Final Phases In The Development And Implementation Of The North American Certification Project (NACP)


  • Frank Eckles Child and Youth Care Certification Institute
  • Jean Carpenter-Williams The University of Oklahoma
  • Dale Curry Kent State University
  • Martha Mattingly University of Pittsburgh
  • Sr. Madeleine Rybicki Holy Family Institute
  • Carol Stuart Ryerson University
  • A. M. Bonsutto Catholic Charity Services
  • David Thomas Bryan's House
  • Carol Kelly California State University, Northridge
  • Karen VanderVen University of Pittsburgh
  • Cindy Wison New England Network of Youth Services
  • John Markoe Goodwill-Hinckley
  • Susan Wierzbick Free State Challenge
  • Quinn Wilder University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


certification, child and youth care, competence assessment, work­ force development, competencies, certification program, professionalism, and childcare


In 2008 the North American Certification Project (NACP) com­pleted a 7-year long process of developing a professional level certification pro­gram for child and youth care practitioners. This is the first effort in the United States to define the full range of knowledge, skills, and attributes necessary for fully professional practice across child and youth care practice environments. The work was carried out by over 100 practitioners, administrators, and educators from across North America. It included defining the field of practice, creating a five domain taxonomy of competencies, and creating an assessment methodol­ogy that included a scenario-based examination, supervisor assessments, and an electronic portfolio coupled with submission of education and experience, refer­ences, and documentation of specific training in required competency domains. Pilot testing of the certification program was conducted on 775 practitioners from multiple practice environments drawn from 26 sites in 9 states and 2 Canadian provinces. The program was revised based on consumer experience, research, and recommendations from the NACP committee and was implemented nationally in March 2008. The program is expected to provide a platform for addressing child care workforce development, unifying credentialing and education, increas­ing regulatory standards, and increasing public awareness of the contributions of the child and youth care profession.




How to Cite

Eckles, F. ., Carpenter-Williams, J., Curry, D. ., Mattingly, M. ., Rybicki, S. M. ., Stuart, C. ., Bonsutto, A. M., Thomas, D. ., Kelly, C. ., VanderVen, K. ., Wison, C. ., Markoe, J. ., Wierzbick, S. ., & Wilder, Q. . (2009). Final Phases In The Development And Implementation Of The North American Certification Project (NACP). Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, 22, 120–151. Retrieved from




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