Exam Overview

CRC Exam Overview

The certification examination is comprised of questions across twelve (12) knowledge domains underlying rehabilitation counseling that are based on the CRCC 2021 Job Task Analysis (JTA) Blueprint. Additionally, each of the twelve domains are further defined into subdomains.

CRC Exam Structure

The CRC exam is administered during an allotted 3 ½ hours. Candidates should set aside four (4) hours, which includes time for check-in, instructions (tutorial) and a brief post-exam survey. The exam is divided in two (2) sections: Rehabilitation and Disability (R) and Counseling (C). It consists of a total of 175 multiple-choice questions without a break in between. The timer/clock displayed in the screen will begin tracking with question one (1) of the examinations and end with question 175. Candidates will have 210 minutes to complete the examination questions once the timer/clock begins. After the first section is completed (locked), applicants cannot access this first section of the exam and the system will launch the second section of the exam immediately. Also, once the second section is completed (locked), applicants will be unable to return to any content of the exam.

Below is an overview of the CRC Exam Content Outline. For the full exam specification, including the CRC knowledge domains, competencies, and tasks based on the 2021 Job Task Analysis (JTA) Evidence-Based Research Study, please click here. We recommend reading the full document to prepare for the CRC Exam.

If you are a student looking for a study resource that covers all 12 Knowledge Domains, purchase the CRC Exam Prep Flashcards. These flashcards are written by CRCC, the same organization that administers the CRC Exam, and includes over 450 flashcards designed to include questions that might show up on the exam.

Buy the CRC Exam Prep Flashcards

CRC Exam Knowledge Domains % of Questions

1. Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice

  • Uphold professional ethical standards for rehabilitation counselors and manage risk. [C]
  • Understand and apply laws and public policy affecting individuals with disabilities. [R]
  • Advocate for diversity, understand, and apply appropriate services that address multicultural counseling issues. [C]
  • Understand and apply appropriate rehabilitation terminology and concepts. [R]
  • Understand and identify the differing professional roles, functions, and effective relationships with other providers and professionals. [C]
  • Understand the credentialing issues related to the rehabilitation counseling profession and advocate for appropriate solutions. [C]
  • Understand the differing organizational structures of rehabilitation counseling practice settings (e.g., public, private-for-profit, and not-for-profit service delivery systems). [R]
  • Understand, synthesize, and apply knowledge of historical and philosophical foundations of rehabilitation counseling. [R]

2. Counseling Theories, Techniques, and Evidence-Based Practices

  • Apply clinical problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. [C]
  • Understand rehabilitation techniques for individuals with disabilities. [R]
  • Understand individual counseling theories. [C]
  • Utilize individual counseling practices, interventions, and techniques. [C]
  • Understand substance use and treatment. [C]
  • Establish and maintain effective working alliances with clients. [C]
  • Understand dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders. [C]
  • Understand counseling/training to help clients develop workplace socialization skills. [R]
  • Demonstrate motivational interviewing use and skills. [C]
  • Facilitate treatment planning for clinical conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety, PTSD). [C]
  • Understand human growth and development. [C]
  • Apply evidence-based psychosocial/psychiatric rehabilitation interventions in rehabilitation counseling practice. [R]
  • Apply evidence-based vocational interventions in rehabilitation counseling practice. [R]
  • Apply or facilitate evidence-based counseling/therapy for clients with clinical diagnoses (e.g., depression, anxiety, PTSD). [C]
  • Apply or facilitate evidence-based counseling/therapy for clients with substance use disorders. [C]
  • Understand theories and techniques of clinical supervision. [C]
  • Recognize and utilize evidence and research-based practices. [C]

3. Group and Family Counseling

  • Understand family counseling theories. [C]
  • Incorporate family counseling practices and interventions. [C]
  • Understand group counseling theories. [C]
  • Incorporate group counseling practices and interventions. [C]

4. Crisis and Trauma Counseling and Interventions

  • Conduct assessment of client risk and development of a safety plan. [C]
  • Provide effective rehabilitation counseling services for individuals with polytrauma injuries. [C]
  • Understand the impact of crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events on people with disabilities. [C]
  • Use principles of crisis intervention for people with disabilities during crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events. [C]
  • Understand the emergency management system within rehabilitation agencies and in the community. [C]

5. Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Illness and Disability

  • Evaluate the psychosocial and cultural impact of disability. [R]
  • Understand medical terminology. [R]
  • Apply knowledge of the medical aspects and implications of various disabilities. [R]
  • Review the implications of medications as they apply to individuals with disabilities. [R]
  • Address environmental and attitudinal barriers for individuals with disabilities. [R]

6. Assessment/Evaluation, Occupational Analysis, and Service Implementation

  • Understand the vocational implications of functional limitations associated with disabilities. [R]
  • Access and review resources for the assessment process. [C]
  • Refer or conduct informal assessments. [C]
  • Refer or conduct formal assessments. [C]
  • Refer or perform Transferable Skills Analysis (e.g., VDARE). [C]
  • Interpret assessment results for rehabilitation planning purposes. [C]
  • Perform job analysis. [R]
  • Assess ergonomic, job accommodation, and assistive technology needs. [R]
  • Advise on job modification and restructuring techniques. [R]
  • Perform labor market analysis. [R]
  • Use computer-based job matching systems. [C]

7. Career Development and Job Placement

  • Understand, identify, and apply career development and job placement strategies. [R]
  • Understand, identify, and apply job readiness, seeking, and retention skills. [C]
  • Understand the unique needs of specialized populations in relation to job development and placement. [R]
  • Understand techniques to develop and retain relationships with employers to assist with job development and placement. [R]
  • Understand and identify evidence-based employment models and services tailored to individuals with significant disabilities and/or barriers to competitive employment. [R]
  • Understand the unique needs of individuals with a dual diagnosis in the workplace and apply appropriate strategies. [R]
  • Understand and apply theories of career development and work adjustment. [C]
  • Understand, identify, and facilitate the appropriate use of work conditioning or work hardening resources and strategies. [R]
  • Understand the effective use of and risks of social media as a networking tool. [C]

8. Business Engagement

  • Assist employers with job accommodations for their employees with disabilities (e.g., assistive technology, workspace modifications). [R]
  • Provide consultation services and training to employers / businesses concerning disability concepts, best practices, and applicable laws (e.g., hiring, return to work, reasonable accommodations, and retention). [R]
  • Partner with employers/businesses to address needs and concerns related to hiring and retaining individuals with disabilities. [R]
  • Understand, communicate, and apply business-focused strategies, techniques, and terminology to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. [R]
  • Work with employers to develop pipelines for employing individuals with disabilities using work-based learning and training methods. [R]
  • Understand the dual customer role (e.g., employer and person with a disability). [R]

9. Community Resources and Partnerships

  • Understand the programs and services available for specific and underserved populations. [R]
  • Understand Social Security programs, benefits, work incentives, and disincentives. [R]
  • Possess knowledge of funding sources and community resources for rehabilitation services. [R]
  • Provide or facilitate skills development and independent living services. [R]
  • Provide or facilitate financial literacy training. [R]
  • Understand and refer to services available through client advocacy programs (e.g., Client Assistance Program [CAP], legal aid). [R]
  • Refer to and partner with one-stop career centers and other community stakeholders. [R]
  • Understand and facilitate life care planning and life care planning services. [R]
  • Advocate with community partners for full community inclusion for people with disabilities. [R]
  • Provide or facilitate counseling on the impact of employment on community services and benefits. [R]

10. Case Management

  • Understand and apply the case management process. [C]
  • Complete case recording and documentation. [C]
  • Understand and apply negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution strategies. [C]
  • Understand and apply the principles of caseload management. [C]
  • Understand and address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and success for clients. [C]
  • Apply techniques for working with individuals with limited English proficiency or varied communication methods. [C]
  • Understand and apply principles, models, and documentation formats for biopsychosocial case conceptualization and treatment planning. [C]

11. Health Care and Disability Management

  • Understand and provide appropriate medical intervention resources. [R]
  • Understand the diversity of healthcare benefits, delivery systems, and the impact of services on individuals with disabilities. [R]
  • Understand and collaborate with health promotion and wellness providers regarding strategies for people with chronic illness and disability. [R]
  • Understand different insurance programs (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, group and individual, short-and long-term disability, personal injury no-fault liability). [R]
  • Understand and apply disability prevention and management strategies. [R]
  • Understand the variability of workers’ compensation laws and practices. [R]

12. Research, Methodology, and Performance Management

  • Understand statistics and psychometric concepts related to measurement. [C]
  • Understand research methods (e.g., surveys, case studies) and data analysis. [C]
  • Assess research literature related to evidence – based practice. [C]
  • Comprehend concepts and principles of organizational development and stakeholder management. [C]
  • Understand program evaluation procedures for assessing the effectiveness of rehabilitation services and outcomes. [R]
CRC Exam Scoring

The CRC Exam is scored using a conjunctive scoring model whereby the examination is divided into two parts. One part tests knowledge with regard to counseling and the other part tests knowledge with regard to rehabilitation and disability issues. Candidates must achieve a passing score on both parts on a single exam administration in order to pass the examination.

CRC Exam Results

Examinees will receive a preliminary score report at the test site indicating a pass or fail status. Those who do not pass will receive a score report including diagnostic information that can be used for further study. Official exam results packets are mailed via U.S. Postal Service approximately four weeks after the last date in the testing window. Please note that examination results cannot be released over the phone or by electronic communication.

Applicants who apply as a student are required to submit their official transcript reflecting the granting of their master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling before CRCC is able to release the examination results packet and officially award the CRC certification to candidates who obtained a passing score on the examination. The transcript must also reflect the successful completion of a 600-hour internship in rehabilitation counseling.


The CRC exam national average pass rate results from the last three (3) CRC exam administration windows:

  • March 2023 – First-time candidates taking the exam totaled 300, of whom 177 passed, resulting in a 59% pass rate.
  • July 2023 – First-time candidates taking the exam totaled 159, of whom 87 passed, resulting in a 55% pass rate.
  • October 2023 – First-time candidates taking the exam totaled 198, of whom 93 passed, resulting in a 47% pass rate.

The CRC exam is a competitive exam that tests the candidate’s academic knowledge and readiness to perform in the rehabilitation field to serve individuals with disabilities. The CRC certification is the gold standard for those pursuing the highest level of post-graduate credentialing in rehabilitation counseling.

The key factors that impact the pass rate on the CRC exam are related to:

  • The rehabilitation counseling program curriculum (academic and practice/internship)
  • A student’s preparation for the exam
  • An educator’s background in the academic and internship setting (CRC vs. non-CRC)


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