The NBCC Creed

Frequently Asked Questions | Students

Student Questions

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 are the advantages of the NCC application options for participating universities?.........

NCC students applicants have several advantages:

  • A head start on the NCC credentialing process;
  • Lower NCC application fee;
  • Access to reduced rates on student liability insurance;
  • Convenient on-campus testing site; and

Beyond the benefits to students, counselor preparation programs are advantaged by the ability to collect aggregate score information on students’ examination performance and compare it with national statistics.

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 hold national certification with NBCC, you still have to apply. If your state uses 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.

After Exam Information

When will I get my scores?

The scoring process is completed approximately eight weeks after the exam testing window ends. You will be notified via email when your official scores are available in your 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 specific email instructions on how to register for the next examination. If this was your third failed attempt, your application will close and you will receive email instructions on how to reapply for certification. If you have any questions, please email

I passed the exam, and my account shows that I need to submit additional documents. Why?

Because the National Certified Counselor (NCC) certification and the National Counselor Examination (NCE) are designed for counselors who hold a master's degree, we are unable to proceed with the certification process or release your scores to a third party until an official sealed transcript showing your degree conferral date is provided. Please refer to the NBCC Test Score Release Policy for more information. Please submit an official sealed transcript from your university that shows your master's degree has been conferred and/or a Counselor Supervisor Endorsement Form (for applicants who applied before May 2011). This can be mailed directly from the university or from you (as long as it is in a sealed, signed envelope) to:
ATTN: Certification
3 Terrace Way
Greensboro, NC 27403

It can also be emailed by a secure, electronic transmission service to

My counseling program is not accredited by CACREP. Do I have different requirements for the NCC?

Yes, applicants who graduated from an institutionally accredited master’s program (that is not accredited by CACREP) are required to complete one additional step in the certification process. After you pass the NCE and graduate, you have three years to complete and submit documentation of 3,000 hours of counseling work experience and 100 hours of direct counseling supervision completed over a minimum of 24 months. This will be the final step in completing your certification. You can submit your documentation once NBCC has reviewed and verified an official transcript by logging into your Credentialing Gateway account, clicking on My Open applications, and then on Submit for Review.

I passed the exam, 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 to clarify your certification status.

How do I get my scores sent to my state licensure board or a third-party agency?

Your NCE or NCMHCE scores will not automatically be sent to your state board if you took the exam as a part of your NCC application. To order an official copy of your scores for state licensure or a third-party agency. You can login to your Credentialing Gateway account to request a score verification from the online store. Please refer to the NBCC Test Score Release Policy for more information.

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 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 sealed transcripts with a conferral date as proof of degree 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 to make sure that we have your up-to-date contact information.

I sent you a transcript with my application. Do I have to send it again?

You may. We need an official sealed transcript showing the date your master’s degree was conferred. If you had already graduated when you applied and submitted an official sealed transcript showing your conferral date, you do not need to resubmit it.

I thought I was just taking a test; I’m not sure I want to be certified.

The application you submitted to NBCC was for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) certification. You were allowed to test as part of applying for this national certification. You must submit your final transcript and complete the certification application requirements in order to have access to your exam scores.

Many experienced counselors hold national certification in addition to state licensure. Once you are certified, you can change your status at any time by contacting the Recertification Department at

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