The International Childbirth Education Association is a professional organization that supports different health care providers believing in the freedom of choice based on the knowledge of various alternatives in the newborn care as well as in the family-centered maternity. There are several ICEA programs provided by the organization. They are training programs, professional continuing education, quality educational resources and professional certification programs. ICEA programs are independent study programs. All ICEA programs have fees that are non-refundable. It is necessary to mention the fact that the procedures and policy are subject to changes. All the changes in childbirth programs as well as in professional training programs are published in the International Journal of Childbirth Education.
Speaking about the membership of different ICEA programs, it is necessary to say that all the members of the organization are supposed to follow the philosophy and the goals through the ICEA journal which is edited 4 times a year. The candidates can maintain the membership either supporting some member categories or as individual members. Some can be removed from come ICEA programs because of the loss of continuous membership for this or that reason.
The contact hours of ICEA are similar to the nursing continuing education units. Contact hours are specified in the programs which offer individual studies that meet the needs of providers and educators while supporting the philosophy of the organization. The sponsors of the programs apply for the contact hours. They can also apply for the alternate contact hours for programs, such as video programs, slide-tape programs and correspondence courses that do not offer direct and face-to-face studying.
ICEA has the so-called certification examination. It is represented by professionally designed examinations that consist of 250 questions for the perinatal fitness educator and childbirth educator programs and 200 questions for postnatal educator program. The questions for the exams are taken right from the learning contents and objectives of the modules. The examination takes about 4 hours. The prenatal fitness educator and childbirth educator programs require 175 correctly answered questions. As for the postnatal educator program, it requires 140 correctly answered questions. There is no penalty for wrong answers.
Those who apply for the perinatal fitness educator and childbirth educator program, have a year to take a certification examination after they have submitted their application. Those who apply for doula, have no certification examination. There are special costs for each program. But the cost for some individual items can vary depending on the individual circumstances. The program fees are non-refundable. ICEA is a non-profit organization, so the costs are as low as possible.
Those individuals, who are successful at completing the requirements of the certification program, receive the certification documentation, recertification materials and a certification identification card.