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What is the American Caregiver Association?

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The American Caregiver Association is a national accrediting body as well as an important informational and educational resource for caregivers. The association is made up entirely of volunteers who have experience working in every area of the caregiving industry. 


The organization was developed to meet the need for higher standards in providing care for the elderly and also to give professional caregivers the ability to showcase their knowledge and skills and advance their careers.

American Caregiver Association Mission

The ACA has made it their mission to volunteer in the community to assist seniors with real-life challenges and difficulties that they face on a day-to-day basis. Their ultimate goal is to make life better for the aging community.


Enhancing the lives of seniors in the community means supporting caregivers in their work while also helping to promote the importance of caregiving as a profession. The ACA develops national certification programs for both caregivers and assisted living managers to raise the standard of care for aging seniors who are dependent on the caregiving industry.


ACA coursework addresses the needs of both clients as well as caregivers. These certification programs were created to bring awareness to issues that caregivers face as they perform their jobs in the community as well as the issues that impact the elderly individuals that they care for.

American Caregiver Association History

The American Caregiver Association was created in 1985 by volunteers who endeavored to enhance the lives of aging individuals in the community. Since it was first founded, the American Caregiver Association has become the most recognizable certification brand in the caregiving industry. They are the Official National Certifying and Accrediting body for assisted living managers and caregivers in the U.S. and they are the only organization that offers a self-study, at-home certification option to caregivers and assisted living managers.

What does the American Caregiver Association do?

One of the primary activities of the American Caregiver Association is providing high-quality education to caregivers and assisted living managers.

The National Caregiver Certification Course (NCCC) and the National Assisted Living Manager Caregiver Certification (NALMCC) are the most well-known certification programs offered by the ACA, but the association also offers a wealth of other caregiver courses that were developed to help caregivers enhance their skills and knowledge in their field. If you’re interested in developing your professional identity by having your name listed on the National Caregiver Registry (NCR) and by becoming certified in your field, these programs are well-recognized throughout the United States.

The ACA does a lot of fundraising events and charity work to fund their mission and make it possible to keep the association going. Much of the work of volunteers and events that are organized by the ACA is focused on raising funds to keep the association running. If you work with the ACA directly as a volunteer, you should expect to assist with fundraising activities that are also geared at raising awareness for caregivers and aging seniors in the community.

Certifications offered by the American Caregiver Association

The American Caregiver Association is first and foremost, a certifying body that functions to educate caregivers thereby raising the professional standards in the industry and enhancing the lives of the aging population served by these caregivers. Below are the caregiver certification courses offered by the ACA:

·        National Caregiver Certification Course (NCCC)

·        National Assisted Living Manager Caregiver Certification (NALMCC)

·        Advanced National Caregiver Certification Course (ANCCC)

·        Certificate of Caregiver Ethics Course (CCEL1)

·        Certificate of Caregiver Personal Development Level 1 Course (CPDL1)

·        Certificate of Caregiver Leadership Level 1 Course (CCLL1)

·        National Assisted Living Facility Certification (NALFA)

When you become certified in your field, that means that you’ve officially been recognized for having achieved a certain status or level of knowledge. As in any field, when you obtain higher-level education in a particular field and an organization certifies that you’ve gone through the required curriculum, it often becomes possible to make high wages and assume positions of higher responsibility.

How can I become a caregiver?

Perhaps you’ve considered getting a caregiver certification, but you aren’t sure whether to go ahead with it or not. Below are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide whether a caregiver certification through ACA would benefit you or not:

·        Do you enjoy providing care to older individuals?

·        Are you curious about how to get into the caregiving industry as a caregiver?

·        Are you interested in learning more about the issues faced by the elderly population in your community?

·        Would certification make you feel more confident in your caregiving work?

·        Are you looking for a self-study caregiver certification or certification course?

If you’ve asked yourself any of these questions, the ACA will be able to help! By receiving a certification through one of the ACAs caregiver certification courses, you’ll make yourself more competitive in the caregiving industry. National certification demonstrates that you are a professional in your field.

Currently in the U.S., national caregiver certification is an expectation in the industry. Both hands-on caregivers and assisted living managers need to be certified to show that they’ve reached a certain level of knowledge and skill. Advancement in the caregiving field as a personal care aide, home health aide, or assisted living manager is nearly impossible without a nationally recognized certification.

By becoming certified as a caregiver, you open up new advancement opportunities in your field and you also have the opportunity to fine-tune your skills and knowledge. The cost of the ACA certifications is low and because they can be done at home through self-study, these courses are accessible to almost everyone. In addition to becoming certified as either a caregiver or an assisted living manager, when you complete the certification course, you will also be entered onto the National Caregiver Registry (NCR).

4 Reasons to Get Your Caregiver Certification

People take the ACA National Caregiver Certification course for different reasons. Perhaps you’re already working as a professional caregiver in the caregiving industry. Or maybe you’ve decided to take care of a family member and you want to make sure you fully understand the caregiving standards that are expected of you. No matter what your reason for taking the ACA NCCC, these certifications will increase your confidence and make you more competitive in your field.

Below are the 4 primary reasons why people take the ACA certification course:

·        You want to get your caregiver certification to work as a caregiver with a family member.

·        You want to get your caregiver certification to work as a caregiver for a home health agency.

·        You want to increase your knowledge, skills, and confidence as well as your current professional status as a caregiver in a field in which you already work.

·        You want to be able to advance in the caregiving field, enhance your resume and career, and compete for others for employment.

·        You want to get your caregiver certification to start your own caregiving business.

How does the Caregiver Certification process work at ACA?

The Caregiver Certifications at the ACA are easy to access online and the course work can be completed according to your own time frame. Anyone who knows how to access and communicate via email can do this course!

Below is the process you’ll go through, beginning-to-end to receive your certification from the ACA:

1.     Purchase the appropriate course at the Online Store at the ACA website.

2. Wait for an email from the ACA that contains your course materials and further instructions. The email should arrive in your inbox within 1 to 2 hours after you purchase the course.

3. Course materials are sent via email and you’ll conduct the entire educational process through email when it’s convenient for you.

4.     At the end of the course of study, the ACA will send you your certificate and add your name to the National Registry of Caregivers so that future employers will be able to check your certification status and verify that you’ve completed the program.

American Caregiver Association Course Topics

National Caregiving Certification Course (NCCC)

The NCCC includes 120 hours of in-class credits and covers the core material that every caregiver needs to know including:

·        Personal care

·        Basic supervision

·        Behavior management in the elderly population

·        Providing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) for those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia

This is an excellent course for:

·        Experienced caregivers

o   Enhance your resume with an additional certification.

o   Add to your existing knowledge of caregiving in the field.

o   Satisfy continuing education requirements.

·        New caregivers

o   Develop skills and knowledge in the caregiving field.

o   Enhance your resume with an additional certification.

·        Family caregivers

o   Develop skillls and knowledge in the caregiving field.

·        Individuals who need to satisfy an insurance requirement

·        Individuals who wish to start a caregiving business.

Advanced National Caregiver Certification Course (ANCCC)

The ANCCC includes all of the material covered in the NCCC, but it goes into greater depth by covering some additional topics that are not covered in the NCCC. This course provides 200 hours of in-class credit.

This is an excellent course for:

·        Experienced caregivers

o   Enhance your resume.

o   Become more knowledgeable in your field.

o   Fulfill continuing education requirements.

·        New caregivers

o   Enhance your resume

o   Become knowledgeable in your field.

·        Family caregivers

·        Individuals who must satisfy an insurance requirement

National Assisted Living Manager Certification Course (NALMCC)

The NALMCC was developed for individuals who wish to move from a position in the caregiving field into a new position of greater responsibility. Ideally, individuals who sign up for this course should have some experience in the caregiving industry already either as a volunteer or as a paid employee. The NALMCC was developed to be taken after either the NCCC or the ANCCC course.

The NALMCC confers 80 hours of in-class credits and covers the following topics:

·        Employment Law

·        Delegation of Authority

·        Caregiver Requirements

·        How to develop and implement policies and procedures

·        Basic Business Practices

·        Managing Caregivers as Staff

This is an excellent course for:

·        Experienced caregivers (volunteers, family caregivers, or paid employees)

o   Enhance your resume.

o   Learn more and become more knowledgeable and skilled in the caregiving field.

o   Fulfill continuing education requirements.

·        Individuals who must fulfill an insurance requirement

·        Individuals who wish to start their own caregiving business.

Certificate of Caregiver Ethics Course (CCEL1)

The CCEL1 course was developed to enhance and promote the Trust Factor between caregivers and the clients they care for. Trust is important throughout the caregiving experience. In addition to client trust, your coworkers and supervisors must also trust you and feel like you’ll make good decisions for the client, the facility, and for yourself that have beneficial outcomes for everyone involved. 


This 20-hour (in-class credit) certification demonstrates that ethics is important to you and that you’ve taken the time to explore some of the situations in caregiving that demand sound ethical conduct.

This course is excellent for:

·        Experienced caregivers

o   Enhance your resume

o   Learn how to think about ethical dilemmas in caregiving.

o   Fulfill continuing education requirements.

·        New caregivers

o   Enhance your resume.

o   Learn how to think about ethical dilemmas in caregiving.

Certificate of Caregiver Personal Development Level 1 Course (CPDL1)

The CPDL1 course was developed to help caregivers examine their own strengths and weakness. This course involves goal-setting that will positively impact your well-being while enhancing the quality of life of your clients.

This 20 hour (in-class credit) course is excellent for:

·        Experienced caregivers

o   Enhance your resume.

o   Do personal development

o   Set goals as a caregiver.

o   Fulfill continuing education requirements.

·        New caregivers

o   Enhance your resume.

o   Do personal development

o   Set goals as a caregiver.

Certificate of Caregiver Leadership Level 1 Course (CCLL1)

The CCLL1 course was developed to foster leadership in caregiving for those working for both private companies and in facility settings. Leadership plays a vital role in providing high-quality care for aging individuals. This 20 hour (in-class credit) course covers relationships and skill-building in work settings.

This is an excellent course for:

·        Experienced caregivers

o   Enhance your resume with an additional certification.

o   Explore the topic of leadership in caregiving settings.

o   Fulfill continuing education requirements.

·        New caregivers

o   Enhance your resume.

o   Learn more about demonstrating leadership in the caregiving industry.

National Assisted Living Facility Certification (NALFA)

This certification was developed to give the assisted living facilities that have received NALFA certification greater credibility and higher-level status with clients. It is a professionalizing certification that affiliates your assisted living facility with a solid organization that can put your name on a national database and allow you to enhance your facility’s resume.

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