Empower and Advocate

Elevate Your Impact with Board Certification.

Lead the Way in Patient Wellbeing with our Globally Recognized Patient and Healthcare Advocacy Credential.

FAQApplication and Testing Dates

PACB Board Certification for Professional Patient and Health Care Advocates

Earning the Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA) credential is a testament to your unwavering commitment to the patient and healthcare advocacy profession. This certification also signifies your dedication to lifelong learning and professional growth. If you are a healthcare advocate at any stage of your career, you can benefit from this certification, which reflects your adherence to the rigorous standards set by the Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB).


What Does a Patient or Healthcare Advocate Do?


In the complex world of healthcare decisions, a patient or healthcare advocate is the supportive companion everyone needs. They ensure the client, patient, or family fully grasp the crucial issues, understand their rights, and feel emboldened to voice their own perspectives.


As a Patient or Healthcare Advocate, your role is pivotal in:


1. Amplifying Your Client’s Voice: Empowering your clients to ensure their concerns and opinions are not just heard, but also given the weight they deserve in decision-making processes.

2. Safeguarding Their Rights: Vigilantly protecting and promoting your client’s rights within the healthcare system.

3. Honoring Their Values: Ensuring their values and wishes are genuinely considered, fostering a shared-decision making environment that respects their individuality and autonomy.

Get Started Now


Go to: Application and Testing Window

Go to: Eligibility

Go to: Frequently Asked Questions

Go to: Exam Information



By obtaining the BCPA credential, you not only advance your career but also contribute to the broader profession’s growth and credibility. Elevate your advocacy journey with us and make a difference in the lives of those navigating the healthcare system.

Who are patient and health care advocates, and what do they do?


Annual Shine Lecture: ‘Making the Case for Patient and Health Care Advocates’


Join us for an enlightening exploration with Heidi B. Kummer, MD, MPH, BCPA, in the annual Cathy Shine Lecture hosted by Boston University School of Public Health’s Center for Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights.

This prestigious event pays tribute to Cathy Shine’s unwavering commitment to the rights of those requiring care. For this year’s lecture, we had the honor of hosting Dr. Kummer, an esteemed authority in the field. As the founder of the independent practice 3C Patient Advocacy and the serving President of the Patient Advocate Certification Board since 2021, Dr. Kummer brought her extensive expertise and unique insights to the event.

Dive into the video of this comprehensive lecture to learn about the evolution and importance of patient advocacy in today’s health care landscape.


Heidi B. Kummer, MD, MPH, BCPA
President, Patient Advocate Certification Board

George J. Annas, JD, MPH

William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor, Boston University; Director of the Center for Health Law, Ethics & Human Rights, Boston University School of Public Health.

The Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA) credential signifies more than an accolade—it’s your passport to professional growth. Data indicates that certified professions possess higher earning potential. PACB’s mission is to elevate patient and healthcare advocacy as a recognized profession, bolstering your career trajectory.

Our Equivalent Experience eligibility pathway opens doors for diverse backgrounds to join the patient advocate ranks. Earning the BCPA credential signifies not just your competence, but the richness you bring to our vibrant community of advocates.

Holding the BCPA designation is a testament to your dedication. You are advocating for your clients, your profession, and setting an elevated standard for the entire field. This commitment reinforces your knowledge, skills, and competence.

Earning the BCPA certification sets you apart in a competitive job market. Disciplines with certification programs are often preferred, sometimes even mandated for job opportunities. PACB is steadfast in enhancing the recognition and respect your credentials deserve.

As a BCPA holder, you’ve demonstrated your mastery in patient advocacy. The Equivalent Experience pathway ensures diversity and provides a platform for continuous learning and evolution, enriching the entire field.

As a BCPA, you’re leading the change in healthcare, carving out the indispensable role of patient advocacy. In this evolving professional practice, it’s both an honor and responsibility to demonstrate our value as key members of any healthcare team.

BCPA Certification Pathways


Congratulations! You have made the important decision to pursue the Board Certified Patient Advocate credential.


Determine your eligibility pathway.


  • Eligibility requires a combination of education and experience; however, candidates who are seasoned practitioners may request eligibility based on experience only. Refer to Eligibility for detailed eligibility information.
  • All candidates must complete the self-assessment quiz – The self-assessment quiz is only a guide to assist in determining readiness to test. Your score is required only as data collection for PACB and does not factor into your eligibility.


Eligibility Pathways:


1. Education Pathway: Bachelor’s Degree or higher (or the international equivalent)

2. Equivalent Experience Pathway: (paid or volunteer) submitted as written documentation (see https://www.pacboard.org/eligibility/ for an example of acceptable documentation.

Get Certified Now in three easy steps

STEP 1 – Establish Eligibility


STEP 2 – Gather documentation and complete application

STEP 3 – Pay application and exam fee and Submit

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