Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB)


The NCEA Certification Candidate Information Bulletin includes the content outline covered by the NCEA Certification exam, sample questions and answers. The time allowed for the NCEA Certification Exam test is 90 minutes.

Download Candidate Information Bulletin

Skin Sciences
30 Questions

◊    Anatomy & Physiology
◊    Skin Types
◊    Skin Conditions
◊    Classification Systems
◊    Health, Lifestyle & Nutrition
◊    Skin Diseases & Disorders
◊    Autoimmune Diseases

Skin Treatments
Face & Body

25 Questions
◊    Client Consultation
◊    Client Medical & Lifestyle History 
◊    Skin typing /classification
◊    Informed Consent Documentation
◊    Precautions/Contra-indications to Treatment

Professional Treatments
◊    Exfoliation Methods
◊        Chemical
◊        Mechanical
◊    Laser & Light Therapy
◊        Resurfacing
◊        Permanent Hair Reduction
◊        Photodynamic Therapy
◊        Radiofrequency Technologies
◊    Light Emitting Diodes
◊    Ultrasound
◊    Microcurrent
◊    Body Treatments
◊    Lymphatic Drainage
◊        Manual
◊        Mechanical
◊    Water Treatments
◊    Camouflage Make-up  
Medical Professional Interaction
25 Questions

◊    Dermatology
◊    Plastic Surgery
◊    Medical Spas
◊    Prescription Drugs/OTCs
◊    Medical Terminology
◊    Preoperative/Postoperative Care
◊    Wound Healing
◊    Cosmetic Procedures
◊         Injectables 

Risk Management,
Professionalism & Business

20 Questions
Risk Management
◊    Legal Risk
◊    Client Health & Safety
◊    Personal Health & Safety
◊    First Aid
◊    CPR/AED
◊    Role Modeling/Ethics
◊    Professionalism
◊        Responsibilities
◊    Business Plan
◊    Marketing
◊    Retailing
◊    Equipment
◊    Policies & Procedures
◊    Industry Relations 


The following sample questions are similar to those on the National NCEA Certification Written Examination. Each question is followed by four answer choices.  Only one choice is correct.  Correct answers are listed following the questions.

1. The basal layer of the skin is also known as the stratum:
    a) germinativum
    b) lucidum
    c) germination
    d) ganglion

2. Which type of cell produces histamines to reduce inflammation?
    a) leukocyte
    b) mast
    c) fibroblast
    d) elastin

3.Abscesses are caused by:
    a) bacteria
    b) viruses
    c) fungi
    d) injuries

4. How often should you review a client’s medical and lifestyle form?
    a) before each treatment
    b) once a month at the first visit
    c) when the client asks you to

5. The purpose of exfoliation is to:
    a) eliminate wrinkles
    b) cleanse the skin
    c) remove dead skin cells
    d) hydrate the skin

6. Which branch of medicine deals with diseases and disorders of the hair?
    a) dermatology
    b) cosmetology
    c) epidemiology
    d) trichology

7. What source of collagen is used in Zyderm®?
    a) cadaver
    b) porcine
    c) equine
    d) bovine

8. A rhytidectomy is removal of:
    a) skin tags
    b) comedones and pustules
    c) fat and skin
    d) melanoma

9. Formulating a marketing strategy includes:
    a) facility staffing and contracts
    b) logistics and operations
    c) risk management and insurance
    d) communication and promotion

10. Representing your state licensure and knowing your scope of practice is an example of:
    a) profitability
    b) insurance
    c) ethics 
    d) reciprocity

1. a)
2. b)
3. a)
4. a)
5. c)
6. a)
7. d)
8. c)
9. d)
10. c)


The references below were used to formulate the 100 questions that are found on the National NCEA Certification Exam. Thorough reviews of these texts are recommended.

NCEA Training Manual
Ed, 2007
National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors & Associations
484 Spring Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Milady’s Standard Comprehensive Training for Estheticians

Ed, 2003
Milady’s Standard Esthetics Advanced
Ed, 2009
Milady, an imprint of Thomson Delmar Learning
5 Maxwell Drive
Clifton Park, NY 12065

Scheduling your Exam

Note: NCEA Certification Candidates working with a Trainer or attending a NCEA ATF/Testing Center will be provided with scheduling instructions.

Upon records verification of your Candidate Application, you will be issued an Authorization to Test (ATT) email letter. The ATT will be emailed to the email address provided on your Candidate Application. The ATT confirms your eligibility to take the NCEA Certification Exam, and instructs you on your next step.

Within 15 days of receipt of this Authorization to Test (ATT), you must call the NCEA Executive offices 201-670-4100 between the hours of:

Monday through Friday                 9:00 a.m. EST to 5:00 p.m. EST

Pay the $375 exam fee*, and schedule your NCEA Certification exam using a Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express.

*Unless you have prepaid fees through the NCEA Installment Agreement

 You will have 90 days from the date on your ATT to take your exam.NCEA Candidates who do not schedule and test within 90 days will forfeit their exam fee. If you have not taken the exam and it is later than 90 days, please contact NCEA to re-register for this exam (additional fee required).

Note: NCEA Certification Candidates testing at a NCEA ATF/Testing Center will be provided with examination policies.

Examination Policies:

Read these instructions carefully to be certain you are prepared for your exam. NCEA does not grant exceptions to these policies:

Cancellation Policy

If an NCEA applicant must cancel or reschedule, they must do so within 48-hours in advance of their appointment. Otherwise, they will forfeit their test fee. These applicants will be considered “no shows”.

Lateness Policy

If an NCEA applicant is 15-minutes late for their scheduled testing time, may be refused admission to test and considered a “no show’. The Candidate will have to pay $375 to reschedule their exam.

Identification Policy

All NCEA Candidates will be required to present a valid (non-expired) government issued identification bearing their photo and signature, such as driver’s license, or passport and a second form of identification (i.e. credit card, student card etc) for admittance to the testing facility. Failure to present appropriate ID, as stated, will result in forfeiture of their exam fee.

Cheating and/or Misrepresentation

NCEA Candidates suspected of cheating or misrepresentation will have their exam session terminated, any documents found in their possession will be retained by the testing center. The candidate will be dismissed from the test center. Any disciplinary action will be at the sole discretion of NCEA.

Miscellaneous Policies

NCEA Candidates will be provided a tutorial at the beginning of their examination to familiarize themselves with the testing software.

NCEA Candidate is allotted ninety-minutes (90) to complete the NCEA Certification Exam.

NCEA Candidates will be offered an opportunity to complete a short survey about the testing experience following the completion of their exam.

NCEA Candidates will be offered an opportunity to provide feedback on the entire NCEA Certification Program Survey upon passing of their examination.

NCEA Candidates are not permitted to bring any personal belongings into the testing center. This includes, but is not limited to, purses, backpacks, coats, cell phones, calculators, pagers, etc. Failure to adhere to these policies may result in the candidate’s dismissal from the testing center and forfeiture of their testing fee.


Candidates with Disabilities
NCEA can provide special accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991. If a disability prevents you from taking the examination under normal conditions, you may request special accommodations. You must submit a written request along with your application form for special accommodations, which explains the nature of the disability, the type of accommodation you feel is appropriate, and attach supporting documentation of the diagnosis from a licensed health care professional.