BCIA’s Affiliate Program was developed in recognition of the fact that cultural and regulatory differences in other countries impact the adoption of international standards for biofeedback training, continuing education, and board certification. The BCIA Board Certification program was built and anchored in the United States, and drafted in accordance with US health care standards. These standards, while fundamentally sound, may not always seamlessly fit with health care models in other countries. The affiliate program provides an opportunity for partnership between BCIA and a professional biofeedback or neurofeedback organization outside of the United States and Canada, allowing the two organizations to collaborate on the development of standards and requirements that make sense for a particular country, while upholding educational and training rigor. The affiliate organization must endorse and comply with the foundational principles of BCIA, and its training and certification program may not be specific to a particular brand of equipment or theory.
The affiliate certification follows the basic BCIA format that requires (1) a prerequisite educational degree, (2) human anatomy/physiology and didactic course work, (3) mentoring to learn the application of clinical skills, and (4) a psychometrically-validated written certification exam. All affiliate certifications are based on the BCIA Blueprints of Knowledge and exams, but may allow for variations in other standards in order to be culturally relevant. For example, these variations might involve allowing the board of the affiliate biofeedback organization to establish its own prerequisites for education or license/credential for independent practice. Also, the affiliate may elect to use BCIA Professional Standards and Ethical Principles of Biofeedback, some version of this document, or it may decide to draft its own as fits with their country’s regulatory and health care model. BCIA’s vision for the Affiliate Certification is that it will encourage biofeedback and neurofeedback certification worldwide, maintain the integrity of the credential, and increase its international relevance and recognition.
*Excerpted from an article written by Aubrey Ewing, PhD; Fred Shaffer, PhD; and Judy Crawford.