Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS)


What is the Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS) credential?

This credential recognizes the contributions of professionals who have mastered a variety of coaching, advising, and consulting roles in the field of career services. Examples of these roles may be senior consultant, professional coach, senior advisor, senior workforce practitioner, master trainer, executive recruiter, and master resume writer.

Find out what your peers are saying about earning their CMCS credential!


Who is eligible for the CMCS?
To apply for the CMCS credential, an applicant must be able to successfully document the completion of a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree (any major/discipline) and 7 years of full time (14,000 hours) work experience OR a Master’s degree (or higher) and 5 years of full time (10,000 hours) work experience. The work experience used to satisfy this application requirement must be in the field of career services/development.


What if I’m eligible for the CCC? Can I still apply for the CMCS?
Yes! As long as you meet the academic and work experience requirements outlined above, you are eligible for the CMCS. This credential is intended to demonstrate mastery of career services and some counselors have opted to earn it.


What is the difference between the CCSP and the CMCS?
The CCSP requires completion of and assessment based upon the Facilitating Career Development (FCD) curriculum. The CCSP does not have any additional degree requirements. The CMCS has both degree and work experience requirements but does not require completion of the FCD curriculum.


What are the CMCS Domains of Practice, upon which competency and mastery are measured?
The four CMCS Domains of Practice include the following (see detailed descriptions in the CMCS Study Guide):
CAREER - providing services (guidance and support) to clients/students: Career Management, Identity Clarification/Promotion, and Work-Life Synergy
RELATIONSHIPS (assisting the client/student): Relationship Mediation, Talent Development, Service Coordination (aka Case Management), Cultural Competence* and Diversity and Inclusion* 
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT: Content/Curriculum, Logistics and Oversight
ETHICS: Making Ethical Choices, Modeling Ethical Behavior 
* adapted from the 2015 NCDA Code of Ethics Glossary


What are the steps to apply for the CMCS?
You will be asked to provide evidence of your degree and document your experience through your CV/resume, academic transcript, and a form that is a part of the application. You can log in at any time and see how much more you need to do. You may not receive assistance from anyone else nor use resources as you are writing your response. You can complete the application within 90 days of your start date. as your time permits.


How much time do I have to finish the application?
Only the assessment portion of the application is timed. Once you open a scenario, you must complete your response within 60 minutes. Each scenario in the assessment must be completed in a single sitting, but you can take a break between questions. After each scenario, you may stop and return later. Remember that you must complete your entire application within 90 days of starting it.


How can I prepare for the assessment portion of the application?
The CMCS is a practitioner level credential, meaning that it is designed to assess competency in the delivery of services across the CMCS Domains of Practice. To prepare for writing your responses to the four scenarios, we suggest you adopt the mindset of sitting in session with your client and discussing suggested resources, action steps and outcomes with the client during this session. We want you to draw upon your everyday experience to formulate your real world response to each scenario, then write your response from this perspective.


What if I don’t pass?
Applicants who do not pass their first attempt at the assessment may retest with a new question within one month.  If the retest is also unsuccessful, the applicant must wait one year to reapply. We recommend further study during this year.


What do I need to know to use the application software?
In addition to the process described here, view the YouTube channel: Credential Guru to find a video walking you through the application process.

  1. The first step is to complete an NCDA form, then you will receive a link to FluidReview - click “Sign Up” under “Need an Account?” Your NCDA login will not work with the FluidReview credentialing application system. 

  2. The process of applying for a credential has 2 major parts: demographics and scenarios. First, complete and submit Section 1 (general information and uploading materials). Then complete the assessment portion (scenarios) by clicking again on your Application ID to see the scenarios. 


I’m ready!  How can I apply for the CMCS?
Gather these materials which you will need for your application: A copy of your academic transcript, your resume/CV, and the names and emails of your references.

View the CMCS Study Guide now.

Apply Now! NCDA's Credentialing technology is transitioning to a new system beginning December 16, 2019 and no new applications are being accepted.  The system for new applications will resume on January 20, 2020.

Clicking on the Apply Now link will start your new NCDA Credentialing Application by completing an NCDA form. Once your information, including a non-refundable payment, has been completed, you will receive the link to continue the application and assessment process and upload the appropriate documents. When applying on that second link, 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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