FAQ: Questions About Examinations for Grandparenting

The deadline for grandparenting applications was December 31, 2011.

When can counselors take examinations for grandparenting?

National Exams: Counselors who have not already passed the National Counselor Exam and the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam, required for grandparenting, will receive the registration form for these exams after the Board has reviewed the licensure eligibility application.  Applicants will then have 12 months to complete any and all deficiencies, including exams they have not already passed.  For more information on the exams, view Examinations for Grandparenting

The NBCC will automatically submit scores for the NCMHCE to the Board.  It will not automatically submit scores for the NCE or the CRCE, so applicants should submit an official score verification certificate with their application or during the 12-month period for completing deficiencies.

Rehabilitation Counselors, who will use the CRCE instead of the NCE for grandparenting, should contact the CRCC about the exam and submit the official score verification certificate to the BBS. 

California Law & Ethics Exam:  A California Law and Ethics Exam is a necessary addition to the national exams.  The Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) has developed this exam and applicants will receive information about taking this exam after their application has been approved by the BBS.  The Candidate Handbook is now available:  http://www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/publications/lpcc_gple_hndbk_1211.pdf

How can counselors prepare for these exams?

View Exam Prep Providers to review study guides and workshops to prepare for the NCE and the NCMHCE.  The BBS will publish a candidate handbook for the Law & Ethics Exam this fall.

What is included in the Law & Ethics Exam?

The Law and Ethics course, which is required for licensure and is described in Additional Coursework, should be a good review for this exam, as well as the LPCC law, particularly the Scope of Practice Section 4999.20, the Practice Requirements Section, beginning with 4999.70, and the Enforcement Section beginning with 4999.82. Applicants should also be familiar with the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (2005).

Has the BBS adopted a clinical exam for future LPCCs?

After much analysis and discussion, the NCMHCE has been adopted as the licensing exam for LPCCs in California, so grandparented LPCCs will not face taking another exam in the first six years after being grandparented, as was initially required.

Will MFTs and LCSWs need to take an exam?

The BBS has determined that LMFTs and LCSWs will need to pass an exam on the differences between the practice of their professions and the practice of professional clinical counseling. These “gap” exams will be administered by the BBS and the Candidate Handbook is now available:  http://www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/publications/lpcc_gap_hndbk_1211.pdf

American Counseling Association


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