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Assessment FAQs

What is included on the assessment?

The assessment focuses on two areas – institutional knowledge and professional knowledge. The assessment is proctored through an on-line tool and has two “essay” type sections. The online assessment requires the ability to type your responses and you will have five hours to complete the assessment (including break time). Arrangements for taking the assessment are made individually at a designated date and time that works for you.

How do you assess institutional knowledge?

When you apply, you list 30 colleges/schools/therapeutic programs you visited during the past five years. The Commission will select four from your list and you will select two of the four about which to write descriptions including:

1. What type of student might be happy and best served at this institution?

2. What are the standout features or attributes of this institution?

3. Describe the physical facility and the influences of the surrounding communities on the college/university/school/program.

4. In general, what are the admission criteria? What are the general parameters of students you would refer to this institution?

5. Please name two or three examples of similar institutions and describe the reason for the similarities.

Do I need to know every detail of each institution?

No, but you need to have a sense of their distinctive qualities. You will be expected to have a general understanding of them. You are tested on your ability to describe the culture/environment of the institutions you chose to visit.

How do you assess my professional knowledge?

This is the essay portion of the assessment that allows you to share the central elements of your work. You will be given hypothetical case studies profiling two students with various educational planning issues. After reviewing them, you will describe a plan of action for working with the student (and family), assess the institutional characteristics that would be right for the student, and provide and rationalize a short list of specific institutional recommendations.

How will my assessment be scored?

Our readers evaluating your assessment are experienced educational counselors and consultants, well-trained to evaluate both knowledge and clarity in your responses. The approach is aimed at identifying reasons to pass candidates who demonstrate competency. The Commission on Credentialing has published scoring criteria and rubrics that readers follow. These cover the core knowledge areas as well as the three common specialty areas of college admissions, therapeutic consulting, and K-12 school advising. You can review the published rubrics as given to readers here: college specialty, schools specialty, therapeutic specialty.

I’m embarrassed to have fellow professionals read my assessment. What can you tell me about that?

We understand. That is why each assessment is coded with a number and that number is all that readers from the Commission on Credentialing will see as they review your assessment. They do not see your name. This process is completely confidential. This also helps to ensure that their assessment is as objective as possible.

Do you offer accommodations for the assessment (time or otherwise)?

The Commission on Credentialing provides reasonable accommodations for the CEP Assessment to candidates with disabilities. It is the candidate’s responsibility to establish the existence of a disability and to verify the need for and efficacy of specific testing accommodations. To request an accommodation, send a request to as early as possible in the application process. Once initiated, you will not be able to schedule your assessment until your request is either approved, denied, or withdrawn. Accommodations cannot be arranged after the assessment is scheduled. The Commission is welcoming to anyone needing accommodations; they are provided unless they would place undue burden on the Commission or fundamentally alter the measurement of the knowledge and skills the assessment is intended to evaluate.

What if I fail the assessment?

In the unlikely event that your application was approved but you do not pass the assessment, you will be given feedback on your assessment and will be given the opportunity to take it again within a year at no additional fee. Such a matter will be handled individually, confidentially, and sensitively.

Will you help me become certified?

Yes, absolutely! We want the best professionals to be certified. We will work with you in helping consider experiences that may be relevant to a successful application and assessment. We believe we have established a reasonable and unbiased way to assess professional knowledge and experience and want to work with anyone who seeks to achieve this Mark of Distinction.


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