The National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA) Proficiency Assessment: A Micro-Credential
In addition to becoming certified by Lifespan Doulas, end-of-life doulas (EOLDs) may also achieve the NEDA Proficiency Badge—a micro-credential—conferred by the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA). Doulas and trainers from a variety of organizations developed the assessment and the core competencies on which it is based. To take the assessment and earn the Proficiency Badge, one must be a member of NEDA and agree to abide by the NEDA Scope of Practice for EOLDs. This micro-credential assesses knowledge only. Lifespan Doulas’ certification–“a macro-credential”–is a more comprehensive process that also assesses skills. Both assessments are optional for EOLDs at this time.
The NEDA Proficiency Assessment lends consistency to the definition of what an EOLD is and does, and provides a degree of assurance to organizations and families who use or refer to EOLDs. Those EOLDs who earn the Proficiency Badge receive confirmation that their knowledge level meets professional standards as developed by NEDA. Similarly, any healthcare organization (such as hospice or palliative care) or any family, can know that an EOLD with the badge has achieved these professional standards and has agreed to work within the NEDA Scope of Practice. This is especially important because there are many different training organizations, definitions and experience levels that result in confusion about the profession.
For example, some individual training organizations, ours included, offer certification that entails a robust, complete feedback process and assessment of learning, knowledge, skills and experience. Field experience, writing assignments, an exam and other assessments may be required before conferring certification. A meaningful credential usually requires active involvement in the field, continuing education and periodic renewal of the doula’s certification status. A less meaningful credential might be referred to as “certification for life” or one that is offered after simply attending a weekend workshop or completing an online training program.
The reason NEDA offers a micro-credential is that NEDA is not a training and certifying body and does not intend to assess experience level and skills; it assesses knowledge only. Because there are so many regional and stylistic differences in training programs and ways of being an EOLD, leaders in the field agreed on the need to self-regulate by setting national standards and a defined scope of practice. The NEDA process is not meant to replace any individual training program’s certification.
With an individual organization’s certification, doulas can be confident that their knowledge, skills and experience compare favorably to others who have achieved that organization’s certification only. Each organization’s certification can only be compared to itself. NEDA offers a quick and simple way to compare everyone.
The decision whether to professionalize one’s doula practice by pursuing credentials is up to each EOLD. It is a voluntary process and is not required in any state in order to practice as an EOLD. At this time, doulas can choose to: (1) pursue certification through their affiliated training organization; (2) earn the NEDA Proficiency Badge; (3) do both; or (4) do neither.
- Maintain continuous active membership in LD.
- Provide services to a minimum of three individuals/families during the three-year certification period.
- Continue to abide by the LD Scope of Practice for End-of-Life Doulas.
- Complete 15 hours of approved continuing education relevant to end-of-life topics or skills.
- Pay the re-certification application fee ($100).
When we send you proof of certification, we will also send along the instructions and forms required for re-certification.
Our grievance policy provides the means by which consumers or health care providers can allege misconduct on the part of an LD-certified doula. LD will investigate any complaints, in particular violations of our scope of practice and ethical business practices, and take appropriate follow-up action. To report a concern, contact email@example.com.