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California  Genetic Counselor Licensure Program

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Legislative Information

 Senate Bill 1364 (Johnston, Chapter 941, Statutes of 2000) (PDF) required the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to establish regulations and standards for the issuance of licenses for master level Genetic Counselors and doctoral level geneticists; limited the use of the title of Genetic Counselor to persons licensed by the Department; and set minimum qualifications for licensure and renewal.

Assembly Bill 2300 (Emmerson, Chapter 550, Statutes of 2010) (PDF) allowed CDPH to license applicants meeting specified requirements for Genetic Counselor and Temporary Genetic Counselor Licenses prior to finalizing regulations. 

More than half of the U.S. states currently require the licensure of Genetic Counselors, have introduced licensure legislation, or are preparing to introduce bills.  Licensure of Genetic Counselors in California is approved and administered by the Program Standards and Quality Assurance Branch within CDPH's Genetic Disease Screening Program (GDSP).  GDSP began issuing Genetic Counselor Licenses and Temporary Genetic Counselor Licenses from July 1, 2011.  More than 750 Genetic Counselor or Temporary Genetic Counselor Licenses have been issued to date.  Click here for the text of the Regulations pertaining to the licensure program.

Additional Information:

Information on accredited genetic counseling training programs, the Board certification examination, and recertification requirements is available at the American Board of Genetic Counseling website (www.abgc.net).

Link to forms to verify ABGC active candidate or diplomat status (http://www.abgc.net/Certification/certification.asp).

Information on continuing education (required for Genetic Counselor License renewal) is available at the National Society of Genetic Counselors website (www.nsgc.org).

Information on maintenance of Board certification for Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) medical geneticists (required for Genetic Counselor License renewal) is available at the American Board of Medical Genetics website (www.abmg.org).

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