So You Want To Be An Addiction Professional
At first glance, the process of certification may seem daunting and overwhelming, and it is our hope to simplify that and break it down into manageable pieces.
Certification in Indiana involves a board of credentialed professionals examining your portfolio and determining your level of certification based on several qualifications. Even if you are new to the field, you may qualify for an entry level credential, so do not be intimidated by the process. It may be helpful for you to download and print forms “A” through “G” from the web site to reference as you read further. This outline is just to help you gather the information you will need to complete your application. A requirements grid is also at the end of this document, which breaks down the areas more specifically per credential. The areas the board will examine include:
Education: This category will examine your addictions and treatment specific educational history. You will need to substantiate any hours you list, in the form of continuing education certificates, or transcripts. If you list a degree, you will need to provide a copy of your diploma and transcripts as well. Some credentials are available without a degree, but our highest level of credentialing, the CADAC IV/AAADC, requires a master’s degree. All levels of certification, even our entry level ACIT, will require documentation that you have completed 6 hours of training in HIV/Aids prevention and awareness, and 6 hours of training in ethics. If you do not have these classes in your portfolio, they are available online from a link on the front page of our web site. Continuing Education Certificates can be printed once you have completed the training, and these and other trainings are offered at least monthly by ICAADA members throughout the state.
Testing: You must register for, take, and pass the certification test offered at the ICAADA Office and throughout Indiana at the 12 IVY Tech campuses. You may pay for and register for the test online, at www.icaada.org, or you may print and mail the form from our website, with a check attached. There are two different tests. The ADC test, necessary for a level I or II certification, or the AADC test, required for a level IV credential. Please specify which test you will be taking. The ADC & AADC tests are available in Spanish or Swedish, as well as a large print edition, upon request. The test is computer based, and also can be available in paper and pencil versions. The test is offered upon registration form completion found on the ICAADA website, by contacting the ICAADA office or the IVY Tech location nearest you. Results of testing at the ICAADA office are available immediately upon test completion. Results at IVY Tech locations may take longer.
Experience: You will need to document, usually in the form of a notarized statement as part of the application, your hours of experience working as a drug and alcohol professional. Different levels of certification require different quantities of hours of experience, and are factored in as part of the qualifications. Even with a high level of education, time in the field is considered vital and necessary to certification. However, for entry level certification, even time in a self help group, such as AA or NA, may be counted towards experience in the field, so again, a short time in the field will not disqualify you for a credential.
Supervised Practicum: This involves time spent working in the field under the supervision of a credentialed person. If you need help locating a place to do your practicum, you may contact us and we will provide you with members and agencies in your area of the state who allow interns. This practicum will focus on the core competencies of the addiction professional, and there are minimum numbers of hours that you must complete in each competency. There is a gap between education and experience that is partially closed while doing a good practicum, and time spent under qualified supervision is invaluable. It will help you immensely to have people with long term experience available to answer questions and give insight into the incredibly diverse and complex issues surrounding addiction and treatment. Higher levels of credentialing will require more hours in a practicum. If you feel a supervisor is qualified to guide you through a practicum, but is not credentialed, or credentialed in a different discipline, you may fill out a supervisor variance request for the certification board to consider.