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Patient Advocate Certification Board issues ‘State of the Industry’ report

November 21st, 2018 | Posted in Business Development, Professional Skills

The Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB) announced another 188 patient advocates have passed the new exam to add the Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA) credential to their names.

The record numbers of advocates who signed up to take the fall exam, on top of the 149 patient advocates earning the credential after the spring exam, is evidence of how much such a professional credential was needed, say officials from the board in a “State of the Industry” report released earlier this fall.

“When PACB began in 2012, the founding members of the board recognized there was clear evidence that those practicing in patient advocacy desired an opportunity to demonstrate both their knowledge and credibility to those needing their services. From those humble beginnings, PACB developed the certification examination ‘through a rigorous process led by an independent and objective professional testing organization that specializes in certification testing and psychometric principles to ensure the examination is fair, balanced and represents the practice,’” according to the report.

PACB President Connie Sunderhaus has said that registration for exam dates for 2019 are expected to set new records.

The board is already at work taking the next step in establishing the professional patient advocate community.

“With early success and a new cohort of certified patient advocates, the board immediately got to work formalizing committees and task forces to support the community of BCPA’s. The Education Committee headed by Chris North will work to educate the public and other professional organizations about patient advocate roles and responsibilities and help create a clearly defined scope of practice for those who carry the title ‘patient advocate,’” “according to the board’s report.

“They will also coordinate educational opportunities that both support the PACB ethics and domains and serve to help individuals prepare for the certification exam. The Education Committee has already published the Continuing Education Handbook which supports both certified individuals as well as providers of continuing education. A new webpage has also recently been added to support providers of continuing education and will continue to be updated as more organizations offer BCPA CEs.”

“The Certification Exam Committee, headed by Anne Llewellyn in conjunction with Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) will continue to conduct psychometric analysis of the exam to ensure fairness and accuracy, and recommend policies and procedures consistent with trends in the profession to the PACBoard,” says the report.

(A longtime patient advocate and case manager, Llewellyn is a former editor of the Patient Advocate Report.)

The PACB report notes that Llewellyn also chairs the Strategic Planning Task Force “and has recruited an impressive and diverse group of professionals who will:

  • Look critically at the role of patient advocacy
  • Stay up to date with trends affecting the industry
  • Identify advances in technology that may affect the practice
  • Provide market research that can be used for effective strategic planning

From these guidelines, the Task Force will make recommendations for review and consideration by the PACB Board.”

And finally, “the Grievance Committee, headed by Lea Christo, is working to develop a process for anyone who feels that an individual who has earned the BCPA has acted in an unfair, unethical, or discriminatory manner, to present their grievances without fear of censure or reprisal. Results of their work will be made available in early 2019.”

Visit the site to find more information about the exams and the board’s work.

A list of all new board-certified advocates can be found at, and is searchable by name, city, state or country. — A.J. Plunkett (