CCSP logoCertified 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.

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First, read the FAQ's below and the "CCSP Study Guide."

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What is the Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP) credential?
The credential is intended for providers offering career services in an array of roles and settings, such as consultants, coaches, advisors, workforce practitioners, facilitators, trainers, recruiters, and resume writers.

This multi-purpose credential includes demonstration of competence in the essential skills needed to provide career services in any setting. It is appropriate to all levels and all settings. It is aligned with the current 12 competencies addressed by NCDA’s U.S. Facilitating Career Development curriculum. Completion of this training program is required before applying. Specific levels of educational attainment and work experience are not required. 


Who is eligible for the CCSP?
Currently, those who have completed training using NCDA’s U.S. Facilitating Career Development curriculum are eligible to apply.


Learn more about the CCSP: 

Note: NCDA’s long established U.S. Facilitating Career Development (FCD) curriculum has previously been referred to as the Career Development Facilitator (CDF) curriculum and program.


How does the CCSP differ from the GCDF?

I have a GCDF. How can I get a CCSP?

I have already completed NCDA’s Facilitating Career Development training.  Can I get a CCSP?

I have not completed NCDA’s Facilitating Career Development training.  How can I get a CCSP?

What are the steps to apply for the CCSP?

How much time do I have to finish the application?

What if I don’t pass?

How can I prepare for the assessment portion of the application?

How do I keep my credential up-to-date?

How do I find continuing education relevant to career development?

What do I need to know to use the application software?

I’m Ready!  How can I apply for the CCSP?


How does the CCSP differ from the GCDF?
The Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) is issued by the Center for Credentialing and Education, a company in the business of issuing credentials for a variety of diverse professions. The new CCSP credential is also global in nature and is issued by a commission of NCDA, so it benefits from current research, techniques, resources, and outcomes data from an array of experienced professionals across the field of career development. We believe that the CCSP will represent the most prestigious credential in this field due to its rigorous requirements.


I have a current U.S. GCDF. How can I get a CCSP?
A Fast-Track option is available for a limited time to people holding a current U.S. GCDF.  You will register for and complete the online application and payment. Before December 31, 2018, you will not be asked to complete the case studies or references.  After January 1, 2019, you will be asked to complete the full process.

Until December 31, 2018, the first question asks if you have a current U.S. GCDF credential. If you do, you fill out the application, upload a copy of your U.S. GCDF credential, complete the Attestations, and pay the Application Fee. You will then be awarded the CCSP Credential.


I have not completed NCDA’s U.S. Facilitating Career Development training.  How can I get a CCSP?
You will need to complete training under the current version of the U.S. FCD curriculum.  You will register for and complete the online application, which will then be evaluated by qualified reviewers in the career development industry who have been selected by the Commission. Your completed training credential may be used to document necessary training requirements for the CCSP. 


What are the steps to apply for the CCSP?

The complete directions and the application are online.  The application includes these steps:

  1. Contact & Demographic Information - Tell us how to reach you and give us demographic information that can be used for research purposes.  This information is not shared with the reviewer.
  1. Training Verification - You must provide evidence of completion of training by providing a copy of your Training Certificate of Completion.
  1. References -Two references are required. You provide the email addresses of your References. An email will be sent to each person with a link to a Reference Form.  After each online Reference Form is completed, it will be automatically placed in your application.
  1. Attestations -You will be asked to attest that your work is your own, that your answers are correct, and that you have read the NCDA Code of Ethics and will abide by it.  Click here to read the NCDA Code of Ethics now.
  1. Application Fee -The application fee is $100. Individuals whose applications are denied will not receive a refund.  Fees are collected by PayPal.
  1. Complete the CCSP Case Studies - After you complete and “submit” the above information, four Case Studies will appear on your application.  Once you open a case study, you must complete your response within 45 minutes.  You may not receive assistance from anyone else.  After each case study or question, you may continue to the next or stop and return later to your application.
  1. Verification by NCDA staff - NCDA staff will verify that all information has been completed and you have met the requirements. Your application will then be sent to a reviewer.
  1. Blind Review - Your responses to the case studies will be sent to a professional trained as a reviewer. The reviewer will not receive any identifying information about you.  The reviewer will score your responses. The review process typically takes three weeks to complete.
  1. Certification - Once your application has been reviewed, you will receive notice by email.  If you pass, your certificate will be included.  The certification is valid for three years. To maintain the credential, you must pay an annual maintenance fee and recertify at the end of the three-year period.


How much time do I have to finish the application?
You may complete these steps as your time allows. The online application lists each of the steps, with their status. You can log in at any time and see how much more you need to do. Some steps may take longer than others.  For example, after you provide an email address for a reference, that person needs to respond before that step is completed.  You can log into your record at any time and see which items still need to be completed. Incomplete records will be deleted after a year.


What if I don’t pass?
Those who do not pass their first attempt at the competency assessment (case studies), may retest with a new question within one month.  If the retest is also unsuccessful, the applicant must wait one year to reapply.


How can I prepare for the assessment portion of the application? 
The case studies are based on the competencies that are addressed by the NCDA curriculum. Please take time to review the CCSP Study Guide.  It can help you review and practice for the assessment portion.

  1. Helping Skills - Be proficient in the basic career facilitating process while including productive interpersonal relationships.
  2. Labor Market Information and Resources - Understand labor market and occupational information and trends. Be able to use current resources.
  3. Assessment - Comprehend and use (under supervision) both formal and informal career development assessments with emphasis on relating appropriate ones to the population served.
  4. Diverse Populations - Recognize special needs of various groups and adapt services to meet their needs.
  5. Ethical and Legal Issues - Follow the NCDA Code of Ethics and the GCDF Code of Ethics and know current legislative regulations.
  6. Career Development Models - Understand career development theories, models, and techniques as they apply to lifelong development, gender, age, and ethnic background.
  7. Employability Skills - Know job search strategies and placement techniques, especially in working with specific groups.
  8. Training Clients and Peers - Prepare and develop materials for training programs and presentations.
  9. Program Management/Implementation - Understand career development programs and their implementation, and work as a liaison in collaborative relationships.
  10. Promotion and Public Relations - Market and promote career development programs with staff and supervisors. 
  11. Technology  - Comprehend and use career development computer applications.
  12. Consultation - Accept suggestions for performance improvement from consultants or supervisors.

In the application process, demonstration of the competencies will be gathered in these ways: 

  1. Your instructor and reference (through a checklist) will be asked if you have achieved competency in the 12 competencies above.
  2. You will also respond to a scenario (a description of a situation) for each of these competencies: helping skills, theory, assessment, and job search. You will also identify a setting (K-12 education, higher education, private practice, workforce or business) in which your scenario will be based.

For each scenario, you will have a brief description of a situation and client (the scenario).  You will be asked to write 2-5 paragraphs responding to a focused question based on that scenario. 

In preparation for the assessment portion of your application, you may wish to review the competencies.  You may also want to practice using some of the exercises with case studies that you find in your manual. And take a look at the CCSP Study Guide!


How do I keep my credential up-to-date?
Once awarded a credential, the certificant must pay an annual fee of $40.00. This certification will be in effect for a three (3) year period. The certificant must complete thirty (30) continuing education contact hours in career development by the end of this 3-year period (essentially 10 hours per year).  During this 3-year period, your online record will be available to you, so that you can log your continuing education activity.  At the end of this period, you will be notified that it is time to renew and have an opportunity to add any continuing education hours you may need.  Recertification will be automatic if fees are paid annually and sufficient hours have been earned.


How do I find continuing education relevant to career development?
The Commission has established a vetting process to recommend learning and training activities specific to career development (counseling, coaching, consulting, workforce development, recruiting, resume writing, personal branding, interviewing, etc.). This information is detailed in the Credentialing Commission's 2018 Continuing Education Manual.


What do I need to know to use the application software?
Here are a few tips to help you through the online credential application process:

  1. The first step is to create a record for yourself. Go to and click “Sign Up” under “Need an Account?”
  2. The page you reach is called the Home page. Complete the Contact & Demographic Info step.
  3. Then choose a credential. Click the green button called “View Credentials” and select one.
  4. Back on the Home page, click on the Application ID (in blue) to see the tasks needed for the application.
  5. You will need to upload some files. In this software, after you upload a file, you will see a picture of the file you uploaded.  On that page, choose “Back.”
  6. The process of applying for a credential has 2 major parts: complete the Application, then complete the Case Studies. You cannot see the second part until the Application has been completed and submitted.  After submitting the Application, click again on the Application ID and you will see the Case Studies. 


I’m ready!  How can I apply for the CCSP?
Gather these materials which you will need for your application:

  1. An electronic copy of your Completion of Training Certificate provided by your U.S. NCDA Instructor
  2. The email addresses for your instructor and colleague or supervisor to use as references. You will send them an email through the software system; however, we suggest that you contact them personally asking them to look for an email request from the application software.
  3. Fast Track Option 1 (eligibility ends 12/31/18): A copy of your U.S. GCDF certificate (you must be a current U.S. GCDF to qualify for Fast Track).
  4. Fast Track Option 2: If you are a U.S. NCDA Instructor or U.S. NCDA Master Trainer, a copy of your training certificate.


Apply Now!

Before beginning your application, we highly recommend that you review the new "CCSP Study Guide."

Please note: when applying, you will be leaving the NCDA website and will be directed to FluidReview to create a new account within the FluidReview system. Your NCDA login will not work with the credentialing application system. 



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