The National Advocate Credentialing Program® (NACP), developed through the cooperative effort of multiple national and state victim assistance organizations, was launched in 2003 as the first voluntary credentialing program available to crime victim advocates nationwide.
Discussion about a national credentialing program for victim assistance professionals began in the 1980’s. By the early 90’s, several states had successful credentialing programs. In 2000, NOVA invited representatives from state, federal and national victim assistance organizations to discuss the implementation of a national credentialing program. At a meeting in 2001, although not all of the representatives reached consensus about co-sponsorship, NOVA’s members overwhelmingly supported the concept. In 2002, the NOVA Board of Directors unanimously voted to develop a national credentialing program. The Board introduced the NACP at NOVA’s 28th Annual Victim Assistance Conference in Nashville in 2002, and launched it in 2003. In 2012, the framework of NACP was used as the model for the development of the Department of Defense-Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program, also known as D-SAACP.