Accreditation of the NALA Certification Program
The National Commission for Certifying Agencies has accredited the NALA Certified Paralegal certification program for a five-year period, expiring in 2024.
Founded in 1975, NALA is a professional association providing continuing education and professional certification to paralegals. Currently, over 8,900 paralegals may use the Certified Paralegal (CP) designation. The CP credential has been awarded to over 18,000 paralegals in its span of almost 40 years. The Certified Paralegal (CP) program is the first certification program accredited by NCCA which serves the legal community.
NALA received NCCA accreditation of the Certified Paralegal program by submitting an application demonstrating the program’s compliance with standards outlined in NCCA’s Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. The NCCA standards require demonstration of a valid and reliable process for development, implementation, maintenance, and governance of certification programs. NCCA uses a rigorous peer-review process to establish accreditation standards; evaluate compliance with the standards; recognize organizations/programs which demonstrate compliance; and serve as a resource on quality certification.
The NCCA Standards are comprehensive and cover all aspects of the certification program, including administration, assessment development and recertification.ng Excellence (ICE). Since 1987, the NCCA has been accrediting certifying programs based on the highest quality standards in professional certification to ensure the programs adhere to modern standards of practice in the certification industry.
NCCA standards are consistent with The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA, & NCME, 1999) and are applicable to all professions and industries. To maintain accreditation, organizations are required to submit annual reports to NCCA and must undergo a reaccreditation every five years.
Accreditation provides third party oversight of an assessment system. It provides a mechanism for associations to demonstrate to the profession it represents, and the general public it serves, that its credentialing program has been reviewed by a panel of impartial experts that have determined that the program has met the stringent standards set by the credentialing community. Accreditation by NCCA provides organizations a way to answer the question, “who reviewed your certificate or certification program?”, a question often posed by members of an occupation, employers, and sometimes, the courts.
There are more than 270 NCCA-accredited programs that certify individuals in a wide range of professions and occupations including nurses, financial professionals, respiratory therapists, counselors, and emergency technicians, and more. ICE’s mission is to advance credentialing through education, standards, research, and advocacy to ensure competence across professions and occupations. NCCA was founded as a commission whose mission is to help ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of a variety of certification programs that assess professional competence.
ICE and NCCA are located at 2025 M Street, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036-3309; phone 202.367.1165; fax 202.367.2165; website.