The Professional Doula Certification Program
Professionalism is important in any field. In an emerging and changing field such as doula work, it is absolutely critical.
The Professional Doula Certification Program provides a guided structure to help you to continue to expand your skills, communicate your education and qualifications to families, and provide documentation of your status as a Professional Doula.
The Professional Doula Certification Program is the next step after you have completed your Professional Doula Program training course. You can complete certification by the time you complete the training course, or shortly afterward.
See the Reading & Resource List
Steps to Certification
- Complete the Professional Doula Program training course, including Skill Day attendance
- Read the Doula Student Manual (mailed to you upon registration)
- Read at least six books from the Reading & Resource List
- Complete bias self-examination
- Complete cultural awareness in healthcare training
- Complete blood borne pathogen class
- Create a resource list for your community
- Create your website
- Pass the Professional Doula Program Exam
- Agreement to standards of practice and professional ethics statement
Certification is included in the Professional Doula Program training course registration.
About Rocky Mountain Doula
Integrity & Longevity – Rocky Mountain Doula began in 1998 founded by Alice Jackson (one of the pioneers of doula work in the western US) training doulas as Rocky Mountain Doula Educators. In 2005, Ana M. Hill assumed leadership of the company, expanding and updating the curriculum for an evolving profession. In 2017 Rocky Mountain Doula created the regionally recognized Professional Doula Certification Program to better serve our doulas. For over 20 years now, Rocky Mountain Doula has been training and serving professional birth doulas in the western US and across the country.
Why did you create the Professional Doula Certification Program?
In short, I created it because doulas asked for it.
In some markets, clients ask new doulas about certification, which is a way of asking if the doula has completed an educational process, and if there are a set of ethics and professional standards to which the doula adheres.
During healthcare crises such as the coronavirus pandemic, certification status is used by hospitals to limit patient access to support for birth. Certification can help ensure access to skilled labor support during these times.
Additionally, some liability insurance companies ask for documentation of completion of such a process. Creating a voluntary process which meets these needs makes sense, at least until a more comprehensive and beneficial option is created. I am committed to supporting doulas in the immediate reality as well as being committed to the future of our profession.
It is important to understand that certification confers no legal status to doulas. Certification companies simply cannot provide this. To obtain profession-wide legal status to facilitate consistent Medicaid and insurance reimbursement, we would not only need uniform state/national standards defining what a doula is and does, but also licensure or a similar state/national process such as registration.
Because legal status does not yet exist, we must do everything we can to encourage professionalism while we work together toward national standards and increased legitimacy.
Certification with YOU in mind!
In my 20+ year career, I have seen up close the numerous issues with certification companies. There are currently more than 80 companies and organizations with varying certification processes, and I have written quite a bit about just a few of the many problems associated with these companies.
Some of the issues I hear doulas discuss most frequently:
- Ongoing and rising costs
- Hidden fees
- Changing rules about continuing education
- Arbitrary requirements
- Assignments graded by staff who have never done any birth work
- Evaluations from professionals who are not doulas and may not understand the role or value of doulas
I am committed to meeting doulas’ needs while not recreating these problems.
The Professional Doula Certification Program requirements do not create burdens on doulas.