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. For more information, and start your application.Begin Application
You must hold a master’s degree with a major study in counseling from a regionally accredited program, including at least 48 semester or 72 quarter hours of graduate-level academic credit in counseling. The degree must include one course in Professional Orientation to Counseling and at least six semester or 10 quarter hours of supervised field experience in counseling.
Your coursework must cover the following nine content areas and all areas must be represented within your master’s degree (Postgraduate or non-degree courses cannot be accepted.):
Learn more about the required coursework content areas.
You must document at least 100 hours of postgraduate counseling supervision over a minimum 24-month period. This requirement is 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.
You must obtain endorsement from a professional colleague who holds a master’s degree or higher in a mental health field. The individual providing endorsement cannot be related to the applicant and cannot be the same individual verifying supervision.
You must document having completed at least 3,000 hours of postgraduate counseling work experience over a minimum 24-month period. This requirement is 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.
Board certified counselors are required to adhere to NBCC’s ethical policies, including the Code of Ethics and the Policy Regarding the Provision of Distance Professional Services.
You must obtain a passing score on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examinations (NCMHCE).
Once certified, you will need to meet ongoing requirements in order to maintain your NCC, including continuing education, fees and adherence to ethics policies.
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