For many months now, the PACB has been developing the exam which will measure an advocate’s skills, abilities, and competency to be awarded the certification, BCPA (Board Certified Patient Advocate.)

As we have publicized previously, the standards to be measured by the exam were outlined in the Competencies and Best Practices, and the Ethics documents developed in 2015. Development also included a 30 day public comment period plus subsequent review of more than 100 pieces of feedback from advocates and interested parties.

The Final Competencies and Best Practices document was published in November 2015. Except, as it turns out, it wasn’t “final.”

We have always reserved the right to make updates and edits to our documents. We are announcing today that we have done just that. In the process of developing the exam, we realized that one very important aspect of advocacy was missing in the competencies, and it needed to be added.

Patient Safety Knowledge and Promotion – the Missing Attribute

While the concept of patient safety was alluded to throughout the original Competencies and Best Practices document, it had not been called out as its own attribute. We believe that understanding patient safety, and promoting safe care for patients, are vital to the practice of patient advocacy. We determined that more emphasis was needed. To that end, we have published a new, final Competencies and Best Practices document which includes patient safety.

The new Competencies and Best Practices document can be found linked from here, dated October 10, 2017.

The changes / updates are as follows:

• 2b. Promote equitable access to appropriate and safe health care and treatment;

• 3f: Advocate to alleviate suffering, promote health, promote safe care, and encourage well-being whenever and wherever possible;

• 5. new statement “f”: Promote safe care and the patient’s awareness of patient safety issues at all times, which may include but are not limited to diagnostic accuracy, and prevention of hospital-acquired infections, pharmaceutical and biologic drug or medical device errors, care coordination errors, radiologic (imaging) errors, and other potential health care related hazards and errors.

These changes have been made by the Board and will be measured in the certification exam.