Rehabilitation Counselor Certification
Graduates are eligible to sit for certification as Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) . This certification is standard for employment in the rehabilitation field nationwide. The purpose is to ensure that the professionals engaged in rehabilitation counseling meet acceptable standards of quality in practice. The existence of acceptable standards is considered to be in the best interest of consumers of rehabilitation counseling services and the general public. Visit the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification ( CRCC) site for more information.
National Certified Counselor
National counselor certification from National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) demonstrates to the public and employers that the counselor has met the national standards set by the counseling profession. It is not a license to practice. In some states, holding a national certification can assist the counselor in obtaining a state license. National certification travels with the counselor no matter the state or country of residence. The flagship national certification offered by NBCC is the NCC (National Certified Counselor).
National Certification for Addiction Professionals
The National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCC AP), under the auspices of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, operates as an independent body for all matters involving the Association’s substance use disorders counselor certification and endorsement opportunities at the national and international level.
The following voluntary national certifications are provided by NCC AP:
- National Certified Addiction Counselor (NCAC I)
- National Certified Addiction Counselor (NCAC II)
- Master Addiction Counselor (MAC)
- Nicotine Dependence Specialist (NDS)
- National Certified Adolescent Addictions Counselor (NCAAC)
- National Peer Recovery Support Specialist (NCPRSS)
West Virginia Certification Board for Addiction & Prevention Professionals
The West Virginia Certification Board for Addiction & Prevention Professionals (WVCBAPP) is a voluntary board whose purpose is to certify the qualifications and competence of the persons who are engaged in professional addictions services, be it treatment or prevention. The WVCBAPP is a member of the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse.
Due to a uniform set of credentialing standards, certified individuals can move their certification to a number of states, countries, the armed services, and the District of Columbia. Reciprocal boards are located in over 40 states, 12 countries, the U.S. Army, Air force, Navy, and Marines. Other reciprocal boards include the Indian Health Services, and the U.S. Administration Office of the Courts. The reciprocal certifications offered by WVCBAPP are:
- Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC)
- Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC)
- Clinical Supervisor (CS)
- Prevention Specialist (PS)
- Certified Clinical Justice Professional (CCJP)
For more information, go to wvcbapp.org/faq Please note any testing for these addiction certifications are not included as part of the eligibility process for licensure in the state of West Virginia. The CRC exam and NCE are accepted; other states will have their own policies and procedures.
Professional Counselor Licensure
After your graduate education in counseling, successful completion of an examination such as the CRC or the NCE is likely the next step to becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). You then become certified in the area in which you took the examination and can apply for a temporary license so you can complete the supervised post-graduate practice hours. In WV, you apply for licensure with the WV Board of Examiners in Counseling. Every state has such a board and each can have their own distinct requirements. Review your board’s rules and regulations carefully.
In most states, during the completion of the supervised hours you are working under the supervision of a person with specific supervision credentials. In WV, this person is an Approved Licensed Professional Supervisor (ALPS). A list of approved supervisors is located at wvbec.org/supervisorinfolpcmft/currentalps.html.
Unlike certification, licensure is a legislatively established process. Typically, it grants the legal right to practice through law, while restricting this right only to persons who hold a license. It is important to note that state laws vary. In some states, state-legislated certification may protect both the title and practice of a profession. These states require licensure to render counseling services to the public. These laws typically are referred to as “practice acts or laws.” Similarly, some states grant licenses that act more like certification laws by protecting only the title granted to practitioners, but not regulating the practice of the profession. These laws are usually referred to as “title acts or laws.” Visit the American Association of State Counseling Boards (AASCB) site for more information.Please note this information is only a guide and should not substitute for advice given directly by representatives of a licensing board.