The Endorsement Exam is required for individuals who are applying for the Infant Mental Health Specialist or Infant Mental Health Mentor categories. Applicants will be invited to sit for exam upon successful review of their portfolio application.

The exam has two parts, 90 minutes are allowed for each part.  Both are based on the Competency Guidelines®.

Part One: Multiple Choice

  • A majority of the multiple-choice questions will be focused on the competency areas found under the Theoretical Foundations and Direct Service Skills domains found within the Competency Guidelines®
  • The Theoretical Foundations and Direct Service Skill domains address an exam respondent’s IMH knowledge specific to work with infants (0-36 months) and their families
  • Within Theoretical Foundations, there will be more questions from the areas of infant/ young child development & behavior; attachment, separation, trauma grief, & loss; and disorders of infancy/early childhood
  • Within Direct Service Skills, there may be more from screening & assessment and parent-infant/very young child relationship-based therapies & practices.
  • 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 exam respondents: Infant Mental Health Specialist (IMHS), Infant Mental Health Mentor-Clinical (IMHM-C), Infant Mental Health Mentor-Policy (IMHM-P), Infant Mental Health Mentor-Research/Faculty (IMHM-R/F)
  • 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/Scenarios

  • This section is intended to measure the applicant’s capacity to apply his/her knowledge of IMH principles and concepts 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 IMHS and IMHM-C exam respondents
  • Knowledge/skills gained through receiving reflective supervision/consultation (RSC) about direct service experiences (for IMHS and IMHM-C exam respondents) and about the RSC provided to others (for IMHM-C exam respondents) will be most useful in this section of the exam
  • The competencies found under Administration will be the primary focus of the IMHM-P exam
  • The competencies found under Research & Evaluation will be the primary focus of the IMHM-R/F exam

Exam Preparation

To study for the exam applicants can use any materials that are specific to Infant Mental Health topics.

Two of the study materials that are most recommended by others are:

 – The Handbook of Infant Mental Health by Zeanah
 – Case Studies in Infant Mental Health by  Weatherstrom
Other study materials suggestions may be found on the Michigan Alliance of Infant Mental Health exam web page at :
Additionally, an exam study guide is available for purchase. If you are interested in learning more about how to access the study guide please select the link below.