All certification boards we have identified as high quality subscribe to a philosophy that empowering your clients to make their own decisions is safer than advising, advocating, consulting, counseling, recommending and suggesting that your clients do something you think they should do. We know empowering your clients to make their own decisions is legal in every state and province. We also know the other approaches require a license. License boards know this too.
All accredited certification boards we know require the use of an informed consent form and demand the professionals they certify behave professionally and ethically. Our standard is:
10 - 20 CEU for Professional Practices
10 - 20 CEU for Professional Ethics
30 - 50 CEU for creating a viable Informed Consent Form
45 - 75 CEU for an in-depth small group practice Coaching Workshop
60 - 120 CEU for the basic, intermediate and advanced skills in your chosen profession
180 -220 CEU total hours of instruction plus any practicums and internships
Diploma mills abound because they advise, advocate, convince, counsel, recommend and suggest you cut some corners and use their canned Codes of Professionalism, Professional Ethics and Informed Consent Forms. Then when you can't defend the forms you don't understand, they step back and let you pay the price. When you don't know how to coach and resort to recommending and suggesting, license boards will challenge you and diploma mills help nobody defend themselves.
Hundreds of people get conned every year into spending $250.00 to $1500.00 for these courses you can read in less than an hour, watch on You Tube, print out a generic Informed Consent Form and not remember anything about anything.
Under questioning by a license board investigator they can't even explain what their own informed consent form means; and when the investigator reads a paragraph from some Code of Professional Ethics, they don't know if that's their Code or not.
A few people pay $300.00 to $450.00 for the same courses, study for thirty to fifty hours and write their own Code of Professional Ethics in their own words. Then they write their own Informed Consent Form in their own words. It doesn't take a genius to figure out which method produces better results.
That's the key. You should actually learn something when you take a course. If you do, you may be studying with a school approved by an accredited certification board. Take the time to verify their accreditation by a recognized accreditation organization. If you don't learn some new things well, you're probably studying with a school owned by the diploma mill that will certify you whether you actually learn anything or not.
These same people take a coaching workshop and practice all the skills in a group with two other people under the supervision of a master coach. They do a lot better than their diploma mill competitors on any coaching examination.
Quality requires real effort and a product of your own mind that will serve you well.
Superior Quality Certification Boards have the Following Characteristics:
They are a nonprofit board run by an executive director under the direction of a Board of Directors or a Board of Trustees dedicated to creating and maintaining high standards for education and certification.
They usually have a board of advisors composed of a variety of professionals in health, nutrition, therapies and wellness professions.
They are independent of any manufacturing company, their agents and representatives.
They are independent of any school or training facility.
They certify only the candidates who meet the requirements of a challenging Blueprint and write their own forms which are scrutinized by the Board before certification is awarded.
They are accredited by the American Accreditation Commission or an equivalent organization.
They believe a quality education produces quality professionals.
Diploma Mills and Other Poor Quality Certification Boards have the Following Qualities:
They are owned, operated and/or controlled by a manufacturing company, and/or
They are owned, operated and/or controlled by an education organization, and/or
They are owned, operated and/or controlled by a "professional" association, and/or
They are operated for a profit at the expense of providing a quality product, and/or
They teach you how to pass the test instead of how to do what you're studying, and/or
Their tests are easy for almost anyone to pass, and or
They let you fight the license boards when you have a license board issue, and/or
They offer lifetime certification for what seems like a reasonable fee, and/or
They endorse you to entice the people who like and trust you to become cetified by them.
All of these activities are unethical, unprofessional and should be illegal. But the truth is,
so many legal loopholes for diploma mills that the people they certify are the
only ones who get hurt.
To make things worse, most diploma mills sound legit. Con men and women are very good
at selling junk for the price of quality merchandise. They know how to legally take advantage
of you. That's why they're cons and you're not. If you were, you'd recognize a con and avoid it.
It pays to avoid diploma mills. Educate yourself about how they operate and walk away.
If you are part of a certification board and would like to upgrade your credibility, check out
the Best of the Best Certification Boards that appeal to you.