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 knowledge gained through their education and their ability to apply that knowledge competently 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 (QE) consists of 170 multiple-choice questions plus 5 short-answer questions examining on the Core Competencies listed above. It must be observed by a Proctor and completed in 4 hours.

An overall minimum score of 70% must be achieved.

QE Results

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

QE Process

The QE will be sent via Registered Mail directly to the Proctor. The Proctor is responsible to mail the completed exam back to the CPCA Head Office immediately following the writing of the exam.

The Exam must be received back to the office no later than 15 days from the day it was accepted and signed for. Completed QE’s received after the 15 days will not be scored and the applicant will be required to re-apply. 

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


Mission Statement

Working together to promote and support
competency in clinical counselling & psychotherapy.