Many people have asked me about the initials after my name, ICADC. Thus, I thought it would be beneficial to write about what an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor (ICADC) is, what our role and function is, and who qualifies and oversees these Substance Abuse Professionals.


Definition of Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor:

An Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor is a person primarily involved in assessing individuals who are experiencing problematic substance use, and then providing recommendations re a course of treatment.


Setting the international standards for competency-based certification programs through testing and credentialing of addiction professionals for since 1981, the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium is the largest credentialing organization in the world for substance abuse counsellors. Incorporated in 1981, the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium represents 22 countries and six Native American territories, encorporates 76 Member Boards, including 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, two U.S. territories, and three branches of the U.S. military.

In order to earn the designation ICADC, each counsellor must accomplish the following:

6000 hours of supervised work experience specific to the Alcohol and Drug field. 


270 hours specific to the substance abuse.  Six hours must be specific to Counsellor ethics. 



300 hours specific to substance abuse and must be supervised by an individual with at a minimum an ICADC designation.



Applicants must submit a Case Presentation for review, and then must pass the IC&RC International Written Examination.



Code of Ethics
Applicants must sign a code of ethics statement or an affirmation statement.



40 hours of continuing education must be earned every two years in order for counsellors to remain current with best practices in substance abuse.


This process does not endorse any one particular philosophy or theory of treatment, but encourages and requires the development of professional skills and competencies for all addiction professionals. The ICADC is a prestigious specialty certification.


Credentialing provides critical standardization to the ever-evolving addiction profession. Becoming credentialed demonstrates competency, by having professional expertise and qualifications verified by an independent evaluator. It recognizes achievement of a standard of professional education and experience necessary to provide quality prevention services.

Credentialing also provides clients and their families with the assurance that you have met internationally recognized standards of professionalism and ethics.

Hope this explains the what a Credentialed Counsellor is, and how important it is that you, the consumer, be aware of any counsellor you are considering seeing has the appropriate credentials.

If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing problematic substance use, please email or call 604.818.1771. We would be pleased to see you in our Vancouver office, our Langley office, or our Port Moody office.