CCAC Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor

Work Experience

Work experience is for the purpose of acquiring and refining skills needed to be a competent alcohol and drug counsellor. This must be direct experience in counselling based on the “Twelve Core Functions”. Such experience is defined as supervised work, paid, working directly with clients with a primary diagnosis of substance abuse. In order to be eligible for certification, candidates must document that they have obtained qualified clinical work experience in the field.

The candidate must have the equivalent of two (2) years full-time work experience (4000 hours) within the past five (5) years providing direct and regularly supervised counselling services to persons with the primary diagnosis of substance abuse.


Education includes university or college. Education must be related to the base of knowledge and skills, associated with the “Twelve Core Functions” of the addiction counsellor. To be eligible, all education must be documented by means of a transcript, and course outlines if not a preapproved program.

The applicant must have a minimum of 270 hours of education in the knowledge and skill areas.


Supervised Clinical Training

The minimal accepted standard is 300 hours. It is expected that this supervision will be a continuous, on-going part of the counsellor’s experience.

A “supervisor” shall be interpreted to mean the person who has responsibility for monitoring and evaluating the performance of alcohol and drug counsellors and students. This individual must be a person with comprehensive knowledge of the treatment of alcoholism and drug dependency, and have reached a supervisory position in a treatment setting. Others, who might be in positions of authority, but with little knowledge of addiction, would not be acceptable.

Supervised clinical training is supervision designed to improve and evaluate a counsellor’s knowledge and skill in the “Twelve Core Functions”. This training must be part of the eligible clinical work experience and may be completed under more than one supervisor or agency.

All clinical training hours must be documented as to where and with whom they took place, and what material was covered. This documentation must indicate a minimum of ten (10) hours of supervision in each of the “Twelve Core Functions”


  1. Client Screening
  2. Client Intake
  3. Client Orientation
  4. Treatment Planning
  5. Client Assessment
  6. Counselling
  7. Case Management
  8. Crisis Intervention
  9. Client Education
  10. Referral
  11. Reports and Record Keeping
  12. Consultations with Other Professionals



Having met the basic requirements the candidate will:

  1. Submit an Application that outlines work experience, education, supervised clinical training, a signed Canon of Ethics, and the applicable administrative fee.
  2. Pass a written examination – Study guide and Exam fees are not part of the Certfication fee


This certification must be re-certified every year by submitting proof of 20 CACCF approved continuing education hours.


Study guide and exam

The CCAC designation requires you as part of the process of obtaining your certification, to write and pass the CCAC exam.

The exam is 100 multiple choice questions and is best prepared for by studying the available CCAC Study Guide, available for purchase.

The exam is taken online at a proctored location nearest you and will be scheduled upon payment of fees.