Certification Qualifications

Certification Qualifications

level-2-image.jpg The Certified Genetic Counselor (CGC®) credential is granted to individuals who pass the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) certification examination. The primary qualification to sit for the examination is a Master’s degree in genetic counseling from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC).

Please review the full eligibility requirements in the Examination Bulletin to determine your eligibility to apply to take the current ABGC Certification Examination.

As part of ABGC’s ongoing commitment to our Diplomates and addressing factors or barriers to ‎certification, the Board of Directors is pleased to announce the following changes to Certified Genetic ‎Counselor examination (CGC exam) eligibility effective June 1, 2021: ‎

  • Elimination on the limit of number of attempts to write the ABGC exam
  • Extended Active Candidate Status granted for new graduates
  • Elimination of required CEUs for some candidates

These changes allow individuals who graduated from an ACGC-accredited genetic counseling program ‎and who either did not certify, chose not to sit for the exam within the requisite time or who ‎surpassed their number of attempts the ability to sit for the ABGC examination. Additionally, this ‎change allows new graduates an extended period of active candidate status (ACS) for up to five years. ‎Graduation from an ACGC (or its predecessor) accredited program remains the gold standard and ‎primary criteria for eligibility for the CGC exam. ‎
Revised language in more specific detail regarding eligibility is as follows: ‎
Examinees who graduated from a training program accredited by ACGC may apply for eligibility to take ‎‎the exam in Categories 1 – 3.‎

  • Category 1: ACS Eligible First Time Examinees‎ and ‎
  • Category 2: ACS Eligible Repeat Examinees‎
    • Graduates of a training program accredited by ACGC are eligible for Active Candidate ‎Status (ACS) for five (5) years from the date of graduation (e.g., eligibility period would ‎be 6/1/2020 – 6/1/2025 with ‎‎6/1/2020 being date of graduation.) ACS expires when ‎the applicant successfully completes the ‎examination or exactly five years from the ‎date of graduation, whichever comes first. Candidates are ‎responsible for being aware ‎of when ACS expires and should be prepared to apply for the last available ‎‎examination administration prior to that date if needed. ‎
    • Candidates applying for the ABGC examination via Category 1 must pay the fee, submit ‎an official ‎transcript from an ACGC-accredited genetic counseling education program, ‎and ensure their program ‎director verifies training through the PSI portal. Official ‎transcripts can be sent directly from the school ‎to PSI or submitted by the student as a ‎PDF document uploaded at the time of application. Official ‎transcripts must state the ‎degree and date the degree was conferred. Please be aware that transcript ‎requests ‎often take an educational institution several weeks to process. Request transcripts as ‎soon as ‎possible so they are received by PSI well before the application deadline. ‎Unofficial transcripts will not ‎be accepted.‎
  • Category 3: Non-ACS Attempt Examinees
    • If a candidate fails to obtain certification within the first five years of graduation from ‎an accredited ‎program, they remain eligible to sit for the examination. However, ‎candidates will not be granted ACS ‎for any examination attempt in Category 3. 
  • Former ABGC Diplomates whose time-limited certification has lapsed may become certified ‎again by ‎attempting the examination. Candidates who qualify under this category are not ‎eligible for ACS.‎

 If you have any questions about the changes in eligibility, please contact info@abgc.net.‎

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