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National Certified Counselor (NCC)
The National Certified Counselor (NCC) is the premier certification for the counseling profession. Holding the NCC demonstrates to colleagues and the public that you have voluntarily met high national standards for the practice of counseling.
The benefits of certification include use of the NCC certification mark, access to low-cost liability insurance, national advocacy efforts for the counseling profession and more.
You must meet the following requirements in order to obtain certification as an NCC. Some requirements may differ if you hold a state counseling license. For more information, log in and start your application.
You must hold a master’s degree or higher with a major study in counseling from a regionally accredited university. The degree must have a minimum of 48 semester or 72 quarter hours of graduate-level academic credits in counseling. Postgraduate, non-degree credits cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.
Your 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.
You must document at least 100 hours of counseling supervision.
You must document having completed at least 3,000 hours of counseling work experience.
You must obtain a passing score on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).
You are responsible for ensuring that your behavior adheres to the standards identified in the Code of Ethics.
For purposes of national certification, the NCE and NCMHCE are offered twice a year (April and October). You will have four hours to complete the examination. You exam results will be uploaded to your ProCounselor account within four–five weeks of the examination.
Once you complete the application process, you will need to meet ongoing requirements in order to maintain and recertify your NCC.