Infant Mental Health Specialist, Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist, Infant Mental Health Mentor, and Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor Endorsement® applicants must pass an exam prior to earning Endorsement®. The exam has two parts; both are based on the Competency Guidelines®. The Competency Guidelines® document, also referred to as the Getting Started Guide, is an important reference in preparing for the exam.
Applicants are encouraged to engage their provider of RSC to think together about the applicant’s professional journey, capacity for reflection, and understanding of parallel process all in relation to readiness for the exam. The paper version of the reference rating form can be used to solicit feedback related to knowledge and skill areas of the competencies. If you are interested in reviewing PDF versions of the reference rating items with your RSC provider, you can see them here (hyperlink to the reference rating page). If gaps in knowledge are identified, the indexed list of resources below can be used to identify readings. If the provider of RSC expresses reservations related to the capacity to apply IECMH principles into practice, the applicant is encouraged to continue with RSC and the on-going assessment of skills in the areas of Reflection, Thinking, and Working with Others.
Part One (60 Multiple Choice Questions – 90 minutes)
The multiple-choice, or quantitative, section is primarily focused on infant and early childhood mental health knowledge specific to work with infants, young children, and their families. Most questions will be related to direct service, but there will be some questions related to reflective supervision/consultation, policy, and research. The multiple-choice section is the same for all Specialist and Mentor applicants. Knowledge gained through course work, specialized in-service training, and self-study will be most useful in this section of the exam. IMH-E® applicants are expected to have knowledge on pregnant women, infants, young children (up to age 3), and families. ECMH-E® applicants are expected to have knowledge on pregnant women, infants, young children (up to age 6), and families.
Part Two (Vignettes – 90 minutes)
The qualitative section will ask for responses to vignettes. This section is intended to measure the applicant’s capacity to apply their knowledge of IECMH principles into practice and to demonstrate a reflective, relationship-based approach. While all of the competency areas are important, the ones under the Reflection, Thinking, and Working with Others domains are important to the qualitative section for Specialists and Mentors - Clinical.
The Administration domain is the primary focus of the Policy exam. Policy applicants are asked to demonstrate a capacity to promote IECMH principles and practices within and across systems.
The Research & Evaluation domain is the primary focus of the Research/Faculty exam. In the Research/Faculty exam, one scenario is more specific to teaching; the other scenario is more specific to empirical research. Research/Faculty applicants will demonstrate a commitment to IECMH principles and practices related to research or course planning and instruction.