Linkedin Youtube Instagram
Follow @CADTP
forms button
Certification as an Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor (SUDCC)NCCA accreditedprogramlogo

Substance Use Disorder Counselor Certification is required by law 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.dhcs.ca.gov.

The California Association of DUI Treatment Programs (CADTP) is one of two SUD counselor certifying organizations (CO) recognized by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Compliance Division.   As required in the regulations, all CO's are currently accredited by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), a part of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

CADTP is a member of the California Counselor Certification Organizations (CalCCO, pronounced Cal-ko), a collaborative coalition consisting of the approved certifying organizations. Learn more at CalCCO.org

Because the Substance Use Disorder Certifed Counselor (SUDCC) credential is accredited by NCCA/ICE and is recognized by DHCS, those holding this credential are authorized to work in any substance use disorder (SUD) treatment modality. 

CADTP’s Requirements to become Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor - SUDCC (formerly CAODC):

1. Before being employed as a counselor in a DHCS licensed or certified program an applicant must register with CADTP as a Substance Use Disorder Registered Counselor (SUDRC) and submit a signed code of conduct and ethics to CADTP for certification.

All registrants are required to renew annually and submit an application with the following:

  • A $25 Renewal Fee
  • 3 hours of Ethics Training & 3 Hours of Confidentiality Training, for a total of 6 hours
  • Signed Code of Conduct and Ethics
  • A declaration of what the registrant has been doing in the prior 12 months towards achieving certification along with proof from a school and/or employer.

2. Applicants will have five years from the date of being registered as an AOD counselor to complete the following:

  • After providing proof (original transcript or certified copy) of completion of at least 315 hours of formal, in-classroom education, at an accredited college or post secondary school in alcohol and/or other drug education (see Acedemic Content Areas below for required courses), the applicant must take and pass the IC&RC exam, which covers the TAP 21 standards for substance abuse counselors. 
  • Potential exam takers must be registered with CADTP and complete the Cettification Exam Application (available at this web site) and pay the examination and certification  fee of $350.
  • If the application is approved, applicants will be notified by e-mail of how to make exam arrangements (appointment, locations, etc.)  An IC&RC Exam Prep book can be purchased from www.readytotest.com.
  • NOTE: The exam is computer-based, offered at multiple locations throughout California – and even other states.  Paper and pencil test exams are no longer offered. Appointments can be made to take it on Monday through Friday. Results (pass/fail) will be available immediately on completion of the exam. However, official exam results may take a few weeks.
  • After passing the exam, applicants will be receive their credentials by mail within 30-60 days. This time depends on IC&RC's results verification process. This fee is in addition to the exam fee and is part of the application.
  • There is a 90 day waiting period for those who do not pass the exam and wish to re-apply to take it again. A re-exam application and a re-exam fee of $175 is required for each re-exam. After 4 failed consecutive attempts candidates are required to take remedial action which is at the discretion of the CADTP Certification Board, and must include a number of additional educational hours of study and a review of the Addiction Counseling Competencies - The Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Professional Practice (Technical Assistance Publication Series #21 (TAP 21).

SUD Counselor Education

CADTP accepts most accredited colleges and post secondary schools who have courses specific to addiction counseling. The following links provide Substance Use Disorder education programs or information on other educational programs accepted by CADTP;

Breining Institute: Professional CertificationCalifornia SUD Track

California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators: CAADE Colleges & Universities

Institute of Chemical Dependency Studies: Chemical Dependency Studies

California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals: CCAPP Academy

Distance Learning Center for Addiction Studies: www.dlcas.com

Sober College School of Addiction Studies: https://sobercollege.com/

Marste Training Services: https://www.marsteschool.com/

Palomar College; Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Program: https://www2.palomar.edu/pages/aods/

 

Academic Content Areas

Click here to download an outline of all content areas.

Minimum hours for each area are 45 (which is equal to 3 semester units.)

  • Introduction and Overview,
  • Physiology and Pharmacology of Alcohol and Other Drugs,
  • Law and Ethics,
  • Case Management: Assessment, Orientation, Treatment Planning and Relapse Prevention/Aftercare Planning,
  • Individual, Group and Family Counseling, 
  • Personal and Professional Growth,
  • Supervised Practicum,
  • Supervised Field Work Practicum (Internship)

 Visit the Certification Forms page to get the latest versions of required certification forms.

If you would like to have your transcript reviewed before you apply to take the exam to see if you have the educational requirements you will need to complete the Transcript Review Application found on the Certification Forms page

CADTP Certification levels effective 1/1/19

SUDCC- Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor

  • Passed the IC&RC Exam
  • 315 hours of formal SUD related education,
  • 2080 hours of SUD related work experience (160 practicum) 

SUDCC II- Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor – Advanced Experience

  • Passed the IC&RC Exam
  • 315 hours of formal SUD related education,
  • 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience.

SUDCC III - Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor – Advanced Experience and Bachelor Level Education

  • Passed the IC&RC Exam
  • Bachelors degree in SUD related education
  • 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience.

SUDCC III-CS - Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor Clinical Supervisor 

  • Passed the IC&RC Exam
  • Bachelors degree in SUD related education
  • 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience whcih includes 2 years experience in the direct supervision of SUD Counselors.
  • Completed 40 hours of Clinical Supervisor specific education

SUDCC IV: Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor – Advanced Experience and Master Level Education

  • Passed the IC&RC Exam
  • Masters degree in formal SUD related education
  • 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience.

SUDCC IV- CS: Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor Clinical Supervisor

  • Passed the IC&RC Exam
  • Masters degree in formal SUD related education
  • 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience whcih includes 2 years experience in the direct supervision of SUD Counselors.
  • Completed 40 hours of Clinical Supervisor specific education

 If you would like to ugrade your certifcation during non-renewal time complete the Certifcation Upgrade Application which can be found on the Certification Forms page

Reciprocity:

For full details, instructions and forms, visit the reciprocity page

CADTP will grant reciprocity to SUD counselors who meet the following criteria:

  • The counselor must have been previously certified by one of the certifying organizations approved by the Department of Health Care Services, as listed in Chapter 8, Division 4, Title 9, California Code of Regulations.
  • Counselor's whose certification is current (unexpired) may apply for CADTP certification without requiring testing provided their certification meet all eligibility criteria specified above for the CAODC certification, i.e. exam equivalency, SUD educational hours, and required hours of actual work experience.
  • 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.
  • 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 i.e. exam equivalency, AOD educational hours, and required hours of actual work experience.
Summary of Certification Activities - YTD 12/31/17 

2017 Stats