Pathways to Certification

Beginning 10/01/2020 all certification/recertification pathways will merge to this one option. The PALS Board has taken input and feedback from a number of sources to reduce barriers to access and focus on the core of what defines certification with our Guiding Principles (Mission/Vision/Values, Standards of Practice, and Code of Ethics) within defined core competencies.

To certify with PALS  requires:

Complete: Application for Certification | Competency Guide and Assessment  | Certification interview (may be face-to-face, written, or a pre-recorded audio/visual format)

Submit: A letter of recommendation (from a community perinatal professional or family you have supported through birth)

Attend:  1 (one) PALS event/meeting | Attendance at one birth

On 10/01/2020 all current members holding a certification packet may choose to either complete the packet they hold, or convert to the updated packet through the end of their current membership year. PALS will be eliminating the membership purchase and convert to a certification only organization where membership becomes an added benefit, not an additional cost.

If you have questions, please contact info@palsdoulas.org

This option will no longer be available for purchase after 10/01/2020. If you are a current packet holder you have until 12/31/2021 to complete it or you may convert it to the updated pathway. Contact us at certification@palsdoulas.org for more information. 

The Mentorship Pathway is recommended for new doulas. Once you download the packet and submit the mentor matching form you will be connected with a mentor who will guide and support you through one client relationship (prenatal/birth/postpartum guidance and processing).  Continuous membership is a requirement of certification. Certification does require the purchase and maintenance of a yearly membership with PALS Doulas. This annual membership can be purchased in 1, 2, or 3 year increments. 

 

  • Attendance at a PALS approved Birth Doula Training (see PALS recognized/approved training towards certification below on this page)
  • Attendance & documentation of three births as the primary doula; including self-reflection on each birth, evaluations from parents & birth professionals, skill review, & data collection
  • Documentation of seven areas of Skills Enrichment
  • Documentation of Continuing Education
  • Program & Self-Evaluation
  • Personal goals essay
  • Peer/Professional recommendations
  • Attendance at PALS meetings
  • Agreement and adherence to the PALS Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics
  • Completion & submission of the Certification Packet within two years of Packet issue date
  • Payment of the $35 Packet Review Fee (scholarships available)
  • May be purchased as a standalone (if you are already a member) or bundled with annual membership

This option will no longer be available for purchase after 10/01/2020. If you are a current packet holder you have until 12/31/2021 to complete it or you may convert it to the updated pathway. Contact us at certification@palsdoulas.org for more information. 

The Apprentice Pathway is recommended for new doulas who desire an additional level of guidance through their first client/doula relationship. Once you download the packet and submit the mentor /preceptor matching form you will be connected with a mentor who will guide and support you through one client relationship (prenatal/birth/postpartum guidance and processing) where they are the primary doula. This is a hands on learning opportunity to work with an experienced doula.  Continuous membership is a requirement of certification. Certification does require the purchase and maintenance of a yearly membership with PALS Doulas. This annual membership can be purchased in 1, 2, or 3 year increments.  

    • Attendance at a PALS approved Birth Doula Skills Training (see PALS recognized/approved training towards certification below on this page)
    • Attendance & documentation of three births as the primary doula; including self-reflection on each birth, evaluations from parents & birth professionals, skill review, & data collection
    • Documentation of seven areas of Skills Enrichment
    • Documentation of Continuing Education.
    • Program & Self-Evaluation.
    • Personal goals essay.
    • Peer/Professional recommendations.
    • Attendance at PALS meetings.
    • Agreement and adherence to the PALS Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics
    • Completion & submission of the Certification Packet within two years of Packet issue date.
    • Payment of the $35 Packet Review Fee
    • May be purchased as a standalone (if you are already a member) or bundled with annual membership.

This option will no longer be available for purchase after 10/01/2020. If you are a current packet holder you have until 12/31/2021 to complete it or you may convert it to the updated pathway. Contact us at certification@palsdoulas.org for more information. 

 The Experienced Pathway is for doulas who have taken an approved training more than 5 years ago, and have attended at least 50 births.

  • Welcome Interview conducted by a member of our Certification Committee
  • Document attendance at fifty births within the last five years (form provided)
  • Documentation of attendance at a PALS-approved Birth Doula Skills Workshop (no expiration date on the workshop) (see PALS recognized/approved training towards certification below on this page)
  • Documentation of 20 hours of continuing education hours within the past three years
  • Documentation of Skills Enrichment
  • Completion & submission of the Certification Packet within two years of Packet issue date.
  • Payment of the $35 Packet Review Fee
  • May be purchased as a standalone (if you are already a member) or bundled with annual membership.

 

This option will no longer be available for purchase after 10/01/2020. To recertify please contact us at certification@palsdoulas.org for more information. 

PALS certification is valid for three years. Every three years thereafter, re-certification is required to remain a PALS certified doula. Below is our re-certification process.

Requirements for Re-certification

  1. Download the free PALS Application for Re-certification.
  2. Membership must be continuous to maintain certification if your membership has lapsed during your current certification, it has been invalidated. You will be required to pay any late fees to bring it current.
  3. Document attendance at three births in the three years prior to re-certification and complete a PALS Doulas Birth Verification Form for each birth.
  4. Obtain a minimum of 15 contact hours of Continuing Education in the Maternal-Child Health Field from the three years prior to re-certification and submit documentation.
  5. Submit your Personal Statement Essay outlining the following information:
    • Approximately how many births have you attended?
    • How active have you been as a doula in the last three years?
    • How do you uphold the PALS Doulas Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice in your work?
    • Have you attended PALS events in the last three years (e.g. Advanced Doula Training, Membership Meetings, or Annual Meetings/Conferences)?
  6. Submit a $35.00 Packet Processing fee to PALS along with your packet.

This packet can be mailed or scanned in order and submitted to certification@palsdoulas.org

 

Annual recertification is completed by purchasing the Certification Packet annually

Annual anti-racism training/work is a required element of re-certification. PALS Certified Doulas are able to access up to 6 hours of continuing education provided by PALS at no additional cost. 

“There is power that comes to women (the individual) when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.” – Sheryl Feldman

PALS recognized/approved training towards certification

PALS accepts training from all organizations towards certification. Training may be provide in-person or online through a formal/registered organization. Training may be provided in community with ancestors/elders or in an apprenticeship model. 

PALS is committed to increasing access and reducing barriers while also setting a standardized bar for certification. If you have questions, please contact the Director of Certification. All doulas pursing certification are required to agree to and act in accordance with PALS Scope and Standards of Practice as well as our Code of Ethics.

If you do not see your training organization please contact us at certification@palsdoulas.org

Big Belly Services – EnCircle/Doula Schoola**

(**Some organizations do not publicly list a specific Standards of Practice/Code of Ethics/Scope of Practice. Each doula seeking certification with PALS must agree to follow the PALS Scope and Standards of Practice. )

HealthConnect One Community Based Doula Training (Offered through Open Arms Perinatal Services)**

(**Some organizations do not publicly list a specific Standards of Practice/Code of Ethics/Scope of Practice. Each doula seeking certification with PALS must agree to follow the PALS Scope and Standards of Practice. )