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Credentialed Problem Gambling Counselor (CPGC) Requirements

Minimum Qualifications

To become a CPGC, you must: 

  • be at least 18 years of age;
  • have earned at least a Bachelor's Degree; and
  • reside or work in New York State at least 51 percent of the time.

In addition, you must satisfy the following requirements: 

Evaluation of Competency and Ethical Conduct

You must sign an affidavit agreeing to abide by the Professional Code and Ethical Standards.  Please also see OASAS' Policy on Credentialing/Recredentialing Applications Which are Determined to Contain Falsified Documentation

You must arrange to have three individuals complete an Evaluation of Competency and Ethical Conduct on your behalf to be submitted as part of your Application. All evaluators must have direct knowledge of your work experience observed for a minimum of six months and must meet the following qualifications: 

  • One evaluator must be your current clinical supervisor. In the absence of a current clinical supervisor, the evaluator may be your most recent clinical supervisor.
  • One evaluator must be a current New York State CPGC or Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) who holds the Problem Gambling Specialty Designation or a Qualified Problem Gambling Professional (QPGP). A QPGP is an individual who: (1) has had at least one year of experience in the treatment of problem gambling or has completed a formal training program in the treatment of problem gambling; and (2) is licensed or credentialed as one of the following:
    • a CASAC who has a current valid credential with a specialty in problem gambling issued by the OASAS, or a comparable credential, certificate or license from another recognized certifying body as determined by the OASAS;
    • a licensed master or licensed clinical social worker who is currently registered as such by the New York State Education Department;
    • a certified nurse practitioner licensed and currently registered by the New York State Education Department as both a professional nurse and a certified nurse practitioner;
    • an occupational therapist licensed and currently registered as such by the New York State Education Department;
    • a physician licensed and currently registered as such by the New York State Education Department;
    • a physician's assistant licensed and currently registered as such by the New York State Education Department and whose practice is in conformity with Section 3701 of the Public Health Law;
    • a registered professional nurse (RN) currently licensed and registered as such by the New York State Education Department;
    • a psychologist licensed and currently registered as such by the New York State Education Department;
    • a rehabilitation counselor certified by the Commission of Rehabilitation Counselor Certification;
    • a therapeutic recreation therapist who holds a baccalaureate degree in a field allied to therapeutic recreation and, either before or after receiving such degree, has five years of full-time, paid work experience in an activities program in a health care setting or an equivalent combination of advanced training, specialized therapeutic recreation education and experience, or is a recreational therapist certified by the National Council on Therapeutic Recreation or the American Therapeutic Recreation Association;
    • a family therapist who is currently accredited as such by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy or New York State Education Department;
    • a counselor certified by and currently registered as such with the National Board for Certified Counselors;
    • a licensed mental health practitioner who is currently registered as such by the New York State Education Department (Title VIII, Article 163);
    • a credentialed problem gambling counselor who has a current valid credential issued by the Office, or a comparable credential, certificate or license from another recognized certifying body as determined by the OASAS;
    • a national certified gambling counselor (Level I and II) and/or a Board Approved Clinical Consultant who is currently registered as such by the National Council on Problem Gambling; and/or
    • a pastoral counselor who is certified by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors or is a Fellow of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.

One evaluation must be from an individual who has at least six months direct knowledge of your work experience and can attest to your competencies associated with problem gambling treatment.

If you are not engaged in the provision of problem gambling counseling services at the time of application, one additional evaluation must be submitted by your current supervisor.

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Work Experience

You must document a minimum of 4,000 hours (approximately two years) of supervised, full-time equivalent experience in an approved work setting as a provider or supervisor of direct patient services. 

An approved work setting means it: 

  • is operated by the Office;
  • holds a valid Operating Certificate or Certificate of Approval to provide alcoholism or substance abuse services from the Office issued pursuant to Articles 19 or 32 of the Mental Hygiene Law, or a similar license or approval from another state’s chemical dependence or problem gambling authority for the state in which the agency, facility or program is located;
  • is a program of chemical dependence or problem gambling treatment services consistent with OASAS’ standards and is licensed and/or operated by another New York State agency;
  • is organized and operated by the Federal Government to include the Indian Health Service and The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a program of chemical dependence or problem gambling treatment services which is consistent with the Office’s standards;
  • is a non-certified setting that involves the legal provision of alcoholism and substance abuse treatment and/or problem gambling treatment services and that affords:

    (i) the opportunity to establish proficiency in one or more of the professional competencies associated with a credential administered by the Office; and

    (ii) on-site supervision by a QPGP meeting the supervisory standards established by the Office. 

Work experience claimed must: 
  • include a minimum of 1,000 hours during the five years prior to submission of the required paperwork;
  • include the following professional tasks:  diagnostic assessment; evaluation; intervention; referral; and problem gambling counseling in both individual and group settings;
  • have, at a minimum, weekly, on-site and documented clinical supervision by a QPGP;
  • be integrated with the problem gambling/alcoholism and/or substance abuse services delivery system for consultation and referrals;
  • include practice in problem gambling counseling to establish and maintain recovery and prevent relapse; and
  • include a minimum of 300 hours of Supervised Training in the professional expertise, knowledge and skills as outlined below. A minimum of 30 hours must be performed in each of the following professional expertise must be performed in:
    • Individual, Family and Group Counseling;
    • Crisis Intervention; and
    • Financial Assessments, planning and/or referral.
    The balance of the 300 hours of supervised training may be distributed among the remaining 12 professional expertise areas.   A minimum of 10 hours must be performed in each area, under the direct supervision of a QPGP, as follows:
    • Intake and Assessment;
    • Treatment Planning;
    • Facilitating Logistics of Treatment;
    • Continuous Client Evaluation;
    • Referral;
    • Working with Families and Significant Others;
    • Client Follow-up Contact;
    • Case Management;
    • Seeking and Using Collateral Support;
    • Record Keeping and Reporting;  
    • Outreach; and
    • Identification and Coordination of Community Resources.

OASAS strongly encourages that the majority of your work experience be devoted to the practice of problem gambling counseling.

A Master's (or higher) Degree in an approved Human Services field from an accredited college or institution may be substituted for 2,000 hours of the 4,000 hour work experience requirement.

A formal internship or formal field placement may be claimed as work experience OR education and training, but not both.  You should calculate the need to claim a formal internship or formal field placement as either work experience OR education and training. 

Work experience claimed may not include any experience gained as part of, or required under, participation as a patient in a formal alcoholism and/or substance abuse or problem gambling treatment/aftercare program and/or plan.

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Education and Training 

You must document completion of education and training consisting of a minimum of 240 clock hours which address the full range of knowledge, skills and professional techniques related to problem gambling counseling. 

In order to best prepare for working with those affected by problem gambling, OASAS strongly encourages that you have completed education and training which has provided you with: 

  • knowledge of the variety of models and theories of problem gambling and other chemical abuse and/or dependence related problems;
  • knowledge of the social, political, economic and cultural context within which problem gambling exists;
  • knowledge of the behavioral, psychological, physical health and social affects of gambling abuse and/or dependence on the patient and significant others;
  • skill in recognizing the potential for problem gambling disorder to mimic a variety of medical and psychological disorders and the potential for medical and psychological disorders to coexist with problem gambling;
  • knowledge of the philosophies, practices, policies and outcomes of the most generally accepted models of treatment; recovery; relapse prevention and continuing care for problem gambling related problems;
  • knowledge of the importance of family, social networks and community systems in the treatment and recovery process;
  • understanding of the value of an interdisciplinary approach to problem gambling treatment counseling;
  • skill in using the established diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling and understanding of the variety of treatment options and placement criteria;
  • ability to utilize various counseling strategies and develop treatment plans based on the patient’s stage of problem gambling or recovery;
  • knowledge of the medical and pharmaceutical resources in the treatment of problem gambling;
  • ability to incorporate the special needs of diverse racial and ethnic cultures and special populations into clinical practice, including their distinct patterns of communication;
  • understanding of the obligation of the CPGC to engage in prevention as well as treatment techniques;
  • knowledge of financial issues in the treatment of those affected by problem gambling;
  • knowledge of the obligations of a CPGC to adhere to generally accepted ethical and behavioral standards of conduct in the counseling relationship; and
  • proficiency in English including the ability to speak, write, comprehend aurally and read at a minimum level necessary to perform as a CPGC.

Minimum requirements are as follows:

  • 60 clock hours Problem Gambling Treatment CORE Curriculum.
  • 150 clock hours related to Problem Gambling Addiction Counseling. (Must include documentation of completion of a minimum of 4 clock hours of training related to tobacco use and nicotine dependence and a minimum of 15 clock hours specific to cultural competence).
  • 30 clock hours related to Professional and Ethical Responsibilities. (Must include documentation of completion of a minimum of 15 clock hours specific to Ethics for Addiction Professionals and 2 clock hours of Child Abuse and Maltreatment: Mandated Reporter training approved by the OASAS).

OASAS will consider education and training obtained through accredited colleges or universities; governmental agencies; professional organizations; training institutes; or in-service training programs.  A maximum of 30 clock hours may be accepted for documented participation in conferences by professional organizations.

There is no limit on the number of clock hours completed through distance learning.  However, OASAS will only consider distance learning course work completed through the following entities:

  • accredited colleges or universities;
  • National Addiction Technology Transfer Center-approved distance education sponsors ( www.nattc.org/ ); and
  • OASAS-certified Education and Training Providers.

A formal internship or formal field placement may be claimed as education and training based on the academic credit associated with completion, not the number of hours served in the field.

A formal internship or formal field placement may be claimed as work experience OR education and training, but not both. You should calculate the need to claim a formal internship or formal field placement as either work experience OR education and training.

All education and training must be claimed in clock hours, determined as follows:

  • Clock Hours equal the actual number of hours documented for the education and training received (Example: 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. = 2.5 clock hours).
  • Credit Hours equal credits awarded after successful completion of an academic course. One college credit (graduate or undergraduate) equals 15 clock hours (Example: 3 credits = 45 clock hours).
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) equal credits awarded after successful completion of a continuing education course. One CEU equals 10 clock hours (Example: .7 CEUs = 7 clock hours).

You must maintain documentation to support all education and training claimed in the form of an academic transcript, certificate or letter of completion which includes your name, the name of the educational institution or provider, title of the course/training, date of completion, and number of clock hours associated with completion of the course/training.

ATTENTION CPGC Applicants:

If you hold an Associate's, Bachelor's or Master's Degree, or you are a student pursuing any of these degrees, some of your course work may be claimed toward satisfying some or all of the CPGC education and training requirements. In order to determine what coursework may be applicable, your college transcript(s) should be submitted with your application.