How to Apply

Computer UseWhen applying, you will first fill out a form on the NCDA website and submit your payment. Then you will be directed to the online application. You will need to:

  1. Read the full description, all FAQs and the Study Guide (if available) before applying for the credential of your choice.

  2. Create a new account with the credentialing system - do not use your NCDA login.

Please watch your email for instructions/confirmation. Questions regarding applying, the process of receiving case studies, or status of the application may be directed to  The NCDA headquarters office is closed on Fridays.



Three costs are involved in being credentialed (and one optional cost):


1. Application fees:

  • $100.00 for the Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP)

  • $175.00 for all other credentials

    (application fees are non-refundable)

2. Maintenance fee:

After receiving a credential, holders must pay maintenance fees to maintain their credential.  The first year, after the credential is achieved, is free.  Pricing for the second, and third, years are set annually by the Credentialing Commission. For FY 22-23, the fee is $40 annually OR $50 for a two-year period which will cover maintenance through the recertification date.  At the end of the third year, the credential holder must be recertified and provide evidence of 30 hours of continuing education. A late fee of $35.00 will be charged for not maintaining a credential in a timely manner. Recertification will be automatic if maintenance fees are paid and sufficient clock hours have been earned.

3. Continuing Education requirements:

Credential holders are required to obtain 30 contact hours of qualified continuing education within three years after receiving the credential. These are available in a variety of ways and costs. Please view the Credentialing Commission's 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 are set annually by the Credentialing Commission. 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.


How Does this Compare to Other Prices?

Career Credential Pricing - How do we stack up

For more information, view the Credentialing Comparison Chart