Compact with Texans

The requirement for a Compact with Texans was originally enacted during the 76th Texas Legislative Session through Senate Bill 1563, and can now be found in Section 2114.006 of the Government Code. The Compact provides information to the public, consumers, and customers regarding an agency’s mission, programs, principles and standards of customer service, helpful contact information, and procedures for receiving and responding to public complaints. Each agency is required to create a Compact with Texans and publish it on its website.

About the Agency

The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (Council) was created by the 86th Legislature in 2019 following consecutive reviews of its member boards by the Sunset Advisory Commission. The Council consists of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, and the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners. 

The Council is designed to play a central role in the regulation of behavioral health services and social work practice in Texas and is guided by the seasoned wisdom of its member boards in abiding by its mission and philosophy.

The mission of the Council is to protect and promote the welfare of the people of Texas by ensuring that behavioral health services and social work practice are provided by qualified and competent practitioners who adhere to established professional standards.  This mission is derived from the duly enacted statutes governing each regulated profession, as well as the law creating the Council, and supersedes the interest of any individual or special interest group.

The Council strives to meet its mission by processing licensure applications for qualified applicants in a cost effective and timely manner; investigating and resolving all written complaints regarding sub-standard practice and non-compliance; and serving as a source of information to the public, the profession, and governmental entities, as well as adhering to all mandated reporting requirements under state and federal law.  The Council also refers complaints to other regulatory agencies, as appropriate, for investigation and resolution.

Licensing

The Council licenses marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, psychological associates, psychologists, specialists in school psychology, and social workers by establishing educational, experience, and examination requirements for licensure, and requiring renewal of licensure with an appropriate amount of continuing education.  The objective behind this function is to protect the public by maintaining a quality program of examination and licensure to ensure the initial and continuing professional character and competence of providers within the mental health professions regulated by the agency.

The Council strives to process applications for licensure within 30 days of receipt of all required documents.  Eligibility issues that may affect licensure, however, may lengthen this time line substantially if they must be referred to the relevant member board or the Enforcement Division for further investigation and resolution.

Enforcement

The Council enforces the various laws governing the practice of marriage and family therapy, counseling, psychology, and social work in Texas by establishing professional standards for the practice of each profession, as well as investigating and enforcing compliance with state and federal law.  The objective behind this function is to protect the public by taking action to limit, restrict, or revoke the authority to practice if it is determined that a licensee poses a danger to the public.

The Council’s enforcement functions are most often accomplished through informal settlement or alternative dispute resolution. However, if a case is unable to be settled informally, the case will proceed to a formal, contested resolution through the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

The Council strives to resolve investigations within 6 months, but the resolution of a complaint may take longer, depending on the circumstances. While numerous factors beyond the control of the agency staff and licensee under investigation affect complaint resolution time, case resolution time is diligently monitored and internal processes are routinely reviewed and often improved to ensure complaints are resolved as quickly as possible. Both the complainant and the licensee being investigated are notified periodically of the status of each investigation, and all complainants are notified of the final outcomes of investigations.

Customer Service

The Council is committed to providing quality customer service. In pursuit of that commitment, the Council will:

-Provide excellent and timely service to customers;
-Provide customers with accurate and timely information;
-Treat customers with courtesy and respect; and
-Strive for continuous improvement in all of the services delivered.

Open records requests are addressed within 10 business days from receipt and the responsive documents are provided within a reasonable amount of time, unless an Attorney General Opinion is sought through the Attorney General’s Office.  If additional time is needed to provide the responsive information, the requestor is notified.

How to Contact the Council

Customer Service representatives are available by phone from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Helpful Numbers:
Main Office Number: 512-305-7700
Request Information About How to File a Complaint Against a Licensee: 800-821-3205

Physical and Mailing Address:
333 Guadalupe St.
Tower 3, Ste. 900
Austin, Texas 78701

Complaint Handling Process

The Council is committed to listen to your requests, understand your concerns, to serve you well, and to be receptive to suggestions.  The Council is also committed to following the laws and rules governing the agency. Any complaint made against the Council will be thoroughly reviewed to determine the appropriate action, as outlined below. This complaint process does not replace applicable state laws and rules for licensure and enforcement, including the process required to appeal a decision issued in a specific licensure or enforcement case.

A complaint regarding the Council must be made in writing and include the complainant’s full name and contact information and explain the issue of concern. This will ensure that the Council has enough information to properly review the issue(s). The written complaint should be submitted by hand-delivery, mail, or email to

Darrel D. Spinks, Executive Director
Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council
333 Guadalupe St.
Tower 3, Ste. 900
Austin, Texas 78701
General@bhec.texas.gov

Once the complaint has been received, the complainant will be notified.  Information regarding resolution of the complaint will be provided to the complainant no later than 45 days after receipt of the complaint. If additional time is required, the complainant will be notified.

Upon receipt, the complaint will be forwarded for review to the General Counsel and to other agency staff and management, as determined by the General Counsel and the Executive Director.  The investigation of the complaint may include, but is not limited to: a review of the Council files, interviews of relevant staff members, interview(s) of the complainant, and review of any other related information, such as recordings of proceedings or other relevant documents.  After the investigation has been completed, the General Counsel will provide a written summary of the resolution of the complaint to the complainant.

Commitment to Non-discrimination and Reasonable Accommodations

Discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, disability, age (40 or older) or genetic information (including family medical history) is illegal and will not be practiced or tolerated by the Council when carrying out its duties.

The Council will provide reasonable accommodations to applicants for employment and employees who need them for medical or religious reasons, as required by law.