Certified Victim Assistance Specialists

Certified Victim Assistance Specialist (CVAS) is a professional designation acknowledging an individual's commitment to education, experience and conduct in victim assistance and recognizes those who specialize in victim services, advocacy and response. Certified Comprehensive Intervention Specialists have both educational and experiential background in a broad array of specialties providing capable interface with campus and community services, law enforcement agents, court officials and national support and research organizations.

National Advocate Credentialing Program   
Advanced Advocate Credentials

  • Completion of 40 hours of "A" Series training, a minimum of 20 hours of "B" Series training for each area of specialty, a minimum of 20 hours of "C" Series advanced training for each area of specialty, a minimum of 15,600 hours (8 years) experience and observation of three (3) or more case interventions. (See description of "A", "B" and "C" Series below)
  • The "Comprehensive Intervention Specialist" designation is for service providers working in criminal justice system-based programs or full-service community-based agencies serving multiple target populations.
  • Recertification requirements: A minimum of thirty-two (32) hours of continuing education are required every two (2) years.

National Advocate Credentialing - Series Category Listings   
"A" Series: Foundation (Basic) Training Area

  • Advocacy/Role of the Advocate
  • Case Management
  • Civil/Criminal Justice System
  • Crime Victims Compensation
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Cultural Sensitivity/Competency
  • Ethics/Confidentiality
  • History of the Movement
  • Trauma of Victimization

"B" Series: Specialty Training Areas 

Domestic Violence
Barriers to Safety, Batterers' Use of Power & Control, Child Abuse & Neglect, Lesbian & Gay Battering, Lethality/Danger Assessment, Domestic Violence Statutes, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Safety Planning, Stockholm Syndrome, TPO Enforcement/Violations, Responses to Trauma

Drunk Driving
Advocacy with Police, Prosecutors, Judiciary, Probation, Parole; Aftermath of Drunk Driving; Assessment for PTSD; other Counseling Needs; Basics of CJS; Catastrophic Injury Experience; Community Resources/Networking; Court Accompaniment; Drunk Driving Impact Panels; Homicide Survivor Experience; Insurance/Civil Suits/Bankruptcy; Applicable State Statutes

Intervention with Homicide Survivors, Grief Process, Dealing with Law Enforcement, Dealing with Medical Services, Death Notification, Applicable State Statutes

Sexual Assault/Child Abuse
Child Sexual Abuse, HIV-STD Information, Interviewing Child Victims, Interviewing Rape Survivors, Sexual Offense Statutes, Police Investigation of Rape, Rape Evidence Examination, Rape Trauma Syndrome, Special Population

System or Community-Based Victim Services
Community Resources, Court Advocacy, Hospital Advocacy, Applicable State Statues, Specialized Needs, Trauma of Victimization, Trial Preparation, Victims Rights Legislation/Statutes, Restorative Justice, Victim/Offender Reconciliation, Victim/Offender Mediation

"C" Series: Recommended Advanced Training Areas

Domestic Violence
Alcohol/Addiction and Counseling, Burn Out, Parole System, Probation System, Related Statutes (Aggravated, Criminal, Trespassing., Stalking, Temporary Protection Order Violations, Child Abuse, Child Endangerment), Safety Issues/Planning, Topics from Sexual Assault "B" Series, Suicide Intervention, Support Groups, Systems Advocacy, Protective Order Enforcement, Victim Impact Statements, Victims Who Resort to Violence, New State/Federal Statutes, New Developments in the Field

Drunk Driving
Adult Siblings, Children's Grief Process, Complicated Mourning, Crisis Response, Death Notification, Male Grief, PTSD, Rehabilitation, Support for Advocates, Support Groups, Survivor Issues, Vicarious Victimization, MADD Victim Institutes, New State/Federal Statutes, New Developments in the Field

Coroner's Office Protocol, Dealing with Holidays & Special Occasions, Dealing with the Parole Board, Funeral Directors/Protocol Intervention with Child Victims, Male Grief, Parents of Murdered Children Chapter Network, Post-Conviction Issues, Realities of Capital Murder Cases, Support Groups, Truth in Sentencing, New State/Federal Statutes, New Developments in the Field

Sexual Assault / Child Abuse
Topics from Domestic Violence "B" Series, Topics from Domestic Violence "C" Series, Topics from General Crime Victims "B" Series, Appeals Court, Investigation/Examination, Law Enforcement/Ride-a-Long, Outreach/Education/Prevention, Self Defense (Non-Weapon), Sexually-Oriented Offenders, Supreme Court, Trauma Notification to Significant Others, New State/Federal Statutes, New Developments in the Field

System or Community-Based Victim Services
Burglary/Robbery Victims, Topics from Domestic Violence "B" Series, Topics from Domestic Violence "C" Series, Legal Precedents, Drunk Driving "B" Series, Drunk Driving "C" Series, Homicide "B" Series, Homicide "C" Series, Post Conviction Advocacy, Sexual Assault/Child Abuse "B" Series, Sexual Assault/Child Abuse "C" Series, Testimony Issues, New State/Federal Statutes, New Developments in the Field

National Advocate Credentialing Review Committee Participants  
Although NOVA serves as the secretariat for the National Advocate Credentialing Program, representatives from the national victim assistance-related organizations have been invited to participate in the National Advocate Credentialing Review Committee. Those that have chosen to participate may appoint a representative who will serve on a staggered, rotating basis. This committee, comprised of individuals with experience in the field serving domestic violence, child abuse, homicide, sexual assault and other types of crime victims, will review the applications, testing process and results, assist with Observational Training and identify any revisions necessary in the credentialing program to best meet the needs of the field. 

National Advocate Credentialing Program Partners

    • MADD National
    • National Association of Attorneys General - VAWA Project
    • National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards
    • National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators
    • National Center for Victims of Crime
    • National Organization for Parents of Murdered Children

State Certification Credentialing Program

South Carolina State Certification

  • All public victim assistance programs shall ensure that all victim service providers employed in their respective offices are certified.
  • Victim service providers (VSP), serving in public or private nonprofit programs, must have completed 15 hours basic certification requirements and must, annually, complete 12 hours of continuing education requirements to maintain certification throughout their employment. All course material/training must be approved in advance. Approval for continuing education requirements will be based on course objective, content, and presenter's background.