor - Advanced (CAODC-A)
• Applicants for the Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor - Advanced (CAODC-A) certification must have completed a minimum of 320 hours of formal classroom education related to alcohol and other abuse and have 5 years of actual work experience in providing alcohol and drug counseling services.
CADTP Alcohol/Other Drug Counselor –Clinical Supervisor (CAODC-CS):
• Applicants for the Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor – Clinical Supervisor (CAODC-CS) certification are required to, (i) have completed a minimum of 450 hours of formal classroom education related to alcohol and other abuse; or (ii) hold a current advanced Certified Alcohol/Other Drug Counselor (CAODC-A) certificate issued by one of the accredited certifying organizations authorized by the California Department of Alcohol; and Drug Programs, plus have five (5) years or ten thousand (10,000) hours general clinical experience, two (2) years as a supervisor [which may be concurrently obtained within the required five (5) year, or ten thousand (10,000 general clinical experience), and forty (40) hours of clinical supervisor education courses. Applicants must pass the CAODC-CS exam. The exam may be waived if the applicant successfully completes the CADTP FORTY (40) HOUR Clinical Supervisor Education Course.
CADTP will grant reciprocity to AOD counselors who meet the following criteria:
a) The counselor must have been previously certified by one of the certifying organizations approved by the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, as listed in Chapter 8, Division 4, Title 9, California Code of Regulations.
b) Counselor's whose certification is current (unexpired) may apply for CADTP certification without requiring testing.
c) Counselors who have been previously certified by one of the certifying organizations approved by the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, where their certification has lapsed (expired), can apply for CADTP certification, but will be required to test at whatever certification level they are applying for.
d) Counselors who have been certified or licensed in another state, where their certification or license is current may apply for CADTP certification without requiring testing provided their certification or license meet or exceed CADTP's eligibility criteria.
Summary of Certification Activities - YTD 6/27/13
|As of June 2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||2007|
|Number of counselors recertified||56||278||126||300||127||197||95|
|Total number of counselors||460||466||441||483||507||866||854|