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Infant & Early Childhood* Mental Health Endorsement® Exam

*Early Childhood Endorsement Application & Exam is in pilot stages and not available for community wide use.

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.

Part One (60 Multiple Choice Questions – 90 minutes)

The multiple-choice, or quantitative, section is primarily focused on IMH 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.

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. 

Resources (you will be brought to the Alliance website for the most up to date resources)

If you have any questions about this information toward Endorsement in Rhode Island, please contact program@riaimh.org for assistance from the RI Endorsement Coordinator, Maryann Lynch

RIAIMH is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

RIAIMH is a founding member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health.


RIAIMH is an affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

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