Why is ALCA placing so much emphasis on the differences between categories and certification standards? Aren’t we all professionals in different capacities working toward the same goal?
Yes, and like many professions, certain certification or education requirements are considered the standard of professionalism within that industry. Like attorneys or clinical healthcare professionals, a profession’s commitment to high standards begins with acknowledging established criteria related to education, experience and minimum certifications.
While ALCA is unique in that its mission is to be inclusive of all practitioners, including non-certified professionals, the development of industry-approved standards of professionalism will only serve to improve the entire profession of Aging Life Care management. This commitment to excellence is not only a beacon to consumers who work with Aging Life Care Professionals, but also to practitioners who plan to become Certified as part of their longer-term career path.
Is an ALCA Advanced Professional the same as a Patient Advocate, Senior Advisor, Senior Navigator, or Elder Advocate?
Patient Advocates, Senior Advisors, Senior Navigators, and Elder Advocates may perform some of the tasks that an Advanced Professional ALCA member performs and in some cases may have similar training, education, or experience. However, in order to become a member of ALCA, all Advanced Professionals must meet stringent education, experience, and certification requirements of the organization. All ALCA members are required to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. ALCA offers more information on what qualities and criteria to look for when choosing an Aging Life Care Professional in our About Aging Life Care pages of our website. For information on membership requirements, please visit our Join Us pages.
Where do I find information on the four different certifications approved by ALCA?
Below is the contact information for the ALCA-approved certifying bodies. For additional information regarding the certification or re-certification process, please visit our Certification page.
Care Manager Certified (CMC)
Provided by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM)
Certified Case Manager (CCM)
Provided by the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC)
Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager (CASWCM)
Provided by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Certified Social Work Case Manager (CSWCM)
Provided by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
If I am having difficulty choosing the right certification, who do I contact?
For detailed questions regarding certification (e.g. requirements, process, exam schedule, etc.) we ask that you contact certifying bodies directly.
Does a Certificate in Geriatric Care Management from an educational institution fulfill the ALCA requirement to be considered “Certified”?
No, Certificates in Geriatric Care Management are not uniform in their requirements, nor do they require the same levels of education and work experience that are required by the four ALCA-approved certifications.
Certificates are the result of having taken and passed a series of educational courses offered by a recognized academic institution. A certificate of completion is granted by an educational institution. Many universities offer certificates in care management, which is a great way to learn about caring for older adults and the profession.
Receiving a certificate from an accredited university or college, does not qualify an individual to be classified as “Certified.”
What if I’ve been an Aging Life Care Professional/geriatric care manager for a long time but don’t meet all the requirements (education, experience, and certification) to qualify for the Advanced Professional level of membership?
You may likely fall into the Professional or the Associate levels membership that are designed specifically for practitioners who do not meet all the requirements to sit in the Advanced Professional level of membership.
What if I meet all the education and experience requirements, but do not hold one of the four approved certifications that qualifies me for the Advanced Professional level of membership?
Please see the Professional level of membership. Whether you are working toward certification or not, the Professional level of membership allows practitioners to still contribute and benefit from ALCA membership.
What tools are useful for studying for the Care Manager Certification exam (CMC), administered by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM)?
The most frequently used study material are:
- “Handbook for Geriatric Care Management” 3rd Edition, by Cathy Cress. This book is available on Amazon. *4th edition coming in 2015.
- "Guidelines for Case Management Practice Across the Long-Term Continuum” available from Connecticut Community Care at www.ctcommunitycare.org.
- Online Practice Test in Care Management – On the NACCM website, click on the link titled “Learn more at WWW.PTCNY.COM”. When on the Professional Testing Corporation website, scroll and find the “Online Practice Test in Care Management.”
Each certifying body also supplies a list of additional resources in their application manual. Please contact your certification body.
When are the deadlines for submitting certification exam applications?
To learn more about future testing dates for the CMC (Care Manager, Certified) go to www.naccm.net.
To learn more about the CCM (Certified Case Manager) testing dates at www.ccmcertification.org.
NASW’s certification process is open to members of NASW and does not have an exam but will take time to gather the needed information for the certification application. You can learn more at www.socialworkers.org/credentials.
I am confused by what “supervision” means for the CMC application.
The National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM) administers the Care Manager, Certified (CMC) exam. NACCM views supervision as an ongoing process of consultation and performance appraisal for the purpose of continuously improving the quality of one’s care management practice. Professional consultation/supervision may be conducted by professional colleagues, mentors, or supervisors in formal and/or informal arrangements. Activities may include face-to-face review, client satisfaction survey/analysis performed onsite, electronically or via teleconference. The content of professional consultation/supervision may include discussing care management issues, ethical issues, care plan development and care management interventions, use of clinical skills, and core care manager functions.
To take the initial exam, a minimum of 2 years of paid full-time supervised care management is required and proof of 50 hours/year of ongoing supervision.
NACCM does not require a specific number of hours per year of professional consultation/supervision for certification renewal.
What is the definition of supervision for the NASW certification?
C-ASWCM: For the first two years of post-MSW practice, regularly scheduled face-to-face supervision meetings should occur at a rate one hour for every 30 hours of direct client-level case management tasks (minimum of 50 hours per year). Thereafter, supervision and consultation may occur on an as-needed basis.
C-SWCM: For the first two years of post-BSW practice, regularly scheduled face-to-face supervision meetings should occur at a rate of one hour for every 15 hours of direct client-level case management tasks (minimum of 100 hours per year) . For the subsequent two years, the rate should be one hour for every 30 hours of direct case management tasks (minimum of 50 hours per year). Thereafter, supervision and consultation may occur on an as-needed basis.
For additional information please call 202-408-8600.
The Advanced Professional level of membership includes many additional benefits.
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If you would like to change your membership category to the Advanced Professional level please review the education and experience requirements – if those qualifications are met, please submit a copy of your certification certificate to the ALCA National office. An additional fee will be required.