What is Certification?

“Professional certification is a voluntary process by which you are evaluated against predetermined standards for knowledge, skills, or competencies. Participants who demonstrate that they meet the standards by successfully completing the assessment process are granted a time-limited credential. To retain the credential, certificants must maintain continued competence. The credential awarded by the certification program provider denotes that the participant possesses particular knowledge, skills, or competencies.”   http://www.credentialingexcellence.org/p/cm/ld/fid=65

Certification differs from a certificate in that a certificate is attesting to accomplishing the completion of some educational or training effort with no assessment of what was retained or available to put into practice.  Certification is a much more involved assessment to demonstrate the application of knowledge to the performance and delivery of the treatment.  It requires more than an attestation statement.  It is a valuable reassurance to you and to the public that other knowledgeable experts in the field who see you perform the relevant tasks successfully have assessed you.

Accreditation is the process by which a credentialing or educational program is evaluated against defined standards, and when in compliance with these standards, is awarded recognition by a third party.  The Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) offers accreditation for both certificate and certification programs.  Accreditation provides third party oversight of a conformity assessment system. It provides a mechanism for organizations to demonstrate to the profession it represents, and the general public it serves, that its credentialing program has been reviewed by a panel of impartial experts that have determined that their program has met the stringent standards set by the credentialing community. Accreditation through ICE provides organizations and many ICE members with a way to answer the question, "who reviewed your certificate or certification program?", a question often posed by members of an occupation, employers, and sometimes, the courts.  http://www.credentialingexcellence.org/p/cm/ld/fid=81

What is the value of the DBT - Linehan Board of Certification?

A professional certification Board provides an independent assessment of the knowledge, skills, and/or competencies required for competent performance of a professional role or specific work-related tasks that insures to the consumer, insurance companies and government agencies that the certified provider is competent to deliver the treatment.  Certification also is intended to measure or enhance continued competence through on-going maintenance of certification requirements.

Since 1991 when the first randomized, controlled trial supporting the efficacy of Dialectical Behavior Therapy was published, the behavioral health community and its stakeholders have had an ever-increasing interest in the development of standards that insure that individuals and programs delivering DBT are doing so with fidelity to the model.

As more studies were done and dissemination of the treatment began in earnest, the need for these types of standards has become increasingly important to a number of concerned parties including:

  • Individuals in need of treatment.
  • Family members and loved ones of those in need of treatment.
  • Third-party payers.
  • Practitioners, researchers and treatment developers.
  • Professional societies and organizations

The concerns of these stakeholders include:

  • Individuals have the right to be informed regarding the credentials of a provider
  • Individuals receiving care, their family members and loved ones have the right to some measure of assurance the provider is capable of giving the “best care” possible.
  • Third party payers have an obligation to manage health care resources by providing access to quality care while managing health care funding in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
  • Clinicians have the right to be recognized for providing high quality services, thus distinguishing the provider from others less qualified.

The DBT- Linehan Board of Certification was created to meet that need.  DBT-LBC was formed to develop a comprehensive way to certify individual therapists in their competency to deliver DBT effectively and to certify programs that demonstrate their ability to deliver DBT programmatically with fidelity to the model as it has been researched.

 

How are the standards for Certification set?

There is an organization - The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) that was created in 1987 by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence - to help ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of a variety of certification programs/organizations that assess professional competence. Certification programs that receive NCCA Accreditation demonstrate compliance with the NCCA’s Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs, which were the first standards for professional certification programs developed by the industry.

The NCCA standards require demonstration of a valid and reliable process for development, implementation, maintenance, and governance of any certification programs seeking to be accredited. NCCA uses a rigorous peer review process to establish accreditation standards; evaluate compliance with the standards; recognize organizations/programs that demonstrate compliance; and serve as a resource on quality certification. http://www.credentialingexcellence.org/p/cm/ld/fid=65

The DBT-LBC has been following the guidelines and requirements to meet NCCA’s exacting accreditation standards.  It is the Linehan treatment manuals (Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (1993) and Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder 1993), consultation with the treatment developer, Dr. Linehan, as well as research-based work on adherence coding, etc. that has informed all criteria for the DBT-LBC Certification program. We will apply for accreditation by NCCA once we are eligible to do so.

What does it take for you to get certified?

Certification is both a professionally challenging and rewarding process that will demand time, effort, and financial investment.  It will take time and effort to collect the information necessary for application.  It will require taking a test measuring proficiency in behavioral treatments and in DBT.  It will afford you the opportunity to demonstrate your actual ability to deliver the treatment through adherence coding of videotaped recordings of therapy sessions. The application fee, exam fee and coding fee to cover the cost of processing these elements will not be trivial for most therapists who apply.  Additionally, for most of us, the process will prompt anxiety. Will I pass the test? Will my recordings pass the adherence coding procedures? Given these factors then, why should I go through this process?  Only you can determine that answer.  We are here to support you in doing so and encourage your participation.  We believe the effort is worthwhile for you as well as the public we serve.