Update on Advocate Certification Steering Committee Work – October 20, 2013

(Note – this post updated 12/19/2013 to replace terminology only.  “Subcommittees” will now be called Task Forces to make the differences in responsibilities clearer.  There is no change in definitions – only the term used.)

During our October meeting, we discussed the Task Forces we know will be needed as we move forward.  The following Task Forces were approved:

  1. Patient Advocate Standards
  2. Eligibility
  3. Certification
  4. Legal and Ethics
  5. Governance

There will most definitely be additional Task Forces in the future, so these are just a start.  Members of the Steering Committee volunteered to lead each of these subcommittees. During the next several weeks or months, we will begin reaching out to individuals (those of you who have applied to be subject matter experts) to ask you to serve on these committees.

Work and process related standards for use by subcommittees were also discussed.

Steering Committee
Patient Advocacy Certification Development


If you wish to stay up-to-date on progress of this health and patient advocacy credential development, please subscribe to receive updates (at right.)  Large group emails are no longer being sent.


  • Fleur

    How do you plan on establishing national standards in all 50 states when state governments vary in terms of regulation and law on government programs and professional licenses?

    In NY State, there has been a standing civil service exam for Advocate I and Advocate II that are requirements for many jobs that include advocacy. The last exam was in early 2013 and will not be offered again for several years as they work off the current list until it is exhausted.

    Other states may have this exam but the requirements would be different from state to state, just like other professions.

    It is good to see people finally coming together to address this as it needs to be properly defined and licensed in order for it to be recognized and distinguishable as a profession and vocation.

    • Administrator


      Good question – thanks for asking.

      So far this group is committed only to developing a credential like a certification which is recognized and respected across the country or even the world. It has not committed to addressing licensing questions, which are a government requirement.

      An example of the difference: financial advisors (also called financial planners) started in a similar, undefined way as private advocates are doing now. Eventually their leaders developed a certification, so all these years later, investors will seek a “certified financial advisor” when they need that kind of advice. But financial advisors aren’t licensed as financial advisors, per se. There is no state-designated license for them (as far as I know!) They may be licensed in other capacities to further parts of their work (for example, licensed to sell insurance or real estate) – just as a doctor or nurse may be licensed. But doctors and nurses aren’t licensed through a title “advocate” – except in a state-run institution.

      Of course, yes, it’s possible that licensing will be necessary someday. But if so, it will be many years before it’s even discussed, and whether or not this group will address that need in the future will not be decided until other, more immediate aspects of certification, are covered first.


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