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Qualifying Examination (QE) Overview

After membership eligibility has been determined as outlined on the membership eligibility page, applications for registered membership, which provide a designation with the CPCA, require successful completion of the CPCA Qualifying Examination.

The Qualifying Examination carries a non-refundable fee of $300 plus GST/HST and is issued after membership eligibility is determined. This exam is a demonstration of the applicant's understanding of knowledge from their education that establishes proven competencies for candidate recognition as a professional counsellor. The Core Competencies required are tested under the following categories:

  1. Foundations of Counselling
  2. Counselling Interventions
  3. Counselling Process, Skills and Techniques
  4. Ethics and Ethical Practice
  5. Reflective Practice
  6. Professional Practice and Communication


This link can be used to Pay for Qualifying Exam (QE)

QE Format

The Qualifying Examination 

Minimum score for each section is 70%.

200 multiple-choice questions examining on the Core Compencies listed above. 

QE Results

All examination results remain confidential between the CPCA Office of the Registrar and the applicant. The exams are marked and feedback or recommendations to the applicant provided based on the overall score, and on the scores for each separate section.  Applicants will be notified by email of the QE results once received and a copy of the results will be included in the new member package issued by mail once membership is finalized.

QE Process

The applicant is permitted 15 days from the date the exam is issued to write and return the Qualifying Examination (QE) to the CPCA head office.  Completed QE’s received after the 15 days will not be scored and the applicant will be required to re-apply - it is for this reason that the CPCA recommends that the applicant return the QE by registered mail. 

The examination process takes 4 - 6 weeks to complete AFTER membership eligibility has been determined. 

Mission Statement

The Canadian Professional Counsellors Association is dedicated to the recognition of competence and professionalism in counselling and psychotherapy.