Clinical Certification Prerequisites & Application Information


NADD Membership

Applicants must be Individual Members, or receive benefits as an employee of a Member Organization.

Become a NADD Member here.

Education and Experience

Applicants may present one of the following combinations of Education and Experience: 

  • Licensure as an RN or a Master’s degree in a field providing services to individuals with IDD/MI, and at least seven years of experience delivering clinical supports for persons with IDD and co-occurring Behavioral Health disorders.
  • Licensure or Certification as a Licensed Behavior Consultant, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, (BCBA), a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA), or recognition by your State/Province as able to provide behavioral assessment and training (e.g., Behavior Analyst), and at least five years of experience delivering clinical supports for persons with IDD and co-occurring Behavioral Health disorders.
  • Licensure or Certification in at least one of the areas of practice areas listed below (see ***), and at least five years of experience delivering clinical supports for persons with IDD and co-occurring Behavioral Health disorders.
  • Primary teaching, training, or clinical supervision responsibilities in a post-secondary education or clinical supervision related to training toward the disciplines listed above, with five years of directly related experience. (Please provide an explanation of relevant activities and experience.) 

Final determination of clinical equivalence and experience relevance resides with the NADD  Certification Program.

*** Psychologist, Physician, Medical Doctors (M.D.), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) Bachelor of Medicine /Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Mental Health Counselor, Marriage & Family Counselor, Addictions Counselor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker; Physician’s Assistant, Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioner; Occupational Therapists (OT), Physical Therapist (PT), or other similar USA or Canadian equivalent clinical licensure or credentialing

Demonstrated Expertise

In addition to documenting the required Education and Experience, the applicant must be able to thoroughly explain and demonstrate advanced expertise in at least one competency area, and a general knowledge in the remaining areas. Click below for more information on competency areas.

Ethical Behavior

The applicant’s signed Affirmation of Principles and Affirmation of Ethical Behavior is required and shall denote the candidate’s commitment to ethical behavior.

Any disciplinary events, lawsuits past or pending, suspension of privileges from care facilities or professional organizations, or any actions by a state/province or other licensing body related to complaints or actions against an individual must be reported and reviewed by the committee. NADD has established a process for receiving complaints regarding ethical behavior of people who have received this certification. Any intentional misrepresentations or falsehoods submitted by an applicant would be sufficient to deny certification as an unethical act.

Application Information

NADD accepts applications to our Clinical Certification Program online, where the requirements listed below can be submitted by accessing our Certification Application and our Recertification Application. Please ensure you submit all required documents together with your application.

Application Requirements:

  • NADD Membership
  • Completed Application Form
  • Certification Fee
    • $250 for employees of a NADD-Accredited Organization, Payable here
    • $375 for employees of an organization that is not NADD-Accredited, Payable here
  • Resume or CV
  • Three Letters of Reference
  • Completed Confirmation of Experience Form
  • Signed Affirmation of Principles
  • Signed Affirmation of Ethical Behavior

When applications are received they are reviewed for completion and the applicant will be informed of any missing or incomplete items requiring attention. Once all items have been received, the application will be reviewed to determine whether the applicant meets the prerequisites for certification.

Work Sample & Interview

Work Sample

Once the application has been reviewed and the applicant has been found to meet the prerequisites, the applicant will receive instructions to submit a work sample describing the assessment, diagnoses and treatment of a single person who has a dual diagnosis.

Review of the work sample is based on the guidelines in the materials linked below.  The applicant should review these guidelines to ensure that the submitted content includes consideration of each of the five targeted competency areas.

For further details, consult the Work Sample Guidelines, and Appendix B (page 61) of the Program Manual.

NADD will assign two examiners to review to work sample to determine whether the candidate demonstrates competency in the five areas. If the work sample is found to be acceptable, the interview will be scheduled. The examiners may require submission of additional information, including re-submission of the work sample, before they approve scheduling of the interview.


The final component of the certification process is an interview, which may occur in person or by telephone or video conference. 

The applicant shall be presented with a case vignette approximately 24-48 hours before the interview, about which he or she shall be asked to verbally offer their thoughts and reflections (i.e. provide a case formulation and treatment plan).  The applicant must bring a copy of the work sample submitted in support of the application for Certification and a copy of the vignette provided by NADD for the interview to the interview. 

The same two examiners who reviewed the work sample will participate in the interview. The interview shall also include resolution of any questions raised during other parts of the application process. 

Scoring and Evaluation

For both the work sample and interview, the applicant’s competence in each of the five competency areas will be evaluated using the following scale:

0 = No evidence of competence in this area of Best Practice

1 = Insufficient evidence of competence in this area of Best Practice

2 = Evidence of baseline competence in this area of Best Practice

3 = Evidence of a high level of competence in this area of Best Practice

Candidates are required to demonstrate at least a baseline level of knowledge (a score of at least 2) in all competency areas.  In the event that the two examiners cannot agree upon whether the candidate achieved a passing score (2-3) or a failing score (0-1), the examiner from the same discipline as the candidate shall make the decision.

The candidate will receive a copy of his or her score sheets, which will provide feedback regarding perceived areas of competence.