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NCSP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Become an NCSP

How do I determine whether my program is a NASP-approved program or a non-NASP-approved program?

Access a list of NASP-approved programs to determine this. You can also see the year the programs became approved. NASP approval status can also be viewed on the School Psychology Program Information page.

I will graduate from a NASP-approved program this year. What do I need to do to qualify for the NCSP?

Complete the following steps:

  • Download the application for graduates of NASP-approved programs
  • Please read all of the instructions, then complete all applicable pages and obtain the necessary signatures.
  • Once you graduate, obtain an official copy of your graduate transcript (it must show the date of graduation and degree conferred).
  • Send the complete package, including your official transcript, to the NASP office at the address listed in the booklet.
  • Register for and complete the Praxis II® School Psychologists Exam administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). ETS can be reached at www.ets.org/praxis/register or (800) 772-9476. Online registration for the exam is available. List NASP as a score recipient by using the code “R1549.” If you have already taken the exam and did not list NASP as a recipient, please call ETS and ask that an official copy be sent to NASP. Your score report must be received directly from ETS. The current passing score is 165. If you do not list NASP as a score recipient when you take the exam, an additional fee will be charged by ETS to have them sent to NASP. Additional information regarding exam registration is available on the ETS Testing Information page.

I will graduate from a program that is not approved by NASP. What do I need to do to apply?

Complete the following steps:

  • Download the application for graduates of non-NASP-approved programs.
  • As of January 2013, all applications must be submitted using the online submission process. Paper portfolio applications will not be accepted.
  • Submit a case study
  • Create a portfolio that provides evidence of your knowledge in each of the practice domains required by NASP as well as evidence of your skills in those domains
  • Once you graduate, obtain an official copy of your graduate transcript (it must show the date of graduation).
  • Send the complete package, including your official transcript and non-refundable application fee, to the NASP office at address listed in the booklet.
  • Register for and complete the Praxis II® School Psychologist Exam administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). ETS can be reached at www.ets.org/praxis/register or (800)772-9476.  Online registration for the exam is available. List NASP as a score recipient by using the code “R1549.” If you have already taken the exam and did not list NASP as a recipient, please call ETS and ask that an official copy be sent to NASP. Your score report must be received directly from ETS. The current passing score is 165.  If you do not list NASP as a score recipient when you take the exam, an additional fee will be charged by ETS to have them sent to NASP. Additional information regarding exam registration and exam preparation is available on the ETS Testing Information page.

I will graduate from a program that is not approved by NASP. I no longer have course descriptions or syllabi. How can I get that information?

Contact the current program director of your training program, as your program should have the necessary information on file. Also, most universities and colleges keep copies of past university bulletins or catalogs on file in their libraries. Check with your university to see what documentation you can retrieve.

My program lost NASP approval prior to my graduation. Can I still use the NASP-approved application?

No, you must use the application for graduates of non-NASP-approved programs; It is the status of your program at the time of your graduation that determines which application process you use. Programs that lose NASP approval typically have had ongoing weaknesses prior to the loss of NASP approval.

When I graduated, my program was not approved by NASP. It is now approved. Can I follow the steps for graduates of approved programs? 

  • If you graduated no more than one calendar year prior to the effective date of the NASP approval, please obtain a letter from the program director stating that the program you completed was substantially similar to the one currently offered. If there were any differences, the letter must also state how you made up these differences.
  • If you graduated more than one calendar year before approval, you must follow the steps listed for graduates of non-approved programs.

Access a list of NASP-approved programs to find out what year they became approved.

I completed a graduate program in school psychology but my transcript does not list my degree as school psychology. Am I eligible to obtain the NCSP certification?

Yes, you are; however, you must provide documentation that your graduate program was an organized training program in school psychology. Include a copy of the page(s) from the Graduate School Catalog in effect when you graduated that describes your program as school psychology with your application.

My field placement supervisor and/or university supervisor no longer works at the institution where I completed my placement and I am unable to locate him/her. What should I do?

Your university program director should have the necessary material on file to verify your internship supervision. Ask your program director to write a letter explaining the situation and include it with your application. Your program director may sign for your supervisor on the necessary forms. If your Program Director no longer works at the institution, please have the current Program Director review your materials and verify your internship.

When I completed my internship, my program required less than 1,200 hours. How can I meet the 1,200-hour requirement?

  • Individuals who graduated prior to December 31, 1994 from a training program that did not offer a 1200-hour internship may complete a field-based internship. If the prospective applicant is currently working in a school setting, it is suggested that the individual contact the program director, preferably of a NASP-approved program, enroll in an internship seminar at the university and have a credentialed school psychologist supervise them in their work setting. Please note that you must be able to show that 600 hours were done in a school setting otherwise your application cannot be processed.
  • If you completed your program after December 31, 1994, you must complete an organized internship. Contact a school psychology training program and work with them to arrange an organized internship within that program. It must be documented on a transcript and the university must provide supervision. The internship must be consistent with the Standards for the Graduate Preparation of School Psychologists that are in effect as of the date your application is received by the NASP office.  

I am certified as a school psychologist by my state. Do I need to complete a separate process to become an NCSP?

Yes, it is necessary to apply separately for the NCSP credential. Holding a state credential is not equivalent to the national credential offered by NASP. 

I completed my program prior to the NCSP being instituted. Am I eligible for “grandparenting,” as some of my colleagues were?

The "grandparenting" option was available only when the NCSP was instituted. It required the completion of the application and the national exam by December 31, l988. If you did not apply during this period, you must apply under the standards in place at the time of your application.

The certification application asks me to send in my transcripts. Do you want my undergraduate information?

No, please submit only official sealed transcripts from your school psychology graduate program. You do not need to submit your undergraduate transcripts.

How can I check to see if my application, transcripts, and Praxis II scores have been received?

You can check the status of your certification and if your Praxis scores are on file by logging in to the website and clicking “View My Account” (located at the top right of the page). You can also contact us at cert@naspweb.org, (866) 331-NASP or (301) 657-0210. To look up your Praxis II scores, we need your name and the most recent date you took the test.

How long does it take to process applications?

NASP-Approved Programs

Applications from graduates of NASP-approved programs typically take about four weeks to process. During the summer, because of the volume of applications it may take approximately six to eight weeks. Applications from graduates of non-approved programs can take several months. Non-approved applications are reviewed twice annually.

Non-Approved Programs

Applications from graduates of non-approved programs are reviewed twice annually. The application deadlines are as follows:

  • Summer Review: May 1st
  • Winter Review: December 1st

The NCSP Board meets twice yearly (typically August and January) to review applications from graduates of non-NASP approved programs. Once a decision has been made regarding your application, you will receive a written letter from the NASP office that may (if applicable) include feedback from reviewers.

What happens once my application has been processed and approved?

After your application has passed, you will receive an envelope in the mail containing a congratulatory letter and certificate.

Do you frame certificates?

NASP offers a variety of frames that arrive with your NCSP certificate professionally matted and embossed with the official NCSP seal. Complete information for ordering a frame is avaiable on the NASP website.

Renew Your NCSP

What is my renewal date and what happens if I renew early?

Your NCSP certification renewal date is available by logging in to the website and clicking “View My Account” (located at the top right of the page). You have the option of renewing at the end of your three-year period OR you can renew any time upon completing 75 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) credits.

If you renew prior to the month in which your renewal is due, your certification will expire 3 years later on the last day of the month in which you renew. By renewing early, you can apply future CPD activities towards your next renewal cycle. Keep in mind that CPD credits are valid for a 36 month period after they are earned.

How do I renew if my NCSP has already expired?

You have up to three years to renew your NCSP credential after it has expired by submitting the renewal documentation and paying the appropriate renewal and late fees. If your NCSP is not renewed during the three year period following expiration you must reapply for the NCSP and meet current standards.

Keep in mind that if your NCSP has expired, you are unable to claim in any manner (e.g., in reports, business cards) that you are an NCSP.

What forms do I need to submit for NCSP renewal?

To assist you in meeting your renewal deadline, NASP will mail you the necessary forms at the address on record in your NASP account approximately one month prior to your expiration date. To ensure you receive the materials, please notify us of any change of address by editing your profile online or contacting us at cert@naspweb.org. NASP will also send e-mail reminders to those NCSPs who maintain a current e-mail address in their records. It is the NCSP's sole responsibility to meet the renewal deadline.

You can renew your NCSP online. If you prefer to complete the process by mail, you can access the three forms that are required: the Renewal Payment, the Affidavit of Continuing Professional Development Credits, and the Directory Information and Renewal Questionnaire. The forms must be submitted with payment, including any late fees that have been accrued.

What are the fees for NCSP renewal?

Renewal fees are $99 every three years for NASP members and $199 for nonmembers. Late fees apply and increase on a graduated basis over time.

The appropriate late fees are listed below.

Months Since Exp. DateMemberNonmember
>1 and ≤ 6$13$29
>6 and ≤ 12$26$58
>12 and ≤ 18$39$87
>18 and ≤ 24$52$116
>24 and ≤ 30$65$145
>30 and ≤ 36$78$174

NASP members save $100 on their renewal fee and even more on late fees. Consider joining NASP today.

What do I need to know about the NCSP renewal audits?

NCSPs are required to maintain proper documentation of their CPD activities but are not required to submit documentation of CPD credits unless their applications are selected for an audit. Approximately 10% of renewing NCSPs are randomly selected for documentation audits and are notified in writing. They are asked to provide documentation so that NASP can verify the activities and CPD hours on the signed affidavit. This notification may be sent at any time after the individual renews his or her NCSP credential. It is recommended that applicants maintain documentation for the duration of their three-year cycle.

An individual selected for audit has 60 calendar days from the date of the notice to submit documentation verifying that they have met all CPD requirements. The NCSP credential will be considered expired if the individual fails to respond within the 60-day time limit.

Once the documentation of credits has been received and processed, the applicant will be notified of the audit results. If it is determined that the documentation has any deficiencies, the applicant will be given 60 calendar days to correct this deficiency. Any deficiency not corrected within the 60-day period will result in the immediate expiration of the NCSP credential.

Documentation submitted for an audit will not be returned. Copies of the documentation are acceptable; please do not submit your originals.

Questions? Contact the NASP Certification department.

Do I have to be a NASP member to obtain the NCSP?

You do not need to be a NASP member to qualify for or maintain the NCSP designation, but it does signify your commitment to professional standards of practice. Maintaining membership in your professional association is an important obligation for a career professional.

NASP members enjoy all of the privledges of membership such as unrestricted access to all materials on the NASP website, discounts on NASP's Online Learning Center, convention, and summer conference registration fees, all of which can provide you with NASP-approved CPD credits.

Join NASP today to save money, earn CPD credits and gain a professional advantage

How can I recommend the NCSP to a colleague?

The easiest way to recommend the NCSP to a colleague is by using NASP's NCSP e-mail form.

Does my state recognize the NCSP?

The majority of states recognize the NCSP. To see if your state does, visit the State Recognition of the NCSP.

What is the difference between my member number and my certification number?

Your member or account number, a six-digit number, is the number associated with your account with NASP. If you are a NASP member you can find this number on your NASP membership card and the Communiqué or School Psychology Review mailing labels.

Your certification number, a five-digit number, is located on your certification renewal forms.

How can I get a new certification renewal confirmation letter or certificate?

You can access your NCSP card and certificate or request an e-mail verifying your NCSP status from the NASP website. You may also request a new certification renewal confirmation letter by contacting us at cert@naspweb.org, (866) 331-NASP, (310) 657-0270, or NASP, Certification Department, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814

CPD Requirements for NCSP Renewal

What are the current CPD requirements for NCSP renewal?

The detailed requirements are included in the NCSP Renewal Guidelines. Briefly, 75 hours of CPD activities are required every three years.

Additional requirements include the need for 10 of the 75 CPDs required for renewal to be from NASP- or APA-approved providers and 3 hours of CPD regarding ethical practice and/or the legal regulation of school psychology during each three-year renewal period.

Activities may be of the following types:

  • Group A Workshops, conferences, and inservice training
  • Group B College and university courses
  • Group C Training and inservice activities
  • Group D Research and publications
  • Group E Supervision of graduate students
  • Group F Supervised experiences
  • Group G Program planning and evaluation
  • Group H Self-study:
    • formal structured programs
    • informal programs
  • Group I Professional organizations leadership

Some activities have limits on the maximum number of possible hours; others have no limits. For complete details, review the CPD Categories.

Do CPD activities have to include content within the NASP domains of training and practice?

For the most part, school psychologists are not required to engage in professional development in specific content areas, though recent changes include a three hour Ethical Practice and Legal Regulation of School Psychology CPD Requirement.

If a school psychologist can answer “yes” to all four of the following questions, he/she may claim credit for an activity regardless of its content.

  • Did the activity enhance or upgrade my professional skills or add to my knowledge base?
  • Was the activity relevant to the professional practice of school psychology?
  • Did the activity fit into my personal plan for continuing professional development?
  • Did the activity go beyond the ordinary aspects of my employment?

What specific documentation is required for each CPD activity?

Several forms of documentation are acceptable for CPD activities. Certificates of attendance, official transcripts, state or local summary reports, or activity documentation forms are acceptable depending upon the kind of CPD activity you are documenting. Activity documentation forms are only required for activities that do not otherwise provide a form of documentation.

All forms of documentation should include the following information:

  • Name of participant
  • CPD hours
  • Category or type of activity
  • Certification number
  • Title or topic of activity
  • Activity sponsor, if applicable
  • Date of activity

You need to save your documentation in case your renewal is audited. Please use care in stating the number of hours in each category, as what you claim and the evidence you provide during an audit must match.

Can I use state or local school system reports as documentation?

NASP accepts state or local continuing education summary reports as documentation, provided the information stated above is included on the report.

Recent Revisions to CPD Requirements for NCSP Renewal

What are the recent changes in the NCSP renewal requirements?

There are two changes:

  1. NASP- or APA-Approved Provider Requirement

    The NASP-Approved Provider System was created to assist school psychologists in obtaining quality professional development. NASP-approved providers must demonstrate that their offerings align with NASP practice guidelines, are provided by qualified professionals, and are intended to enhance professional competencies, skills, or knowledge.

    NCSPs must obtain 10 of the 75 CPDs required for renewal from NASP- or APA-approved providers during each three-year renewal period.

    NASP's annual convention and summer conferences offer valuable opportunities to earn approved provider CPD credits. In addition, you can utilize NASP's Online Learning Center.

    A list of approved providers, including a number of state associations, is available. NASP also accepts credits from providers approved by the American Psychological Association (APA).

  2. Ethical Practice and Legal Regulation of School Psychology CPD Requirement

    NCSPs must also accrue 3 hours of CPD regarding ethical practice and/or the legal regulation of school psychology. Legal regulation of school psychology refers to IDEA, NCLB, Section 504, and similar issues. This requirement may be met with any appropriate CPD activity category.

    The Online Learning Center offers several sessions to help meet this requirement.

How do I meet the requirement for professional development in ethical and professional practices?

Visit the Online Learning Center for opportunities to earn NASP- and APA- CPD credits toward the ethical and professional practices requirement. In addition, to meet this requirement, the book, Professional Ethics for School Psychologists: A Problem-Solving Model Casebook, and the chapters on ethics in Volume 6 of Best Practices V could be used for self-study.

Continuing professional development on these topics is also available from your state school psychological association, and other providers of continuing professional development in your area including nearby school psychology training programs.

Do I have to find a 3-hour ethics workshop? Does it have to be NASP-approved training?

You need to be able to document participation in a total of 3 hours of professional development in ethical and professional practices. It doesn't have to be a single 3-hour event; it could be 3 1-hour activities. Any appropriate activity, including self study, will be recognized and it does not have to be NASP- or APA-approved training.

Who decided to add additional renewal requirements?

These decisions were made by your colleagues who serve on the National School Psychology Certification Board in conjunction with the Professional Growth Committee.

Why did the National School Psychology Certification Board decide to add additional renewal requirements?

In the past, NCSP renewal required CPD in specific content areas and involved submission of extensive documentation to the Board. Those requirements were relaxed for a variety of reasons unrelated to their benefit and importance. The current Board believes that instilling additional rigor into the NCSP renewal process is important at this time.

The credential is now recognized by many states as part of their certification process and numerous states and school districts provide a financial stipend to NCSPs. And, some states now recognize the NCSP as a standard for recredentialing. State education agencies must be assured that the NCSP's CPD requirements are meaningful.

Requiring that a portion of an NCSP's professional development be NASP- or APA-approved is one way of doing this. This requirement that a portion of CPD credits come from approved providers assists NCSPs in obtaining appropriate instructional level, content, documentation and administrative practices for CPD activities. It is generally regarded that requiring high quality, relevant continuing education is one of the hallmarks of a profession. Physicians, lawyers, accountants, licensed counselors, speech pathologists, and others are required to obtain all or part of their continuing education from "approved providers." Continuing education by approved providers assists professionals in accessing recognized, high quality activities that enhance their professional growth and meet accepted standards.

The idea to have specific requirements in ethical and professional practices originated with the NASP Ethics and Professional Practices Committee as part of its efforts to prevent ethical violations. The NCSP Board agreed that NCSPs should maintain and enhance their knowledge base in this area.

Will NASP introduce other requirements in the future?

The National School Psychology Certification Board has no plans to make additional changes in NCSP renewal requirements. However, you can expect your colleagues on the Board to fulfill their responsibility to meet the following NCPCS goals:

  • To promote uniform credentialing standards across states, agencies and training institutions
  • To monitor the implementation of NASP credentialing standards at the national level
  • To promote continuing professional development (CPD) for school psychologists
  • To facilitate credentialing of school psychologists across states through the use of reciprocity
  • To ensure a consistent level of training and experience in service providers who are nationally certified
  • To promote the utilization of NASP Standards for the Graduate Preparation of School Psychologists (2010) by training institutions
  • To encourage school psychologists to seek national certification

I understand that the NCSP must be regarded as a national standard of professionalism in school psychology. But, why require “NASP-approved CPD?”

The purpose of the NASP- or APA-approval systems for CPD providers is to promote quality standards. The Approved Provider System (APS) brochure explains how NASP has taken a leadership role in developing and advancing the standards for training, practice, and continuing professional development within the field of school psychology.

How does NASP itself provide approved credit?

NASP provides approved credit at the NASP annual convention, summer conferences, Public Policy Institute, school safety and crisis team training, and through the Online Learning Center.

* As of September 2013, the Online Learning Center offered 193 different presentations, in twenty categories. Registration costs range from $30 to $219 per presentation depending upon the number of CPD credits provided.

Approved Provider System (APS)

What is the Approved Provider System (APS) and its NASP-Approved CPD?

APS was established by the NASP Executive Council and Delegate Assembly. The APS is intended to set quality standards for CPD for school psychologists and recognize providers who had demonstrated that they met those standards. Providers can include commercial entities, state associations, universities, and others. NASP is also an “approved provider” and offers NASP-approved credit for some of its activities.

You can review the directory of NASP-approved providers of continuing professional development. All NASP-approved school psychology graduate training programs are Approved Providers and the list continues to grow with 47 state associations of school psychology already added.

Do universities provide NASP-approved CPD?

Every NASP-approved graduate training program is already an approved provider of professional development. NASP training standards require those programs to provide CPD for school psychologists in their area. If they follow the APS guidelines about speaker qualifications, instructional level, objectives, attendance, etc., they can provide NASP-approved CPD credit for their activities.

What are the APS quality standards?

Briefly, an activity must:

  • Address one or more of the 11 domains of professional practice.
  • Be intended for credentialed professionals in the field of school psychology.
  • Enhance professional competencies, skills, or knowledge.
  • Have stated instructional objectives related to one or more of the approved content areas.
  • Be one hour or more in duration.
  • Instructors for the activity must have training and experience that qualifies them to be considered experts in the subject matter being taught. 
  • The provider must record attendance and provide documentation of completion.
  • The provider requires participants to complete an evaluation of the activity.
  • The activity can't be a business meeting, professional committee meeting, administrative meeting, or a presentation intended primarily for a lay audience.
  • The activity must be in compliance with NASP Principles for Professional Ethics.

What other standards do APS providers have to meet?

  • They must maintain a roster of participants for four years. This could be helpful to participants in case their original documentation is misplaced.
  • Their performance as an approved provider is reviewed annually and they must reapply every four years.
  • They must agree to oversight by the NASP Professional Growth Committee with regard to participant complaints.
  • Publicity materials for previous programs are reviewed for accuracy and completeness.