Certification Options: What’s Right for You

There are many certification options out there for perinatal professionals who wish to further their education. Choosing an organization for your education is an important decision. Because doulas, childbirth educators, and lactation educators are not licensed by the government, it is very easy for anyone to create a website and begin issuing their own certifications. In the past 17 years, CAPPA has seen many certification agencies and organizations come and go; we have even been contacted by former students of these defunct organizations looking for a lifeline, asking, “Where do I go from here?”

As with every investment, you should always do your research. Use discernment. Consider the options that are best for your career and your future.

At CAPPA, we often answer phone calls and e-mails from people weighing their options for certification organizations. Instead of discussing what other organizations do or do not provide, our policy is to encourage investigation: call each of the organizations you are considering and ask your questions.

There are some obvious questions that you might already have in mind to ask. What are the steps to certification? What are the fees involved? Where can I find a training class in my area?

Other questions may not be as obvious. How long has your organization been in business? Who makes up your organization’s leadership? What are their qualifications?

If you are considering certification with CAPPA, we want to go ahead and answer some of your questions:

  • CAPPA is an international certification organization for doulas, childbirth educators, and lactation educators. Since our foundation in 1998, we have certified thousands of perinatal professionals.
  • As one of the first and most comprehensive perinatal organizations in the world, CAPPA is respected for its longevity and its commitment to excellence in both education and unsurpassed student and member support.
  • Our global leaders are renowned experts in pregnancy, breastfeeding, and the postpartum period.  Our leadership team consists of doctors, nurses, midwives, lactation consultants, bestselling authors, public speakers, and the most sought-after trainers in their fields. Executive directors lead each of our educational programs and interact daily with members, students, and potential students.
  • CAPPA collaborates with The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The American College of Nurse Midwives, and The United States Breastfeeding Committee, among other esteemed organizations.
  • CAPPA is financially sound and debt free, and has been for over 17 years.
  • CAPPA is not managed by an association management group that oversees many other organizations simultaneously. CAPPA is run by CAPPA. Our office, located just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, is run by an office staff that is dedicated to excellent member support. Our CEO and founder works side by side with the CAPPA office staff daily and is intimately involved in the day-to-day operations of CAPPA.
  • CAPPA offers free and low-cost continuing education to our members. Each year, we hold an exceptional education conference at no cost to CAPPA members. CAPPA has had a free conference for our members each year for over 17 years.
  • CAPPA membership dues have only been raised one time over the last 17 years and only by ten dollars. We continue to provide excellent education and service at affordable rates.
  • CAPPA is committed to keeping up with technology, as evidenced by our strong social media networks with a reach of over 100,000 fans/subscribers. CAPPA is engaged with perinatal professionals and with the public. We have a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Periscope, YouTube, and CAPPA Radio. We also interact with our members and the public with our own CAPPA app, as well as text messaging opt-ins.
  • The education that CAPPA offers is second to none. CAPPA educators work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices all over the world. CAPPA doulas routinely receive excellence awards and are known for setting the standard of excellence and professionalism.
  • CAPPA offers excellent educational programs for both in-person training and online training. CAPPA offers the latest technology with the CAPPA Academy and Member Center.
  • CAPPA provides a Scope of Practice, Code of Conduct, and Grievance Policy to ensure that CAPPA professionals conduct themselves with integrity and professionalism.
  • CAPPA’s certification standards are the highest in the field; every professional seeking certification completes comprehensive exams.

We hope that these answers solve some of the questions you may have about CAPPA, or give you an idea of things you may want to ask other organizations you are interested in. If your remaining question is, “Where do I go from here?”, we hope you consider finding your home at CAPPA.

CAPPA provides stability that inspires confidence, as you invest in your education and career.

7 thoughts on “Certification Options: What’s Right for You”

  1. I choose CAPPA because of their ongoing incredible ongoing support. I also love attending the annual FREE conference!

    I’ve been able to grow with CAPPA. I started out as a new postpartum doula and later became a member of CAPPA Faculty. So, I have the pleasure of offering Postpartum Doula Trainings all over the Midwest!

    I also love to mentor new doulas, talk business and marketing, and share my passion with other like minded professionals. I get to do all that in person and online in The CAPPA Connection Group on Facebook.

    I can’t say enough good things about CAPPA! I clearly have found my doula home with this organization.

  2. A friend recommended CAPPA after I had already certified with another org. I couldn’t believe the difference I felt immediately with the level of support and the feeling of being part of a sisterhood. From that first conference when Tracy gave me a hug and made me feel like I mattered (I wasn’t just a number), to getting certified as a Postpartum doula, childbirth educator, lactation educator, and later transferred my labor doula certification, to becoming Faculty, and later volunteering in the BOD for 4 years. This organization has changed my life and my outlook on the perinatal field. CAPPA is always in the forefront in improving outcomes for new families and I’m proud to be a small part of that. Love wins!

  3. How do I express my appreciation for an organization that not only values me as a member, but celebrates and encourages my success? CAPPA has shined above all the organizations that I have been a part of (at least 7 so far) and offers benefits that no one else can boast about! Free conference, fantastic customer service, giveaways and contests, and all kinds of LOVE in every form.
    I love offering postpartum doula and advanced workshops for such an organization that I can trust will not only take great care of my trainees, but also will continue to grow and offer new options to all of us.
    And I love that I can trust this organization’s integrity and leadership, even in the face of challenges.
    Consider CAPPA if you want to stand for excellence, professionalism, and kindness.

  4. When seeking an organization to align myself with many years ago, I definitely did my research. It didn’t take me long to figure out that CAPPA fit me. This article mentions many of the reasons why I initially chose CAPPA, and also why I continue to align myself with this organization. I greatly appreciate the professional and ethical practices, the “bridge building” attitude, the excellent training and certification process, and the clear scope of practice for each program. CAPPA continuously exceeds my expectations, and I have never regretted my decision to become a CAPPA member and certified professional.

  5. I have been with CAPPA since the first few months. Tracy often jokes that my original membership number was 010. All joking aside…this organization is GREAT. The customer service is above excellent and the programs are well thought out. the BOD are forward thinkers who only think of the CAPPA members and the families they serve…which includes YOU if you decide to take a training and become certified. I was with many other organizations over the year I have done this work. None compare.

  6. I chose CAPPA initially because another organization didn’t call or email me back… I contacted CAPPA and immediately I had the information I wanted, registered for my training and booked my flight! The CAPPA office, executive board and faculty go above and beyond to make sure their customer service is excellent. This support continues long after the trainings. There is endless support!
    I also value the content of the trainings. Each training is so thorough and the information is always up to date. In addition to the actual information and education in the trainings, there is a comprehensive section on business that is so important to have!!
    I love being part of the CAPPA family! I know that I am part of an honest and professional organization that has a LOVE WINS attitude and prides itself on building bridges in the birth community.

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