Our organization has been committed to excellence in Fertility Awareness education since our founding in 1990. For most of our existence, that commitment has been limited to networking and support amongst instructors. In 2014, we embarked upon a bold vision: to create the first international certification for Fertility Awareness Educators not based in a religious context.
Currently, there are no specific licensing or certification requirements for becoming a Fertility Awareness Educator by state or national regulatory bodies. A person can undergo training and become certified, but there are no laws or regulations that mandate such training. Moreover, each training program that does exist is independent and has its own set of standards.
The implications of this somewhat chaotic situation have affected both consumers as well as would-be educators. Members of the public may have found it difficult to know what type of training or qualifications instructors have had, or how their qualifications compare to others in the field. It has been difficult to distinguish between an instructor who has spent years studying, working under supervision, and obtaining certification and another who has a good grasp of social media, but no formal training.
The lack of uniform standards has been just as confusing for people intent on becoming highly qualified Fertility Awareness Educators (FAEs). How could aspiring educators ascertain what material needs to be mastered, or when they have successfully done so?
AFAP responded to this situation by creating the Core Competencies for a Fertility Awareness Educator. This document outlines what we believe a Fertility Awareness Educator at an entry level should have mastery of in order to practice. Now, for the first time, the general public has some standards for assessing the qualifications of an educator, and the professional community has some standards by which to measure itself.
For more information on how AFAP certification is granted, please see the page on how to become certified by AFAP.
For consumers, i.e. those wanting to learn and use an FABM, AFAP certification means:
- AFAP-certified educators have demonstrated mastery in the AFAP core competencies and are highly qualified to provide instruction in FABMs.
- In most evidence-based studies that demonstrate high efficacy for FABMs, users received standardized training and follow-up from experienced instructors. Professional instruction can also increase user confidence.
- AFAP-certified educators are skilled at helping clients address a variety and complexity of experience (e.g. coming off hormonal contraception; trying to conceive; preventing pregnancy in the post-partum period, during breastfeeding, and when approaching menopause; PCOS; infertility; endometriosis.)
- AFAP-certified educators respect all persons’ rights to receive inclusive and non-prejudicial professional care and competent reproductive health services.
AFAP strongly recommends (as does Toni Weschler, in Taking Charge of Your Fertility) that people wishing to use an FABM, especially for prevention of pregnancy, obtain professional instruction from a certified FAE. Learning from a book, a friend, social media, online community, or charting app may not lead to confident and successful use of an FABM. Community and peer support can be valuable, but are not a substitute for professional instruction.
For Fertility Awareness Educators, AFAP Certification means:
- Demonstrated competency in the areas deemed essential by AFAP in order to be an educator in this field and to serve the public, guided by a professional standard of care.
- Enhanced professional credibility through affiliation with AFAP. Certified individuals are eligible to display the “Certified by AFAP” icon on their websites and related materials.
Those who choose to join AFAP as a member can also benefit from:
- Opportunities for peer support, mentorship, continuing education, professional development, and work on projects designed to increase accessibility to high-quality, non-religious FA education.
- A listing in the provider directory on our website.