IC&RC: AN INTRODUCTION TO ‘GOLD STANDARD’ ACCREDITATION
45,000 top-class addiction professionals worldwide have been rigorously tested and ‘credentialled’ by IC&RC. Mary Jo Mather explains what it is, and how it protects both professionals and their clients.
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In October 2011, Phyllis Gardner, professor of sociology at Texarkana College, was elected president of IC&RC, the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium – and she will represent IC&RC and present research at UKESAD in May (see 12-page programme enclosed with this issue). So what can you expect from her and from IC&RC?
Gardner holds a doctoral degree in sociology from Texas Woman’s University and is a licensed chemical dependency counsellor, certified clinical supervisor, and certified advanced addictions counsellor. She has served the Texas Certification Board of Addiction Professionals in various capacities since 1990 and is a past president of the Texas Association of Addiction & Prevention Professionals. Her certifications are highly relevant to the organisation she heads…
THE ACCREDITED WORLD LEADER
IC&RC, the world leader in addiction-related credentialing, has protected the public by establishing standards and facilitating reciprocity for professionals since 1981. Today, IC&RC represents 78 member boards, including 25 countries, 47 US and territories, and three branches of the US military. Members also include six native-american territories. IC&RC represents 45,000 reciprocal-level credentialled professionals worldwide.
IC&RC’s credentials include Alcohol and Drug Counsellor (ADC), Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counsellor (AADC), Clinical Superviser (CS), Prevention Specialist (PS), Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professional (CCJP), Certified Co-Occurring Disorders Professional (CCDP), and Certified Co-Occurring Disorders Professional Diplomate (CCDPD).
There is a growing body of research from around the world that has consistently demonstrated that treatment outcomes are greatly improved when co-occurring substance use and non-severe mental health disorders are treated concurrently – by the same clinician or treatment team. Sadly, there aren’t enough counsellors trained to provide this level of treatment, and that problem is exacerbated by the lack of easily accessible, quality education opportunities to bring practitioners up to speed with the latest advancements in practice.
IC&RC is committed to developing the understanding of co-occurring disorders and the evidence-based practices to treat them, so it has made the unprecedented step of partnering with Hazelden, the leading publisher in education, treatment, and behavioural health, to promote Focus on Integrated Treatment, an online training designed to improve practitioners’ understanding of integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders.
To improve professionals’ understanding of co-occurring disorders, IC&RC has approved a study guide for the CCDP examination. After thorough review, The Basics, 2nd Edition: A Curriculum for Co-Occurring Psychiatric and Substance Disorders was endorsed as an excellent resource for professionals preparing for their exam or who want to further their knowledge of this important subject. The two-volume set, by Rhonda McKillip, MEd, LMHC, MAC, CCDCIII, CDP, contains over 1,600 references, as well as detailed lesson content and handouts for group, topics and information for individual sessions, and a cross-training guide for mental-health and chemical-dependency professionals.
IC&RC is also planning its second annual training conference. Sponsored by Hazelden, A Distinct Discipline: The Future of Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment will take place October 12-13 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Minneapolis.
A KEY TO THE FUTURE LIES IN ‘PEER RECOVERY SUPPORT’ CREDENTIALS
Another exciting development is the approval of standards for two levels of Peer Recovery Support credential for alcohol and other drugs, mental health, and co-occurring disorders. Based on US guidelines, as well as several jurisdictions already offering a peer credential, the domains were set as Advocacy, Mentoring/Education, Recovery Support and Ethical Responsibility.
Both levels will require a high school diploma or jurisdictionally certified high school equivalency, plus 46 hours of education specific to the domains, including 16 hours of ethics training. IC&RC will now proceed with developing a full Job Task Analysis and a fully referenced examination.
Mary Jo Mather is the executive director of IC&RC, the largest addiction and prevention credentialling organisation in the world. Today, IC&RC represents 78 member boards and 45,000 professionals from 25 countries and 47 US states and territories. IC&RC’s seven credentials include counsellors, clinical supervisors, prevention specialists, criminal justice, and co-occurring disorders professionals.