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Experienced Pathway


PALS recognizes there are multiple pathways to becoming a professional doula

The Experienced Pathway is designed for very experienced doulas who are now looking to certify

Experienced doulas will work through a modified certification process that maintains the integrity of PALS original certification process

Experienced Pathway

The Experienced Doula Pathway to Certification looks at the skills an experienced doula possesses and gives a modified certification process acknowledging those skills. The PALS Board feels strongly that the core of the certification process should be preserved. The resulting pathway married elements from our current certification process with elements from our recertification process. This pathway is designed to allow very experienced doulas who are seeking certification to reach that goal without starting over by attending a Birth Doula Skills Workshop.

The Experienced Doula Certification Pathway is for doulas who have been practicing for at least five years and who have attended at least fifty births in the past five years. This pathway requires prior attendance at a PALS-approved Birth Doula Skills Workshop, but it is not required within the past four years. The Experienced Doula will not go through our current mentorship process. The membership requirement remains the same for this pathway, and the packet cost and processing fees are the same.

Below are the differences between the Experienced Doula Certification Pathway and our regular certification:
– Mentorship process is replaced by a Welcome Interview conducted by a member of our Mentorship Committee
– Document attendance at fifty births within the last five years
– Send certificate of attendance at a PALS-approved Birth Doula Skills Workshop (no expiration date on workshop)
– Submit documentation of 20 hours of continuing education hours within the past five years

These elements from our certification process remain intact in the Experienced Doula Certification Pathway:
– Continuous membership is required with PALS to maintain certification and you must re-certify every three years
– Cost for certification packet and packet review remain the same, $35 for each
– Submit data collection sheets, a self-assessment, and positive evaluations from client and provider for each of three births you’ve attended since purchasing your packet
– Complete the Required Experiences
– Submit two peer or professional recommendations from local providers in the birth community
– Submit a one to two-page essay about the value of labor support, your goals as a doula, and your anticipated participation with PALS
– Attend one PALS Board meeting or two PALS monthly meetings
– Review PALS’ Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics and agree to work within both

We are extremely excited to provide an additional avenue to certification for members of our birth community who are very experienced. If you have questions regarding this pathway, please contact our Certification Lead.