South Dakota Mental Health Counselors Continuing Education and License Renewals

south dakota mental health counseling continuing education and license renewalsSouth Dakota mental health counselors have an annual license renewal with continuing education due every two years on December 31st, odd years. Forty (40) continuing education hours are required to renew a license. There are no limits on home study if NBCC approved, and four (4) hours of ethics are required at each renewal.

Continuing education ensures the best possible standards for the mental health counseling profession. All licensees are required to complete continuing education as a licensing condition.

Professional Development Resources is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP #5590) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program.

Requirements for Continuing Education

Mental health counselors licensed in South Dakota have a license renewal annually with continuing education due every two years on December 31st, odd years. Forty hours of continuing education are required for license renewal. There is no home study limit if NBCC approved, and four hours of ethics are required at each renewal period.

Information obtained from the South Dakota Board of Examiners of Counselors and MFTs on December 19, 2013.


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Renewal Information for South Dakota Counselors & MFTs

South Dakota Counselors and MFTs can earn all 40 hours of continuing education online

South Dakota Counselors and MFTs can earn all 40 hours of continuing education online. Click to view approved coursework.

South Dakota-licensed Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists (MFTs) are required to renew their licenses annually on December 31st. 40 hours of continuing education are required on odd-numbered years. 4 of these hours must relate to ethics.

Professional Development Resources is approved as a provider of continuing education by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC Provider #5590); by the American Psychological Association (APA); and by the National Association of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC, Provider #000279). South Dakota-licensed Counselors and MFTs can earn all 40 hours through courses offered at Over 100 courses are available, including ethics.

Continuing Education Compliance Period

The continuing education compliance period begins January 1 of each even-numbered year and ends December 31 of each odd-numbered year. The first compliance period for a new licensee begins after the second renewal date.

Continuing Education Requirements

During the continuing education compliance period, each licensee must complete at least 40 contact hours of approved continuing education. Four of those contact hours shall be on the subject of ethics as it relates to counseling. This shall be documented by a published program, title, or description.

Sources of Continuing Education Credit

The licensee may obtain hours of continuing education credit by attending and participating in continuing education courses, workshops, clinics, forums, lectures, programs, seminars, distance learning programs, or other educational activities either previously approved by the board pursuant to § 20:68:07:09 or otherwise meeting the requirements in this chapter and approved by the board pursuant to § 20:68:07:08. A continuing education unit equals 10 contact hours and a semester of academic credit equals 15 contact hours.

Continuing education activities must be geared toward professionals and must focus on increasing knowledge or skills, or both, in the practice of counseling.

The licensee is responsible for financing the costs of continuing education.

Approval of Sponsors

The board will accept continuing education credits for programs accredited, approved, or presented by the following national organizations:

  • National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT)
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC)
  • American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award Category 1 Credit (AMA PRA Category 1 Credit)
  • Joint Commission for Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHCO)

Standards for Approval

A continuing education course, workshop, clinic, forum, lecture, program, seminar, distance learning program, or other educational activity is qualified for approval by the board pursuant to this section, § 20:68:07:09, or § 20:68:07:10 if it meets the following requirements:

  • It constitutes an organized program of learning which contributes directly to the professional competence of the licensee in serving the public;
  • It relates to the practice of counseling;
  • It is conducted by individuals considered experts in the subject matter of the program because of education, training, or experience; and
  • It is accompanied by a paper, manual, or written outline which substantially pertains to the subject matter of the program.

South Dakota Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapist Examiners: