Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP)

CCSP logo

What is the Certified Career Service Provider credential? 

The credential is intended for providers offering career services in an array of roles and settings. Providers might be consultants, coaches, advisors, workforce practitioners, facilitators, trainers, recruiters, and resume writers.


This multi-purpose credential includes demonstration of the essential skills needed to provide career services in any setting. It is appropriate to all levels and all settings. Completion of a training program is required before applying. Specific levels of educational attainment and work experience are not required. 


Who is eligible for the CCSP?

Individuals who have completed training through NCDA’s Facilitating Career Development are eligible to apply.


What are the steps to apply for the CCSP?

The basic steps of applying are to provide required demographic information, upload your Certificate of Completion for NCDA’s Facilitating Career Development training, and to respond to the scenarios in the assessment portion of the application.


How much time do I have to finish the application?

You can complete the application within 90 days of your start date, as your time permits. Only the assessment portion of the application is timed but after each scenario, you may stop and return later. 


How can I prepare for the assessment portion of the application?  

The scenarios are based on the competencies that are addressed by the NCDA Facilitating Career Development curriculum: 

  1. Helping Skills - Be proficient in the basic career facilitating process while including productive interpersonal relationships.

  2. Labor Market Information and Resources - Understand labor market and occupational information and trends. Be able to use current resources.

  3. Assessment - Comprehend and use (under supervision) both formal and informal career development assessments with emphasis on relating appropriate ones to the population served.

  4. Diverse Populations - Recognize special needs of various groups and adapt services to meet their needs.

  5. Ethical and Legal Issues - Follow the NCDA Code of Ethics and the GCDF Code of Ethics and know current legislative regulations.

  6. Career Development Models - Understand career development theories, models, and techniques as they apply to lifelong development, gender, age, and ethnic backgrounds.

  7. Employability Skills - Know job search strategies and placement techniques, especially in working with specific groups.

  8. Training Clients and Peers - Prepare and develop materials for training programs and presentations.

  9. Program Management/Implementation - Understand career development programs and their implementation, and work as a liaison in collaborative relationships.

  10. Promotion and Public Relations - Market and promote career development programs with staff and supervisors. 

  11. Technology - Comprehend and use career development computer applications.

  12. Consultation - Accept suggestions for performance improvement from consultants or supervisors.


What is the assessment portion?

You will respond to a scenario (a description of the client and a situation) for each of these competencies: helping skills, theory, assessment, and job search. You will also identify a setting (K-12 education, higher education, private practice, workforce or business) in which your scenario will be based. You will be asked to write 2-5 paragraphs responding to a focused question based on that scenario. Your responses are evaluated by a trained reviewer who also holds this credential. The reviewer sees only your responses and cannot access any information about you. 


To prepare for writing your responses to the 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.


Be sure to look at the CCSP Study Guide! This guide offers a review on writing a response, a sample response, and some practice questions.


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.


How do I find continuing education relevant to career development?

See the NCDA Continuing Education webpage for complete details.

What do I need to know to use the application software?


  1. The first step is to complete an NCDA form and then you will receive a link to create an account in the credentialing software program.

  2. The process of applying for a credential has two major parts: demographics and scenarios. First, complete and submit Section 1 (general demographic information and uploading certificates of completion). Then complete the assessment portion (scenarios).


Ready to apply?

View the CCSP Study Guide before applying!

You do not have to complete the entire application at one time, but you must submit it within 90 days of starting it.


Clicking on the Apply Now link will start your new NCDA Credentialing Application by completing an NCDA form. Once your information, including payment, has been completed, you will receive the link to continue the application process and upload the appropriate documents. When applying on that second link, you will be leaving the NCDA website and will be directed to create a new account within the application system. Your NCDA login will not work with the credentialing application system.