Introducing the Professional Doula Program
Professionalism is important in any field. In an emerging and changing field such as doula work, it is absolutely critical.
The Professional Doula 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 program is the next step after you have attended your doula workshop. The program follows the path laid out in the Steps for Success. These steps are set up to help Rocky Mountain Doula students build their sustainable and profitable doula practices. Completion of the Development step & the Launch step enables you to graduate the Professional Doula Program and earn your certificate of completion.
What is included?
Training Certificate – Upon completion of your training workshop, you will receive a certificate showing you have completed the workshop and agree to follow the Professional Doula Philosophy and Ethical Standards.
Program Certificate – Upon completion of the Development and Launch steps in Steps to Success, you will receive your Program Graduate certificate showing you have graduated from the Professional Doula Program.
Professional Doula Philosophy & Ethical Standards – Provide ethical outlines for how you work with families and in the community. This gives you language to use to communicate your professionalism to both clients and their care providers.
Why did you create the Professional Doula 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.
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 national standards defining what a doula is and does, but also licensure or a similar state/national process such as registration.
Because this does not yet exist, we must do everything we can to encourage professionalism while we work together toward national standards and increased legitimacy.
But what about certification?
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 replicating these problems.
The Professional Doula Program does not include requirements which create burdens on doulas.
*Your registration for the training workshop is the only fee you pay. At your discretion, you may wish to purchase books you wish to own, or take additional courses or workshops to round out your skills, etc. While Rocky Mountain Doula may make additional services available (advanced training workshops, mentoring, etc.), these are not required for graduation.