The CFMHE credential is designed to certify licensed individuals who, hold a current license in good standing as a mental health professional (i.e., clinical mental health counselor, clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, clinical or counseling psychologist, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner*) for at least one full year in the state of his/her practice. Who then have attained expert status in the specialty of forensic mental health evaluation as evidenced by their forensic knowledge and experience. Please note that in order to pursue our Certified Child Custody Evaluator (CCCE) credential or our Certified Forensic Behavioral Analyst (CFBA) credential you must first be certified as one of our Certified Forensic Mental Health Evaluator's (CFMHE).
Certification Process in 5 Steps:
- Complete the application for the CFMHE credential (including uploading all requirement documents and profile photo) by signing up for a self-paced certification workshop "on-demand" or attend a live certification workshop. Please scroll down to "Apply Now" for more details.
- After submitting your application, attend a certification workshop (no additional cost) and/or utilize the online training resources (no additional cost) available to prepare for the written and oral examinations.
- Complete the written examination within 90 days of applying or attending a certification workshop (i.e., the earlier of the two dates).
- Submit a sample forensic mental health evaluation report to the Oral Examination Committee and schedule an oral examination within 6 moths of application or certification workshop attendance (i.e., the earlier of the two dates). The committee will review the sample and either recommend revisions for re-submission or approve the sample and schedule the oral examination. Once approved by the committee, the sample will be sent to the Chair of the Oral committee for final approval.
- Attend and pass the oral examination.
To attain NBFE board certification as a forensic mental health evaluator, the applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Holds a current license in good standing as a mental health professional (i.e., clinical mental health counselor, clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, clinical or counseling psychologist, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner*) for at least one full year in the state of his/her practice.
- *Laws, board rules, and other regulations vary state-by-state in the United States as well as from nation to nation. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the individual mental health professional to verify that the ability to diagnose and treat, conduct particular types of forensic mental health evaluations, and/or administer and interpret specific tests and assessment tools is within the scope of practice of his or her license in his or her state. Mental health professionals working outside of the United States in countries that do not license their profession may substitute the licensure requirement with the following:
- A transcript from an appropriately credentialed college or university detailing their coursework and verifying that they have earned a graduate (i.e., Master’s or doctorate) degree in a profession that diagnoses and treats mental disorders (i.e., counseling, social work, psychology, psychiatry, marriage and family therapy)
- Evidence that they can legally diagnose and treat mental disorders in their country (e.g., copy of statutes, rules, court rulings, letter from a government authority, etc.)
- Verification that they have been practicing as a mental health professional for at least three calendar years
- Please note that registered internship, associate counselor, or provisional licensure status do not meet criteria for independent licensure unless you are legally permitted to diagnose and treat mental disorders in your state without being under the supervision of another licensed professional.
- Has a minimum of forty (40) hours of forensic experience and/or training.
- "Experience" is defined as hours spent conducting clinical interviews, reviewing collateral records, administering tests, testifying in court, and/or writing reports for legal proceedings. Case numbers must be provided in the electronic application. Experience in forensic mental health-related research (e.g., studies published in peer-reviewed, professional journal articles) may also be considered.
- "Training" consists of clock hours hours recognized by appropriate continuing education authorities (e.g., National Board for Certified Counselors, American Mental Health Counselors Association, American Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers, American Medical Association, Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, etc.) of forensic mental health-related training through classes, workshops, seminars, etc. focusing on forensic mental health-related topics such as sexual offenders, domestic violence, expert witness, ethical issues in forensic evaluation, family law, introduction to essentials of forensic assessment, child custody evaluations, assessment in personal injury, malingering, competency to stand trial, civil commitment, juvenile justice, administering and interpreting psychological tests, and substance abuse evaluation.
- Applicants who do not have 40 hours of experience may elect to complete live, "on demand" webinar, or homestudy courses offered by NBFE. All NBFE courses are automatically deemed "forensic mental health-related." Click here to explore these courses.
- Has submitted three current professional references that can validate the applicants ethical and moral standards, as well as pertinent clinical skills and abilities
- Note that reference letters will only be accepted if written by a mental health professional
- Has completed a written examination designed to assess the depth and breadth of the applicant's forensic mental health knowledge.
- Has submitted a sample written report that adheres to NBFE's official report format (note that training resources will be provided to aid the applicant in writing the sample report).
- Has passed an oral examination that involves defending the sample report (note that training resources will be provided to aid the applicant in passing the oral exam)
- Has agreed to abide by the Code of Ethics of the evaluator's licensed discipline as follows: American Mental Health Counselors Association or American Counseling Association (for counselors), National Association of Social Workers (for social workers), American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (for marriage and family therapists), American Psychological Association (for psychologists), American Psychiatric Association (for psychiatrists).
- Click "apply now" to access our self-served credentialing process. Access our CFMHE course when time allows. This option is all self-paced. Please be advised that our self-paced Certified Forensic Mental Health Evaluator training, still adheres to our timeframes for completing the course. Our self-paced certification course is offered starting at $715 (none-members) or $608 (members). Members are those who hold a valid, none-expired membership with one of our professional partnerships. Please click here to verify our professional partnerships. Or attend one of our live certification workshop discounted starting at $500 currently, and starting (9/30/2021) $600. Click here to view live certification workshops! Should you have any questions about becoming certified please contact our Administrative Assistant,Valentino Norton, at (386) 366-5761 or by email at Valentino@nbfe.net.
Certification costs include:
1. Application Fee
3. Discounted rates off trainings and homestudy courses (member rate vs. none-member rate)
4. Eight-hour certification workshop (8-CE's)
5. Written Exam
6. Oral Exam
Each year, CFMHEs receive automated renewal instructions directing them on how to upload an updated copy of their malpractice insurance and license and how to re-attest to ethical and legal questions. CFMHEs also pay an annual certification renewal fee, which is currently set at $80. Annual renewal fees are subject to change. Renewals are due by January 31st of each year. The first renewal fee is automatically waived for CFMHEs who are certified from October 1st through January31st.