As decisions are made about this advocacy certification / credential, they will be posted here.

To prepare for the exam, you’ll need to be familiar with the content of the published documents and decisions linked below:

  • Ethical Standards
  • Competencies and Best Practices


The goal of the Patient Advocacy Certification Board (PACB) is to develop standards and practices that reflect the broad knowledge and insight of our diverse professional community, not just the perspective of any single individual or organization.  Accordingly, PACB’s publicly released documents are the product of countless hours of volunteer work by a diverse group of PACB members, task force members, practitioners, educators and professionals, drawing on numerous sources as well as their own professional experiences.  PACB employs a careful and deliberative process that involves research, discussion, drafting, review, editing, critique, posting for public comment, revision, clarification, final editing and posting of the final version on the PACB website.     

PACB’s standards and practices are the product of an evolutionary process that continuously builds upon the work of our predecessors.  The field of patient advocacy is indebted to many individuals and organizations that built the foundations of our profession.  Their insightful and pioneering work in crafting some of the initial principles and standards of patient advocacy has guided, inspired and provided a basis for PACB’s independent efforts.  Special reliance has been placed upon the seminal and groundbreaking work of the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC), the late H. Kenneth Schueler, and the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates (APHA), to whom PACB expresses its sincere gratitude.

Published Documents

(current as of October 2017)


Approved June 8, 2015

  • The name of the credential to be earned by professional advocates is:   BCPA  Board Certified Patient Advocate
  • The name of the group that will oversee the development of the credential, and the tenets, competencies and standards for earning this credential will be:  PACB  The Patient Advocate Certification Board

Definition of “Advocate”

Updated January 9, 2017

A patient advocate is a professional who provides services to patients and those supporting them who are navigating the complex healthcare continuum. Advocates work directly with clients (or with their legal representatives) to ensure they have a voice in their care and information to promote informed decision making. Advocates may work independently or in medical or other organizational settings. They serve individuals, communities, disease‐specific populations, and family caregivers. Synonyms may include health advocate, healthcare advocate, healthcare advocacy consultant, healthcare consumer advocate, and other phrases that imply this role.

Our Mission Statement

As of October 2013

To establish a national credential for those who advocate for patients.

 Task Forces

As of October 2013

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



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