Clin Cert Prereq & App

Application Requirements

NADD Membership

NADD Membership is a requirement for certification, and all employees of organizations with a NADD Organizational Membership receive member benefits through their employer. Membership Status is documented on your application and confirmed as we process your submission.

If you are not yet a NADD Member, JOIN US!

Application Fee

Access to our easy online application is distributed to candidates after payment of the Application Fee.

Organizations with multiple staff to certify may choose to pay their application fees on a case-by-case basis as their staff elect to pursue a certification. An Organization may also contact NADD for coordinated assistance to prepay for multiple certifications and ensure their staff are enrolled and processed smoothly.

Please contact us to discuss your specific needs and how we can assist:

Regardless of the payment option you choose, please note NADD’s two tiers of certification pricing:

  • Accredited
    NADD discounts the cost of our certifications to the employees of NADD-Accredited programs; if you are unsure whether your program is NADD-Accredited, please consult our NADD-Accredited Programs Registry.

    To learn more about the process and benefits of NADD Accreditation click HERE.

  • Non-Accredited
    NADD certifications are reasonably priced regardless of your program’s Accreditation status, and they are portable: once NADD-certified, a professional retains their certification regardless of changes in employment status.

Please Note: The NADD Accreditation status of your program and your organization’s NADD Membership status are two distinct considerations.

All applicants to NADD certification programs must be NADD Members, and all employees of an organization that is a NADD Member also receive membership benefits; not all NADD Members will be employed by NADD-Accredited programs.

If you are unsure whether your program is NADD-Accredited, please consult our NADD-Accredited Programs Registry.

For more information about the benefits of becoming NADD-Accredited, CLICK HERE

Application Process, Prerequisites & Elements

Application Process

Access to our easy online application is emailed to candidates after payment of the Application Fee. NADD strives to process all applications within 5 business days, and while applications are usually processed more quickly an incomplete application may take longer.

Upon receiving an application, NADD will review it for completion and communicate directly with the applicant to complete the application if any of the required elements are missing or unclear. When an applicant has successfully met all requirements and their application fees are paid, NADD will guide them through the next steps in the process.

Once an application has been processed, the application is nontransferable, nonrefundable, and void after one year.

Application Prerequisites

All applicants must meet 3 prerequisites for acceptance into the Specialist Certification Program, which are documented as part of NADD’s online application process:

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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 Elements

When an applicant can satisfy the above prerequisites, they may submit the following items together as a complete application package:

  1. Completed Online Application Form
  2. Resume or CV
  3. Three letters of reference
  4. Completed Confirmation of Experience Form
  5. Signed Affirmation of Principles
  6. Signed Affirmation of Ethical Behavior
  7. Work Sample

The Certification Process – Timeline & Stages

Once a Specialist application has been processed and accepted, NADD will communicate directly with the applicant about the status of their application and the next steps in the process. The certification process usually takes between 1-4 months to complete, and encompasses the following stages:

  • Work Sample Review
  • Interview/Exam
  • Certification Evaluation

Work Sample Review

When an application is approved, NADD will assign two Examiners to review the applicant’s work sample to determine whether the candidate demonstrates competency in the 5 core competency areas. If the Examiners have questions or concerns, NADD will coordinate communication with the applicant to clarify issues and determine whether revisions are necessary; the Examiners may require the submission of additional information and/or a revised work sample before approving the Interview/Exam. If/when the applicant’s Examiners are ready to proceed to the Interview & Exam stage, NADD will coordinate the scheduling process.

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 six targeted competency areas. 


The Interview/Exam will be based on a case study distributed to the candidate 24-48 hours before the scheduled appointment. The candidate will be asked to verbally offer their thoughts and reflections about the case, demonstrating their ability to articulate a case formulation and treatment plan incorporating the 5 core competencies. The applicant will also be asked to discuss their work sample in order to further demonstrate their understanding of the 5 core competency areas, and to address any questions the Examiners may pose. The interview will also include resolution of any questions raised during other parts of the application process.

The Interview/Exam will take place via video- or teleconference, and last approximately 1 hour. As the applicant, you will have the option as to whether you would like your video on or off during the Interview/Exam, and your decision will not affect your evaluation. 

Certification Evaluation

Final evaluation of the applicant’s Work Sample and Interview/Exam will be determined based on the candidate’s demonstration of knowledge in the 5 core competency areas. Candidates will receive a copy of their evaluation, with scores and Examiner feedback, at the conclusion of the evaluation process.

For both the Work Sample and Interview/Exam , 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.

Certification & Recertification

NADD certification is valid for 2 years, and Clinicians are entitled to use the credential NADD-CC in recognition of their achievement.

To renew their credential a NADD-CC may apply for recertification by demonstrating the completion of 10 hours of relevant continuing education through our online recertification application portal, and by paying the recertification application fee.

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