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National Resource Center for Youth Services: Residential Child and Youth Care Professional Certification


Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between being a certified trainer and a certified child and youth care professional?

With the NRCYS Residential Child and Youth Care Professional curriculum and training course, we use the term "certification" in two ways:

  • Certified Trainer - Individuals who have successfully completed a NRCYS trainer certification course and are certified by NRCYS to train the Residential Child and Youth Care Professional curriculum to others.
  • Certified Child and Youth Care Professional - Professionals who have completed the RCYCP training course within a maximum of 18 months, have applied for certification, paid a fee of $30, and passed an exam provided by NRCYS with 80% or more correct.

Do I have to complete training in all four modules?

Yes. The RCYCP training course consists of both reading the participant guide and participation in the classroom training activities.

How many hours of training are required for each RCYCP module?

  • Developing a Culture of Care: 12 hours
  • Understanding Child Development: 12 hours
  • Building Relationships: 12 hours
  • Teaching Discipline: 6 hours

How much time do I have to complete the course?

Eighteen months from the time of completion of the first module.

After completing all the modules, how much time do I have to complete the exam?

After receiving notification that your training hours have been logged by your trainer, you have three weeks to go online and complete the exam.

How do I study for the test?

The exam covers information from the four modules of the course manual. It is a closed book exam. Using the review questions at the end of each section will help to guide your study for the exam, along with reviewing the information obtained in the classroom training you have completed.

How many and what kind of questions are on the exam?

The exam consists of 90 multiple choice and true/false questions.

How much time do I have to complete the exam online?

You are given 120 minutes to complete all 90 questions. According to our records, the average time for completing the exam is approximately 40 minutes.

What score do I have to make on the exam to be certified?

You must score at least an 80% to pass the exam.

As the RCYCP trainer, do I need to supervise the trainees while taking the exam?

Yes, there should be supervision during the exam, and we realize the ideal proctoring environment may not always be possible. Suggestions to supervise trainees include but are not limited to:

  • the identification of a specific area where trainees are in view
  • a request of trainees to leave their manuals and notes outside of the testing area
  • immediate access to the trainer should the trainees have questions about the exam or the use of the computer while completing the exam

Does everyone have to take the exam at the same time?

No. Many agencies do not have the capacity to have everyone take the exam at the same time. The RCYCP trainer can schedule the exams as necessary.

When is the application fee due?

The $30 application fee is due upon submission of the application form and verification of training, which must occur before the certification test is taken.

What does the $30 application fee include?

The application fee covers record maintenance, certification exam processing, and the certificate of achievement.

How do I pay the $30 application fee?

Using most major credit cards, you can pay online using the Online Payment link within the trainers login area. You can pay by phone using credit cards, personal and agency checks, money orders, and purchase orders. To pay by phone, call (800) 274-2687.

If I fail the exam, will I have another opportunity to pass?

If you fail the exam, you will have one additional opportunity in the next 30 days to retake the exam. If you fail the second time, you must re-apply and pay an additional $30 application fee.

How do I maintain my certification?

To keep your certification current, you will need to obtain and submit 12 clock hours of continuing education related to working with children, youth, and their families. You will be responsible for submitting the verification of your continuing education to NRCYS by December 31 each year.

How do I document CEUs?

When you're ready to submit your annual hours, complete the Verification of Training formYou can then either mail it to NRCYS using the address on the form or email a digital copy to  

Is the RCYCP trainer the only person who can sign the verification of training form for continuing education units?

The verification of training form requests the trainer of the workshop sign upon completion of the training. However, if for some reason a trainer did not sign the form, we will accept signatures from the RCYCP trainer or the executive director of your agency.

What types of training are acceptable for continuing education?

Any training that will help you to continue to develop your capacity to be a talented and effective child and youth care professional are acceptable as continuing education. NRCYS supports lifelong learning and ongoing professional development for anyone who provides care and support for children, youth, and their families. 

For more guidance on competency standards for child and youth care professionals, we encourage you to review the Competencies for Professional Child and Youth Work Practitioners developed by the Association for Child and Youth Care Practice.  

How do I re-certify if I fail to submit certification documents to NRCYS by December 31?

If you fail to submit required documentation by the year-end deadline, please contact NRCYS directly, and we will work with you to figure out how to get you back on track.

Does the RCYCP trainer need to re-certify each year?

You do not currently have to submit continuing education verification to maintain your trainer certification. Simply follow your Trainer Certification Agreement. However, if you are also a certified Child and Youth Care Professional, you will need to follow the requirements outlined above.


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The University of Oklahoma OUTREACH National Resource Center for Youth Services
Schusterman Center | 4502 E. 41st St., Bldg 4W, Tulsa OK 74135-2512 | (800) 274-2687

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