March 2022 Newsletter

How to Meet the MHRT/C Domain Requirements

As a follow up to the January 2022 Newsletter, which detailed the pathways to Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician/Community (MHRT/C) certification, this edition details how an applicant can satisfy the domain requirements.

The MHRT/C certification program is a competency-based program with established educational standards for community-based mental health workers. Effective September 1, 2019, there are eight (8) competency domains required to earn a full MHRT/C certificate, valid for two years with a continuing education requirement for renewal. Each domain represents 30 hours of education/training. (Click here for a list of the eight domains and the competencies within each domain.)

There are essentially three ways to complete a domain requirement:

  1. Academic Coursework: Complete an approved academic course, course combination, related internship, or Prior Learning Assessment
  2. Non-Academic Training: Complete 30 hours of non-academic training addressing the competencies in the domain
  3. Credit for Work Experience: Have six (6) months of adult behavioral health work experience demonstrating competency in the domain

 

Following is detailed information about each option.

Option 1: Academic Coursework

Academic Course or Course Combination: Many colleges and universities in Maine have worked with the Center for Learning (CFL) to have their courses approved for the MHRT/C domain requirements. Some programs offer stand-alone courses, while others spread the knowledge competencies over two or more courses. CFL lists these courses on the Academic Programs tab of the MHRT/C section of the CFL website. Scroll down and click on the Domain to see a list of approved courses.

Internships: A related three (3)-credit college internship can meet a domain requirement. Applicants need to have the internship supervisor write a letter outlining how the internship covered the knowledge competencies in the domain. Include this documentation with the rest of the application paperwork for consideration. This link leads to the knowledge competencies.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA): Most colleges and universities will review a student’s past work/life experiences for college credit. If the student receives credit by PLA for a course that meets an MHRT/C domain requirement, it appears on the transcript and the individual will receive credit for it when they apply for the MHRT/C certification. Please see the PLA page for contact information at each institution in Maine.

CFL staff reviews transcripts whether or not the coursework is from a Maine institution and gives credit where they can to the domain requirements. Sometimes, an individual partially meets a domain. In these cases, the letter they receive with their certificate indicates how many additional hours of training in a specific topic are necessary to complete the domain. For example, an individual completed coursework covering five of the six competencies in Domain 2. They might need to complete six hours in Peer Support to meet the domain.

Option 2: Non-Academic Training

State standard 30-hour MHRT/C non-academic training curriculum: The Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) developed a standard curriculum for each of the eight domain requirements. There are seven courses currently available; the last domain, Domain 5-Policy Knowledge, is in production. An individual who takes one of these courses and passes the exam meets that domain requirement. Upon completion of the exam, they receive a link to their completion certificate. It is the individual’s responsibility to download the certificate, save it in their files, and submit a copy when they apply for their MHRT/C.

Approved trainers offer the training, and CFL posts the training schedule on its website. The schedule link appears on the Non-Academic Training tab of the MHRT/C section of the CFL website.

Other non-academic training: An individual may meet a domain requirement by completing other professional, non-academic training. They still need to complete 30 hours addressing the domain’s knowledge competencies. For example, five programs of six-hours each. Some domains are more easily completed using this approach. Domain 3 is a good example, as there is readily available training in Ethics and Professional Conduct.

Option 3: Credit for Work Experience (CWE)

An applicant may use six (6) months of relevant adult behavioral health work experience to meet a domain requirement, and may use this option to satisfy up to four domains with enough relevant work experience. This option is not available for Domains 1 or 3, however.

If an applicant has a relevant social service four-year or higher degree, they can use the same six-month period to cover two domains. Otherwise, they need six months per each domain.

The required forms for each domain are on the Credit for Work Experience tab on the MHRT/C web page. A clinical supervisor must complete the form(s) indicating that the applicant demonstrated specific competencies on the job. An additional document describes how the work experience met the competencies. The applicant submits these signed forms with their application for MHRT/C certification.

For more information on these options, visit our MHRT/C webpage and click the appropriate tab, or email a question to cfl-muskie@maine.edu.