The National Board for Certified Counselors is an independent, not-for-profit credentialing body for counselors. It was incorporated in 1982 with the purpose of establishing and then monitoring a national certification system, to identify and recognize counselors who have obtained the national certification, and to maintain a register of those who have achieved this credential.
The NCE program recognizes counselors who have achieved established standards in their training, experience, and performance on the National Counselor Examination for licensure and certification. Currently, NBCC has more than 42,000 certified counselors, who live and work in the United States and in over 50 countries. The NBCC’s examinations are used by more than 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam to credential counselors on a state level.
The NBCC works closely with the American Counseling Association (ACA) with the common goal of enhancing the professionalism of counseling. However, the ACA focuses on membership association activities such as professional development, conferences, government relations, and publications, while the NBCC focuses on promoting quality professional counseling through certification. NBCC’s premier credential is the National Certified Counselor (NCC). In addition, NBCC offers certification in several specialty areas: school counseling, clinical mental health counseling, and addictions counseling.
The NCC is typically considered a prerequisite to the specialty credentials.