Date of Publication:

February 25, 2016

Fins and colleagues (2016) describe their pilot evaluation of portfolios for quality attestation as “a significant step on the pathway to an eventual certification process for clinical ethics consultants” (15).

This commentary attempts to put this statement into perspective by clarifying where we are on this pathway, and some of the future steps that would be required to develop a high-quality certification process for clinical ethics consultants.

Professional certification is a weighty undertaking that carries with it significant responsibility.  The goal is to protect the public by distinguishing individuals who are competent to perform a particular job or role from those who are not.  To accomplish this, a professional certification process must by valid, reliable, fair, and legally defensible.