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CATC Certification Eligibility

We will be accepting applications soon! Check back for updates.

All candidates for certification must meet all eligibility requirements established by the ACCBC in effect at the time of application for certification. Candidates cannot earn certification without passing the certification exam. Review the Simple Steps to Becoming a CATC document.

Eligibility Requirements

The following steps must be completed to earn CATC I certification:

  1. APPLICATION: Submission of a complete CATC I Initial Application form that includes:
  1. EXPERIENCE: Proof of at least 2,240 hours (3,000 hours for equivalency) of supervised clinical/field experience hours on the ACCBC Summary of Hours formSupervised experience requirements:
  • Experience may include volunteer or paid experience in the field dating back to the first day the applicant began attending an approved Addiction Studies (ADS) program. Any hours worked prior to starting the ADS program will not be accepted.
  • Work must be in a licensed drug/alcohol treatment center or facility. Practicum/fieldwork hours do count toward the total 2,240.
  • Experience hours must be in evaluation and assessment, treatment planning, pharmacology of alcohol and other drugs, cultural issues, models of intervention, family issues, legal and ethical issues, referrals, and record keeping.

Evidence of experience requires:

(1) A signed letter from the applicant’s supervisor(s) verifying the dates, hours, facility name(s), and experiential functions noted on the Summary of Hours forms.

(2) Supervisors must be certified alcohol/drug treatment counselors or licensed professionals (i.e. LMFT, LCSW, LPCC, MD).


Option 1: Completion of a Community College or any accredited (post-secondary institution) Alcohol and Drug Studies (ADS)/Addiction Studies program that is at least 30 semester units in length and that is designed to meet Federal TAP 21 guidelines.

Option 2:

A) Completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in one of the following areas of study:

Addiction Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Counseling, Human Services, Criminal Justice, Nursing, or other related degree


B) Completion of the following addiction coursework either as part of, or in addition to, the applicant’s degree:

Drugs and Society or Physiological Effects of Drugs and Alcohol

Family & Addiction

Intervention, Treatment and Recovery (Treatment of Substance Abuse—clinical focus)

Co-Occurring Disorders

Group Counseling (experiential)

Ethics (specific to addiction counseling)

Fieldwork or direct experience with AOD clients


4. REFERENCES: Three (3) letters of character reference from three different individuals. References from family members or current employer are not accepted.

5. FEE: Payment of initial non-refundable CATC fee. CAADE membership is not required for certification.

6. EXAM: Passing score on the CATC examination.

Fill out online initial certification application form, pay fee online (see ACCBC payment page at coming soon) or either fax, email or mail initial certification application form (and payment payable to CAADE/ACCBC) to:

Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California

5230 Clark Ave, Suite #1

Lakewood, CA, 90712


Ph: (800) 991-2997 Fax: 562-275-3150   Email:    Website: