California Certifying Organizations for Addiction Treatment Counselors

December 15, 2017


by Ben Salazar, CAADE President; Alan Johnson, CCAPP President; Drew Williams, ACCBC Chairman; and Pete Nielsen, CCAP CEO

As you may or may not have heard by now, the body that registers and certifies addiction treatment counselors for the state (the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California-ACCBC) for CAADE approved schools has lost its accreditation as of 12/01/2017.

MHSUDS INFORMATION NOTICE NO.: 17-067, issued from the Department of Health Care Services states the following:

“Regulation specifies that an AOD counselor registered or certified with a CO that is no longer approved by DHCS must register with one of the other DHCS approved certifying organizations within six (6) months of receiving written notification or prior to the expiration of his/her certification (whichever is sooner). Failure to re-register with a DHCS approved certifying organization within this timeframe will leave the holder of a registration or certification without a valid registration or certification.”

The leadership of CAADE, ACCBC, and CCAPP have initiated meetings to make the transfer process is efficient, and to ensure that EVERY counselor is recognized for his or her level of education and experience. All organizations are confident that registrations and certifications can be transferred successfully within the six month requirement imposed by DHCS. Since Monday, CCAPP has received and is currently processing more than 300 CAADE transfers with its new Certemy application platform which can be used on a desk top, tablet or phone. The transfer application can be completed in less than 15 minutes and is free of charge.

A crosswalk with links to online transfer applications has been developed and is located at

The future of CAADE, its staff, board members, accredited schools and programs, and the thousands of members who have supported the organization over the years is of utmost importance to CAADE and CCAPP. CAADE will continue to be a leader in advocating for the highest educational standards for AOD professionals and for supporting the alcohol drug workforce. Its school and program accreditation functions are not impacted by the loss of certifying authority for counselors.

CAADE and CCAPP grew from one organization; board members from both organizations are friends, colleagues, and collaborators. Together they will help the profession to be stronger than ever. We thank you for being the dedicated, strong professionals that you are and for working every day to improve the lives of the people we serve. We will stand by you in the months to come to ensure that your ability to continue to save lives, reunite families, and improve communities is not diminished.

We are committed to keeping you informed and to answering your questions about this process. A website has been created where you can view updates and submit questions. Please use this resource so that CAADE and CCAPP can focus on processing transfers.



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