Ethics Frequently Asked Questions

Who is required to make disclosures?

Whether you are already a board certified counselor or if you are applying for board certification, you are required to make certain disclosures.

What are the required disclosure matters?
  • 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

If you are or were the subject of criminal and other offense matters that did not result in a conviction, you do not need to disclose such matters, unless otherwise instructed by NBCC.

When are disclosures required?

For applicants:

  • Disclosures must be made at the time of application
  • Following submission of the application, you are required to notify NBCC in writing of any additional matters by submitting the appropriate disclosure cover sheet and required documents

For board certified counselors:

  • Disclosures must be submitted in writing within 60 days of your knowledge of the charge or complaint even if the matter is ongoing
I need to make a disclosure. What steps should I take?

Carefully review the Ethics Disclosure Packet instructions and complete the appropriate packet. Be sure to include all required documentation in your submission. Completed packets can be submitted via one of the following methods:

  • Email: ethics@nbcc.org
  • Postal Mail: NBCC Ethics Department, 3 Terrace Way, Greensboro, NC 27403
  • Fax: (336) 217-4287

You are encouraged to retain a copy of your packet for your records. During the review of your disclosure packet, the Ethics Department may contact you for additional information. You will be notified via the email and/or the postal mailing address listed in your ProCounselor account once the review is complete.

Can you verify receipt of submissions?

Yes. Upon receipt of your submission, you will receive an email from us. Once your review is complete, you will be notified via email and/or postal mail. All communications will be sent to the contact information listed in your ProCounselor account.

Can I expedite the processing of my application disclosure?
Submissions are reviewed in the order they were received. Submitting a complete and accurate packet and responding to additional information inquiries from us will help expedite the review process. Failure to provide all required documents may cause delays.
How long will it take before I receive a response?

Response times depend on the volume of submissions at the time of receipt. You are highly encouraged to respond as quickly as possible with all requested documentation. Average response time is 6–8 weeks from submission of all required documents.

I am a student. How does the ethics review process affect my examination date?

By submitting your application and payment, you are automatically considered for the first available examination administration. However, in order to sit for the examination, your ethics review must be complete. Submitting a complete and accurate packet will help expedite the review process, as failure to provide all required documents will cause delays.

If the review process is not complete 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?

Although individuals can choose to register for an examination as part of the board certification application process, there is no application specific to the examination itself. The examination is one of the requirements of the board certification application.

Do I have to disclose something if it was over 25 years ago?
It depends. Please refer to the Certification Eligibility Policy for additional information regarding your specific circumstance.
If a matter was dismissed or set aside, do I have to disclose it?

No. If you are or were the subject of criminal and/or other offense matters that did not result in a conviction, you do not need to disclose such matters, unless otherwise instructed by NBCC.
*Please note: You must disclose pending matters.

You are required to disclose any of the required disclosure matters within 60 days of your 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 nbcc.org/Ethics.
Can you tell me the outcome of the review over the telephone?
No. Once your submission has been reviewed, you will be notified via the email and/or postal mailing address listed in your ProCounselor account.
Can I get professional advice regarding an ethical dilemma from NBCC?

No. The NBCC Ethics Department serves as a reviewing entity for complaints and disclosures. We do not provide guidance for ethical dilemmas. We encourage you to review the NBCC Code of Ethics and the ethical guidelines of your state licensure board.

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 ethics@nbcc.org. Try to provide as much identifying information as possible, including the counselor’s name, location (city and state), and NBCC identification number.

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 ethics@nbcc.org. Here are some important reminders when creating an email:

  • Be as specific as possible.
  • If you are referring to a disclosure, use the assigned ethics case file number, if you have it. This number is located on any correspondence that you receive from the Ethics Department.
  • Include your complete name and NBCC identification number (if applicable).
  • Communications regarding the status of your review cannot be provided.
What if I accidentally click that I have an ethics disclosure during the application process?

Please submit the Submission Correction Form via one of the following methods:

  • Email: ethics@nbcc.org
  • Postal Mail: NBCC Ethics Department, 3 Terrace Way, Greensboro, NC 27403
  • Fax: (336) 217-4287

Copyright ©2021 National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates | All rights reserved.