DISCLAIMER: I do not work for the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). I have recently received quite a few emails from test takers trying to distinguish between the following acronyms: NCMHCE, NCE, NCC, and CCMHC. This blog post is simply my interpretation of the information provided by NBCC. If you see anything in this post that is inaccurate, please post a comment or send me an email so I can update it accordingly.
National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE): This exam is required for licensure in some states.
National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE): This exam is required for licensure in some states.
Depending on which state you live in, you are required to earn a passing score on either the NCMHCE or the NCE in order to become licensed. Becoming licensed earns you credentials such as LPC, LCPC, LPCC, LMHC, LPCMH, LCMHC, or LPC-MH.
Just click on your state on the State Board Directory and then look at what is displayed on the right side of the page to determine which exam you need to pass to become licensed in your state: http://www.nbcc.org/directory
National Certified Counselor (NCC): A passing score on the NCE or the NCMHCE is one of the requirements for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) certification.
For more information about NCC application requirements, click here: http://www.nbcc.org/Certification/NationalCertCounselor
Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC): Many people ask me if this credential is an exam. If I understand correctly, this is not an exam – it is a certification. A passing score on the NCMHCE is required for this certification.
For more information about the CCMHC application requirements, click here: http://www.nbcc.org/Certification/CertifiedClinicalMentalHealthCounselor
One of the benefits of becoming certified is that it demonstrates a commitment to the profession and corresponding licensing bodies. Some certifications have continuing education requirements for recertification, which further illustrates ones dedication to ongoing learning as it relates to the field.
Hope this helps!