The Human Services- Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP) certification was created by the Center for Credentialing and Education, in assistance with the National Organization of Human Services (NOHS) and the Council for Standards in Human Services Education (CSHSE). It was announced in 2010, with one of its primary purposes to help recent graduates of human services' degrees advance farther in their career path. Once a person has graduated with a degree in human services, from associate's level all the way up to doctorate, they have the option to become board certified as a practitioner of the field. It is a completely voluntary credential, but it comes with many benefits.
The Requirements for the HS-BCP
Having this credential provides the graduate with increased career opportunities and improves marketability in the field. The HS-BCP encourages and provides opportunities for graduates to "professionalize themselves" in the job market. The HS-BCP may also help increase the salary of those that apply for higher-end positions. The skills earned in higher education is acknowledged when a graduate earns the HS-BCP credential. Some employers may choose the applicant that earned the HS-BCP credential over other applicants that have not received one. According to the NOHS, the HS-BCP demonstrates a commitment to a career in Human Services, designating them as a practitioner. As the field of human services grows, so do the standards of maintaining credibility as a human service professional. Earning the HS-BCP credential determine the difference between those who are truly dedicated to the field.
A graduate must have completed 350 hours of post-degree experience, regardless of degree level, to take the exam. The degree must come from an accredited college or university, or state-approved junior college for the applicant to be accepted. Some content covered on the credentialing exam is case management, human behavior, and ethics in the helping professions. Knowledge of social change and public policy is also recommended.
How much does it Cost?
The cost of the exam is $210, according to the NOHS (2018). A graduate may renew their certification by paying a maintenance fee of $40 for each additional year. Along with the cost, some "experience hours" are needed for continuing the HS-BCP credential. The NOHS requires 60 clock hours of continuing education per year to renew the license. The certification period lasts five years and is available to professionals with any human services degree level from an associate or bachelor to masters or doctoral degrees in human services fields like Social Work or Mental Health Counseling are eligible for this independent credential.
Earning this credential adds more competent and dedicated workers to those in the Human Service field. Part of the credentialing process is learning the Code of Ethics that must also be followed to do well in the field. Reports of any criminal action or charges against the applicant can affect his or her chances of being allowed to sit for the exam. Some other actions that may bar the professional from sitting for the credentialing exam are termination from an employer, legal issues for the applicant, or any probation/removal from a graduate program. For those who wish to broaden their options and impact the lives of those they serve, this HS-BCP credential will open more doors and provide better credibility for the applicant in the human service field. For more information about the HS-BCP credential, visit the NOHS or CCE websites.