NOTE: This article is my understanding and my personal thoughts on the new CCSP certification. Although I am on the CCSP Advisory Council for NCDA, this article is not affiliated with NCDA, only my attempt to answer the many questions I have received from a variety of people.
The world of work has changed over the years, and now certifications and credentials are more important than ever. Nearly every profession out there has professional standards and with those standards are often credentials that tell the consumer you have met a minimum requirement in training. It means something to the consumer.
Career services is no different. We need to have standards for our own credibility and to improve our professional reputation in the eyes of the consumers.
The National Career Development Association (NCDA) has recently created five (5) credentials to represent that many different types of professionals who deliver career services. I will focus my thoughts here on the Certified Career Service Provider (CCSP).
How did we get here?
Over 25 years ago, NCDA recognized that there were MANY people delivering career services in a wide variety of settings, with little training. For our profession to grow and be recognized as valuable, we needed a mechanism to provide training and credentials.
NCDA developed the Facilitating Career Development (FCD) curriculum. The official title has always been the FCD textbook, but for some reason, it has been referred to as the CDF class, probably to match the original certification called the Career Development Facilitator (CDF) which later became the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF).
Note: You will see people put CDF as the credential on their LinkedIn profile. This is not correct. The certification is GCDF.
There are 12 competencies identified to be covered in the curriculum (see them here) in this 120-hour course. The 120 hours include field hours (visiting career centers, doing your own work, researching, etc..), online, reading textbook, and a minimum number of “live” class hours required. I first taught this class every Tuesday from 4 – 8 pm for months… what seemed like forever, plus some Saturdays. I vowed never to do that again! Now due to the explosion of online teaching, the minimum requirement for contact time is 24 hours, delivered remotely or face to face, the remaining hours can be completed online. I currently teach it with five live classes.
*Note: in 2001 Cathy Van Dyke and I were teaching the FCD (called CDF at the time) class and applied to CCE to convert it to a hybrid course. They didn’t know what to do with us! I believe we were the first people to be approved for extensive online training for the FCD class. I now have been teaching this course as a hybrid for 16 years!
Why was an outside organization selected for credentialing?
The FCD training program was originally created by NOICC, a federally funded program, NCDA, and Oakland University. These organizations approached the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) about credentialing. NBCC created the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE) specifically to credential completers of this new training program.
So why did NCDA decide to create their own Credentialing Commission?
NCDA is the premier career professional association in the world and like many other professional associations, are now credentialing professionals in their field. NCDA has developed five certifications that recognize the complexity of our field.
- Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP)™ — a credential for individuals from an array of backgrounds, to deliver services and demonstrate core competency in the field of career services.
- Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS)™ — a new professional credential intended to recognize the contributions of non-counselors who have mastered a variety of roles within the field of career services.
- Certified Career Counselor (CCC)™ — the new standard of professional excellence for individuals trained as counselors, who will specialize in the delivery of career counseling services
- Certified Clinical Supervisor of Career Counseling (CCSCC)™ — a new professional credential to recognize the contributions of individuals who serve as clinical supervisors to career counselors and other practitioners who provide career services
- Certified Career Counselor Educator (CCCE)™ — a new professional credential intended to recognize the contributions of individuals whose primary focus is on the training of new counselors who will specialize in the field of career counseling
**Go to this website for more information on each of these. NCDA
What is the Certified Career Service Provider (CCSP) credential?
CCSP is one of the few credentials someone can get that does not require a Master’s degree in counseling or other related field. If a person wants to improve their career skills, regardless of degrees, this is the certification to consider.
Because it is issued by a commission of NCDA, it benefits from current research, techniques, resources, and outcomes data from an array of experienced professionals across the field of career development. It is a competency based credential in that you must:
- Complete an NCDA Facilitating Career Development (FCD) curriculum (Instructors must be on the NCDA registry)
- Have your instructor and a supervisor or colleague be a reference for you
- Successfully pass an assessment that is 4 case studies based on the material you learned in the class.
- For a complete list of all the steps see this website.
For a complete listing of FAQ’s, go to this website.
I believe that in 10 years the CCSP will be the career credential for many career practitioners across the country as well as in a number of countries across the world. With the addition of four other certifications offered by NCDA now, consumers will be able to have a level of confidence when working with a credentialed career service provider.
What are the differences between GCDF and CCSP?
Below is a chart that lays out the differences between the two credentials. I encourage you to look at both credentials and decide which one is best for you.
10/5/2020 NOTE: With the updated WordPress, the original chart does not show up correctly. Use this link to see the chart .
I would like to point out the Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS)™ which is “a new professional credential intended to recognize the contributions of non-counselors who have mastered a variety of roles within the field of career services.” There are many people who have been providing career services for years and do not have a counseling degree. This is an ideal certification to consider. Learn more.
In addition, completing the FCD training will count as career specialization requirement for the Certified Career Counselor™ (CCC) — the new standard of professional excellence for individuals trained as counselors, who will specialize in the delivery of career counseling services.
There is so much more to write about these credentials and why I think having a credential is important, but I will stop here. I encourage you to explore these credentials and others that will help you improve your skills and professional credibility.
What are your thoughts on career credentials?
What questions do you have?
NOTE: See more of my blogs on professional development
Watch this Youtube interview I conducted with two career professionals who hold a number of credentials.
Jim Peacock is the Principal at Peak-Careers Consulting and writes a weekly email for career practitioners. Peak-Careers offers discussion-based online seminars for career practitioners focused on meeting continuing education needs for CCSP, GCDF and BCC certified professionals as well as workshops for career practitioners and individual career coaching.
He is the author of A Field Guide for Career Practitioners: Helping Your Clients Create Their Next Move and The Adventure of Finding Me in New Zealand. He is also the recipient of the 2020 Kenneth C. Hoyt Award from the National Career Development Association and the Mid-Atlantic Career Counseling Association’s Professional Contribution’s Award in 2020.
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