Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I benefit from the HS-BCP credential?
The HS-BCP helps the credential holder stand out from other job applicants and human services practitioners. It signifies that the credential holder voluntarily met board requirements, including an examination, based on national standards in the field of human services.
How do I display my credential?
After applicants fulfill the degree, experience, and examination requirements and become certified, they receive a certificate suitable for framing. In addition to displaying their certificate, active credential holders are encouraged to use the HS-BCP mark after their name on letters, business cards, signs and other marketing tools.
Where is the student application?
The student application has been replaced by the HS-BCP Exam Registration Form. The form can only be obtained from the campus coordinator of a participating school program. Information about our approved school programs is listed under the "Students" tab.
What is the difference between the Exam Registration Form for students and the HS-BCP credential application?
The HS-BCP Exam Registration Form is for eligible students applying through an approved school participation program. Eligible students are allowed to take the exam prior to graduation, then transfer a passing score to the HS-BCP credential application without an additional fee. HS-BCP applicants who have already graduated and have experience in a human services field are to use the regular nonstudent application, available online.
How does a school program become approved as a participating program?
In order to participate, the school must offer a degree program in human services, counseling, psychology, criminal justice, marriage and family therapy, or social work. There are additional advantages for students enrolled in participating human services degree programs that are accredited by or have member only status with the Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE). Eligible school programs may request a participation application by contacting CCE.
Do you offer an exam study guide?
No; however, please refer to the Exam Candidate Handbook for information regarding the HS-BCP examination process. The handbook does include a sample vignette and sample questions.
How do I track the continuing education that is required for renewal of my HS-BCP credential?
The HS-BCP requires 60 clock hours of continuing education in the human services field every five years. Information on continuing education requirements can be found under the "Maintaining Your Credential" tab. HS-BCPs receive a log form and maintenance information with their certificate.
How can I determine if my experience fulfills the requirement?
The verification of experience form stipulates that any qualifying experience must be in a human services position. The 2013 HS-BCP application requires that at least half of the verified experience must be postdegree. The amount of experience necessary depends on the degree. Graduates of CSHSE-accredited human services programs and human services educators are exempt from the experience requirement.
What fees should I expect to pay in order to maintain my credential?
Credential holders pay an annual $35 renewal fee, with late fees if payment is not received by the due date. Reinstating an inactive credential requires submission of a reinstatement application and payment of a $50 fee and all past due fees.
What educational requirements do applicants need to meet if they hold a degree in a field other than human services, counseling, social work, psychology, marriage and family therapy, or criminal justice?
These applicants must have completed a minimum of 15 semester hours (22.5 quarter hours) of coursework in three or more of the 11 content areas listed below, including at least two semester hours (three quarter hours) in ethics in the helping professions, two semester hours (three quarter hours) in interviewing and intervention skills, and two semester hours (three quarter hours) in case management. The 11 content areas are:
- Interviewing and Intervention Skills
- Group Work
- Case Management
- Human Development
- Ethics in the Helping Professions
- Social and Cultural Issues
- Social Problems
- Assessment/Treatment Planning
- Intervention Models/Theories
- Human Behavior
- Social Welfare/Public Policy
What types of courses will fulfill the eleven content areas?
Interviewing and Intervention Skills: Studies that develop the knowledge, values and skills necessary for providing effective assistance to individuals and client systems, including verbal, nonverbal and written messages. Skills emphasized are interviewing, listening, attending to patient/client verbal and nonverbal cues, problem definition, negotiation, confrontation, and written documentation. Includes information about essential communication skills required to work effectively as a human services practitioner, development of these skills, and recognition of the limitation of various modes of communication. May include coursework that focuses on interventions to promote individual and family health and common approaches to therapy, and therapeutic communications for healthcare professionals. May include crisis intervention, and the theoretical and practical understanding of human crises.
Group Work: Studies providing an understanding of group dynamics and group facilitation. Group approaches, context, developmental process, and the skills required to become an effective group facilitator are included, as are cultural contexts and behavior patterns of individuals within groups. Studies include ethical considerations, valuing diversity and managing conflict. May include theories and techniques of group therapy, specialty and support groups, psycho-educational groups, and other types of groups. Group studies frequently provide a direct experience in planning, participating in, and leading a group session. Includes information about group usage in human services.
Case Management: Studies include collaborative processes to assess, plan, implement, coordinate, monitor, and evaluate the options and services required to meet the client's health and human service needs. Includes advocacy, communication, and resource management promoting quality and cost-effective interventions and outcomes. Covers the development of problem-solving communications and the ability to effectively document. Promotes the ability to prioritize within a deadline driven environment, case load management approaches, and outcome assessment. Provides an understanding of the administrative functions that allow treatment to be facilitated through written correspondence as well as technological programs or systems. May include use of basic assessment methods and interventions to enable development of initial treatment plans and facilitate client referral to the appropriate resources.
Human Development: Studies providing an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels, including normal and abnormal human development; theories of development; and psychosocial, cognitive, emotional, interpersonal and moral development concepts. Explains why an understanding of human development is important to human services practitioners. Topics include infant, child, adolescent and young adult development, career changes at various stages of adulthood, midlife issues, parenthood, decline in health, establishing new life patterns after retirement, and the end life cycle.
Ethics in the Helping Professions: Studies providing an understanding of ethical and legal standards necessary for human services practitioners. Focus includes confidentiality between practitioner and client, least intrusive intervention in the least restrictive environment, and the worth and uniqueness of individuals, including culture, ethnicity, race, class gender, religion, ability, sexual orientation and other expressions of diversity. Integration of the ethical standards outlined by the National Organization for Human Services (NOHS) and/or the Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner Code of Ethics. Includes theoretical and historical background of ethics for human services with attention to philosophical traditions. Approaches to values are distinguished, e.g., philosophical, psychological and interdisciplinary.
Social and Cultural Issues: Studies related to matters affecting different cultures and the importance of respecting and appreciating cultural diversity. Social issues include but are not limited to human rights, race and gender issues, welfare, poverty, violence against women and children, and homelessness. Cultural issues include religious differences, stereotyping and profiling, crime, gang issues, and other issues stemming from widely held beliefs and misunderstandings among cultures. Includes information about beliefs and thought processes related to social and cultural issues and influences fundamental to these issues.
Social Problems: Studies of conditions that society views as being undesirable and that require resources to address, including family-based social problems, economic and political problems, social inequality (social stratification, poverty, race and ethnicity, sex and sexism, age and ageism), deviant behavior, crime and the criminal justice system, mental disorders, and substance abuse. Primary consideration of social problems from systems perspective. May include the perspective of social pathology, symbolic interactionism, labeling and deviance. Studies focus on the interrelatedness of human service organizations as amelioration systems which attempt to apply problem-solving strategies. Includes development of social policy through which society attempts to manage and control social and cultural issues and the role of the human services practitioner in influencing social welfare policy.
Assessment/Treatment Planning: Studies examining a variety of assessment and testing methods, advanced interviewing procedures, and observational techniques used in treatment planning and evaluation of outcomes in the human service setting. Includes appraisals of cognitive, affective, social and vocational interests/aptitude and achievement, the ethical use of assessment instruments, and using assessment data to create and implement treatment plans.
Intervention Models/Theories: Studies of models and theories of effective interventions that are used in work as a human services practitioner. Includes theoretical approaches addressing the question of when it is desirable not to intervene and when it is appropriate to do so, and the effectiveness of different types of intervention.
Human Behavior: Studies providing an understanding of the ranges of normal and abnormal human behavior and the environmental contexts in which these behaviors occur. Includes the effect of the environment on behavior and the effect of behavior of the individual on the environment and on others around him/her. May include information about addictive behavior and mental processes, criminal behaviors, delinquency, psychological disorders, etc.
Social Welfare/Public Policy: Studies providing an understanding of social welfare problems and policies, including the nature of social problems and the external influences that are fundamental to the creation and establishment of social welfare policies in the United States. Studies are based in the human services' emphasis on the person-in-the-environment, and working from practitioners' understanding of the nature of social problems and their effects. Includes the human services practitioner's responsibilities with regard to development and implementation of welfare policies and programs created in response to social problems.