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News & Press: AMHCA News

AMHCA Praises NBCC Action on CACREP

Tuesday, November 18, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Whitney Meyerhoeffer
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For Immediate Release: November 19, 2014
Contact: Whitney Meyerhoeffer

AMHCA Praises NBCC Action on CACREP

Alexandria, VA – The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) is pleased the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) has recently announced critically important changes in its educational requirements for professional counseling certification. Effective January 1, 2022, NBCC will require a master’s degree or higher from a CACREP-accredited counseling program to be recognized for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) certification. Beginning in 2022, this policy change will require all students to graduate from a program accredited by CACREP or face ineligibility to apply for the NCC, a key professional certification indicating recognition within the profession. View the NBCC announcement.

NBCC’s action, which provides a grandfather clause for professionals who graduated before the end of 2021, ensures universities and students have sufficient time to obtain CACREP-accredited status. Since 2012, AMHCA has been at the forefront in calling for all schools of professional counseling to obtain CACREP accreditation, and the Association is highly supportive of this action by NBCC to reinforce this next step to full professional recognition. Like NBCC, AMHCA has also expressed full support for the recognition of professionals that have obtained their educational training before 2022. AMHCA plans to continue to advocate forcefully at the state and federal level for those professionals, including NCCs, who came earlier into the field and who continue to offer a wealth of training and experience to their profession.

AMHCA represents and advocates for the needs of all Clinical Mental Health Counselors (CMHCs), including members that have graduated from programs that were not CACREP-accredited. Stephen A. Giunta, Ph.D., President of the American Mental Health Counselors Association praised the NBCC action on CACREP standards and noted their policy would permanently qualify non-CACREP professionals for practice. He added that a seven year window for counseling programs to make the change to CACREP is more than sufficient time. “Too often, members of the profession encounter barriers posed by federal program standards or from the wide variation in state standards for counselor recognition. Action is necessary now to advance standardized training across states and the profession,” said Dr. Giunta. “We also believe better unified state and federal professional standards will enable the advance of licensure portability, a problem that has long stymied critical mobility within our ranks, Giunta noted. Giunta also called on other organizations representing the profession and its training programs to join AMHCA and NBCC in supporting the adoption of CACREP standards for all programs of counselor education.


The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) works to enhance the profession of mental health counseling through advocacy, education, licensure, and professional development.

AMHCA, 801 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314, 800-326-2642,