Ethics Policies and Procedures

NEW POLICY – Certification Eligibility Ethics Policy

Please note that the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) revised the National Certified Counselor (NCC) Certification Eligibility Ethics Policy Relating to Criminal and Lesser Offense Convictions and Professional Disciplinary Matters (Eligibility Ethics Policy or Policy). The revised Policy became effective on October 22, 2020.

With respect to the updated Policy, please note the following information:

  1. All certification application disclosures currently under review by the Ethics Department, and all disclosures submitted after October 22, 2020, will be evaluated under the revised Eligibility Ethics Policy.
  2. Any ethics matters that were resolved prior to October 22, 2020 will remain closed and final.
  3. All Ethics Department forms, published on the NBCC website or otherwise, will align with the terms of the new Eligibility Ethics Policy.

The Ethics Department team will be happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about the revised Eligibility Ethics Policy. Feel free to contact us by email.

NBCC requires all applicants and certificants to adhere to minimum conduct standards.

In addition to publication of enforceable standards and required disclosure procedures, NBCC developed an effective and fair method for reviewing concerns related to applicants and certificants. Counselors who maintain their board certification recognize the importance of fair review processes that are managed by counseling professionals, as well as the advantage of being able to assure employers, potential clients, or uneasy family members that there is an established process available should concerns arise.

Watch: An Overview of NBCC Ethics


NBCC Code of Ethics

NBCC publishes specific and enforceable ethics policies. The NBCC Code of Ethics is also published in an online version to assist counselors and members of the public. NBCC has also developed specific guidelines regarding the provision of distance professional services.

Whether you are already board certified or an applicant, you are required to disclose any of the following:

  • Criminal felonies, misdemeanors, similar criminal convictions, or pending charges
  • Other criminal matter convictions occurring within ten (10) years prior to your certification or recertification date
  • Government agency or professional organization disciplinary matters occurring within ten (10) years prior to the date of your certification or recertification
  • Civil (non-criminal) lawsuits or other legal matters related to your professional or business activities in which you are or have been identified as a defendant, or are the subject of such complaint

Certificant Disclosure

Board certified counselors must submit a disclosure in writing within 60 days of becoming aware of a charge or complaint. To make a disclosure, complete the Disclosure Cover Sheet.

Download Disclosure Cover Sheet

Applicant Disclosure

Applicants for board certification are required to disclose any past or current disclosure matter at the time of application. Applicants should follow the instructions provided at the time of submission to submit required documents. Following application submission, applicants must disclose any new or amended charges relating to required disclosure matters within 60 days. Applicants who have disclosures should use the Application Disclosure Cover Sheet.

Download Applicant Disclosure Cover Sheet

Required Disclosure Documents

Additional documents are required as part of the disclosure process. Samples of required documents are available on this page.

Clients Rights and Responsibilites

A resources for you and your clients.



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