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Frequently Asked Questions | Applicants


Why should I apply for the NCC certification? What will it do for me?

Certification can be a continuing source of career enhancement and pride for counseling professionals. It demonstrates to clients and employers that a professional counselor has met national standards. Learn more about the benefits of certification.

What are the requirements for the NCC certification?

Please see the NCC requirements page.

What can I call myself when I am certified?

Counselors who complete the certification process through NBCC are called National Certified Counselors. The designation is “NCC". National Certified Counselors may use the NCC certification mark on business cards and all professional materials. NCCs also receive a certificate suitable for framing. Learn more about the appropriate usage of your certification mark.

Does my NCC certification mean that I don’t have to get a state license?

No, counselors who hold the NCC and want to practice counseling in their state must still comply with all state laws regulating the practice of counseling. This usually means that they must obtain a state license in order to practice counseling.

If I get my NCC certification, does that mean that my state will automatically license me?

No, although some states have an abbreviated licensure process for counselors who are nationally certified with NBCC, you still have to apply. If your state utilizes the same examination that you took to get your NCC, you may not have to pass another examination in order to be licensed. To find out if your state offers an abbreviated application process for NCCs, contact your state counselor licensure board.

Examination Scores

When will I get my scores?

The scoring process can take up to eight weeks to complete depending on the version of the exam you have taken. You will be notified via email when your official pass/fail status is available in your NBCC Credentialing Gateway account.

What if I failed the exam?

You are allowed to test a total of three times in a two-year period before your application closes. If you did not pass, you will receive email instructions on how to register for the next examination. If this was your third failed attempt, your application will close. To reapply, you will need to contact our office directly at certification@nbcc.org.

I passed the NCE, and my account shows that all of my documents have been approved. What is my status?

You will be receiving notification of your status via email shortly. You are welcome to contact us at certification@nbcc.org to clarify your certification status.

How can I make sure my state licensure board receives my examination score?

Examination scores are not automatically sent to state boards or any third party. To order an official copy of your scores for state licensure or a third-party agency, log in to your NBCC Credentialing Gateway account and select “Score Verification Request” under “NCC Options.” If you are unsure if you have any missing documents, you can log in or email certification@nbcc.org. All past-due fees must be paid before score verification can be sent.

Does the official sealed transcript have to come directly from the university or can I send it?

You can send your transcript as long as it is in an official sealed envelope from your school. If you receive your transcript from your school, do not open it before sending it to us. You can also have your transcript sent directly to certification@nbcc.org from a secure electronic transmission service.

I graduated in January, but I won’t have my transcript with a conferred degree date until May. Can I request a letter from the registrar confirming my graduation?

No, NBCC only accepts official transcripts with a conferral date as proof of completion.

How long does it take to review my documents?

Due to the high volume of applicants, the review can take up to eight weeks. If you have your documents prior to testing, please go ahead and send them to us. Documents are reviewed in the order they are received. You can check the status of your application in Credentialing Gateway.

My documents have been received and reviewed, but not approved. Why?

There may be a problem with the document that is not approved. In this instance, a Certification Department reviewer will contact you. If you do not hear from us within two weeks, please email us at certification@nbcc.org to make sure that we have your up-to-date contact information.

Where should I send my documents?

For documents relative to the certification process, either mail them to:

Attention: Certification Department
3 Terrace Way
Greensboro, NC 27403-3660

Or email them to certification@nbcc.org. For required documentation for special exam accommodations, e-mail them to accommodations@cce-global.org. For documents required by the Ethics Department, please follow the process here.

I think my program is CACREP accredited or has become CACREP accredited since I applied for the NCC, but I am not sure. What should I do?
You can verify your program and track with the directory on CACREP’s website. If your program and track are listed as CACREP-accredited at the time your master’s degree was conferred or within the 18-month grace period, please contact our certification department for assistance.

NBCC Credentialing Gateway

When will I receive my certification?

Your certification will be granted once all components of your application are complete and approved. At that time, your certification will be visible in the NBCC Credentialing Gateway and on the Counselor Verify feature of our website. A printed certificate will be mailed to you within 90 days of your initial certification.

How long does the application process take?

The review process for new applications takes between 6 and 8 weeks. The review process for additional documents requested as part of the application is generally between 1 and 4 weeks. Periods of high volume may extend this timeframe slightly.

What is the status of my application?

The status of your application will be updated in your NBCC Credentialing Gateway as elements of your review are completed. You can log in to your account to check the current status of your application.

The system does not recognize my email address. How do I create my account?

Call us at 336-547-0607 or email nbcc@nbcc.org to obtain a registration code.

Why does my application status say not complete?

The requirements listed on your application in the NBCC Credentialing Gateway will update as submitted documents are reviewed. Once review is complete, the status will either show that your document is approved or will explain any additional actions you need to take.

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