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

2023 Application Submission Deadline

IMHS & IMHM applicants must submit their application by February 1, 2023 in order to potentially sit for the May 2023 exam week.

2023 Exam Schedule 

Spring Exam Week: May 22 - 26, 2023 (pending)

The Endorsement Coordinator will be in touch to schedule your exam date once your application is submitted and reviewed with approval.

Exams will be virtual until further notice, 4-hour slot (8-12p, or 12:30-4:30p)

Infant & Early Childhood* Mental Health Endorsement® Exam

*Early Childhood Endorsement 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. 


- This guide is intended to be used by all examinees, including Mental Health Specialist and Mental Health Mentors (Clinical, Policy & Research/Faculty) applicants.

- Most of the books will cover multiple knowledge/skill areas found within the Theoretical Foundations, Direct Service Skills and Reflection domains, and some of the books will have overlapping content.  

- You are not required to read the entire book. 

- Focus on knowledge areas where you found gaps when completing your application and within the application review comments. You can go back into your application and look at your Competency Summary page for this information, or reach out to the Endorsement Coordinator for assistance. 

- Additionally, we encourage you to speak with your provider of reflective supervision/consultation around your professional experiences, areas of strength and growth, in addition to discussing your capacity for reflection.  This resource list should be used in conjunction with the document What to Know About the Endorsement® Exam. If you are not sitting for a Clinical Endorsement category exam, we encourage you to speak to other Endorsed professionals in your category. The Endorsement Coordinator can help set up a meeting or you can look at the RIAIMH Endorsement directory on the RIAIMH website.  Endorsement® Registry

  • Recommended readings for IMHM-Policy applicants:

  1. Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Services, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. (2000). Early childhood mental health consultation [Monograph]. Washington, D.C.: National Technical

  2. ZERO TO THREE Policy and Advocacy website:   

  3. Tableman, B., & Paradis, N. (2008). Courts, child welfare and infant mental health: Improving outcomes for abused/neglected infants and toddlers.  Southgate, MI: Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health.

  4. Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (2005). Guidelines for comprehensive assessment of infants and their parents in the child welfare system. Southgate, MI: author.

  5. Harvard University. Developing Child Reports and Working Papers (

  6. Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development.  National Technical Assistance Center for Child and Human Development Resources 

  • Recommended prep work for Research/Faculty applicants:

  1. Applicants should expect to reference up-to-date, empirical and peer-reviewed research in an area of IMH that is most familiar to them (i.e. attachment, psychopathology, parenting, reflective functioning, etc.

  2. Exact citations are not expected, but references do need to be made to IMH-related current empirical research.

  3. The review of the response will take into consideration the relevance of the research cited as well as the applicant's attention to IMH concerns.

  4. What to Know About the Endorsement Exam - Pg. 1 and 4

  • Recommended readings for IMHM-Clinical applicants:

  1. Shiriall, J. J. & Weatherston, D. J. (Eds.) (2002). Case Studies in Infant Mental Health: Risk, Resiliency, and Relationships. ZERO TO THREE: Washington DC.
  2. Case Studies in IMH, published by ZTT

  3. Best Practice Guidelines for RS/C:

  4. MI-AIMH training DVD's re RSC: and 

  5. Davies, D. (2011). Child development: A practitioner's guide (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

Group Prep Resources

  • Policy Learning Community: Meet with Endorsed Policy Professionals in the Alliance. Join our policy focused learning community! This peer-led and facilitated discussion is intended to support applicants who are preparing to sit for the Endorsement Policy Exam.  Policy Discussion Group 2023

  • RIAIMH’s IMH-Clinical Case Discussion Group was developed as a resource for professionals seeking IMH Endorsement® at the IMH Specialist and/or IMH-Mentor (Clinical) categories. This experience provides an opportunity to discuss clinical case vignette material from an IMH perspective.

    FacilitatorRIAIMH IMH-Endorsed® Mentor - Clinical Consultant 

    Time frame 2-3 sessions/2 hours per session. Sessions are held over the 3 months prior to the exam, (February - April) and (September-November). Exams are offered the end of May and November each year.

    Group Cost:  there is no cost at this time. RIAIMH is committed to funding these resources for I/EC workforce. 

    Participant Eligibility Requirements:

    1. Professionals seeking IMH-Specialist or IMH-Mentor (Clinical) Endorsement®️

    2. Completion of IMH Endorsement®️ application (or completed registration and plans to submit application within 3months)

    3. Plan to sit for IMH Endorsement®️ exam within 9 months 

    Participant Expectations:

    1. Prepare for and attend all sessions

    2. Active engagement in group discussion to deepen IMH Principle and Practice learning

    3. Maintain respectful learning environment including confidentiality of case material discussed and participants in group

Please contact the RIAIMH Endorsement Coordinator with any questions.

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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