Mailing Address:
4400 College Blvd
Suite 220
Overland Park, KS 66211

Office Hours:
Monday through Friday
8:30am – 5:00pm CST

Phone: 913.222.8661
Fax: 913.222.8606
Email: Click Here


Frequently Asked Questions About Certification

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, who have first completed an accredited training program and are qualified to sit for the examination.

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 (ACS). 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. ACS expires when the applicant is issued the examination score report, or 12 consecutive months following examination application approval, whichever comes first.    

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. Also available is the ABGC board certification Practice Examination. The Practice Exam is a 100-question online examination that was developed by ABGC to mirror the content and difficulty of the actual ABGC Certified Genetic Counselor® (CGC) Examination. Boards review courses are also available, and ABGC can help connect examinees with sponsors of those courses. 

FAQ8: How is the examination scored?

Learn more about the examination scoring process here.

FAQ9: 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:

  1. Use the ABGC website as a first stop for information. All of the detailed instructions, deadlines and forms you need to apply for Active Candidate status are located here in the Examination Bulletin. More information about the exam format, content, and test-taking tips are also posted on the Bulletin of Information for the ABGC Certification Examination. 
  2. Read and follow all instructions and deadlines carefully! Don´t jeopardize your ability to apply for the certification exam by missing deadlines or not taking the time to understand the process.
  3. Plan ahead! There are several components of a complete application and they take time to assemble. 

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 or by phone (913) 222-8661.

FAQ9: How do I add the ABGC to my email whitelist?

To ensure that you receive ABGC email in your inbox, you should whitelist the sending email address, essentially marking it as safe in your email client. This will also prevent the ABGC email from automatically going to your Spam or “Junk” folder. Each mail client has a different process for adding a sender to your safe list.

Please note, if you have subscribed to an ABGC publication or communication using your work or school email address, you may need to request additional assistance from your IT department to add the ABGC to the organization’s whitelist.

If you signed up to receive an ABGC publication or communication using a personal address and never got an issue, or delivery suddenly stopped, your Internet Service Provider may be filtering your email automatically. If you suspect that your ISP is filtering mail that you do want to receive, you should visit your ISP’s support web site and look for their SPAM policy. You may be able to:

  • Opt out of the filtering
  • Whitelist certain senders manually
  • Report a specific problem through a contact form

If you can’t find any of these options, contact your ISP via email or phone. Ask them if a server-side spam filter may be catching this wanted piece of mail, and request that the domain be whitelisted.

FAQ11: How do I volunteer for ABGC?

Are you a genetic counselor looking for a professional volunteer opportunity that directly impacts your profession? Volunteer opportunities with ABGC are available!

ABGC is seeking board-Certified Genetic Counselors eager to be item writers and/or serve on the Finance Committee, Nominating Committee and Disciplinary Review Committee. Only certified genetic counselors are eligible.

View all the committee and task descriptions here.

It takes less than five minutes to indicate your interest – just complete the Committee Volunteer Application Form here and submit it to the ABGC Executive Office.

Contact with questions about serving on an ABGC Committee.

Volunteer Requirements Policy:

Diplomates serving on ABGC Committees must:

  • Be certified and in good standing
  • Have at least a minimum of three years of professional practice experience after graduation from an accredited genetic counseling training program; and
  • Sign a Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality agreement

The only exception to the minimum work experience requirment is Diplomates wishing to serve on the ABGC Communications Committee.

Diplomates serving on the ABGC Board of Directors must:

  • Be certified and in good standing
  • Have a minimum of five years of professional practice experience after graduation from an accredited genetic counseling training program; and
  • Sign a Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality agreement