Continuing Education Frequently Asked Questions
Why are CEs approved for other certifications not accepted for the BCPA?
A: PACB’s goals are to establish patient and health care advocacy as a profession. And, while there is overlap with other professions, they are certainly not identical in nature. The PACB founders and early BOD members have invested a tremendous amount of energy and resources in developing the credential but did so only because they saw patient and health care advocacy as a distinct and emerging professional practice. For those reasons, PACB has only established a few reciprocal continuing education agreements with other professional entities. Patient and health care advocates come from extremely diverse sets of backgrounds, education and experience. While some bring clinical and medical expertise, an equal number bring advanced education and experience in totally unrelated fields. But even if an advocate has other degrees, when working with a client as a health care advocate, you are not there as a nurse or social worker, physician or case manager, you are functioning as a health care advocate and should have the requisite credential to support those qualifications.
How can BCPAs earn CEs to maintain their certification?
A: Continuing Education hours can be earned in two ways:
- Pre-approved CEs
- Post-approved CEs
Pre-approved CEs are programs that have been submitted to PACB by the sponsoring organization that wishes to offer BCPA continuing education to attendees of that program.
Post approved CEs represent educational programming you may have attended that is relevant to at least one of the BCPA Competencies and Best Practices and/or Ethical Standards for a Board Certified Patient Advocate. Learn more about how to submit a session or conference for post-approval.
How many CE's are required to renew the certification?
Board certified patient advocates are required to earn 30 hours of continuing education credit during the three-year term of their certification. Six of those hours must be approved as Ethics hours and three in the area of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The requirement for JEDI CEs begins with advocates earning the credential in 2022. Individuals with renewal dates in 2023 and 2024 may submit JEDI-related CEs but are not required to do so. Thereafter, all renewals will require a minimum of three (3) JEDI-related CEs for renewal.
I find many CE credits offered for classes I would like to take but they are not on the PACB list. How can I submit or have the organization submit to be included so I can get credit for taking those courses?
Whenever possible, let the sponsor of the program know that you would like them to consider offering BCPA CEs. Information for providers of Continuing Education is available on the website.
Additionally, any course can be submitted for post-approved CEs, if the content of the program is related to at least one of the BCPA Competencies and Best Practices and/or Ethical Standards for a Board Certified Patient Advocate and is offered during the 3-year term of your certification. Learn more about how to submit a session for post-approval.
Can you earn CEs from Canadian organizations?
The same rules for earning CEs from programs in the US applies to continuing education from the UK and Canada.
Would all CE events related to health care topics, diagnoses and ethics be accepted to maintain certification?
Possibly. Refer to Domain 5 – Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System for details that would determine the applicability of healthcare topics and diagnoses. Refer to the Code of Ethics for Board Certified Patient Advocates for the applicability of sessions related to ethics.
How can I identify in advance which CEU's will be accepted by the PACB organization?
All Pre-approved CEs have already been approved and accepted. Post-approval depends on the degree to which the BCPA follows guidelines in both selecting relevant CEs and submitting them for review and approval. See the post-approval CE submission guidelines for more detail.
Is there a plan to increase the number of offers/frequency of emailing of the pre-approved classes/courses/webinars?
Helping our certificants maintain their certification is of utmost importance to PACB. We are working diligently behind the scenes to establish and improve the necessary infrastructure to meet those needs. Your ideas and suggestions are welcome, and we truly appreciate your patience during this rapid growth phase. There are currently over 300 pre-approved programs available to BCPAs. Learn more.
Does current daily work as a hospital patient advocate count towards CEs hours? If so, what documentation needs to be submitted to PACB?
Daily work in any patient advocate practice setting would not count toward continuing education. Continuing education is intended to provide additional learning above and beyond that which was required to obtain certification.
Is there an easier way to find out if a conference/webinar/etc. is pre-approved without having to pay $15 each time you want to check?
Would participation in my employer/healthcare system's Ethics Committee be accepted as continuing education credits?
Volunteer work in any capacity is not considered continuing education. Continuing education is intended to provide additional learning above and beyond that which was required to obtain certification. The only exception would be service to PACB on the Exam Committee.