State flag California Scope of Practice Policy: State Profile

California does not directly credential addiction counselors. Individuals who wish to practice as an addiction counselor must receive a credential from an approved certification board. Each board requires the individual to complete education and experience requirements. The education level required is dependent on the certifying body. California scope of practice law provides for two levels… More »

California SOP Legislation

Retrieving legislative data...

Retrieving legislative data...
Education Required for Addiction Counselor Credentialing

California only credentials drug abuse treatment facilities. Individuals who wish to practice as an addiction counselor must receive a credential from an approved certification board. Each board requires the individual to complete education and experience requirements. The various credentials require a high school degree or higher. 9 Cal. Code of Reg. § 13035 and Cal. Health and Safety Code §11833

Licensed Professional Counselor Ability to Diagnose

A licensed professional counselor’s diagnostic ability is not outlined in statute. Cal. Business and Professions Code §4999.20

Number of Nurse Practitioners Prescribing Buprenorphine

As of August 2018, 294 NPs in Caifornia have received a federal waiver to treat opioid dependency with buprenorphine-containing products. California law makes clear that NPs are not prohibited from furnishing buprenorphine-containing products as long as they do so in compliance with federal law meaning that a California NP, with proper training or appropriate experience and consistent with their prescriptive authority, can receive a federal waiver to dispense buprenorphine-containing products, as long as the collaborating or supervising physician is certified, trained, or permitted to treat and manage patients with opioid use disorder. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §2836.1 and Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §2836.4

Number of Physician Assistants Prescribing Buprenorphine

As of August 2018, 102 PAs in California have received a federal waiver to treat opioid dependency with buprenorphine-containing products. California PAs may prescribe drugs and Schedules II-V controlled substances as delegated by a supervising physician. With proper training or appropriate experience a PA in California can receive a federal waiver to dispense buprenorphine-containing products, as long as the supervising physician is certified, trained, or permitted to treat and manage patients with opioid use disorder. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §3502.1

Peer Support Specialist Certification or Credentialing Authority

There are currently no statutory or regulatory requirements for the certification of peer support specialists. Some non-profit organizations provide credentialing programs involving education, experience requirements, and examinations.

Practice Authority

Nurse practitioners must have a standardized procedure or protocol in place that must be developed and approved by the supervising physician. Cal. Bus & Prof Code §2836.1.

Prescriptive Authority

Drugs or devices furnished by the NP must be ordered in accordance with the policies and protocols set forth in the agreement with the supervising physician. The NP may furnish drugs and devices within the NP’s area of practice. Physician involvement is required when the NP is furnishing Schedule II or III controlled substances, and a patient-specific protocol is required. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §2836.1

Nurse Practitioner as a Primary Care Provider

NPs are recognized in state policy as primary care providers. Primary care provider means a person responsible for coordinating and providing primary care to members, within the scope of their license to practice, for initiating referrals and for maintaining continuity of care. A primary care provider may be a primary care physician or nonphysician medical practitioner including a nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife or physician assistant. 22 CCR §53810(gg)

Dental Hygienists with Direct Access

Registered Dental Hygienists in Alternate Practice (RDHAP) may practice outside the private dentist office and may have different employment classifications. The RDHAP must complete a certain number of practice hours and complete a written examination. A dental hygienist may provide screening, fluorides and sealants without supervision in public health programs. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §1911, Cal. Bus. & Prof. §1922-1931

Dental Hygienists with Prescriptive Authority

Dental hygienists do not have prescriptive authority.

Dental Therapists

Statute does not identify dental therapists as an oral health provider.

Supervision Requirements

Supervision is determined at the practice level between the supervising physician and the PA. Written guidelines must be established between the PA and the physician to determine adequate supervision. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 3502(c)

Prescriptive Authority for Physician Assistants

A PA may prescribe drugs and Schedules II-V controlled substances with supervision and delegation from a physician. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §3502.1

Scope of Practice Determination

A PA may perform medical services as delegated by the supervising physician at the practice level. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §3502