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Certificate in Guardianship

Qualify to Become a Certified Professional Guardian


Program Details

  • Location: Online
  • Duration: 9 months
  • Times: Evenings, Weekends, Flexible
  • Cost: $3,720

Next start date:

September 2022

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About this Program

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. Conservatorship involves financial and property decision making authority on behalf of individuals.

In this three-course certificate program, you’ll acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become an effective guardian and financial conservator for developmentally disabled adults, elderly individuals with diminished capacity, and other adults determined to be 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.

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What You'll Learn

  • Fundamental tasks and responsibilities of guardians and conservators
  • The laws governing the guardianship 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


  • Participate as a guardian in an online simulation for fictional clients
  • Prepare court reports for case-study clients and present them 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: Completing this program doesn’t guarantee that you’ll become a CPG. For details about this process, read about the steps for becoming a CPG on the Washington Courts website. We recommend that you apply to the CPG 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 CPG  within two years of completing the certificate program; after that, your UW credential is invalid.

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.

Program Overview

Complete the courses listed below to earn the certificate. You may be able to take individual courses without enrolling in the certificate program; check the course pages for details.

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

Closed Sessions

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