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Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health®

Preparing for the Endorsement Exam

Those seeking to be endorsed at Category - III and Category - IV are required to take the endorsement exam. Once your portfolio has been reviewed, you can begin preparing for your exam, which will be held twice each year, usually in May and October. This page provides candidates with information about preparing for the exam.


Format of the Exam:

There are two parts to the test: Part 1 consists of multiple choice questions. The multiple choice questions are related to the competencies as indicated in the CT-AIMH Competency Guidelines booklet such as:

  • Attachment separation, and loss
  • Pregnancy, infant and young child development and behavior
  • Relationship-based therapeutic practice
  • Infant mental health screening and assessment
  • Disorders of infancy/early childhood
  • Cultural competence
  • Reflective practice

    Part 2 consists of three vignettes or scenarios; you are asked to answer two of the three.

    You will have three hours to complete the examination (i.e., 90 minutes to complete Part 1 and 90 minutes to complete Part 2). Both parts draw on cumulative learning experiences in college or university settings and specialized in-service trainings, as well as self-study (e.g. books and journal articles about infancy, early parenthood and infant mental health). Your supervised work experiences with infants, toddlers and families, and experiences within reflective supervision or consultation groups related to your work with infants and families will also contribute to learning that is reflected in the examination questions.

    A passing score on Part 1 (multiple choice) of the exam is 80%. Candidates who receive a score of less than 80% will be invited to take the exam again in one year. In order to carefully protect the exam materials, candidates will not receive specific feedback related to the questions missed on Part 1. Candidates who do not receive a passing score on Part 2 (response to vignettes/scenarios) will be provided specific feedback based on exam reviewers' remarks. Those candidates will be invited to take the exam again in one year. There is no charge to retake Part 1 or Part 2 of the exam.



Preparing for the Exam:

A Recommended and Suggested Reading List has been compiled to help guide candidates as they prepare for the exam. It provides a comprehensive list of the core readings that are relevant to the content of the exam and to your work in the Infant Mental Health Field.

Studying for the test will vary from person to person. If you are currently engaged in relationship-based practice with infants and their families, receive reflective supervision and have consistently updated your knowledge and skills through specialized in-service training or enrollment in university or college course work specific to infancy, early parenthood and infant mental health, you will most likely be very well prepared. If you have not engaged in clinical practice or attended in-service trainings or university-based coursework specific to the promotion of infant mental health, you will find the test challenging.

For those with various educational or work experience that has covered a lot of the material on the Suggested Reading List but who feel they need to focus on particular areas, below is a list of resources broken out by content area.

Pregnacy & Early Parenthood
Infant/Very Young Child Development & Behavior
Infant/Very Young Child/Family-Centered Practice
Relationship-Based Therapeutic Practice
Famly Relationships & Dynamics
Attachment, Separation, Trauma, & Loss
Cultural Competence
Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood
Psychotherapeutic Behavioral Theories of Change
Mental & Behavioral Disorders in Adults
Intervention/Treatment Planning
Parent Infant/Young Child Relationship Based Therapies and Practices
Responding with Empathy
Observation & Learning
Screening & Assessment
Service Delivery Systems
Reflective Supervision
Parallel Process
Self Awareness/Contemplation/Emotional Response
Developing Talent
Building & Maintaining Relationships
Program Development