Answering Your Questions about Patient Advocate Certification

After these many years of work on building the patient advocate certification, the PACB decided to hold teleconferences, live Q & A type sessions, two of which were held during this month of March 2016.

To maximize the benefit of these calls, we recorded them. Find links below to podcasts of both calls.

The first call was focused on the information needs of individual advocates who have interest in the process and requirements for earning the BCPA (Board Certified Patient Advocate) credential. They wanted answers to questions such as “What do I need to do to qualify for certification?” “Do I need to take courses or get a degree” “What parameters will be used to grandfather existing advocates?” – and others.  This call was hosted by The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, and its 600+ members were invited to submit their questions ahead of time.

Find the Ask the PACB podcast here.  (45 minutes)

The second call was a briefing, held for representatives of the 60+ education and membership organizations we have identified as having an interest in patient advocate certification.  The focus was different; more about the process and the aspects to certification we will be working on in the near future. 

Find the Organization Briefing podcast here. (30 minutes)

The PACB is committed to keeping our process open and transparent, and so we will begin planning regular calls of this nature.


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.


  • Christine

    Please keep me posted on certificate course/test ect.
    After 2017 when this is in place are advocates allowed to continue practicing without being certified or is this going to become a regulated profession/field?

    • Administrator

      Christine – you will need to add yourself to our email list which you can do from the right side of every page on this website.

      Once certification is available, it will be voluntary. The PACB will have no authority to say whether or not someone can practice – we are not a licensing body, nor do we have any regulatory authority.

      • Christine

        Thank you! I will try to register from a regular computer rather than a smart phone maybe then I will see this area to the right that you’re referring to.

        Do you know if there is a licensing authority or one being worked on for this field?

        • Administrator

          There is no licensing effort we are aware of.

          On a smartphone, find the email sign up when you scroll toward the bottom of the page.

  • Alane Warren

    Is there anticipated date that the certification program is going to roll out? I am very interested and have seen many programs throughout the U.S. that state they are a certification program, but have a better understanding of their limitations after reading your site. I would hate to spend the large amount of money that programs like Arizona are advertising, if the classes will be for nothing

    • Administrator

      Alane, thank you for your note. To answer your question, the PACB is working diligently on the Certification. At this point, we are projecting late 2017 for a roll out. There are several pieces to the puzzle that we are working to pull together.

      To your other point about taking one of the certificate programs vs. waiting for the certification… The programs that are currently out there are certificate programs, meaning the person takes a course and once done, will receive a certificate.

      All of the courses vary in focus and depth. Deciding on which course you take depends on you and what your professional goals are. The courses provide value as a way to obtain continuing education or learn more about a specific practice in patient advocacy.

      On the other hand, the Certification that we are developing will provide professional patient advocates a way to demonstrate their professionalism and a level of competency that they can use to share with their clients.

      We know that many of the available programs are using the PACB competencies that were published in 2015 (you can find them on our website: ) to adjust their curricula, knowing the new certification is on the horizon. We suggest that you ask the program administrators to what extent they have focused their coursework on preparing their students to pass the certification exam, based on those competencies. That way you’ll have a better idea on how well you might possibly be prepared.

  • Rebecca McDermott

    your subscription activation is not working…no email is sent as promised…have tried numerous times.

    • Administrator

      Rebecca – I believe there is a typo in the email address you have registered here which would be why you aren’t getting notices. I tried to reply to you and it bounced back. What you have registered is careguardiN4U@GMAIL.COM – so please double check that carefully and reply here with the corrected one. I’ll remove this thread once we have you listed correctly so your email address won’t be out there for the world to behold.

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