Introduction to Credentialing
NCDA offers diverse, high quality competency-based credentials that effectively uphold NCDA's standards and ethics.
What is a credential? A credential represents a formal validation of an individual's qualifications and professional competency in a specific industry.
What is the value of a credential? An industry certification ensures that you are proficient in a field, while allowing you to enhance your professional brand. By promoting your credential to organizations, your peers and the public at large, you are able to present your base of knowledge, skills and experience to those you serve (students and clients).
The Credentialing Commission has declared the following benefits:
Supports your professional brand and profile in the field of career development
- Formal validation of your professional background and qualifications
- Highlights your strengths and expertise as a practitioner, educator and/or supervisor
- Portable, national competency-based credential, that reaches beyond a certificate of training
- Provides credibility and transparency for heightened consumer confidence
- Built upon rigorous quality standards, scope of practice and ethical guidelines
- Supports core standards of practice for practitioners and consumers
- NCDA offers support for credentials via research, advocacy and continuing education.
- NEW! Credential Holder Continuing Education Log
- The Credentialing Commission released the 2018 Continuing Education Manual (updated 11/29/18)
- NEW! Continuing Education Providers may now apply to be listed on this website -see details in the CE Providers Application
- YouTube channel: Credential Guru
Commitment ~ Competency ~ Certification
What credentials are available?
Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP) - for individuals from an array of backgrounds, who deliver services and demonstrate core competency in the field of career services. Completion of the Facilitating Career Development training program is required before applying.
Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS) – recognizes the contributions of non-counselors who have mastered a variety of roles within the field of career services.
Certified Career Counselor (CCC) – the new standard of professional excellence for individuals trained as counselors, who specialize in the delivery of career counseling services.
Certified Clinical Supervisor of Career Counseling (CCSCC) – recognizes the contributions of individuals who serve as clinical supervisors to career counselors and other practitioners who provide career services.
Certified Career Counselor Educator (CCCE) – recognizes the contributions of individuals whose primary focus is on the training of new counselors who will specialize in the field of career counseling.
Certified School Career Development Advisor (CSCDA) - (coming soon) - for providers who work with other staff in the K-12 sector to coordinate the design, implementation, and monitoring of school and community based efforts to improve the chances of students entering the job market with skills, knowledge, and credentials to be competitive.
Which credential should I apply for?
Factors to Consider in Choosing a Credential:
Job titles can be arbitrary at times, so ask yourself, “What role do I play in the field of career services?”
If you are working on enhancing your involvement in the career field – what credential “ties in” with your background (experience, education and training), and therefore demonstrates to others your level of proficiency in career development?
Have you looked at the in-depth FAQs page for each of the five certifications? Start there to address your initial questions such as Who is this credential for? Which career counseling competencies are necessary? What educational requirements are needed in order to apply?
There is also a general FAQs page that will guide you through core questions on the process of applying for and pursuing a credential.
- The Credentialing Mindmap is an illustration of the core categories and multiple facets to think through when considering a professional credential.
Read more in the NCDA web magazine article, "Choosing a Credential – Factors, Roles and Answers"
How much does it cost?
Three costs are involved in being credentialed (and one optional cost):
$100.00 for the Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP)
$145.00 for all other credentials
Annual Maintenance Fee:
There is a $40.00 annual maintenance fee at the end of the first, second, and third years. Then the credential holder must be recertified. The annual maintenance fee provides ongoing access for the online logging of continuing education clock hours. A late fee of $35.00 will be charged for not maintaining a credential in a timely manner. Recertification will be automatic if fees are paid annually and sufficient clock hours have been earned.
Credential holders are required to obtain qualified continuing education. These are available in a variety of ways and costs. Please view the Credentialing Commission's 2018 Continuing Education Manual.
Optional Fee - for NCDA members only:
If you have received a NCDA Credential through the NCDA Credentialing Commission, you are eligible to market your services on the NCDA "Need Career Help" section of the website. This is optional and costs $35/annually. Your name, email and website will be listed in our online directory along with your credential title. Website visitors may search and then contact you to get career help. Sign up when you receive your welcome email or maintenance notice.
What else do I need to know?
Regarding the Fast Track option(s):
1. If you are an NCDA FCD Instructor on the Registry or you hold a current U.S. GCDF credential, you have until 12/31/18 to take advantage of the FAST TRACK option for the Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP) credential, which allows you to complete the administrative portion of the application and bypass the 4 scenarios requiring a short essay response.
2. If you earned and have maintained the National Certified Career Counselor-NCCC credential through NBCC (a certification retired in the late 1990s by the NBCC) you are eligible (until 12/31/18) for the FAST TRACK option for the Certified Career Counselor (CCC) credential, which allows you to complete the administrative portion of the application and bypass the 4 scenarios requiring a short essay response.
FAQs are listed for each credential. General FAQ's are linked here and on the left sidebar of each page. Click Here to ask a different question about credentialing.
More information is available in this Credentialing Commission Webinar and the Credentialing Commission's 2018 Continuing Education Manual. To record your CE, use the Credential Holder Continuing Education Log.
Also, check out the NEW YouTube channel: Credential Guru!
Would you like to let others know that you provide help to those with career needs? Credential holders are eligible for an exclusive web listing on the NCDA website! This is an excellent way to market your services to those who visit www.ncda.org looking for career help. The web listing is $35 annually and can be paid when you receive your credential welcome email.
The Credentialing Commission has declared the following benefits for credential holders:
Supports your professional brand and profile in the field of career development
Formal validation of your professional background and qualifications
Highlights your strengths and expertise as a practitioner, educator and/or supervisor
Portable, national competency-based credential, that reaches beyond a certificate of training
Provides credibility and transparency for heightened consumer confidence
Built upon rigorous quality standards, scope of practice and ethical guidelines
Supports core standards of practice for practitioners and consumers
NCDA offers support for credentials via research, advocacy and continuing education.
How do I apply?
When applying, you will be leaving the NCDA website and will be directed to FluidReview. You will need to:
Read all FAQs and the Study Guide (if available) before applying
Watch this short video on setting up your FluidReview account
Hold a post-secondary or advanced degree from the U.S. only. We will be accepting international degrees in the near future.
Create a new account with FluidReview - do not use your NCDA login.
Click here to apply for an NCDA Credential.
What Do I Need to Know About Continuing Education?
Are you a CE Provider? Would you like to be listed on our website? Please fill out an CE Providers Application and submit the fee to be listed directly on this website. The list is provided by NCDA Credentialing Commission as an additional service to its credential holders and is not meant as an endorsement of the courses or services these organizations provide.
Who Has Achieved a Credential? What Milestones Have Been Achieved?
Since the inception of the credentialing program in August 2017, almost 700 people have obtained a credential from NCDA (as of September 30, 2018). Congratulations to all those on this current List of Credential Holders!
The Credentialing Commission (CC) has reached the following Milestones in the first year:
1. Study Guides launched for the practitioner based credentials (CCSP, CCC, CMCS).
2. Second iteration of Credentialing Commission and credential-specific FAQs.
3. Initial 5 credentials (less CSCDA) accepted by and listed on national CareerOnestop Credential Finder database.
4. The Certified School Career Development Advisor (CSCDA) was approved by the NCDA Board and added to the offerings, with initial pilot groups earning their credential summer 2018.
5. NCDA (and in turn the CC) participates in the NATIONAL COALITION FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT to contribute to the development of the SCDA training program and the launch (with pilot programs in SD & SC) of the new CSCDA credential.
6. South Carolina adapted its language surrounding qualifications to apply for a state funded Career Specialist job opening, to include earning the CCSP credential (through NCDA CC) as a qualification.
7. Continuing Education manual published.
8. First round of quality assessment measures initiated with survey of trained reviewers.
What About International Applicants?
INTERNATIONAL APPLICANT CREDENTIAL APPLICATION PROCESS
NCDA credentials will be available to international applicants with degrees from non US accredited institutions beginning July 15, 2018.
Verification of Educational Degree
Most NCDA Credentials require individuals to verify their educational degrees. For credentials requiring transcript evaluation, applicants will upload the transcript evaluation as a part of the application process for an NCDA Credential. Here are the steps to do so:
Individuals with degrees or coursework from post-secondary institutions that are not accredited by a US Regional or National Institutional Accrediting Agency as recognized by the US Department of Education will need to complete the transcript evaluation process described below.
1. Determine if the school is accredited:
This link describes US post-secondary accreditation: https://www.ed.gov/accreditation?src=accred. At this link, you can also search for a school to determine if it is accredited.
2. If not accredited, contact a transcript evaluation service:
If you earned your degree(s) from an institution without US accreditation, you will need to have the degree(s) evaluated by an international transcript evaluation service and submit the results to NCDA as a part of your application. NCDA accepts transcription evaluation service from Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. International Education Consultants and Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. https://www.ece.org/ECE
Depending on the credential you are applying for, you will need the following type of evaluation for your application:
A. For the Certified Career Counselor, Certified Clinical Supervisor of Career Counselors, and Certified Career Counselor Educator, you will need to submit the University and Post-Secondary Course-by-Course evaluation. Below is what is provided in this evaluation:
This evaluation provides the same information as the document-by-document evaluation, but also gives course, grade, and credit equivalents in U.S. terms for university level study in other countries. This type of evaluation is usually required for transfer into a U.S. college or university. It is required for CPA examination, teacher certification, licensing or membership in professional associations (Engineering and Nursing require a different kind of evaluation.) Only study leading to a degree is included in evaluations. Our evaluations do not include non-credit bearing and continuing education study.
B. For the Certified Master of Career Services and Certified School Career Development Advisor, you will need to submit the Post-secondary/University Document-by Document evaluation. Below is what is provided in this evaluation:
This evaluation names all post-secondary or university diplomas, degrees and gives U.S. equivalencies for each. This report may be appropriate for graduate admission (in addition, the grade point average service is also required by many U.S. colleges and universities), for immigration, employment, among others. Only study leading to a degree is included in evaluations. Our evaluations do not include non-credit bearing and continuing education study.
C. The Certified Career Services Provider does not require verification of a degree. To qualify for this credential, you must complete the US NCDA Facilitating Career Development course provided by a US NCDA Facilitating Career Development Instructor.
Non-native Speakers of English
Non-native speakers of English may request an accommodation of a longer time period to complete the assessment portion in their credential application. All responses in the application must be in English.
Contact Commission Chair Dr. Constance J. Pritchard (email@example.com) with questions or to discuss accommodations.