National Certified Counselor Requirements

There are two main levels of credentialing in counseling profession, namely the national certification issued by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the state licensure issued by each state as an authorization to practice as a licensed counselor. The following are some of the national certified counselor requirements and what you need to know about national certification

Understanding National Certification for Counseling Professionals

The main objective of national certification by the NBCC is to act as evidence to the general public and employers that you are a qualified counselor and that the national board is satisfied that you have met the laid down standards in counseling profession. It’s important to note that being a national certified counselor does not expressly give you a license to practice. It’s simply intended to ensure that certified counselors adhere to the national board’s code of ethics and educational requirements. Through this certification program, the board is responsible for promoting and representing the counseling profession by ensuring the standards set by the members are observed.

National Certified Counselor Education and other Requirements

To obtain national certification, a counselor is required to register and pass a National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). This examination is also required by many states for state licensure, which permits a counselor to practice in a particular state.

This is a 200 item multiple choice exam, whose purpose is to assess whether a counselor has the requisite skills, knowledge and abilities to provide effective counseling services.

National Certified Counselor Exam Registration

While the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) developed the exam, the administering of the same for the purpose of registration is delegated to their affiliate organization known as the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE).

To register for the exam for the purpose of certification, you’ll be required to create an account with Procounselor or log in to your account if you already have one and begin the registration process. You will receive an email with details regarding your exam once your documentation is received and approved.

National Certified Counselor Requirements and Certification

To become a National Certified Counselor, you’ll have to satisfy the board that you meet the following requirements:

You must be a Master’s degree holder in counseling or have attained a major counseling study from a reputable institution with regional accreditation.

You must have accumulated 3000 hours of experience in counseling and 100 hours of supervised experience. Both experiences must be over a two year post-master period.

Exception of post-master and supervised experiences is however given to graduates with Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited tracks.

And lastly, you’ll be required to attain a passing score on National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE)


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