Board Member Training

Welcome to the Behavioral Health Executive Council and thank you for agreeing to serve as one of our council or board members. We recognize the time and effort you are committing to this role. To best prepare you for your role on the council or board, the links below will provide you with a variety of training materials and helpful guidance.

Texas Occupations Code Chapter 507, which governs BHEC, requires new appointed members to receive certain training before being able to vote, deliberate, or otherwise act as a member of the Council. Similar provisions are found in the statutes governing each professional board regulated by the Council. The training must cover the following:

  • the law governing BHEC operations
  • the programs, functions, rules, and budget of BHEC
  • the scope of and limitations on the rulemaking authority of BHEC
  • the types of BHEC rules, interpretations, and enforcement actions that may implicate federal antitrust law by limiting competition or impacting prices charged by persons engaged in a profession or business BHEC regulates, including any rule interpretation or enforcement action that:
    • regulates the scope of practice;
    • restricts advertising;
    • affects the prices of goods or services; or
    • restricts participation in the profession or business
  • the results of the most recent formal audit of the agency
  • the requirements of:
    • laws relating to open meetings, public information, administrative procedure, and disclosure of conflicts of interest; and
    • other laws applicable to members of council or boards in performing their duties
  • any applicable ethics policies adopted by BHEC or the Texas Ethics Commission

The following links provide access to forms and training specifically required to be completed as an appointee to a state governing board. In addition, other materials provide explanation of the topics required by Chapter 507.

Required Forms

The following forms must be completed and submitted to the Secretary of State.

Required Trainings

The following trainings must be completed by each appointee. Please submit a completion certificate to agency staff.

Council Members and Ethics

BHEC holds itself and its Council and board members to the highest ethical standards. The BHEC ethics policy describes the standards of conduct for BHEC employees. Council and board members are also subject to ethical guidelines, including requirements set down by statute and agency rule. Section 572.051 of the Government Code sets out standards of conduct for state officers, including prohibitions on acceptance of gifts, compensation, or other financial arrangements that could impact their impartiality. In addition, BHEC Rule 881.5 prohibits a Council or board member from participating in a vote or deliberation when the member has a conflict of interest. The following materials provide further guidance and explanation of standards established by the Texas Ethics Commission concerning how a member should carry out their duties in an ethical manner.

Overview of the Agency

BHEC is a state agency that oversees the occupational licensing of professions governed by four member boards – the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, and the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners. The overall governance and management of the agency, and oversight of the four professional boards, is done by the Executive Council – a body made up of one professional and one public member from each of the four boards and a separate public chair appointed by the Governor. The day-to-day operations of the agency are managed by the Executive Director, who is empowered to hire additional staff. The BHEC Organizational Chart shows the organization of the agency staff into functional divisions. Licensing staff receive and process applications for licensure. Enforcement staff investigate complaints and pursue disciplinary actions against licensees who violate state law or Council rules. Other staff assist in Council and board operations, provide legal counsel, or manage the financial or administrative operations of the agency.

BHEC’s operations are governed by several chapters of the Occupations Code. Listed below, each chapter focuses on the functions and requirements of each professional board, but all five chapter must be read holistically together. In addition to statute, the Council adopts rules that also have the force of law, governing agency processes, licensure requirements, enforcement standards, and professional ethics and responsibilities. These rules are set out in the Texas Register with other agency rules, and BHEC maintains a consolidated rulebook for the convenience of each profession.



Role of Executive Council vs. Member Boards vs. Agency Staff

BHEC was created with a unique governance structure, dividing responsibilities between the Council, each professional board, and agency staff. A Comparison of Council, Board, and Staff Duties illustrates the different roles each group plays within the agency. One of the primary areas of shared responsibility is in the agency’s rulemaking. While the Council has general rulemaking authority and must adopt all final rules, section 507.153 of the Occupations Code states that rules regarding licensure requirements, scope of practice and standard of care, continuing education, and enforcement penalties must be proposed by each professional board before the Council may act on them. The Council has been directed by the Legislature to focus its review of board proposals for anti-competitive impacts, administrative consistency, and good governance concerns. The materials below give further details regarding the administrative policies governing agency operations, including travel and reimbursement policies.

Similarly, the Council is required to seek the assistance of professional boards in both licensing (507.259) and enforcement (507.306) matters that involve questions of professional standards. As a Council or board member, your role in such matters is often akin to a judge in a trial. As a result, there are limitations to the amount of information that you may receive or interactions you may have with agency staff or licensees or applicants, outside of formal proceedings. The links below describe the boundaries that govern how Council and board members may interact with enforcement and disciplinary proceedings.

Budget materials, strategic planning, and other reports

The Legislature guides the operations of the agency through not only statutory direction, but also through the appropriations process. The state budget details the funds the agency may use to operate its licensing, enforcement, and administrative functions across each biennium, but it also includes directives and guidelines for how those funds may be spent. The State Budget Process outlines the steps behind the development of our budget. In addition, the Legislature requires the agency to report various information and undergo numerous audits as an oversight mechanism for BHEC’s operations. The links below provide the most recent budget documents, reports, and audits.

Important Case Law and Legal Opinions

As a regulatory body in Texas, the Council and boards are subject to federal and state laws that impact the authority of board members to act. For example, a state agency must follow certain procedures to adopt a rule, such as one governing licensure requirements or scope of practice, that will be able to be implemented by agency staff and enforced by law. The Office of Attorney General publishes an Administrative Law Handbook that provide many helpful descriptions of the administrative processes an agency must use. The links below also offer further discussion of the limitations on a state agency’s authority.

Deference to Agency Interpretation of Statutes

Limitations on Agency Jurisdiction and Rulemaking

Anti-Trust and Restraint of Trade