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The Association for Addiction Professionals



The purpose of credentialing is to standardize the quality of addiction prevention, intervention, treatment and continuing care services. Through standardized testing, the Commission is able to set a benchmark for professionals and monitor the abilities of those who treat addictions. Because the NCC AP is connected to the profession and to those who are using the credential on a day-to-day basis, the tests are evaluated annually to ensure they address the latest information on treating addictive disorders.

Specifically, national credentialing is important for addiction professionals:

  • to focus on the individual counselor and to provide a formal indicator of the current knowledge and competence at the national level;
  • to provide a national standard that exceeds most state requirements and encourages professionals to continue to learn for the sake of their clients;
  • to establish, measure, and monitor the requirements for knowledge in the profession; and
  • to provide assistance to employers, health care providers, educators, government entities, labor unions, other practitioners, and the public in the identification of quality counselors who have met the national competency standards.

PLEASE NOTE: NCC AP Certification and NAADAC membership are distinct.  Although NAADAC members receive a significant discount on certifications through the NCC AP, certification does not automatically make one a NAADAC member.  For more information about the benefits of NAADAC membership, please click here.


The National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCC AP) has instituted three main credentials for addiction counselors:

These credentials are suited to varying degrees of knowledge and formal training, based on the skill set of the substance use disorder professional.  Each test is administered through the Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) and with the highest standards available.  Each credential has a different set of standards to fit the testing populations.  Movement through the credentials is possible, and each test shows how the counselor is a leader in the profession due to quality standards being met.

 The NCC AP also offers opportunities for specialization credentials and endorsements:

Questions concerning eligibility criteria should be addressed to:

National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals
1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 201
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 741-7686 or (800) 548-0497