Q: Who is responsible for the inspection and evaluation of REAL Doula's curricula?
A: A private group of specialists in the performance improvement and instructional design space with more than 20 years of experience in the private and public sector. As there is currently no agency setting the standards for doulas, we've sought out a private company to research standards and adhere these standards to each of our courses. These standards are consistent with the private home healthcare standards of the ACHC. We are working to create a culture that propels the profession of doulas and we are working with federal agencies to create a federal recommended agency for Doula Education and Training. Until this happens, we will strive to make sure REAL Doulas are prepared to support families by the most proficient training available in the industry.
Q: Who makes up the accreditation agency?
A: According to the U.S. Department of Education, members of accreditation agencies must not be:
(1) An employee, member of the governing board, owner, or shareholder of, or consultant to, an institution or program that either is accredited or preaccredited by the agency or has applied for accreditation or preaccreditation;
(2) A member of any trade association or membership organization related to, affiliated with, or associated with the agency; or
(3) A spouse, parent, child, or sibling of an individual identified in paragraph (1) or (2) of this definition.
Having a neutral third-party (non-doula) team make up the Accreditation Agency provides the organization or persons seeking accreditation the assurance their accreditation is without bias. Providing only exactly what shall be deemed adequate for education and training. The agency must demonstrate that it has standards for accreditation that are sufficiently rigorous to ensure that the agency is a reliable authority regarding the quality of the education or training provided by the institutions or programs it accredits.
Q: How are the accreditation guidelines determined?
A: The accreditation agency conducts accrediting activities through voluntary, non-Federal peer review and makes decisions concerning the accreditation status of such programs. There is no U.S. Department of Education recognized Doula Accreditation agency to date, the guidelines that the Accreditation Agency used by REAL Doula are determined based on the ACHC and MEAC requirements until government recognition occurs.
The Accreditation Agency will review each program, including on-site evaluation team reports, the program's responses to on-site reports, periodic review reports, any reports of special reviews conducted by the agency between regular reviews, and a copy of the program's most recent self-study.
The agency must have effective mechanisms for evaluating a program's compliance with the agency's standards before reaching a decision to accredit the program. The agency meets this requirement if the agency demonstrates that it--
(a) Evaluates whether the program--
(1) Maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate in light of the degrees or certificates awarded;
(2) Is successful in achieving its stated objectives; and
(3) Maintains degree and certificate requirements that at least conform to commonly accepted standards;
(b) Requires the program to prepare, following guidance provided by the agency, an in-depth self-study that includes the assessment of educational quality and the program's continuing efforts to improve educational quality;
(c) Conducts at least one on-site review of the program during which it obtains sufficient information to determine if the program complies with the agency's standards;
(d) Allows the program the opportunity to respond in writing to the report of the on-site review;
(e) Conducts its own analysis of the self-study and supporting documentation furnished by the program, the report of the on-site review, the program's response to the report, and any other appropriate information from other sources to determine whether the program complies with the agency's standards;
(f) Provides the program with a detailed written report that assesses--
(1) The program's compliance with the agency's standards, including areas needing improvement; and
(2) The program's performance with respect to student achievement.
Q: Why is REAL Doula accredited?
A: The founders believe that state licensing will be required in the near future. Accrediting their curriculum will provide their doulas with the adequate education and training allowed for these requirements, making credit transfers easily accessible. Conforming to the rigorous steps of accreditation assures their clientele that the training and education offered is unlike any other doula certification organization.
Q: Are doulas who are trained/certified with REAL Doula accredited?
A: No. REAL Doula, the certification organization, and their curriculum are accredited for quality assurance.