What is the ACS clinical credential?

What does "ACS" mean attached to a clinical drug counselor's name?

For a drug counselor, credentials would be "clinical credentials", which are not usually specific to drug counseling but counseling in general. Credentialing agencies (usually non-profit organizations) have developed to meet the certification needs of professionals working in states where contact with patients is regulated. The state will require a minimum level of proven training or competency, which is met by a standard program of training or certification. Requirements vary by state, so sometimes different credentials are required, while in other cases a stronger credential is adequate.

(29 Mar '16, 23:35) admin ♦♦


Addiction Treatment

ACS is a clinical credential for addiction counselors and those involved with clinical treatment of addiction.


Drug Treatment

Drug treatment counselors and supervisors are required to meet minimum state credential requirements, which may include an ACS credential.


Alcohol Treatment

Alcohol rehab, and outpatient treatment for alcoholism (including Intensive outpatient treatment) is conducted by licensed clinical counselors, who may hold many clinical certifications and credentials.


Drug Counseling

ACS is one of many credentialing systems for drug counselors.

ACS is a clinical credential from the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE) and stands for "Approved Clinical Supervisor". An Approved Clinical Supervisor is a mental health professional who has met the specific requirements set by the CCE for the ACS. The ACS is currently accepted by 14 states as proof of eligibility to supervise other clinical professionals in a mental health clinic.

The CCE website states that in 2016 the ACS credential will require 5 years of experience in mental health, 4,000 hours of clinical experience in mental health, 45 hours of supervisor training, and 20 hours of Continuing Education in clinical supervision.

Certification programs are offering by training companies, and some training companies offering the ACS credential may not have updated to these newer requirements yet (previously, the ACS required 30 hours not 40, for example).


The "Code of Ethics" for Clinical Supervisors gives you an idea of the standards this ACS credential should maintain. This was found on the CCE website:

THE APPROVED CLINICAL SUPERVISOR (ACS) CODE OF ETHICS In addition to following the Code of Ethics of the applicable mental health credentialing body, an Approved Clinical Supervisor shall: 1. Ensure that supervisees inform clients of their professional status (e.g., intern) and of all conditions of supervision. An Approved Clinical Supervisor shall ensure that supervisees inform their clients of any status other than being fully qualified for independent practice or licensed. For example, an Approved Clinical Supervisor shall ensure that supervisees inform clients if they are students, interns, trainees or, if licensed with restrictions, and the nature of those restrictions (e.g., associate or conditional). In addition, an Approved Clinical Supervisor shall ensure that supervisees inform clients of the requirements of supervision (e.g., the audio taping of all clinical sessions for purposes of supervision). 2. Ensure that supervisees inform clients of clients’ rights to confidentiality and privileged communication when applicable, as well as the limits of confidentiality and privileged communication. The general limits of confidentiality are when harm to self or others is threatened, when the abuse of children, elders or disabled persons is suspected, and in cases when the court compels the mental health professional to testify and break confidentiality. These are generally accepted limits to confidentiality and privileged communication, but they may be modified by state or federal statute. 3. Inform supervisees about the process of supervision, including supervision goals, case management procedures, evaluation processes, and the Approved Clinical Supervisor’s preferred supervision model(s). An Approved Clinical Supervisor also shall inform supervisees of the Approved Clinical Supervisors’ credentials, areas of expertise, and training in supervision. 4. Keep and secure supervision records and consider all information gained in supervision as confidential. 5. Avoid all dual relationships with supervisees that may interfere with the Approved Clinical Supervisor’s professional judgment or exploit the supervisee. Sexual, romantic, or intimate relationships between an Approved Clinical Supervisor and supervisees shall not occur. Approved Clinical Supervisors shall not engage in sexual harassment or sexual bias towards supervisees. Approved Clinical Supervisors shall not supervise relatives. 6. Establish procedures with supervisees for handling crisis situations. 7. Provide supervisees with adequate and timely feedback as part of an established evaluation plan. 8. Render assistance to any supervisee who is unable to provide competent clinical services to clients. 9. Intervene in any situation where the supervisee is impaired and clients may be at risk. page 1 of 2 ACS Code of Ethics: Amended Septermber 13, 2008 10. Refrain from endorsing an impaired supervisee when such impairment deems it unlikely that the supervisee can provide adequate clinical services. 11. Offer only supervision for professional services for which they are trained or have supervised experience. An Approved Clinical Supervisor shall not assist in diagnosis, assessment, or treatment without prior training or supervision. An Approved Clinical Supervisor shall correct any misrepresentations of his or her qualifications by others. 12. Ensure that supervisees are aware of the current ethical standards related to the supervisees’ professional practice, as well as legal standards that regulate the supervisee’s professional practice. 13. Ensure that both supervisees and clients are aware of their rights and of due process procedures. An Approved Clinical Supervisor shall be ultimately responsible for the welfare of supervisees’ clients. 14. Engage supervisees in an examination of cultural issues that might affect the supervision process and/or supervisees’ clinical practice. Approved by the CCE Board of Directors: March 31, 2001. Amended: September 19, 2003; February 25, 2005; September 13, 2008.

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Asked: 29 Mar '16, 23:28

Seen: 3,007 times

Last updated: 26 Dec '16, 20:02