PO Box 14216
Lenexa KS 66285
Monday through Friday
8:30am – 5:00pm CST
FAQ1: What are the benefits of ABGC certification and the Certified Genetic Counselor (CGC©) credential?
Credentialing demonstrates a proficient level of knowledge and competence as a genetic counselor. The ABGC certification, CGC© credential, is the gold standard in the genetic counseling profession. The CGC© credential is recognized and used by employers, licensing boards, third party payers and the public to identify qualified genetic counselors who have attained credibility and value as a health care professional with specific knowledge and skills.
FAQ2: I´ve heard some genetic counselors called “ABGC diplomates” – does that mean they have a different credential?
The term “Diplomate” is used for those who have earned the CGC© credential. You will be an ABGC Diplomate upon achieving your board certification as a genetic counselor.
FAQ3: How do I become ABGC certified?
ABGC certification is granted to qualified individuals who take and pass the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) certification examination. Beginning in 2009 this examination is given once annually in a 30-day window of administration. Certification is time limited, and is renewable by re-examination or continuing education pathways.
FAQ4: A lot of job listings say they want a board eligible or BE counselor - what does that mean?
ABGC does not use the term board eligible or BE. Instead, genetic counselors wishing to take the certification examination must first apply for Active Candidate Status. This involves submitting a completed application form, examination fee and required documentation for review by ABGC. Applicants whose credentials are approved are given Active Candidate status to sit for the exam. Individuals with Active Candidate status must take and pass the examination within the approved examination cycle to achieve certification. If they do not achieve certification, they must apply as new applicants for a future exam cycle.
FAQ5: When can I take the ABGC Certification Examination?
You can apply for Active Candidate status for the first available examination following graduation from an ACGC accredited genetic counseling program. You cannot apply for Active Candidate Status until after your graduation.
FAQ6: What is the ABGC Certification Examination like?
The ABGC Certification Examination is a computer-based examination given at specific testing centers worldwide. The Genetic Counseling Examination is developed by the ABGC and is taken only by individuals seeking ABGC certification in genetic counseling. To achieve ABGC certification, applicants must pass the Certification Examination during the period of their Active Candidate Status.
FAQ7: How do I prepare for the board certification exam?
You have already been preparing for it, just by doing well in your ACGC accredited training program and using each of your clinical cases as an applied learning opportunity to reinforce your knowledge and skills for providing genetic counseling about a variety of referral indications. Remember, you will continue to learn on the job, putting facts and theories into daily practice, and refining your skills through interaction with more experienced colleagues. Forming a study group of others in your work setting or city who will also be taking the exam is also a great way to pool study resources, draw on each others´ strengths in certain areas, and stay motivated. Boards review courses are also available, and ABGC can help connect examinees with sponsors of those courses.
FAQ8: Any other advice for successfully achieving board certification? I really want those three letters after my name…
Here are a few more tips that should really help you through the process:
Ask for clarification if you are unsure about any aspect of the process. It is critical that you do not miss any application deadline or required documentation to determine eligibility. The ABGC office is available to assist you and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 913.895.4617.