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For the safety of our community, UWPCE programs will be taught remotely for the 2020-21 academic year.

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Certificate in Guardianship

Qualify to Become a Certified Professional Guardian


Program Details

  • Location: Online
  • Duration: 9 months
  • Times: TBD
  • Cost: TBD

Next start date:

September 2021

Get Details

About this Program

This program is undergoing revision and will be offered again in autumn 2021.

Guardianship is about professional advocacy for vulnerable people — those who, for whatever reason, require supported decision-making to determine or communicate safe choices for themselves. In this three-course certificate program, you’ll acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become an effective guardian of developmentally disabled adults, elderly individuals with disabilities or diminished capacity and other adults declared incapacitated by the courts. The program fulfills the educational requirements to become a Certified Professional Guardian (CPG) in Washington state.

▸ Related Article: Discover a Meaningful Career Serving Older Adults


People who want to become a Certified Professional Guardian or work on issues related to guardianship.

See Requirements


  • A professional guardian’s fundamental tasks and responsibilities
  • The laws governing the guardianship profession
  • The ethical issues connected with guardianship
  • The rights of incapacitated adults
  • How to communicate effectively with clients and stakeholders
  • How to work with government agencies including SSA, DSHS, VA and Tribal agencies


  • Participate as a guardian in an online simulation for a fictional client
  • Prepare an annual report for a fictional client and present it in a mock-court session
  • Role-play the types of difficult conversations CPGs can encounter with a client’s family members


By completing this program you’ll meet the educational requirements of the Washington State Supreme Court Certified Professional Guardian Board for becoming a CPG.

Note: Program completion doesn’t guarantee that you’ll become a CPG. For more details about this process, see the Washington Courts website that explains the steps for becoming a CPG. If you want to get started on your certification with the court, you can apply for conditional certification before starting our program; you must submit your application to the court by May 15 and your supplemental materials by June 1. Also, you must be fully certified as a CPG by the court within two years of completing our program; after this period, your UW credential is invalid.

Learning Format

Online With Real-Time Meetings

Combine the convenience of online learning with the immediacy of real-time interaction. You’ll stream courses online and interact with your instructors and fellow students via chat, web conferencing or phone, all in real time. Learn More »

Program Sessions

Online With Real-Time Meetings

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