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Certification FAQs

FAQs for Perinatal Mental Health Certification

For more details about the Perinatal Mental Health Certification visit www.postpartum.net/professionals/certification

Q: I’ve heard there are separate professional tracks for certification? Can you tell me more?
A: Yes, you can get a Perinatal Mental Health Certification in one of three specialties: Psychotherapy; Psychopharmacology; or Affiliated Professionals. There is a unified exam for all, but the educational prerequisites must be completed in your specialty.

Q: What is the value of becoming certified in perinatal mental health and having PMH-C after my name? 
A: Having a true certification program in perinatal mental health, and PMH-C as the universal symbol for specialists, highlights the importance of the field and need for specialists. Here are some examples of additional benefits to you as a provider:

  • Listing in our online perinatal mental health provider directory, which is available to the public and used by PSI coordinators and others to make referrals.
  • Families can find you, making the path to care more efficient
  • Insurance companies can identify you as a perinatal mental health specialist.
  • Other perinatal mental health specialists can connect with you more easily.

Q: What are the educational requirements to sit for the certification exam?
A: Educational requirements are:

  • Psychotherapy specialty: Graduate degree
  • Psychiatric specialty: Medical Degree/Advanced Practice Nursing Degree
  • Affiliated professionals: Professional credential

Q: What are the training prerequisites to sit for the exam?
A: Completion of evidence-based perinatal mental health certificate training: minimum 14 hours certificate training + 6 hours advanced training. PSI offers advanced trainings, but approved alternate advanced trainings in your track will also qualify for the 6 hours. Contact certification@postpartum.net for more information, or to submit course application for approval.

Q: Does a candidate have to take a PSI advanced course, or are there alternatives?
A: There are several alternate trainings approved as an advanced PMH courses. You’ll find the approved  advanced courses HERE. Additionally, you can submit a course to be considered for approval as an advanced course by writing to certification@postpartum.net. You must send the course agenda and other supporting materials for the course to be considered for approval.

Q: What are the practice requirements to sit for the exam?
A: You must have at least 2-years work experience relevant to the field of perinatal mental health. You must have provided services relevant to your specialty area: e.g., psychological services for psychotherapy; psychiatric prescribing for psychopharmacology; practice-based work that directly involves perinatal mental health for affiliated professions. You do not have to have 2-years of experience where you only worked with the perinatal population solely for 2 years, but rather that your 2-years professional experience includes at least some work with the population.

Q: Can someone take the advanced trainings prior to the 2-day (14 hour) initial training?
A: No, participants must complete the initial PMD certificate training before taking an advanced course. A perinatal mental health certificate training (of at least 14 hours) is a prerequisite for the advanced training.

Q: Where and when can I take the Certification exam? 
A: The exam is available at Pearson Vue testing centers, available around the US and many other countries. FIND A TEST CENTER HERE.

Q: Can I take any of the advanced trainings (psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, affiliated professional?)
A: You can take any of the trainings. However, you must complete the training in your specialty before you sit for the certification exam.

Q: When are other advanced psychotherapy trainings scheduled?
A: Advanced Psychotherapy trainings are scheduled for:

  • Check for the most recent listing HERE

Sign up on our mailing list to be notified of additional advanced trainings.

Q: Can I request a two-day PMD or advanced training to be held in my community?
A: Submit an online application if you’d like to help bring any of the trainings to your community: the 2-day PMD certificate course, and/or the 3rd day advanced training. https://www.postpartum.net/professionals/trainings-events/training-application/

Q: Once I am certified, what are the minimum continuing education hours per year needed to keep the certification current?
A: You will need to report 6 hours per year or 12 every two years of continuing education in perinatal mental health. In-person or webinar courses are allowed. Please write to certification@postpartum.net for more information about how to submit your ongoing CE hours.

Q: What is the price of the certification exam?
A: $500

Q: If I don’t pass, do I need to pay to re-take the test? 
A:  Yes, you pay the $500 fee each time.

Q: How many times can I retake the test?
A: Once you are approved, you are authorized to take the test 3 times.

Q: Will there be another test in five years, or do I just need to keep up my credentials?
A: It is a life-time certification, as long as you complete 12 CE hours  every two years.

Q: Is there a fee to keep my certification current? If so, how much?
A: No fee is required to keep your certification current.

Q: Is the certification exam be available in countries outside the US?
A: Yes, you can take the certification exam in other countries. There are about 500 test centers globally. However, the exam is available only in English at this time.

Q: How do I register to take the test?
A: You must fill out the pre-exam registration form first, so we can enter all potential testing candidates in our system, and determine eligibility. This is important for both current PSI members and non-members. To get started, please take a few moments to complete the following form*: http://bit.ly/PSIPerinatalCertification

You may need a Gmail account to sign in as there are several file upload questions. If that poses a problem or concern, please reach out to certification@postpartum.net, and we will find another method for collecting this information. Completing this form will help us begin to build your candidate profile, which is necessary for Pearson VUE to get you into their testing system. Important: We cannot begin your registration process and you will not be able to sit for this test until we have this information and confirm your eligibility.

Q: I’m wondering about the criteria to determine a petition process that allows clinicians who have worked in the field to bypass the certification test based on experience?
A: We don’t have any grandfathering/grandmothering process for certification. All candidates must pass the test to receive certification.

Q: What is the exam’s anticipated format (e.g. multiple-choice, essay, a combination)?
A: The exam is multiple choice. The questions will be a mixture of statement-based and case examples with multiple questions for each case. There are no essay questions. You’ll do fine.

Q: Other than reviewing prior training materials is there some form of study guide?
A: We have a blueprint that outlines the areas that will be covered. At this time, a review of past training materials and manual is your best study guide. Additionally, you can purchase an updated PSI 2-day training manual for $40 at THIS LINK.
Another option is to take a new course in person or online.

Q: Is there a training manual for the advanced psychotherapy course?
A: Yes, you can purchase the advanced psychotherapy manual for $20 at THIS LINK.

Q: Are scholarships available?
A: There are a limited number of scholarships available. We are grateful to the Robyn Cohen memorial scholarship fund, to be able to award two scholarships a year. If you’d like to donate toward our scholarship fund, please email nikki@postpartum.net.

Q: Advanced Trainings must be in person, but I have heard that some Online training have been approved.  What are the criteria?
A: For an online training to qualify as an advanced course for PMH-C certification, here are the criteria:

  1. All of the PSI Advanced Trainings that have been rescheduled as ZOOM Webinars during the pandemic qualify for the certification requirement.
  2. The online training has to have a significant live component where the participants have direct contact with the instructor, for example on Zoom or another video platform. An online webinar without 2-way video is not sufficient.
  3. PSI has to receive and review the course agenda/syllabus and see the certificate of completion.
  4. Having a CE component is a plus, but not required.
  5. Instructor(s) must have completed PMH training and have relevant and significant practical experience in perinatal mental health.The instructor being certified is a huge plus, but not required at this time.
  6. The instructor must be listed on the PSI PMH online directory.
  7. Anyone can apply to have a course approved for certification, but attendees are responsible for sending in their own individual application with materials to take the PMH-C exam.

Apply to take the PMH-C Exam

If you have any feedback, or a new question, please send it to us at certification@postpartum.net.
We welcome your suggestions!

Postpartum Support International.