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Trainer Candidate Program

The Education Department appreciates your patience as we’ve had the Trainer Candidacy Program on pause over the last few years. From a pandemic to maneuver, to new roles and responsibilities, to assessing the needs of birthing families and how we can bring forth educated, highly skilled, and diverse trainers to serve the growing and developing needs of our time, we are now happy to announce the updates below. Hundreds and hundreds of doulas have already submitted materials over the last few years, and so to manage interest (600+) and opportunity (under 10), the following process will be implemented…

– The program will open up to doulas who have already applied to the program over the last three (3) years (2018 – 2020) by submitting their resume, letter of intent, and referrals.

– Due to the overwhelming amount of applications already on file, The Education Department will begin reviewing qualified BIPOC applicants on August 15th, 2021 for consideration, with consideration for all qualified applicants on September 1st, 2021

– The Education Department will open the New Trainers Program to the general population at a later date that is still TBD

– Applicants who have been selected as candidates, will be notified by a member of the Education Department

From among the 14,500 DONA Certified doulas since we started, DONA International has selected just over 100 of the most skilled, professional doulas in the world to serve as our DONA approved trainers.

The DONA International Trainer Candidacy Program is conducted by experienced DONA International Approved Doula Trainers who are experts in the field of Doula Support, Mentoring and Adult Education.

Applications to the Candidacy Program are accepted from qualified DONA International Certified Birth and Postpartum Doulas by need and invitation only.  Invitation to apply for the program is not a guarantee of acceptance.  You can submit a resume and letter of interest to


 Requirements for Consideration:

  1. Accessibility of trainers in the area the applicant resides.
  2. Culturally congruent trainers will take precedence during this application process.
  3. Health of state concerning IMR & MMR.
  4. Equitable practices will be employed for applicant selection.

DONA International reserves the right to select for its candidacy program, those applicants who, in its judgment, best represent DONA International’s Mission, Vision and Statement of Values.  Individuals who are invited to apply for the candidacy program must uphold and abide by DONA International’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and must meet or exceed all other requirements.

Acceptance to the candidacy program does NOT guarantee approval of the candidate’s curriculum or as a DONA International approved community-based doula, birth or postpartum doula trainer.

Minimum Candidate Qualifications

1.     Proof of continuous and DONA certification and current membership (in good standing) with DONA International for two re-certification cycles (or 6 years).

2.     Minimum number of births/families served:

Birth Doulas: Minimum of 100 births attended as birth doula, not as a nurse or midwife.

Postpartum Doulas: Minimum of 100 families served.

3.     Proof of formal education/training (certificate) in childbirth education or adult education equivalent.

4.     Proof of experience in adult education.

Birth Doulas: 120 hours teaching (at least 10 complete childbirth class series – minimum 12 hours per series.)
Postpartum Doulas: 10 complete childbirth preparation series totaling at least 60 classes and 120 hours to groups of 4 expectant    parents minimum.)

5.     Proof of volunteer experience (preferred but not required).

6.     Signed memorandum of understanding.

7.     Two successful interviews (Director of Education and trainer mentor from the education mentor council).