Education Advocacy is NOT a LICENSED profession.
Board Certification is one of the first steps required prior to licensure. There is no licensure required at this time for educational advocates. Just as there is not licensure required for:
· Nationally Board Certified - Mediators
· Nationally Board certified - Wedding planners
· Nationally Board Certified - Personal Fitness Trainer (CPFT)
· Nationally Board Certified - Coding Specialist (CCS)
· Nationally Board Certified - Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS)
· Nationally Board Certified - Personal Trainer (ACE-CPT)
· Nationally Board Certified - Safety Professional (CSP)
· Nationally Board Certified - Disability Management Specialist (CDMS)
· Nationally Board Certified - Pilates Teacher (PMA-CPT)
· Nationally Board Certified - Special Education (B.C.S.E.)·
· Nationally Board Certified - Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or a
· Nationally Board Certified - Professional Patient Advocate…and the list goes on and on.
All of these are voluntary national board certification programs offering professional credentials to be placed after the individual’s name. These board certifications are offered through their national association(s), which are organizations open to the profession and created to promote their single profession (homogeneous group) and foster professional behavior in its members through a code of ethics that its members must adhere to. There are professions with 2-3 national associations who have different board certifications within the same profession. These national associations are private, non-profits established to elevate their practitioners to a professional status.
Board Certified Behavior Analysts went through this process of developing a board certification process for their own profession. Professionals like Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Massage Therapists, after developing their board certifications, then chose to continue onto to licensure, approximately 10 years after they began their board certification process.
Within the education consulting profession IEAC, Independent Education Consultants Association has been in existence for over 30 years and offers a certificate program required for membership. They just recently added a special designation in the area of learning disabilities, and special needs (behavioral and emotional issues). In contrast NSEAI's primary focus is special education.
Even within the special education teaching field, national associations offer Board Certification in Special Education (B.C.S.E.), through the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (AASEP).
Education advocacy is an unregulated industry. This means that there is no licensure available and no government regulation oversight. As you can see by the list above, many other professions, without licensure, and who are unregulated understand the value of board certification process.
NSEAI was instituted to fill this gap in the Education Advocacy field so as to advance the profession, and possibly in the future petition for licensure. NSEAI does not license or give out degrees. The NSEAI Board Certifies Education Advocates within the defined profession of education advocacy.
In many long established professions, like Medicine, certification by a professional organization was instituted long before licensure and regulation by governmental bodies. The American Medical Association, began by defining the practice of medicine, establishing medical practice standards, then establishing laws in some states to restrict competition - due to a variety of types of medicine practice - so as to secure a positive economic climate for physicians. It’s mission was to destroy the plethora of for profit proprietary medical schools and develop non profit learning institutions with minimum entry levels of training to the profession of medicine.
Once licensure is available in a profession, the professional association’s board certification typically becomes the minimum standard and therefore the prerequisite to licensure. Licensed professions then offer other advanced specialist board certifications, through their professional associations. This inversion is the root of much current confusion regarding the relationship between board certification and licensure for those who have not researched how a profession develops and becomes licensed.