Manage your Certification

Board certified counselors recognize the importance of completing national standards in education, experience and conduct as established by counseling professionals. Board certification through NBCC helps others recognize your achievement and indicates that you value continued compliance with ethical standards and professional development. However, careers sometimes take different paths and you have three options that you can initiate to change your board certification status.

Please note that you must be current on all fees and not the current subject of an ethics review in order to change the status of your certification. You can change the status of your certification at any time during your certification cycle.


Reduced Status

This status is available to board certified counselors who work or volunteer 10 hours or less per week. Board certified counselors who are in this status are required to complete annual requirements, including payment of annual certification fees and adherence to NBCC’s ethical standards. Board certified counselors in this status are only required to complete 10 clock hours of continuing education every five years in order to maintain this certification status.

Retired Status

This status is available to board certified counselors who are not currently practicing or volunteering and would like to maintain affiliation with NBCC. Counselors with this status pay a reduced annual certification fee and are required to adhere to NBCC’s ethical standards, including disclosure requirements. There is no continuing education requirement for this status since individuals are not currently practicing in any capacity.

Temporary Inactive Status

Temporary inactive status is an option to those board certified counselors who are not currently working due to extenuating health or family circumstances, including military leave. Counselors who are temporarily inactive are not required to pay an annual certification fee or obtain continuing education clock hours; however, they must adhere to NBCC ethical standards, including disclosure requirements.


If you no longer want to maintain your NCC certification, you must relinquish it with the Request to Relinquish Certification form. Submission of this form is required to relinquish your NCC. NBCC reserves the right to continue any ethical review process despite the non-payment.

Board certification is a voluntary professional credential; it is not a membership. Board certified counselors must meet the established qualification standards and must maintain their certification through annual fees and compliance with NBCC ethical standards. Board certified counselors attest to compliance with NBCC ethics policies, including disclosure requirements, each year.


In order to maintain your certification, you must:

  1. Adhere to NBCC’s ethics standards, including the NBCC Code of Ethics and the Policy Regarding the Provision of Distance Professional Services
  2. Pay annual certification fee
  3. Complete required continuing education

Adherence to NBCC Ethical Standards

As a part of the payment of annual certification fees and recertification processes, you must review the required ethical disclosure areas, indicate if you have any matters to disclose and attest your adherence with NBCC ethics standards.

Annual Certification Fee

You will receive notification of your annual certification fee statement at the e-mail address on file approximately 45 days before the payment due date. For this reason, you are encouraged to keep your contact information current. If you need to update your e-mail address or other contact information, log in to ProCounselor. To ensure delivery of NBCC communications to your inbox, please add nbcc@nbcc.org to your address book.

You may pay your annual certification fee online through ProCounselor, or print out your invoice and submit by mail. The invoice is available in your ProCounselor account. If you would like to request a change in your board certification status, complete that process before paying your fees. All fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable.

Continuing Education

During your certification cycle, you should continue to accumulate continuing education hours in order to complete the requirement in time to recertify. It is recommended that you take advantage of the continuing education tracker in ProCounselor by entering the program information and uploading your documentation of completion. If you hold a specialty certification, a percentage of the clock hours must be within your specialty area.

Every month, 10 percent of recertifying NCCs are selected for a continuing education audit. You are not required to submit your continuing education documentation to NBCC unless randomly selected for audit. If selected for an audit, there will be a notification in your ProCounselor account.

Log in to ProCounselor today to view your contact information, start uploading your continuing education certificates and view your invoice.

In order to maintain certification, you must:

  • Adhere to the NBCC Code of Ethics and the Policy Regarding the Provision of Distance Professional Services.
  • Pay annual fees. At the end of your certification cycle, you will receive a recertification notice via e-mail approximately 45 days before you are due to recertify. If you need to change your status, complete that process before paying your fees. All fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable.
  • Complete the continuing education requirement for your certification status. If you hold a specialty certification, a percentage of the clock hours must be within your specialty area. Every month, 10 percent of recertifying NCCs are selected for a continuing education audit. You are not required to submit your continuing education documentation to NBCC unless randomly selected for audit. If selected for an audit, there will be a notification in your ProCounselor account.

Recertify Your Specialty Certification

Your NCC and specialty certifications share the same expiration date, and you recertify all certifications at the same time. Remember to log your continuing education as you complete activities, so that you are prepared when it comes time to recertify.


Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC)

In order to recertify your CCMHC, a portion of your continuing education clock hours must directly relate to the following content areas:

  • Counseling and psychotherapy theory and practice
  • Abnormal psychology and psychopathology
  • Testing and appraisal
  • Group counseling and psychotherapy

Master Addictions Counselor (MAC)

To recertify your MAC, a portion of your continuing education clock hours must directly relate to the following content areas:

  • Drug information and terminology
  • Theories of addictions
  • Medical and psychosocial aspects of addictions
  • Addictions assessment
  • Issues in treatment of addictions
  • Addictions group counseling
  • Family addictions counseling

National Certified School Counselor (NCSC)

To recertify your NCSC, a portion of your continuing education clock hours must directly relate to the following content areas:

  • Appraisal of individuals
  • Group counseling
  • Cultural diversity in counseling
  • Career development
  • Fundamentals of school counseling
  • Supervised school counseling practicum

If you do not recertify by your recertification due date, your certification will expire. Afterwards, you will be required to submit a reinstatement application in order to become board certified again.

This process includes:

  • Disclosing any required matters
  • Attesting to adherence to NBCC ethical policies
  • Verifying contact information
  • Submitting payment of a reinstatement fee, the annual certification fee for the upcoming year, and any past-due fees; and
  • Documenting continuing education from the last five years.

To reinstate an expired certification, you will need to log into your ProCounselor account and click on My Certifications in the blue sidebar. Click on the Reinstate Now button to begin the process.

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