Under its former name, the First Nations Wellness and Addictions Counsellor Certification Board was originally created at the direction of the Association of BC First Nations Treatment Programs. It was incorporated provincially in 2005 and federally in 2011. The intent driving the creation and development of the ICBOC certification process was to provide a culturally resonant certification for NNADAP workers, that matched and exceeded existing competitive standards in the field and met the increasing accountability required by the federal government. These are still our goals today.
Our new name, the Indigenous Certification Board of Canada (ICBOC) was voted by our Board of Directors in 2014 and incorporated under this name by Corporation Canada. The new name reflects the organization’s expanded vision and its commitment to the professional development and professional recognition of the Aboriginal workforce involved in several other unregulated occupations. The ICBOC is administered by a Board of Directors, who serve without remuneration.
We obtained charitable status from the Charity Directorate in 2015, which now provides new opportunities for our organization in terms of fundraising.
Our Board certifies qualified practitioners in the fields of addictions, mental wellness, client support and community development. Our certification attests to their professional qualifications and competence. Our standards for certification are on a par with 11 International Boards and 70 US Districts, including alcohol/drug groups and authorities in most Provinces and the U.S., First Nations alcohol/drug programs as well as various foreign alcoholism commissions, branches of the military and the First Nations Health Services.
Our expanded certification portfolio supports the implementation of Honouring our Strengths: A Renewed Framework to Address Substance Use Issues Among First Nations People in Canada and offers professional recognition of the competence demonstrated by community workers who occupy diverse positions within the continuum of care envisioned by NNADAP.
To implement its approach to workforce development pursues in support of the National Native Drug and Alcohol Program (NNADAP) the Indigenous Certification Board of Canada:
- Develop new professional certifications
- Process professional certification and renewal applications
- Accredit education and training programs offered by – Universities and colleges – Training providers (organizations, private companies etc… – Independent trainers
- Build alliances and partnerships with like-minded organizations
- Works to encourage the creation of an international federation of Indigenous Certification Boards
We participate actively in the indigenization movement that is provoking a positive shift within Education institutions in Canada. A number of enlightened universities and colleges as well as organizational and corporate training providers and individual education and training professionals have began to take positive measures to counteract indigenous students’ poor enrolment and high levels of disenfranchisement and to attract and retain Indigenous students.
ICBOC is the first indigenous organization that has developed a process to evaluate education and training programs in support of these two objectives. Our university and college programs accreditation evaluate the following:
- Indigenous input in all stages of the program
- Cultural sensitivity
- Cultural Safety
- Cultural competence
- Relevance of program to certification standards and requirements
Recognizing the crucial importance of a collaborative approach to achieve our vision of an abundance of valued, professionally certified, and culturally competent workers leading to healthy families and communities, we forge partnerships and alliances with individuals and organizations with common interests.