BCTP™ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Please click on topics of interest below to find answers.
Earning the BCTP™ credential tells clients, employers, insurance companies, hospitals, government agencies, and others that you have:
- Received high-quality, state-of-the-art training in the delivery of telehealth services;
- Passed a comprehensive examination to assess your knowledge of safe and effective practices in providing telemental health services;
- Committed to pursuing ongoing telemental health continuing education; and,
- Confirmed your adherence to codes of ethics governing your profession and credentials.
Not all “certification,” certificate” or other designations are alike. The BCTP is developed by Telehealth Institute (TI) for professionals who completed professionals training by industry leaders, and not simply rely on groups known for other services, or for stand-alone groups/trainers who claim to offer a credential. Anyone of us can start a company and announce to the world that they are an “expert.” TI then encourages you to consider which groups can deliver training based on these factors:
- Certificate vs Certification? Many privately-held training facilities offer “Certifications” when they should not. According to commonly accepted standards, two types of groups legitimately offer Certifications:
- Large international or federal groups such as federal government agencies. In the United States, for example, the federal behavioral health care arm offering Certification is known as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Another is the National Insitute of Drug and Alcohol (NIDA). Different countries may be funded by the World Bank to support World Health Organization branches in different countries, such as Peru, Columbia, Argentina, etc.
- Standard-setting groups such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). Their standards are rigorous and after require several years along with substantial funding to work through the process
Private groups are supposed to offer “certificates”, but not “certifications. You may find that many groups who don’t know the difference or minimize the importance of being approved by a credentialing group that has high standards for workforce development. For example, several smaller groups offering “certification” exploit the lack of knowledge of acceptable standards among practitioners. Their lack of apparent awareness or regard for the industry-standard regarding the use of this term is suspect, at the very least. Buyer Beware.
- Founder’s Breadth of Knowledge. Who is/are the founders of the training group you are considering? How many years and what type of experience so they have dealing with telehealth issues interprofessionally. Can any of their claims be substantiated? If yes, ask for evidence in writing.
- Clinical & Training Experience. Who is the trainer?
- Are they a licensed professional? Is their license number publically displayed on their training website? If yes, verify licensure status by going to their state licensing board. Is the license active? Are any complaints pending? What other details can you gather?
- Then, you may want to look at their experience as a trainer. How many professionals have they trained, and through which organizations? Are you provided with direct names of not only the organizations but of people who have organized the speaker? You may want to call some of those organizations to inquire about their satisfaction with the speaker. Also, look at the testimonials on their webpages, and consider that getting individual testimonials from nameless people is easy. In fact, they can be made up. Who are these professionals giving testimonials? Do they include trusted industry leaders?
- The experience of the trainer or their organization is not just about organizing materials to be studied. It is about having the expertise to make discussions engaging, anticipating questions and offering a range of resources to help Learners get where they want to go.
- Can you listen to any audios or videos of the speaker? They may have recordings available on their website. Do they sound like someone who knows the industry?
- Publications. Has the trainer offering training led or participated in at least 10 research papers that are peer-reviewed published? Who are their collaborators? Who else has demonstrated such leadership and scholarship? As you review any trainer’s publication list, consider the hours of research and information-rich collegial discussion that goes into each publication.
- Faculty. How many industry leaders have aligned themselves publically with the trainer you are considering? Do they have a faculty? If yes, who are these professionals? Has your potential speaker co-led professional training to discuss complex issues from a variety of perspectives?
- TBHI Organizational Structure. Is the group that you are considering compliant with state and federal laws regarding corporate structure and tax filings? You may want to visit the secretary of state for their state of incorporation and double-check their company’s legal status. Do they walk their talk about compliance?
- Liability Insurance. Can your trainer provide evidence of liability insurance not only for general issues but also for cybersecurity with documents that you may need for your licensing board? If yes, how long do they hold those records? You may need to count on them still standing if your licensing board or a civil court wants to examine your records.
- CMEs and CEs. Has your potential training organization passed muster with medical continuing and/or continuing education and formally been granted permission to offer CME and/or CE hours? If yes, are they current on their standing? You may want to verify their standing. ave they withstood the test of time, or is their approval still new? Are they affiliated with a group that has potential conflicts of interest?
- CMS Software. Are the courses themselves user-friendly? Do they offer state-of-the-art software to make it easy? Or do they give you a PDF and ask you to simply answer questions afterward? What is the name of the software being used? Does it have national or international status, or is it homegrown and buggy? Can you read their website? Does it look professional? Is its quality something that you’d like to emulate?
- International and Inclusive. Telehealth by its very nature is often international as well as interprofessional. Is the training being considered developed just for one professional group, or does it teach the overarching issues in a way that will facilitate your digital collaboration with other types of professionals? Does the training being offered to demonstrate adherence to American Disabilities Act laws for deaf or hard-of-hearing learners? Can the training be accessed by Learners who are using adaptive devices because of limited vision, finger dexterity or other ability? Cis it well-written/recorded enough to have commanded Learners from other countries worldwide?
- Monthly Group Consultation. If the training is online, are you allowed to ask questions and get full answers for an added fee? Or do you just get videos to watch or PDFs to read for hours on end?
- Customer Service. Last but not least, is support staff available by email, telephone, and video to help you if you need assistance? What are the business hours? If you send an email, how long does it take to get a reply?
Your BCTP™ credential is valid for five years. You must re-credential after five years. Learn how to maintain your credential here.
How many additional CMEs or CEs do I need to re-credential?
Credentialed professionals must submit evidence of at least 3 Continuing Medical Education (CME) / Continuing Education (CE) Hours annually to maintain the 5-year BCTP credential.
Which CMEs/CEs courses qualify for re-credentialing?
Any course offering a national healthcare association-approved of CME or CE hours will qualify for re-credentialing, provided that the course title includes a direct reference to telehealth or any of its derivative forms (telebehavioral health, telemental health, telemedicine, distance counseling, teletherapy, etc.) and/or technology. Acceptable training can be online, in-person, home-based panel presentations, seminars, workshops, or webinars, as defined by the CME or CE-approval bodies.
For example, you can choose from any TBHI eLearning course here, or an in-person course, workshop, seminar, conference, or webinar for CME/CE from TBHI your national, state, provincial or other organization that offers CMEs or CEs.
Fees are nonrefundable, nontransferable, and listed in US dollars.
Applicants must 1) complete the timed, 100-item qualifying exam. Test items are true-false and multiple-choice and randomly drawn from a bank of 200 competency-based questions and 2) as well as a skills-based assessment given in a digital group setting. Both of these exams are pinned to the CTiBS telebehavioral health competencies published in the TBHI Bibliography.