The accreditation process is more than just a ‘tick-box’ exercise and it’s not about getting four births and/or four postnatal experiences under your belt as quickly as you can. It is a way for you to grow and develop as a doula with the support of an experienced doula, whilst finding your feet and discovering what kind of a doula you are, and want to be.
There are no official regulations for doulas anywhere in the world, instead different doula organisations have set their own requirements for what training and level of experience is needed to call their doulas certified or accredited. If someone chooses to complete a doula course and then want to show that they have reached a certain level of knowledge and experience, they can choose to pay for an accreditation process. The choice is to be part of a system or process created by the different doula organisations or not be part of it.
Some might argue that this creates a two-tier listing on the different doula directories and it is designed that way on purpose. Those doulas who choose to be part of the setup, i.e. paying an extra fee to become accredited, stand out from those doulas that choose not to. It might not truly reflect the skills of the many doulas listed but it does show that those that are Accredited have gone through a mentoring process and have achieved a certain status. Even among those that are Accredited, there is no clear way to define their skill-set as it's so varied and rich.
Our Accreditation isn't focused simply on the doula support itself but also on running a business. It's an option for those doulas that want to show that they've reached a certain level of knowledge and experience and not at all necessary if you don't find this to be important. Anyone can work as a doula, whether 'trained' or 'certified' in any way.
At the BirthBliss Academy, we have created our own accreditation programme and we really want this to be a straight-forward and transparent process for all the doulas that choose to sign up to it. We want you to feel well supported, not just in your work as a doula, but also with running your own business and all that this entails. We will be collecting feedback regularly from the doulas that complete the process and the programme will very likely evolve and improve over time. We are super excited about working with you and to offer you a way to stay with the BirthBliss Academy from the very beginning of your doula journey until you have reached the level of becoming an Accredited Doula.
Requirements for doula accreditation:
Completion of The BirthBliss Academy Aspiring doula course, including all pre and post-course work.
We would like to see you support at four births for birth doula accreditation, which would include a minimum of two antenatal sessions, an on-call period and the birth.
We would like to see you support four families for postnatal doula accreditation.
It might be possible to include previous births and postnatal jobs that you have supported at in the last 12 months, if we are able to get a feed-back form completed by the person you supported.
For your benefit, we would like you to have a range of different experiences, but it is not necessary – what you learn from each client matters more.
For the accreditation process, you can support one friend or family, although everyone that you chose to support will teach you something and add to your growth.
We would like you to speak with your Doula Coach after each experience so that you can take forward what you have learnt into your next doula job.
Ideally, we would like this process to take between 6 to 24 months – always keeping communication channels open with your Doula Coach.
The total cost for accreditation is £225 for the birth accreditation and £225 for the postnatal accreditation. If you're doing both at the same time, the cost is £400. There is an enrolment fee to pay before you start your accreditation, which is included in the full cost. This fee is £45 each for birth and postnatal accreditation and £40 if you're signing up for both. You pay the remaining fee (£45 per job) to your Doula Coach directly before each debriefing session.
All the feedback forms will be kept online and we will give you access to everything that you need when you sign up to the programme.
We are really looking forward to having you join us and working with you to achieve Accredited Doula status!
TERMS & CONDITIONS: The accreditation programme includes a 24-month period of coaching and mentoring, and this time period starts once you have signed up with your Doula Coach. Extending the time beyond 24 months will require you to re-apply and pay additional fees to continue your accreditation journey (any jobs already signed off can be carried forward). Please be aware that any unused prepaid fees are non-refundable.
There are circumstances where you can put your accreditation programme on-hold and pause it with the intention of continuing at a later date. These circumstances include bereavements, long-term health issues and maternity leave.
You must be and remain a member of The Doula Association throughout your accreditation process. If you decide to leave The Doula Association within the 24 months period, your coaching under The BirthBliss Academy will be null and void.