Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Exam

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The Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential was developed by the non-profit Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) as a voluntary designation for rehabilitation counselors that have demonstrated advanced education and professional competency in the field. Since it was incorporated in 1974, CRCC has certified over 17,000 professional rehabilitation counselors who are working to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities across the United States and worldwide.[1] CRCC continually updates its criteria to insure that its credentialing reflects current needs and practices in the field by conducting “Role and Function” studies whose results are used to refine eligibility and examination criteria. Immediate exam scoring was implemented in July 2014, and CRCC encourages colleges and universities to use the CRC exam as its comprehensive final exam as an empirical tool to assess the knowledge and skills of graduating students while giving students who achieve a passing score an early start on their professional careers through certification.[2]

Function of the Test

CRC Study Guide

The CRC examination is a voluntary credential used by professional rehabilitation counselors to demonstrate their competency to employers, clients, and state licensing boards. Credentialing has positive impacts on salary and promotions, and is becoming adopted as a standard for licensing by many states.[3] The exam is open to candidates who have completed a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or rehabilitation counselor education and 600 hours of CRC-supervised internship or 24 months of related employment, at least 12 of which must be under the supervision of a CRC. Those with a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling are also eligible with the appropriate additional coursework and internship or employment experience. A signed “provisional contract” must be completed by any candidate whose experience requirement was met under supervision by someone other than a CRC. An exception is made for those students who have completed at least 75% of their coursework toward a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling. Such students can jumpstart their careers by taking and passing the CRC exam prior to graduation. Exam scores and credentials for students who pass the exam while still in school will be held until the CRCC receives official transcripts showing that all requirements for graduation have been met, including the 600 hour internship requirement.[4]

Test Administration

CRC Flashcards

The CRC exam is given in one-week blocks, three times a year at over 300 Prometric testing centers across the United States and Canada. [5] The cost to apply for the exam is $385. Those who apply and are not approved to take the exam or who decide not to take the exam prior to the first available examination window will be refunded the $200 exam portion of the fee.[6] Special accommodations for persons with documented disabilities may be requested at the time of application by filling out a “Test Accommodation Request Form” indicating what special accommodations are required and filing the appropriate supporting documentation. Requests are reviewed and approved by CRCC on a case-by-case basis.[7] At this time, translators are not allowed to translate examination content for candidates who are deaf or hearing impaired; however, the CRCC is reviewing ways to better accommodate these individuals going forward.[8]

Test Format

Test Structure

The CRC test is made up of 175 multiple choice questions having to do with ten major topics: Assessment, Appraisal, and Vocational Evaluation; Job Development, Job Placement, and Career and Lifestyle Development; Vocational Consultation and Services for Employers; Case Management, Professional Roles and Practices, and Utilization of Community Resources; Foundations of Counseling, Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice, Theories, Social and Cultural Issues, and Human Growth and Development; Group and Family Counseling; Mental Health Counseling; Medical, Functional, and Psychosocial Aspects of Disability; Disability Management; and Research, Program Evaluation, and Evidence-Based Practice. The time allotted to complete all 175 questions is three and a half hours.[9]

Test Environment

Testing centers for the CRC are available at about 300 locations in the United States and Canada. Personal items, such as tissues, study material, or snacks are not allowed into the testing area. For admission, a government issued photo ID, containing a signature is required. Breaks are permitted, but the time allotted will not pause.

Sample Questions

More free CRC practice test questions.


The examination is given in two parts, the first focusing on counseling knowledge and the second on issues related to disabilities and rehabilitation. Each part is scored separately, and a passing score must be achieved for each part in order to pass the examination as a whole.[10] The examination is multiple-choice and only correct answers are counted, so there is no penalty for guessing a particular answer. Different test forms are constructed from a pool of test items such that each exam varies slightly in difficulty from the others. Therefore, there is no set number of items that must be answered correctly in order to achieve a passing score. The different exam forms used in a testing window are first equated to adjust for these variations in difficulty, then scores are scaled to determine pass/fail status.[11] Of the nearly 1,500 candidates who sat for the exam in the three testing windows between October 2103 and July 2014, nearly 70% passed the exam.[12] Those who do not pass the exam on the first attempt may take it again during one of the following two testing dates by paying a re-examination fee and obtaining approval to reschedule from CRCC. Those who are unable to sit for the exam until the following year, or who fail their second attempt at taking the exam, must reapply and submit another certification fee to be eligible to retake the exam.[13]

Recent/Future Developments

Based on the results of a 2013 survey, the CRCC Board of Directors approved an initiative in January, 2014 to begin development of a bachelor-level rehabilitation counselor certification. While this level of certification will not compete with the current master’s level credential, it will offer a means to set competency standards for entry-level professionals and serve as a springboard for achieving more advanced certification. [14] For those who have achieved the CRC designation who wish to keep it current, CRCC announced a new online portal in the fall of 2014 for certificants to manage their continuing education, recertification, and directory information.[15]


  1. ^ CRCC Media Center January 12, 2015
  2. ^ CRCC Connections Spring 2014 Issue January 12, 2015
  3. ^ Exploring Examination Equity Issues for Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates January 12, 2015
  4. ^ CRC Certification Guide January 11, 2015
  5. ^ CRC Certification Guide January 11, 2015
  6. ^ Forms & Fees January 12, 2015
  7. ^ CRC Certification Guide January 11, 2015
  8. ^ Exploring Examination Equity Issues for Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates January 12, 2015
  9. ^ CRC 2 April 2015
  10. ^ CRC Certification Guide January 12, 2015
  11. ^ FAQ Index January 12, 2015
  12. ^ CRCC Connections Fall 2014 Issue January 12, 2015
  13. ^ CRC Certification Guide January 12, 2015
  14. ^ CRCC Connections Spring 2014 Issue January 12, 2015
  15. ^ CRCC Connections Fall 2014 Issue January 12, 2015