Ethics Frequently Asked Questions

I need to make a disclosure. What steps should I take?

Applicants and counselors who are board certified must make required disclosures. Applicants are required to disclose any required matters at the time of application. Following application submission, applicants and certficants are required to notify NBCC in writing of any additional matters by submitting the appropriate disclosure cover sheet and required documents. The written disclosure must be submitted within 60 days of your awareness of the charge or complaint even if the matter is ongoing. Please include your complete name and NBCC identification number in all communications. You are encouraged to retain a copy of your submission for your records. You will receive a response at the mailing address of record, so please ensure that we have your current address.

Can you verify receipt of submissions?

Submissions are placed in queue for review. If you would like confirmation that your submission has been received by NBCC, please select a mailing option that provides delivery confirmation. Responses to submissions are sent via regular mail to your address of record.

How can I expedite the processing of my application disclosure?

First, collect all required documents as explained in the email you received. Review the sample documents on the website, but understand that jurisdictions and various entities refer to the required documents differently. Failure to provide all of the required documents will delay the review.

Retain a copy of collected documents for future reference, as submitted documents will not be returned. Submit the documents according to the instructions in the email.

Remember to allow sufficient time in processing submissions. Once submissions are received, they are placed in the queue for review.

How long will it take before I receive a response?
Actual response time depends on the volume of submissions at the time of receipt. Individuals are highly encouraged to respond as quickly as possible with all of the required information.
Can I send submissions via email?

No, submissions must be mailed to the NBCC Ethics Department at 3 Terrace Way, Greensboro, NC 27403 or faxed to 336-217-4287.

About faxed materials:

Please note that some documents do not fax well; they are too light or blurry to read. Any faxed materials will be placed in the queue for review, but be advised that there may be a delay if your materials are not readable. If so, you will be required to submit clearer documents.

How can I make sure that I test in the next examination administration?

By submitting your application and payment, you were automatically considered for the first available examination administration. However, you must submit all of the required information for your disclosure, as explained in the email. Failure to provide all of the required documents will delay the review.

If you do not complete the disclosure review process by the time test sites are arranged, you will automatically be registered for the next examination administration date, assuming you are eligible.

I applied for the examination. Why do I have to disclose?

Applications submitted to NBCC are for board certification. The examination is one of the requirements.

While we understand that gathering the required documentation may be an inconvenience, counselors have access to sensitive information. Clients and potential employers often look at board certification as an indicator of trustworthiness and professionalism. One of the values of board certification is that you submit to review process that provide assurance to those you may work for or provide services to that you have met established national standards.

It is a good idea to maintain a folder of these materials, as they are also frequently required by state licensure boards.

Do I have to disclose something if it was over 25 years ago?
Yes, all NBCC applicants and certificants are required to submit required disclosure matters regardless of how long ago they occurred.
If a matter was dismissed or set aside, do I have to disclose it?

Yes, applicants must disclose all charges, complaints, or other required matters regardless of outcome. The only exception is matters that have completed the expungement process before application submission. Applying for an expungement does not mean that a matter has been expunged. Couselors who are board certified must also disclose all required matters even if the matter has not reached its conclusion by the reviewing entity.

Certificants are required to disclose any of the required disclosure matters within 60 days of their awareness of the charge or complaint, even if the matter has not reached its conclusion in the legal system or reviewing organization.

Where can I see sample court documents referenced in the email I received?
You can find sample documents at
Can you tell me the outcome of the review over the telephone or via email?
No, reviews cannot be conducted or reported by telephone or by email. Our process is to send results of reviews via regular mail to the address of record.
Can I get professional advice regarding an ethical dilemma from NBCC?

NBCC's Ethics Department conducts thorough reviews of any concerns expressed about the conduct of applicants andcounselors who are board certified.

How can I report a concern about a counselor who is board certified?

If you have concerns about a certificant or applicant, contact the ethics department at Remember to provide the counselor’s name, NBCC identification number (if you have it) and location (city and state).

You can verify if a counselor is certified by NBCC at

What if I have another question for the Ethics Department?

Please submit any questions not addressed either in the communications provided by the Ethics Department or this FAQ in a single email to Here are some important reminders when creating an email:

  • Define all abbreviations before use.
  • Be as specific as possible.
  • If you are referring to a specific ethics matter, use the assigned ethics case file number. (This number is on communications generated within the Ethics Department. It is located in the “RE:” line of the letters. Automated emails do not contain an ethics case file number.)
  • Include your complete name and NBCC identification number (if applicable).
  • Communications regarding review outcomes are not provided via telephone or email.

Further distribution of ethics communications is prohibited unless specifically authorized either in policy or by prior written approval.

© 2019   |   National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates