“Dedicated to Continued Learning, Growth, and Achievement in Health Care Practice”
GRIEF SUPPORT PRACTITIONER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
The American Academy of Grief Counseling offers an advanced program in Grief Support. Candidates who successfully complete the program achieve certification as a Grief Support Practitioner. This program is an advanced program and requires specific prerequisites for entry. Candidates must successfully complete the comprehensive education program in order to qualify for certification.
Grief Support Practitioners are those practicing at an advanced level with a primary focus on patient care, as well as research and implementation of advanced theories and interventions. Candidates complete the advanced continuing education curriculum to full fill the education component of the program. The advanced education program consists of 360 contact hours of continuing education courses. The program can be taken over a two (2) year period of time.
THE OBJECTIVES OF THE AAGC ARE:
- Provide high quality programs of Certification and Fellowship for professionals practicing grief/bereavement counseling.
- Develop and support high standards of education and practice requirements for the attainment of certification, fellowship status, and recertification.
- Provide a mechanism for the ongoing involvement of a peer advisory board of qualified professionals to oversee program development and requirements for certification and fellowship in the AAGC.
- Provide society with a mechanism to ascertain the appropriate education, skills, knowledge and experience required by professionals who offer such services.
- Establish quality standards and requirements for the recertification and re-fellowship of its credentialed members, attesting to ongoing education and skill attainment in the practice specialty of grief/bereavement counseling.
- Provide a comprehensive program of approvals for continuing education, seminars, offerings, independent study, and other related educational activities, to ensure high quality standards are met and that such programs are of value to professionals practicing grief and bereavement counseling.
Certified Grief Support Practitioner- requires attainment and verification of all of the following certification criteria:
- Candidates must hold current Certification as a Certified Grief Counselor by the American Academy of Grief Counseling.
- Candidates must successfully complete the Grief Support Practitioner continuing education courses/curriculum as offered by the American Academy of Grief Counseling. Education Courses/Program: click here
- Candidates must hold a graduate level degree in order to be certified as a Grief Support Practitioner. This is an advanced level of grief support practice and an earned graduate degree is mandatory for conferral of this certification. Once Certified, members must commit to adherence to the Code of Ethics for Certified Grief Counselors and adhere to their specific profession’s Standards of Practice.
Requires attainment of one of the following criteria:
- The American Academy of Grief Counseling offers a full Continuing Education program of online courses for those seeking to receive the advanced practice level Certification in Grief Counseling as a Certified Grief Support Practitioner. Upon completion of the eight (8) courses detailed below, applicants are eligible to apply for and receive Certification as a Certified Grief Support Practitioner in the American Academy of Grief Counseling. Each course is provided for in a dedicated online classroom. The courses are designed as independent study/continuing education courses, with one-to-one faculty mentoring. There is open enrollment and students may register and begin the education program at anytime.
Identification & Credentials
Those applicants who become certified by the AAGC- shall be deemed “certified” and may use the initials/credential GSP-C, after their names:
“Certified Grief Support Practitioner”
All certifications shall be for a period of 4 years from the date that the initial certification by the AAGC is granted.
We have a dedicated page that provides a quick over-view of our certification process. It will provide you with good information about the process/phases of both the education courses and application for certification. Click here to access.
Those applicants who have successfully achieved certification, or recertification by the AAGC will receive a large size official Certificate attesting to certification, as well as an official letter of notification. The certificate is suitable for framing and details the official professional certification title, initials that may be used, and time frames for certification. Those recertifying receive a new, updated certificate.
Standards & Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics for Certified Grief Counselors and Fellows of the American Academy of Grief Counseling may be viewed online by clicking here. The Code of Ethics is approved by the Governing Board and the Advisory Board of the American Academy of Grief Counseling.
- The certification fee for Grief Support Practitioner is $200.00 for the four year term of certification. Payment in full is due at the time of application.
- Application for Recertification is $ 200.00 for the next four year period. This is a one time payment and is required in full at the time of application for recertification. A completed application must accompany the payment.
GRIEF COUNSELING CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
For those who are interested in the Grief Support Practitioner program and are not currently certified by the American Academy of Grief Counseling, you may obtain full information on the Certification program leading to Grief Counseling certification on our website: click here
The American Academy of Grief Counseling is not affiliated with any other programs or credential evaluation or other certifications. The AAGC is not affiliated in any way with any other professional organization related to grief counseling education or practice.
Click here for the online application.
What is Certification?
“A certification is a third-party attestation of an individual’s level of knowledge or proficiency in a certain industry or profession. They are granted by authorities in the field, such as professional societies and universities, or by private certificate-granting agencies. Most certifications are time-limited; some expire after a period of time (e.g., the lifetime of a product that required certification for use), while others can be renewed indefinitely as long as certain requirements are met. Renewal usually requires ongoing education to remain up-to-date on advancements in the field, evidenced by earning the specified number of continuing education credits (CECs), or continuing education units (CE’s), from approved professional development courses. “ 1
Certification is an official recognition from a “Professional Organization” that one has met all of the established standards as determined by that professional organization to be conferred the specific “certification” by that professional organization. Certifications are most frequently established and conferred by “professional organizations.” Certification is thus a validation that a professional has thus achieved a high standard of knowledge, learning and skills in a specific specialty area of practice. It attests to an achievement in professional practice that is beyond that achieved for licensure. It is also specialty practice specific, rather than generic in nature.
Certification is distinctly different from ‘licensing.” Licensure is conferred /granted by the Government. In most all cases, licensure is the responsibility of the State Government. Every state has its own government agencies that oversee and confer licensure to professionals, i.e. the state boards of nursing. Licensure is established by “laws” and then specific rules and regulations which conform to the tenets of the state’s laws. Licensure is granted and over-seen by state agencies. Certification, on the other hand, is NOT licensure and is not established by any “laws.” Licensing agencies generally do not “oversee” professional certifications, unless their specific laws mandate a certain professional certification, in order to practice. An example of this would be: for a registered nurse to receive and be conferred a license as a “Nurse Practitioner” most states require that the RN also have Certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. So, in order to be licensed as a nurse practitioner, the nurse must hold certification from one of those two professional organizations. The State Board of Nursing does not oversee the certification, but rather requires it for nurse practitioner license.
Why Achieve a Certification?
“Professional certification shows consumers and potential employers that you are committed to your profession and are well-trained. It gives them confidence in your abilities and knowledge. Certification makes you more valuable to employers, so you can expect to earn more than someone without certification. Certification also offers advancement opportunities.” 2 Other compelling reasons to consider a specialty practice certification include: Acquire advanced knowledge and skills in a sub-specialty health care practice: 1) Achieve national recognition for attainment of knowledge and skills by meeting established standards of professional advanced practice, 2). Enhance and expand your health care practice, 3). Increase your marketability, 4). Be viewed as a credentialed expert in your practice specialty, and 5). Become part of a professional group and network of recognized and certified health care specialists.
Report findings published on Nurse.com revealed the following regarding Nurses that held certifications: 1). Certified nurses make more money, 2). Certified nurses have respect and recognition, 3). Certified nurses have validated competence in their specialty area, 4). Certified nurses are more marketable and hireable, 5). Certified nurses perceive they have more power in their organizations, 6). Certified nurses have more professional opportunities, 7). Certified nurses have standing among their professional peers, and 8). Certified nurses are more confident. 3
While these study finds were specific to the nursing profession, we believe such benefits are applicable to all health care professionals who hold practice specialty certifications, especially related to recognition, opportunities in employment and validated competency in their practices.
A major hallmark of quality Certification programs is the mandate that Certified Members commit to continued learning in order to maintain their certifications. This is most generally achieved by requiring a recertification process in which certified member’s document continued learning in their practice specialty by way of continuing education. Certifying bodies will establish quality standards for the requirements for its certified members to achieve contact hours of continuing education credits in order to maintain their certification status by the organization or association. 1, 2
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals upholds this high quality standard for recertification of its members by an established program of recertification via mandatory continuing education as well as clinical practice hours over a four-year time frame. Certified members may recertify their status upon meeting the standards established for recertification of their practice specialties.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_certification October 2018. Page 1.
- https://www.collegetransfer.net/AskCT/WhatisProfessionalCertification/ October 2018
- https://www.nurse.com/blog/2018/03/14/enjoy-the-perks-of-nurse-certification/ October 2018