Exams for Grandparenting
(See the end of this page for information on the "gap" exams for LMFTs and LCSWs)
A passing score is required on three examinations for grandparenting:
- National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Examination (CRCE)
- National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE)
- A California LPCC Law and Ethics examination
The BBS will supply the registration forms for the NCE, the NCMHCE and the LPCC Law & Ethics Exam when they respond to the application. The NBCC will administer the NCE and the NCMHCE and the BBS will administer the LPCC Law and Ethics exam. Applicants using the CRCE must contact the CRCC. Applicants will have 12 months from the date of the BBS letter to pass all required exams, as well as any coursework and supervised hours.
The National Counselor Examination (NCE) and
The National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE)
Either or both of these exams are required for counselor licensure in the other 49 states. Counselors who have already passed these exams do not need to re-take them. Counselors who have already passed these exams can include an official score verification certificate in their grandparenting application. NBCC will send NCE and NCMHCE score verification to the BBS for those who have not already taken the exams.
The cost will be $195 for the NCE or for the NCMHCE
Once applicants receive an exam registration form from the BBS, they will submit it to the NBCC. Allow four weeks for processing. NBCC's exams are usually administered during the first two weeks of each month at 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Computer administration of the exams will take place at the following sites in California.
The exams can also be taken in 150 assessment centers across the United States. Counselors who need to test outside the United Sates should call NBCC at 336-547-0607 to make arrangements.
- Long Beach
- Los Angeles (Glendale)
- Los Angeles (Stanton)
- Palm Springs
- San Diego (La Mesa)
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- Santa Maria
Counselors should have completed study of the nine core content areas, required for licensure, to be successful on the national examinations. The NCE is a 200-question, multiple-choice exam, which tests knowledge of eight of the core content areas. The NCMHCE requires knowledge of the ninth area, clinical diagnosis,
treatment planning and clinical practice, including the DSM codes. The NCMHCE consists of 10 clinical mental health counseling cases and assesses clinical problem-solving ability.
Additional information and sample questions from both exams are included in the Candidate Handbook.
Click here for the Candidate Handbook for the NCE and the NCMHCE
The Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Examination (CRCE)
The CRCE will be accepted for one of the exams required for grandparenting. The second exam is the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam (NCMHCE) described above. Counselors who have already passed the CRCE do not need to re-take it. Counselors can include an official score verification certificate in their grandparenting application. Counselors who have not passed the CRCE will be able to take it in time for grandparenting. Click below to see the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification’s (CRCC’s) schedule for the administration of the CRCE.
The California LPCC Law and Ethics (jurisprudence) Exam will be administered by the BBS. Applicants will receive information about this exam from the BBS upon approval of their application. A Candidate Handbook http://www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/publications/lpcc_gple_hndbk_1211.pdf is available from the BBS. Instruction in California law and ethics (course description), which is required for licensure and is described in Additional Coursework, would be good preparation for this exam, as well as the LPCC law, particularly Scope of Practice Section 4999.20, Practice Requirements Section 4999.70 and Enforcement, Section 4999.82 and the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (2005) http://counseling.org/Resources/aca-code-of-ethics.pdf
LMFTs and LCSWs, who want to grandparent into the LPCC, are required to take a "gap" exam on the differences between the professions. They do not need to take the LPCC exams described above. Upon approval of the application, the BBS will administer the "gap" exam. The Candidate Handbook http://www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/publications/lpcc_gap_hndbk_1211.pdf is now available from the BBS.
Out-of-State applicants may be able to take the above exams outside California. See the above Candidate Handbooks for testing sites.
Please also see FAQ: Questions about Examinations for Grandparenting on this website for further information.