(1) Vocational rehabilitation services may be provided to injured employees only by organizations approved by OEVR as qualified providers. Request for such approval may be submitted to OEVR by:

(a) any state vocational rehabilitation agency or employment and training agency which delivers vocational rehabilitation services or placement services to handicapped persons, or

(b) any insurer, self-insurer, or private vocational rehabilitation organization, including corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships engaged in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services or placement of handicapped persons in employment.

(2) Any such vocational rehabilitation provider shall furnish to the office of education and vocational rehabilitation certification that each rehabilitation counselor who serves workers' compensation recipients has attained any or all of the following credentials:

(a) the certified rehabilitation counselor designation or the certified insurance rehabilitation specialist designation;

(b) a master's degree in vocational rehabilitation or an allied social science, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, social work, nursing, or guidance and counseling, and a minimum of one years work experience in vocational rehabilitation;

(c) a bachelor's degree and a minimum of five years work experience in vocational rehabilitation, unless the bachelor's degree is in vocational rehabilitation, nursing, or an allied social science, in which case the counselor shall have attained at least two years work experience in vocational rehabilitation; or

(d) a minimum of ten (l0) years work experience in vocational rehabilitation;

(e) registered nurses with three (3) years experience in vocational rehabilitation;or

(f) licensure as a rehabilitation counselor from the board of allied mental health and human services professions.

(3) No employee of a vocational rehabilitation provider shall have primary responsibility for a workers' compensation rehabilitation case unless he or she has been approved as a qualified rehabilitation counselor pursuant to 452 CMR 4.03 (2). Persons who have not been so approved may serve injured employees provided that they do so under the supervision of an approved rehabilitation counselor. Such supervision shall include co-signing of any report or plan required by OEVR. No supervised employee shall share supervision with more than three (3) other such employees.

(4) Approval of a vocational rehabilitation provider shall be effective for up to one year from the date of approval. Any provider which has secured such approval may request that OEVR renew such approval. Any such renewal shall be effective for up to one year from the date of renewal. In considering whether approval or renewal is appropriate, OEVR shall determine whether the provider has:

(a) observed all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances;

(b) accurately represented its services and credentials in reports or certifications required by OEVR, and in any advertisements;

(c) avoided conflicts of interest in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services; and

(d) honored injured employees' rights to privacy.