As a Certified First Responder Counselor, you will be specialty-trained in the unique culture of First Responders and Law Enforcement Officers. The required online training program (Cultural Competency for the First Responder Counselor) prepares you for the CFRC Certification Examination and prepares you to be culturally competent to support those who protect all of us.

Upon enrollment you will have access to the Cultural Competency for the First Responder Counselor training program for 120 days. 

This training program is delivered to you in an online, gradual-release platform. What this means: During the first 50 days of the program you will have access to a new session each day. So, upon enrollment, you'll be able to access Session 1. The next day, Session 2... and so on, until you have all 50 training hours.  You will then have access for another 70 days to catch up, re-watch sessions, and prepare for the CFRC Certification Exam.

For emergencies and unplanned delays, you will have the option of a 30-day extension, at a cost of $100 for every extension.

  1. The mentality of a Law Enforcement Officer
  2. The perspective of a First Responder
  3. The culture / family of response teams
  4. The Trauma of being a Responder
  5. The triad of health & well-being in regard to safety
  6. Suicide in law enforcement & First Responder careers
  7. Warrior mentality
  8. Peer support vs Peer pressure
  9. Denial, Job Security, and other reasons to resist counseling
  10. The spouse, children, family of a Responder
  11. The real goal of helping a Responder
  12. The importance of self-debriefing as a Responder counselor
  13. Ethics in Responder careers and those of their Counselors
  14. Confidentiality and trust 
  15. Rapport with a warrior
  16. Common coping techniques of First Responders
  17. Networking & building connections
  18. Resources available to First Responders
  19. Helping a Responder manage public criticism
  20. A holistically healthy First Responder
  21. Changing the culture of First Responder mental health
  22. Other issues related specifically to working in a counselor role with a First Responder

The Cultural Competency for the First Responder Counselor training program and the Certified First Responder Counselor Certification have been developed by and are offered by Academy Hour (www.AcademyHour.com) as a means of educating counselors/therapists about the very specific needs of Law Enforcement and First Responders. Not all counselors are meant to handle the trauma and situations that these warriors experience. Part of this program will include self-assessment to identify your own abilities in regard to working with the intense and difficult situations that responders would discuss in a counseling session. 

This is a cultural competency training program, with the focus population being Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders.

The Certified First Responder Counselor Certification program is not a program to authorize non-counselors to become counselors.  Only fully-licensed, independent counselors/therapists may take the CFRC Certification Exam and become certified under the CFRC program.

Not sure if you qualify? You must meet the below requirements:

1) Do you have at least a Masters Degree in a clinical counseling program or meet the minimum education requirements in your state for licensing??

2) Have you completed the practicum that is required as a part of a counselor's degree program?

3) Have you completed all of the required hours of supervision under a licensed counselor?

4) Do you have an active /current license through your state's licensing board?

You will be required to provide your licensure information prior to being invited to take the exam.   A sample list of who qualifies:  Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Psychologist or Psychiatrist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, etc. Different states have different clinical licensure guidelines, so.. If you have a question about your licensure qualifying you, please contact us at [email protected]

If you are under supervision, or otherwise “not yet licensed” fully and independently, you may take our 40-hour Cultural Competency for the First Responder Counselor training program, to prepare you for the Certified First Responder Associate Certification Examination to earn the CFRA designation. Or, you may take this training program now, but not take the exam. Once your license is independently recognized by your state’s licensure board then you may contact us, and will be granted free access to this program for 60 days to refresh your learning, and you will then be invited to take the CFRC exam for certification upon completion.

Anyone may take this training program for the sake of the information and education to be gained, without taking the certification exam.

The CFRC certification program requires completion of the "Cultural Competency for the First Responder Counselor" 50-hour training course.  The training course is primarily an online learning experience, with videos, audio, and on-screen reading activities. There is also a book that is a required part of the training course. Additionally, we require a minimum 4-hour ride-along with a Responder – this can be police, fire, EMS or 911.  This requirement is part of the certification program and MUST be completed within the 120 day program timeframe, or the program will not be considered fully completed. The program content provides full details on how, why, and where to do this activity, and we’re here to help you along the way.

NOTE: Most agencies are opening back up ride-alongs post COVID-19. However, if you find agencies in your local area are still not offering ride-alongs, you are welcome to do an alternate stay-at-home assignment that we have added in that module. If you enroll, or are at any point within the 120-day training program while the stay-home guidelines are in place, you may use this alternative activity as the replacement for the in-person ride-along.

WARNING: To teach the harsh reality of a First Responder career, we have included difficult videos and stories which may cause trauma to the viewer. We recommend debriefing with your own clinician periodically throughout the program.

As a licensed clinician, after you have completed the full Cultural Competency for the First Responder Counselor training program, you will be offered the opportunity to enroll in the CFRC Certification Exam. The exam cost is $150 and we recommend you take the exam within 30 days of completing the 120-day training program. Upon enrollment in the exam, you will have 30 days in which to take the exam, and you will be allowed 2 attempts to pass.  The exam consists of a 100-question assessment which must be passed with a 90% score or above. 

Upon successful completion of the training course, and passing the CFRC Certification Exam, you will be invited to join the network of Certified First Responder Counselors (CFRCs) with your certification term being effective for one year.  You must, each year prior to your anniversary date, complete at least 2 hours of CFRC-approved continuing education training.  You will be listed on the CFRC site directory as a Certified First Responder Counselor so that Responders in your area may find you and you will receive a quarterly newsletter which will provide you current industry trends, needs and resources.  Academy Hour will provide the required Continuing Education training class catalog for you each year.

  • You will have specialized knowledge of the First Responder and Law Enforcement Officer culture, special mental health needs, and expectations.
  • You will be listed in the CFRC Directory as having completed this training program and passed the exam, and can list "CFRC" as part of your credentials.
  • You will receive regular updates throughout the year from the CFRC team, keeping you informed of trends and news that matter to your responder counseling practice.
  • Annual continuing education will keep you current on responder needs and challenges.
  • "Ask An Expert" - we have a team of experts who are former/current responders & officers, as well as counselors & psychologists who are experienced with this population. You may ask them a question and get a video-recorded or personal email response specifically answering YOUR question. You may also then view other CFRC counselor questions & responses in our Ask An Expert library.
  • You will be part of the CFRC community, which will help you network with other counselors who work with the responder population also, so that you can each learn from the other as you go through your career.
  • Our CFRC graduates are also listed in numerous nationwide First Responder-specific databases for referral from crisis organizations and mental health resource sites & apps.
  • You will also be part of the online Peer Support community, which is made up of all the Certified Peer Support Leaders & Teammates that graduate from those programs.
  • You will be given access to the Academy Hour phone app, where you will find a wide variety of mental health resources for yourself and for those responders you serve.

DO NO HARM. As a Certified First Responder Counselor you will have a tremendous responsibility and we take the certification very seriously.  If we receive reports of a CFRC certified counselor doing harm or not upholding the CFRC standards, and we investigate and find the claim to be valid, we reserve the right to remove your certification at any time.  However, we very much want our warriors to have as many reliable and respectable resources as possible, and we look forward to helping provide you the education and knowledge to prepare you for the journey and adventure, and rewarding work, of being a counselor for a First Responder or Law Enforcement Officer.


Academy Hour is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Clarification and specifics:
The Certification Program (CFRC) is not eligible for CE hours. 

"Cultural Competency for the First Responder Counselor" training 50-hour course tuition:  $600

CFRC Examination Fee: $150

CFRC Annual Renewal Fee: $50

CFRC Annual Continuing Education Classes per hour: $50 (2 hours required each year after your first renewal)

30-day extension: $100

NOTE: There are no refunds issued and your enrollment is non-transferable.

The program process:

  1. Enroll in the training program entitled, "Cultural Competency for the First Responder Counselor." (Choose from the 3 payment options below)
  2. Upon completion of the required training program, enroll in the CFRC Certification Exam.
  3. Upon passing the CFRC Certification Exam, you will become part of the CFRC Certification community, eligible for all active CFRC benefits for a period of one year. You must renew your certification each year and, after the first renewal, complete 2 hours of CFRC CE training hours each year to qualify for renewal.

*Please note - If you have a Coupon Code you may use that on the 1-payment option only.

Pricing Options

1 Payment



Cultural Competency for the First Responder Counselor

Cultural Competency for the First Responder Counselor (1 payment) training course This is the required training course which must be completed in full prior to enrolling in the Certified First Responder Counselor Certification Exam.


2 Payments



Cultural Competency for the First Responder Counselor

Cultural Competency for the First Responder Counselor (2 payments) This is the required training course which must be completed in full prior to enrolling in the Certified First Responder Counselor Certification Exam.


50% Complete

Two Step

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