Manage your Certification

Counselors who maintain their board certification 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.

Temporary Inactive Status

To change to temporary inactive status, the following must be true:

  • I am not currently employed as a professional counselor nor do I do volunteer work in which I am designated a counselor. I understand that this status option is reserved for those individuals with extenuating health or family circumstances, including military deployment. I understand that unemployment and maternity/paternity leave do not qualify for this status option.
  • I have read and agree to adhere to the guidelines for the temporary inactive status option.
  • I understand this status change will also apply to any specialty certifications that I hold.
  • I understand that if I return to counseling practice of any type, I must have my NCC status changed to accurately reflect my practice or relinquish my certification entirely.
  • I understand that if I allow my certification to lapse, I will be required to reinstate my certification.
  • I will continue to adhere to the NBCC Code of Ethics.
  • I will disclose to NBCC any charge, complaint, or conviction about a criminal, civil, state board, or other professional disciplinary matter(s) within 60 days of occurrence.
  • I understand that all status change procedures and policies are subject to change.
  • I understand that in order to change my certification status, my account must be current on fees and I cannot be the subject of any ethics review.

To change your status, if you haven't already done so, please create a username and password in our new Credentialing Gateway, then login in and click on the gray box. Then under options on the left-hand side, click Status Change Request.

Reduced Practice Status

To change to reduced practice status, the following must be true:

  • I work less than 10 hours per week as a counselor, including clinical and volunteer work.
  • I agree to adhere to the guidelines regarding the reduced practice status option.
  • I understand this status change will also apply to any specialty certifications that I hold.
  • I understand that as a reduced practice NCC, I must complete 10 hours of continuing education activities that meet the NBCC requirements at the completion of the designated five-year period.
  • I understand that if I allow my certification to lapse, I will be required to reinstate my certification.
  • I will continue to adhere to the NBCC Code of Ethics.
  • I will disclose to NBCC any charge, complaint, or conviction about a criminal, civil, state board, or other professional disciplinary matter(s) within 60 days of occurrence.
  • I understand that all status change procedures and policies are subject to change.
  • I understand that I must continue to pay the annual certification fee and the fees for any specialty certifications (CCMHC, NCSC, and MAC).
  • I understand that in order to change my certification status, my account must be current on fees and I cannot be the subject of any ethics review.

To change your status, if you haven't already done so, please create a username and password in our new Credentialing Gateway, then login in and click on the gray box. Then under options on the left-hand side, click reinstatement.

Retired Status

To change to Retired status, the following must be true:

  • I am not currently employed as a professional counselor nor do I perform volunteer work in which I am designated a counselor.
  • I have read and agree to adhere to the guidelines for the retired status option.
  • I understand this status change will also apply to any specialty certifications that I hold.
  • I understand that if I return to counseling practice of any type, I must have my NCC status changed to accurately reflect my practice or relinquish my certification entirely.
  • I understand that if I allow my certification to lapse, I will be required to reinstate my certification.
  • I will continue to adhere to the NBCC Code of Ethics.
  • I will disclose to NBCC any charge, complaint, or conviction about a criminal, civil, state board, or other professional disciplinary matter(s) within 60 days of occurrence.
  • I understand that all status change procedures and policies are subject to change.
  • I understand that retired status follows a one-year certification cycle, and I must pay a reduced annual certification fee.
  • I understand that in order to change my certification status, my account must be current on fees and I cannot be the subject of any ethics review.

To change your status, if you haven't already done so, please create a username and password in our new Credentialing Gateway, then login in and click on the gray box. Then under options on the left-hand side, click reinstatement.

Relinquish Status

To change to retired status, the following must be true:

I understand that by relinquishing the NCC, I am also relinquishing all specialty credentials I hold. NBCC specialty certifications include the CCMHC, NCSC, MAC, NCCC, and the NCGC. I hereby request that NBCC remove my name from the listing of active National Certified Counselors.

To change your status, if you haven't already done so, please create a username and password in our new Credentialing Gateway, then login in and click on the gray box. Then under options on the left-hand side, click reinstatement.

Board certification is a voluntary professional credential; it is not a membership. In order to maintain board certification, counselors must first meet the established qualification standards and then must maintain annual fees and compliance with NBCC ethical standards. As part of the maintainance of board certification, counselors attest to compliance with NBCC ethics policies, including disclosure requirements, each year.

Recertification Cycle Infographic

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 email 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 Credentialing Gateway. 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 Credentialing Gateway, or print out your invoice and submit by mail. The invoice is available in your Credentialing Gateway 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 Credentialing Gateway 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 Credentialing Gateway account.

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

Guide to Recertification

Do you need additional information on how to maintain your NCC certification? View this flip guide to learn more about status options, continuing education, audits, and more!


In order to maintain certification, you must:

  • Review the NCC Certification Maintenance Eligibility Policy.
  • 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 email 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 Credentialing Gateway 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.

Specialty Area Clock Hours

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 Career Counselor (NCCC)

To recertify your NCCC, you must keep your NCC active. These will appear on your recertification form without an annual certification fee, and there is no continuing education requirement.


National Certified Gerontological Counselor (NCGC)

To recertify your NCGC, you must keep your NCC active. These will appear on your recertification form without an annual certification fee, and there is no continuing education requirement.


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. Afterward, 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 the NBCC Code of Ethics.
  • Submitting nonrefundable and nontransferable payment of: a reinstatement fee, the annual certification fee for the upcoming year, and any past-due fees.
  • Documenting continuing education from the last five years.

To reinstate an expired certification, please create a username and password in our new Credentialing Gateway, then login in and click on the gray box. Then under options on the left-hand side, click reinstatement.

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