The Spirited School Counselor

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NBCC vs NBPTS for School Counselors


I recently asked on the Elementary School Counselor Exchange facebook group about the different certifications school counselors may work towards. I thought the National Board Certified Counselor (NBCC) was the only certification available; however, I discovered that the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) also offers a school counseling certificate. In response to my question Dr. Russ Sabella posted a great side by side comparison that ASCA created. You can see the ASCA Comparison Chart here or below on scribd. NBCC has created a list of benefits of holding their certification.


From what I understand – please correct me, if I am wrong – NBCC offers an exam for counselors to earn their NBCC credentials. NBPTS is a much more in-depth process that aligns with the ASCA model and helps school counselors prepare for the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) application. The NBPTS requires 3 years of licensed experience and a portfolio.

Several people noted that it is important to check with your state as well as your school district to see if there are monetary benefits to earning the two certifications.

Another things that was mentioned was that NBCC used to offer a specialized certification for school counselors. Right now that certification application is unavailable and under review.

Have you earned either certification? Any advice for those of us who are considering it?

Thanks for stopping by!