Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the below FAQs for answers to the most common questions. If you have a question that is not answered here or need further clarification, please contact our office and we will assist you.

What is certification?

Certification is a formal process which validates, based on predetermined standards, an individual's qualifications and knowledge to practice in a defined area. Continue reading...

What is a Forensic Counselor?

A Forensic Counselor is a professional who works with criminal offenders in addictions, criminal justice, mental health and corrections. Continue reading...

Where can I find information on certifications offered through the NAFC?

A number of certifications and categories of membership are offered. All certifications require meeting the stated requirements and passing of a content valid and reliable written examination. Continue reading...

For which certifications am I qualified?

Information on certification requirements for Addictions Specialities may be found here.

Information on certification requirements for Forensic Specialities may be found here.

A complete list of requirements may be found on page eleven of the application.

What is the difference between non-clinical level certification and clinical level certification?

Non-clinical level certification was developed for professionals holding less than a Masters degree. Clinical level certification was developed for those professionals holding a Masters degree or higher.

A complete list of requirements for each may be found on page eleven of the application.

Do I need to hold state licensure in my profession to obtain NAFC certification?

Yes, unless you are exempt from licensure.

What does it mean to be exempt from licensure?

Licensure exempt means that the individual is not required to be licensed in their profession in order to practice within their profession. Examples of licensure exempt include being exempt through legislation, government employees who are not required to hold licensure, as well as those professions where no licensure exists, i.e., probation, parole, etc.

How can I obtain clinical level certification?

If you meet the requirements for clinical level certification through the NAFC, you may apply for clinical level certification. A professional holding NAFC non-clinical level certification may request clinical level certification upon providing verifiable proof of meeting all clinical level requirements.

All, including non-clinical members, must pass the NAFC clinical level certification examination. Continue reading...

What if I do not fully meet the requirements for certification through the NAFC?

The NAFC offers an "In-Service" designation for those professionals who not fully meet the NAFC certification requirements. The "In-Service" designation is not certification.

Upon such time when the professional provides verifiable proof of meeting all certification requirements, they may request to sit for the certification examination.

How do I renew my certification?

Renewal of NAFC Membership may be done by completing and returning the NAFC Membership Renewal Form. If you do not have a renewal form, please contact our office and we will assist you in renewing your NAFC Membership.

Information on renewing your NAFC Membership may be found here.

My NAFC Membership is expired. Can I reinstate it?

NAFC Memberships may be reinstated if they are expired less than one (1) year and meet all renewal requirements. Additional information may be required in order to reinstate any NAFC Membership. All approved reinstatements are at the discretion of the Certification Committee.

I currently hold state licensure in my profession. Do I still have to sit for the NAFC certification examination?

Yes. All professionals requesting NAFC certification must sit for the certification examination. A minimum score of seventy-percent (70%) is considered as successful completion of the certification examination.

I did not pass the certification examination. May I take the examination again?

Yes. You may re-exam one (1) time within six (6) months of the first examination. Additional cost is limited to the cost of taking the proctored examination. The NAFC does not charge additional monies above what is charged by the examination service.

Please contact our office if you need to sit for the examination again.

How can I verify an individual's certification status through the NAFC?

Verification of a professional's Membership status through the NAFC may be requested by any one for any reason. Verification may be done by e-mail or phone.

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About NAFC


The NAFC was the first to establish post graduate standards, guidelines, and professional responsibility to identify a competent workforce in the mental health, criminal justice, addictions and corrections professions in the very specialized areas of forensic counseling and criminal justice counseling and supervision.


NAFC has consistently been a leader in promoting safe and effective treatment and supervision of offenders in both civil and criminal cases, improving communication between the clinician and criminal justice system, and enhanced protection of the public. The NAFC Mission is to Promote Competency and Training among Persons Working with Criminal Offenders.

The Certification for the Forensic Counselor and Criminal Justice Specialist

The National Association of Forensic Counselors is the first and largest independent multi-disciplinary credentialing board representing the Forensic Counselor and Criminal Justice Specialist.

Connect With NAFC

E-mail NAFC      The Forensic Professional Magazine      Annual Conference Inquiries


Karla M. Taylor

Katelynn M. Chaffee
Executive Director

Emma G. Hoffey
Member Relations

Xarai A. Courter
Member Relations

Abigail F. Campos
Member Relations

Jeanine T. Seka
Support Staff


The American Academy of Certified Forensic Counselors (AACFC) is the Certification Commission of the National Association of Forensic Counselors.