Certification Process

Certification Process

Applicants should apply for the Certified Genetic Counselor (CGC®) examination through ABGC's testing partner, PSI. Once on the PSI website, choose the "Candidates" menu item > health care category > American Board of Genetic Counseling. All materials, including an official transcript, must be submitted online.

If you need to achieve Active Candidate Status (ACS) for purposes of state licensure, you can apply for ACS after graduating from an ACGC accredited genetic counseling program.

Certification processBe sure to thoroughly review the Examination Bulletin and ask for clarification if you are unsure about any aspect of the process. It is critical that you 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 info@abgc.net, or by phone at 312-321-6879. Candidates may also contact PSI at 888-519-9901 from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Central) Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Common Questions

  • Test Center Safety

    Test Center Safety


    • A health questionnaire will be required for each candidate prior to the examination
    • Candidates MUST complete the questionnaire and bring it with them on their testing day. If a candidate fails to bring the required questionnaire, one will be provided on-site.
    • If a candidate answers, “yes” to any of the first four questions, they will need to reschedule their exam. Candidates should not travel to the test center where they will be denied admission. We recommend that candidates use the self-service option (https://www.psionline.com/test-takers/) or contact PSI via email (examschedule@psionline.com) or phone to reschedule their exam.
    • ALL candidates must wear facemasks at all times while in the test center. If a candidate fails to bring and wear a facemask during the examination, they will be requested to leave the test site.
    • Candidates will be requested to remove the facemask briefly during check-in to verify identity as well as capture the photograph of the candidate.
    • Candidates may wear gloves during the examination. Gloves will need to be examined by the test site administrator during check-in and checkout.
    • Candidates are required to discard facemasks and gloves outside of the PSI test site in a safe and sanitary manner.

    PSI Employees

    • Test site administrators are being provided facemasks, hand sanitizers, and antibacterial wipes.
    • PSI is focused on safe distancing in the lobby area for the candidates as well as our employees. As a result, candidates may be requested to wait outside of the building or in the hallway during the candidate check-in process.
    • In addition, all testing equipment will be thoroughly wiped down following each test administration.

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABGC Board of Directors are pleased to announce the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) has approved ABGC to offer live remote proctoring for the August examination. ABGC is working with PSI on implementation with the goal of having this service available to candidates by August 1, 2020, when the administration opens.

  • Live Remote Proctoring
  • What is the first step?

    Individuals wishing to apply to sit for the ABGC CGC® certification examination must review the Examination Bulletin and apply online though our partner PSI. Applicants must upload an electronic transcript that states the name of the degree and the date conferred. The director of the accredited genetic counseling program from which an applicant graduated must also logon to an online system and verify the graduation date of all applicants. All application materials are reviewed before eligibility is conferred. This process can take between 7-14 business days once all eligibility requirements are met.

    Once an applicant is accepted to sit for the examination, s/he will be granted Active Candidate Status (ACS) and will be able to schedule an examination appointment. The examination is administered generally six days a week in the months of February and August and is administered in testing centers worldwide.

  • Exam Administration

    How is the test administered?

    The ABGC Certified Genetic Counselor® Examination is a computer-based examination given at specific testing centers worldwide through our partner PSI. The examination consists of 200 questions. Candidates are given four hours to complete the examination.

  • Exam Dates and Fees

    Is there a time limit to pass the exam?

    To achieve ABGC certification, applicants must pass the Certified Genetic Counselor® Examination during the period of their Active Candidate Status. Candidates have three attempts within five years of graduation from an ACGC accredited program to become certified.

    Be sure to thoroughly review the Examination Bulletin and ask for clarification if you are unsure about any aspect of the process.

  • Recertification

    What about recertification?

    Certification lasts five years, after which individuals must recertify. Certified individuals are referred to as Diplomates.

    Diplomates may recertify by examination or by participation in appropriate continuing education activities. If a Diplomate chooses to recertify by examination, he or she may follow the application guidelines and eligibility requirements included in the Examination Bulletin.

    Each Diplomate is responsible for:

    • Applying for recertification
    • Creating and updating the contact information on his/her ABGC Portal profile
    • Keeping current with ABGC news, information, policy, rules and regulations