About this Program
Guardians and conservators are entrusted with the responsibility of making decisions and coordinating services for people with cognitive disabilities — those who, for whatever reason, are unable to make decisions about their health, safety and finances by themselves.
In this certificate program, you’ll acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become an effective guardian and financial conservator for adults with cognitive impairments who need help making decisions, as determined by the courts. The program fulfills the educational requirements to become a certified professional guardian and conservator (CPGC) in Washington state.
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People who want to become a certified professional guardian and conservator or do other work related to guardianship.
To apply, you must have one of the following sets of requirements:
- A master’s degree, J.D., Ph.D. or equivalent advanced degree from an accredited institution and at least one year of experience working in a discipline pertinent to the provision of guardianship services. Relevant experience must include decision-making or the use of independent judgment for the benefit of others in at least one of the following areas: law, finance, social service or health care.
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and two years of relevant experience.
- An associate of arts degree from an accredited institution and four years of relevant experience.
- A high school diploma and at least five years of relevant experience.
- Be a certified professional guardian and conservator (CPGC) who is applying to the program as a requirement to be a consultant for the Office of Public Guardianship.
You can meet the experience requirement though relevant supervised volunteer work — but not by providing services to a family member. We occasionally make exceptions to the experience requirement; please contact us to discuss.
If English is not your native language, you should have at least intermediate English skills to enroll. To learn more, see English Language Proficiency Requirements – Noncredit Programs.
Because this offering is 100% online, no visa is required and international students are welcome to apply. For more information, see Admission Requirements for International Students.
- Access to a computer with speakers, a recent operating system and web browser (Google Chrome or Firefox recommended)
- High-speed internet connection
- Microsoft Word and Excel
- Headset and webcam (recommended)
Earning the Certificate
You earn a certificate of completion by adhering to the program's attendance policy and successfully completing all required courses. For more information, see Earning the Certificate.
What You'll Learn
- Fundamental tasks and responsibilities of guardians and conservators
- The laws and standards governing the profession
- The rights of vulnerable adults and the ethical issues connected with guardianship and conservatorship
- How to communicate effectively with clients and stakeholders and work with government agencies
- Business practice standards and tools for running an effective guardianship practice
GET HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE
- Participate as a CPGC in an online simulation for hypothetical clients
- Prepare court reports for case-study clients
- Role-play difficult conversations that CPGCs may encounter in their practice
PREPARE FOR CERTIFICATION
By completing this program you’ll meet the mandatory training requirements of the Washington State Supreme Court Certified Professional Guardianship and Conservatorship Board for becoming a CPGC.
Note: Completing this program doesn’t guarantee that you’ll become a CPGC. For details about this process, read about the steps for becoming a CPGC on the Washington Courts website. We recommend that you apply to the CPGC board for conditional certification before starting our program; note that the board is typically on break from July 1 to September 1. You must be fully certified as a CPGC within two years of completing the certificate program; after that, you'll need to repeat your UW credential.
If your intention is to practice in a state other than Washington, this program complies with the Uniform Adult Guardianship, Conservatorship and Other Protective Proceedings Act, which states have adopted.
OUR ENROLLMENT COACHES ARE HERE TO HELP
Connect with an enrollment coach to learn more about this offering. Or if you need help finding the right certificate, specialization or course for you, reach out to explore your options.