Ethics Policies and Procedures

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) requires board certified counselors and applicants for national certification to adhere to minimum conduct standards.

NBCC publishes specific and enforceable ethics policies. The NBCC Code of Ethics is also published in an online version to assist counselors and members of the public. NBCC has also developed specific guidelines regarding the provision of distance professional services.

Whether you are an NBCC applicant or board certified counselor, you are required to disclose any of the following:

  • Criminal charges (Note: You do not need to disclose traffic charges unless they involve drugs or alcohol or injury to person or property.)
  • Legal actions related to business or occupational activities in which you are named as a defendant
  • Grievances or concerns submitted to any government entity or professional organization
  • Employment terminations due to conduct
  • Probation or removal from any graduate program for reasons unrelated to grades

Board certified counselors must submit a disclosure in writing within 60 days of becoming aware of a charge or complaint. To make a disclosure, board certified counselors should complete the Disclosure Cover Sheet.

Applicants for board certification are required to disclose any past or current disclosure matter at the time of application. Applicants should follow the instructions provided at the time of submission to submit required documents. Following application submission, applicants must disclose any new or amended charges relating to required disclosure matters within 60 days. Applicants who have disclosures should use the Application Disclosure Cover Sheet.

As a part of the disclosure process, board certified counselors and applicants must also submit required documents. Samples of required documents are available on this page.

In addition to publication of enforceable standards and required disclosure procedures, NBCC developed an effective and fair method for reviewing concerns related to applicants and board certified counselors. Board certified counselors recognize the importance of fair review processes that are managed by counseling professionals as well as the advantage of being able to assure employers, potential clients, or uneasy family members that there is an established process available should concerns arise.

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