"I'll wait, it only takes a minute,” could not be further from the truth when it comes to maintaining certification as part of the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program. Maintaining this certification is a requirement for individuals serving as a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator or a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Victim Advocate. DOD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response partners with the National Organization for Victim Assistance to administer requirements related to the program.

Certification is good for two years and while it is only necessary to recertify once every 24 months, the process of meeting the necessary professional development and continuing education requirements should be a continual process.

Requirements for Recertification

According to DOD Instruction 6495.03 individuals must:

• Undergo or have undergone the required assignment eligibility screening, not have a disqualifying condition, and the commander, supervisor, or appointing authority must have made a favorable determination of continued assignment eligibility.

• Submit DD Form 2950-1 by the pre-set deadline that precedes the credentialing expiration date. Pre-set deadlines are located at https://sapr.mil/. The application deadlines are Oct. 31, Jan. 31, April 30, and July 31 with the D-SAACP Review Committee meeting in November, February, May, and August of every calendar year.

• Annotate 32 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs). CEUs must be completed within 2 years of certification but applicants may begin acquiring CEUs upon receiving official notice via email that their certification application has been approved and they have their unique alpha-numeric number. Applicants renewing for a second time or more cannot repeat CEU’s from within the same certification renewal period.

• Seek training in emerging issues related to victim-focused and trauma-informed victim advocacy and care. Continuing education must be related to sexual assault prevention and response and other cross-cutting topical areas for building victim advocacy skills.

• Take two hours of victim advocacy ethics training, which counts toward the 32-hour requirement, which is related to the duties and responsibilities of SARCs and SAPR VAs and includes the SAPR professional code of ethics.

• Complete the Safe Helpline 101 training. The Safe Helpline training may be completed via an in-person session or completed online at www.safehelpline.org. The Safe Helpline 101 training counts toward the 32-hour requirement.

• Submit completed forms to: dsaacp@trynova.org

The Army is committed to providing a high-quality response and supportive care to sexual assault survivors. Recertifying and maintaining certification for SARCS and VAs under D-SAACP is a key component in delivering both. Don’t wait until the two-year mark and risk not being able to recertify, it takes more than a minute.

For further information and to download forms go to www.sapr.mil/d-saacp, for additional resources, including a list of CEU Opportunities from NOVA go to www.trynova.org/credentialing/d-saacp-dod/, and for information of Army Resilience Directorate Outreach Webinars, which frequently offer CEUs, visit www.armyresilience.army.mil/ard/webinar.html.