Emergency Services Prescreener Qualifications FAQs

Commissioner Barber recently issued this communication regarding expanded qualifications and certification requirements for prescreeners. This FAQ page is designed to assist CSB/BHA Emergency Services departments and their staff in understanding the new qualifications and certification requirements. If you would like to submit a question, please email Mike O’Connor at Michael.OConnor@dbhds.virginia.gov with the word “QUESTION” in the subject line of the email. This page will be updated weekly until such time as it is no longer needed. You can use ctrl+f to perform a key word search on this page. Posted 09 JUN 2017


The training can be found here.

It is entitled DBHDS 2016 Required Training for Pre-Admission Screening Clinicians and Independent Evaluators Curriculum: Part II and is most easily found by entering “Preadmission” in the search box on the VLC site.

There are five added modules, [#9-13] that are now required for certification. They cover Information Sharing, Capacity to Consent and related topics, Suicide Risk Assessment, Violence Risk Assessment and the Prescreening Assessment Form.

Those currently certified or applying before July 1 must complete Part II of the training before September 1, 2017. As of that date completion of both Part I and Part II are required for certification. Those applying for certification after July 1 must have completed both Part I and Part II.

Users must enroll in the curriculum to access the modules.  The modules are prerequisites of one another.  Therefore, as modules are completed accordingly, the next will open.  If users need assistance with the COVLC, they are to email Keiana Bobbitt  directly at keiana.bobbitt@dbhds.virginia.gov.  Selecting “Contact Us” on the COVLC website will route you to the Statewide Site Administrator.  Any other questions should be directed to Mary Begor mary.begor@dbhds.virginia.gov or Mike O’Connor michael.oconnor@dbhds.virginia.gov.

The completion of Part II will provide staff with 4 hours of continuing education credit toward maintaining their certification. Part I provides 3 hours. This credit can only be applied once.

Any license represented by those categories of Master’s degrees necessary to qualify as a precreener under the new rules. The most common licensees are Clinical Social Work, Professional Counseling, Clinical Psychology.  Physicians with a completed residency in Psychiatry and Clinical Nurse Specialists Psychiatric are also acceptable. A Bachelor’s level RN is not approved since the RN License is not specific to behavioral health.

Yes. The original 8 modules will be credited for 3 hours of continuing education. In this first cycle, they may be applied to the next recertification whenever they were taken. Once the final four modules are available we will assign them a value as well.

No. We have tried to minimize requiring specific formats for recordkeeping, etc. but because the orientation is such an important activity, and the requirements are so extensive, we are requiring the use of this form. This will also eliminate the possibility that a reviewer will decide that a local form did not meet requirements.

The list of degrees are those that most easily meeting the various licensure requirements. Since different programs name their degrees differently a comprehensive list is not feasible.

“If a Board Executive Director has evaluated the transcript and experience of a potential Preadmission Screening Clinician with a master’s degree other than one listed above that includes appropriate clinical training, a request may be submitted to DBHDS for review and a decision whether this requirement is met.” Of course, if they are enrolled for supervision or accepted to sit for a relevant licensure they automatically meet this requirement.

Clinical supervision can cover a variety of topics to promote professional growth, evaluate an employee’s work and assure quality.

We have not prescribed a format other than stating that a log of date and time will suffice. Most supervisors find it valuable to keep brief session notes but we are not requiring that.

Clinical topics that are relevant to the work of a mental health professional or crisis clinician, including ethics and cultural competency. It does not include purely administrative training.

As the guidance from Commissioner Barber states, because Boards all have their own chart review protocols we have not specified a chart review format.

Dr. Barber’s guidance is correct. There is a requirement  for 16 hours of relevant continuing education per year. Most professional licensures require the equivalent of 15-20 hours per year. This is consistent with that.

Clinical supervision needs to be provided by someone who, in fact, is in a supervisory role on the agency. They can be full or part time but needs to have the agency sanction as a supervisor. It is not intended for one line level certified prescreener to supervise another.

Yes, if they are granted a variance, they are qualified to perform the duties of a supervisor.

This has not been prescribed, be reasonable. The goal here is not to simply meet a requirement but to support staff and promote accountability and assure quality.

No. If there is a hardship reason for someone who does not meet the new supervisor requirements to be retained in the role of direct supervision of Certified Preadmission Screening Clinicians this could only be permitted through a variance.

Not as long as they completed whatever orientation was in place at the time they were hired.

No, not for the purpose of certification. Each CSB is responsible, however, for providing an adequate oversight of all the staff they employ.

No. This is deemed the minimal amount of supervision to provide adequate support and oversight for this critical activity.

Yes, although CSB’s may find that group supervision is both more efficient and more valuable.

No. Group supervision often offers an even better learning environment. What is the most appropriate mode may differ between individuals.

No. This type of interaction is extremely valuable and appropriate but is usually of very brief duration.

Yes, but only if they meet the qualifications of a supervisor as defined in the new requirements.