The NSEAI has developed the Education Advocacy profession by creating :

  • Eligibility standards for certification examinations

  •  Practice guidelines for responsible conduct

  • Procedures to approve required continuing education credits

  • Professional disciplinary standards with appeal procedures

  • Organizational Structure, Resources, and Responsibilities to Stakeholders

  • Program Governance

  • Public Membership

  • Voluntary Registry

  • Program Scope, Policies & Procedures

    • Conduct and Oversight of Certificate Program Activities

    • Management of Program Records, Documents, and Materials

  • Quality Assurance and Program Evaluation

  • Development, Delivery, and Maintenance of Education/Training

  • Performance Testing Methodologies

  • Professionally (College Level) developed and maintained examinations

  • Development, Conduct, and Evaluation of Assessments including

    • Psychometric Principles

    • Examination Validation & Job Analysis

    • Examination Development

    • Test Administration Standards

    • Examination Security

  • Renewal and recertification standards

    • Issuance and Use of Certificates Standards

    • Technology and Certification Policy

    • Recertification & Continuing Competency Standards



We have shown our commitment to Education Advocacy, since 2008, by being a leader and setting the standards in educational advocacy.   We were the first organization nationally, to take seriously the profession of education advocacy, and offer a board certification program in Education Advocacy, with a BCEA designation.


• A minimum scope of knowledge requirements to practice as a professional education advocate, covering basic concepts, analytic skills, and client centered responsibilities

• Guidelines for responsible conduct and professional disciplinary procedures.

• Evidence and assessment based credentialing programing, evaluated against defined standards with criteria for the assessment-based credentialing process that meets accepted standards for a national certification program.

• Curriculum standardized content, from foundational professional knowledge analysis with recognized experience and educational requirements to enter the practice as a professional. 

• Developed, adopted, and published an Education Advocacy Practice Act in 2008 with guidelines and standards, that addresses the ethical standards in Education Advocacy private practice. This is a distinctive practice act standard for educational advocates which defines services unique to education advocacy thus defining education advocacy as a unique profession.

• Professional practice standards
• Provide training of exceptional caliber that is open to parents, community agencies, clinicians, educational advocates, lawyers and school personnel.  Each group learning, cooperatively, to appreciate each other’s role in providing FAPE.

• Extensive continuing education requirements for advocates, promoting quality improvement within the required core base of advocacy knowledge.

• An extensive cross training in special education including the best practices in education, behavior management, legal and clinical aspects of this broad field. This training was designed, not only to address the legal aspects of special education law and its application, but also to develop professional advocacy skills and a broad multidisciplinary knowledge base necessary to effectively and collaboratively advocate to:  
     •  Develop IEPs that are effective in getting adequate progress in students skills
     •  Develop IEPs that are educationally beneficial AND legally sufficient
     •  Promote least restrictive environment placement
     •  Promote the use of appropriate evaluation tools to identify educational needs
     •  Develop truly individualized educational plans and programming
     •  Facilitate inclusion of students with special education needs with their peers
     •  Reduce individual and system barriers to  FAPE for students
     •  Promote effective communication and IEP facilitation skills
     •  Promote the use of early transition goal development and post secondary goals
     •  Promote ethical and responsible education advocacy practices
     •  Understand the social, emotional, legal and financial impact of special education
         on families and students and the appropriate use of community based services
     •  Improve networking and marketability of the professional advocate

BCEAs Are Leading The Profession

BCEAs nationwide are advancing student outcomes.  They represent only a small number of the nation's advocates, yet they are accomplished practitioners, and they have already had a significant impact on improving and changing the scheme of public education.  BCEAs are serving as mentors and instructional coaches to their colleagues and in other leadership roles.  We are working together to actively improve educational policies and practices at the local, state and national levels. Join Us!  If you are interested in learning more about the details of certification and the candidacy process, visit us at and look at our curriculum.


BCEAs Are A Distinguished Group

Board Certified Advocates have earned the right to publicly represent themselves as a specialist in education advocacy.  This board certification sets BCEAs apart as having a commitment to professional excellence since the national board certification process is voluntary and requires one to serve public interest and advance the standards of the education advocacy profession.  Certification isn't a hurdle. It's a commitment and an opportunity.



Board Certification Matters  
NSEAI has offered voluntary board certification for education advocates since 2008.  Board Certification is a mark of excellence and a distinguishing accomplishment within the profession of Education Advocacy.  Within the Education Advocacy community, Board Certification means an education advocate has substantial, relevant experience in this field, and has demonstrated, and met rigorous, objective standards and has demonstrated knowledge and special tested competencies in this profession.   

Board Certification is dependent upon the board of a professional association to provide the infrastructure, the extensive education, verification of appropriate practices of specific skills, professional educational advocacy standards and a practice act and ethical standards by a clearly defined national association exclusive to a field of practice (meaning one profession or licensed group cannot do this for another professional group).  

The BCEA designation provides evidence of high professional standing, a commitment to life-long learning through continuing education requirements, cognitive expertise, and evidence of performance in practice that focuses on a quality improvement model with a stringent peer review process.  BCEAs are held to a higher standard of professional and personal conduct than their non-board certified counterparts.   

Board Certification represents continuous quality improvement and the assurance that a MINIMUM EDUCATIONAL STANDARD is established to practice within this profession and that those certified are monitored.  Certification provides an objective standard that assists the public in making informed decisions in choosing an advocate.  Consumers realize the value of independent association credentials and experience.  Consumers can now rely on professional certification standards in addition to word of mouth and advertisements when seeking help.  

A Google search on special education training generated more than 416,000 results.  Without professional standards one cannot know whether they are obtaining education from a reputable source that provides accurate information and that promotes and supports a child focused approach as well as the ethical practice of the unique profession of Educational Advocacy.  Due Process is NOT the IEP process, just like nursing and physician practices are not the legal practice of malpractice defense.

Many professions specialize but do so without substantiation beyond "reputation" or simply saying it's so. Truth in advertising is promoted through NSEAI - Not all who claim expertise possess the experience and competence implied. NSEAI establishes objective standards by which to measure experience and expertise within the profession of education advocacy.  

Board certification in the United States is a voluntary process available to any profession.  It is unrelated to licensure or regulations.  NSEAI has set the minimum competency requirements that are education advocacy specific.   Board certification is the Gold Standard.  It demonstrates exceptional expertise in a particular profession.   Board certification shows one’s commitment and expertise in consistently achieving superior outcomes in a responsive, child-focused way.  Parents, schools and lawyers are looking for this quality. 


Education is the development of personal intellect, ability or enhancement of one’s pleasure through learning knowledge or skills.       

Training is learning defined and specific skills used for specific economic or interest reasons and may include an outcome assessment.        

Board Certification is an independent and voluntary process, within occupations and professions, to show a minimum level of professional competency in education and training, and where there is:

·       The completion of an intensive, prescribed, customized and specific sequence of training in
        professional knowledge skills, and experience
·       A rigorous process of testing professional outcomes (not just a training’s outcomes)
·       Peer evaluation
·       An active and enforceable code of ethics.
·       A time-limited credential that must have periodic recertification
·       A continuing education requirement to remain current within the profession
·       Use of evidence-based guidelines, national standards and best practices.
·      Lawyers call NSEAI asking for BCEAs to work with them.
·      Parents contact NSEAI to ask for a trained professional advocate.
·      School districts recognize the professionalism and knowledge of the BCEAs.

Upon successful completion of 6 of the 12 course exams and meeting CE requirements you may apply to become a Board Certified Education Advocate™ (BCEA™) and then finish your practicum and class work. 




50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.