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Surrogate Partner Certification

IPSA certification is available to individuals who have successfully completed both phases of professional surrogate partner training, have experience working as a surrogate partner, and can demonstrate that they meet IPSA standards for clinical, educational, and ethical competence.  To receive certification, applicants must submit materials that substantiate completion of primary training and relevant continuing education, and also be able to demonstrate (through tests, external evaluations, and/or interviews) that they have the knowledge base, intellectual abilities, clinical skills, and unwavering commitment to client well-being that are the hallmarks of IPSA-Certified Professional Surrogate Partners.  

To maintain certification, members must engage in continuing education, honor the letter and spirit of the IPSA Code of Ethics, and undergo periodic peer review.

Membership in IPSA must be maintained on an annual basis to retain IPSA certification status. If membership in IPSA lapses, certification will also lapse.

To apply for certification, use our
online application

Or mail to: IPSA 3679 Motor Avenue, Suite 205, Los Angeles, CA 90034

You will need to prepare the following documents to upload to your online application.

1. Personal Evolution Essay

A description of your personal evolution in the areas of sexuality and relationships.
Your essay should address the following questions:

  • What was the constellation and value system of your family of origin?

  • What was your experience of your early years?

  • What life experiences have shaped you? changed you? and informed you about yourself?

  • How have your relationships begun and ended, and how do they begin and end now?

  • What is your sexual orientation and how do you relate to the concept of gender?

  • How do you view and experience physical and emotional intimacy?

  • What matters to you and who matters to you at this stage of your life?

  • What is your current work, love, and sex life?

The membership committee wishes to assure applicants that personal information is handled respectfully and confidentially.

2. Describe your training

Where were you trained and by whom? If you were not trained by IPSA please provide a complete description of your training—this should include an outline or detailed description of the content of your training; the dates of your training; the names and phone numbers and/or addresses of your trainers. Please describe the length of your training (number of hours each day, over how many days, etc.), the nature of the training, and include a copy of any certificates of completion, evaluation, and verification that you received for this training. IPSA trainees must list the dates of their training and internships and the names of all their trainers and mentors. The IPSA Training Coordinator will provide the membership committee with a report regarding former IPSA trainees’ completion of training and internship.

3. Write a letter answering all the following questions:

  • Why do you want to be IPSA-Certified? 

  • How much actual experience do you have as a surrogate partner? (Number of sessions? Number of completed cases? Over how many years?)

  • With which types of clients do you prefer to work?

  • With what types of clients are you most successful?

  • What types of clients are you not comfortable assisting?

  • Do you always work in conjunction with a therapist?

  • What other work or educational experiences have you had that contribute to your skills and resources as a professional surrogate partner?

5. Recommendations and Evaluations

Submit evaluations from the therapists and mentors who supervised your internship cases, a self-evaluation, and verification of your training if you were not trained by IPSA.

After all parts of your application have been received, the IPSA Membership Committee will review your completed application and will contact you to set up an interview and/or to request additional information from you. After peer review interview(s), the membership chairperson will submit commentary and a summary of your application to the current IPSA voting members for consideration and decision.

4. Submit $75.00 payment for your new membership

Dues may be paid online via our secure store, and also by check or money order. You may request information about alternative payment methods from the IPSA Treasurer.

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