The NBCC Creed

Ethics Policies and Procedures

NBCC requires all applicants and certificants to adhere to minimum conduct standards.

In addition to publication of enforceable standards and required disclosure procedures, NBCC developed an effective and fair method for reviewing concerns related to applicants and certificants. Counselors who maintain their national certification recognize the importance of fair review processes that are managed by counseling professionals, as well as the advantage of being able to assure employers, potential clients, or uneasy family members that there is an established process available should concerns arise.

Watch: An Overview of NBCC Ethics


NBCC Code of Ethics

NBCC publishes specific and enforceable ethics policies. The NBCC Code of Ethics is also published in an online version to assist counselors and members of the public. NBCC has also developed specific guidelines regarding the provision of distance professional services.

When you are already board certified or a candidate, you are required to disclose any of the following:

  • Prior criminal felony, misdemeanor, and other criminal convictions.
  • Current and pending criminal felony, misdemeanor, and other charges, including complaints and indictments.
  • State Court matters where the candidate or certificant was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or controlled substances within ten (10) years prior to the date of their initial certification application or certification maintenance application.
  • Government agency and professional organization conduct or other complaint matters relating to the candidate/certificant, including disciplinary and complaint matters, within ten (10) years prior to the date of their initial certification application or certification maintenance application.
  • Legal matters related to the candidate’s/certificant’s business or professional activities, including civil complaints and lawsuits.

Certificant Disclosure

National Certified Counselors must submit a disclosure in writing within 60 days of becoming aware of a charge or complaint. To make a disclosure, complete the Disclosure Cover Sheet.

Download Ethics Disclosure Cover Sheet

Applicant Disclosure

Applicants for national certification are required to disclose any past or current disclosure matter at the time of application. Applicants should follow the instructions provided at the time of submission to submit required documents. Following application submission, applicants must disclose any new or amended charges relating to required disclosure matters within 60 days. Applicants who have disclosures should use the Application Disclosure Cover Sheet.

Download Ethics Disclosure Cover Sheet

Required Disclosure Documents

Additional documents are required as part of the disclosure process. Samples of required documents are available on this page.

Clients Rights and Responsibilites

A resources for you and your clients.



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