Become an Instructor

Instructor Certification (InsCert)

If you’re interested in becoming a certified Instructor of Cued Speech, review the requirements below and join our mailing list for updates on certification. Not ready to teach yet? We encourage advanced cuers to attend the Basic Instructor Workshop to reinforce and expand their Cued Speech knowledge. 

An Instructor of Cued Speech certificate validates the holder’s ability to present information about CS and to teach beginner level CS courses.

Certification Requirements

To become certified, an individual must be 18 years of age or older, an NCSA member, and meet the following requirements:

  • Complete the Basic Instructor Workshop (BIWS),
  • Pass the ICS-National Certification Exam, and
  • Pass the Expressive Cued Speech Skills: Word Level Assessment to demonstrate cueing proficiency

Applicants can complete these requirements in any order but must complete them within a 3-year period to obtain instructor certification.

Certification Maintenance

Certification must be renewed every 3 years by completing the following:

  • Pass the Expressive Cued Speech Skills: Word Level Assessment to demonstrate continued cueing proficiency;
  • Complete 15 hours of continuing education on cueing, deafness, and/or communication disorders; and
  • Maintain NCSA membership

Certification may be revoked if either maintenance requirements or NCSA membership lapses for more than a year. 

Basic Instructor Workshop

The Basic Instructor Workshop (BIWS) is a 2-day intensive workshop taught by two NCSA instructor trainers. At the workshop, all attendees learn the NCSA’s current standards for cueing and cueing mechanics. The workshop is offered a few times a year, often in conjunction with NCSA board meetings hosted across the country. The workshop is often followed by the ICS-National Certification Exam, but the workshop alone is not meant to be complete preparation for the exam.

Cost: Approximately $160 (varies based on sponsoring agency and NCSA membership status)

Certification Exam

The ICS-National Certification Exam consists of a written test and an Assessing Cue Errors (ACE) test. The exam is administered at a testing location with a proctor. The written test consists of 100 multiple-choice questions covering Cued Speech production and other Cued Speech-related topics. The ACE presents a series of subjects cueing on videotape and measures your knowledge of cueing errors. This test consists of 30 multiple choice questions. A qualifying score of 85% must be achieved on both the written test and the ACE.

Cost: $125 (early bird); $150 (regular deadline); $200 (at the door with limited availability)

If you decide to pursue certification to teach Cued Speech, sign up for the mailing list here. If you have any accessibility needs, please let the InsCert team know. 

Word Level Assessment

The Expressive Cued Speech Skills: Word Level Assessment tests your ability to cue accurately and follow the NCSA’s standards for cueing. 

The assessment can be administered in person or via mail. If you opt for the mailed assessment, you will receive a package in the mail with a video camera and written materials to cue. You will use the video camera to record yourself cueing the test items. When you are done, you will return all materials using the pre-addressed envelope provided. The testing group will review the video recording and score your cueing proficiency.

Both accuracy and form will be graded. The qualifying ratings and scores are Superior Accuracy (97-100% and all liaisons) and Satisfactory Form (2.5. – 3.4).

Cost: $85 ($100 for non-members)

Continuing Education

Instructors must demonstrate that they have participated in 15 hours of education activities, with 12 hours related to cueing and 3 hours related to deafness or communication disorders, over a 3 year period. 

Examples of acceptable cueing activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Teaching/assisting with a Cued Speech workshop
  • Presenting about Cued Speech at a conference
  • Participating on the board of the NCSA or one of its affiliates
  • Taking a Cued Speech workshop
  • Providing Cued Speech tutoring

Examples of acceptable activities related to deafness or communication disorders include, but are not limited to:

  • Taking an ASL and/or Deaf culture class
  • Attending an ASHA conference
  • Attending a local or national interpreting convention
  • Attending a lecture about cochlear implants

Questions about acceptable activities can be directed to the InsCert team.


The NCSA is committed to establishing training and certification procedures that are accessible to anyone interested in seeking certification, whether hearing or deaf. To this end, hearing and speaking are not required for any portion of the National Certification exam. 

Please include requests for accommodations when registering for an InsCert Basic Instructor Workshop. 

Subscribe to our Instructor Certification mailing list so we can tell you about upcoming workshops, exams, and more! Just shoot an email with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line to

Hosting a Local Basic Instructor Workshop or Exam

Don’t already have a local certification workshop or exam? Host one instead! Contact for more details.

Want to take your cue advocacy one step beyond, and start training new instructors? Our Instructor Trainer Mentorship Program teaches you how to provide NCSA-approved Instructor Training to those interested in becoming certified instructors. You’ll also learn how to proctor National Certification Exams. 

Are you ready to take the next step? Complete the form below to receive more information.