NBPCB Center Approval
The National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB) will provide approval to orientation centers for the purpose of providing immersion and training related to certification and continuing education. The primary focus of approval is that the orientation center be consumer driven, (i.e., is consumer-based in its model of rehabilitation). To be consumer-driven, a center must not only collaborate with consumer organizations of the blind, but maintain concerted efforts towards establishing Structured Discovery methods and an empowering philosophy about training. The NBPCB has an approval plan which is designed to determine whether an orientation center meets standards which make it a consumer-based program.
Each training center must apply to the NBPCB for approval status. At least one member of the board of directors of the NBPCB and a second person designated by the board member will make a site visit to the orientation center to perform evaluation duties. The team will conduct an evaluation of the program based on the “Orientation Center Evaluation Checklist.”
An orientation center that meets these standards will be granted approval status. An agency that is not granted approval will be provided with the written report which shows the center’s areas for needed improvement.
Continued approval is contingent upon follow up evaluation by the NBPCB on a tri-annual basis (every three years). One board member will make a site visit to review the evaluation checklist.
Evaluation and Checklist
All agencies will be assessed by the evaluation panel based on the Orientation Center Evaluation Checklist. This assessment consists of six (6) content areas which are rated on a 100 point scale. Centers must achieve at least 80% proficiency on all six sections in order to be granted full approval. See the Orientation Center Evaluation Checklist on the web page for specific criteria that are evaluated.
Any agency that fails to meet the 80% threshold, but scores greater than 75% in five of the six sections, may be given up to one year to bring the deficiencies up to standard. This will require a follow up visit at the end of the first year by at least one of the original evaluators. If any two or more standards are rated at 75% or less, approval is not granted and the agency must seek the initial evaluation again.
The NBPCB will charge a fee of $5,000 for the initial evaluation. This fee covers all costs for the NBPCB evaluation. Agencies that receive approval will be assessed a $3,000 maintenance fee every three (3) years. Any agency that must be re-evaluated annually due to noted deficiencies will be charged a $3,000 fee for each visit that must be made.
To apply for the NBPCB evaluation, send a letter detailing your agency’s interest. The NBPCB office will arrange the evaluation at a time convenient to the agency, but evaluations will not be conducted until the $5,000 fee is paid in full. Renewal fees must be paid every three years. NBPCB approval will be withdrawn if (1) appropriate fees are not paid; and/or (2) if the agency engages in practices unbecoming of a consumer-focused training center.