National Certified Counselor (NCC)

The National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. (NBCC) administers a rigorous, examination-based, professional certification program titled as the NBCC National Certified Counselor (NCC) Program. Professional counselors who wish to be granted the NCC credential must show that they have completed specific educational and training requirements and demonstrate an ongoing professional commitment to the field of counseling by satisfying the other requirements of this Program.


NCC Eligibility Requirements

You must meet the following requirements in order to obtain certification as an NCC. After reviewing the requirements and the NCC Certification Eligibility Policy, you can click the button to begin your application.

Education

You must hold a master’s, education specialist/educational specialist, certificate of advanced study (CAS), or doctoral degree in counseling from either a CACREP-accredited degree program or a counseling program administered by a regionally accredited educational institution, including at least 48 semester hours or 72 quarter hours of graduate-level coursework. The degree must include at least six semester or 10 quarter hours of graduate degree–related supervised field experience in counseling.

Coursework

Your graduate-level coursework must cover the following nine content areas:

  • Human Growth and Development Theories in Counseling
  • Social and Cultural Foundations in Counseling
  • Helping Relationships in Counseling
  • Group Counseling Theories and Processes
  • Career Counseling and Lifestyle Development
  • Assessment in Counseling
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Professional Orientation to Counseling
  • Counseling Field Experience

Learn more about the required coursework content areas.

Supervision

You must document at least 100 hours of postgraduate counseling supervision over a minimum 24-month period. This requirement may be waived in certain circumstances: for graduates of CACREP-accredited programs; for fully state-licensed professional counselors; for those who have had a degree conferred from a regionally accredited doctoral program in counseling.

Professional Endorsement

You must obtain endorsement from a professional colleague who holds a graduate degree in a mental health field. The individual providing endorsement cannot be related to the applicant and cannot be the same individual verifying supervision.

Work Experience

You must document having completed at least 3,000 hours of postgraduate counseling work experience over a minimum 24-month period. This requirement may be waived in certain circumstances: for graduates from CACREP-accredited programs; for fully state-licensed professional counselors; for those who have had a degree conferred from a regionally accredited doctoral program in counseling.

Ethics

You are required to adhere to NBCC’s ethical policies, including the NBCC Code of Ethics, the Certification Eligibility Policy - Ethics, the Ethics Case Procedures, and the Policy Regarding the Provision of Distance Professional Services. These important policies are available at: nbcc.org/ethics/certification.

Examination Requirement

You must obtain a passing score on the National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examinations (NCMHCE).

Application Fees for Board Certification

Credential Without Exam Registration Exam Registration Included
NCC $250 $375
CCMHC $250 $375
NCSC $250 N/A
Begin Application

Examination Information

For purposes of board certification, the examinations are offered twice a year (spring and fall). The NCE and NCMHCE handbooks provide specific information regarding each examination.


NCC Questions:


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