Overview and Policy
The Department of Defense (DoD) is committed to providing a high quality response to sexual assault survivors. The DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP) was established to standardize sexual assault response to victims and professionalize victim advocacy roles of Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC) and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim Advocates (VA). Information about D-SAACP goals, outcomes, structure, and benefits of the certification process can be found in the program overview. Additionally, the Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 6495.03 establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for the oversight, management, and implementation of the D-SAACP.
- Department of Defense Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program: Overview
- Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 6495.03 – Defense Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP)
- D-SAACP Credential Suspension and Revocation Process
DD Forms 2950 and 2950-1
All SARCs and SAPR VAs must be certified through the D-SAACP to provide sexual assault victim advocacy services. DD Form 2950 is the official application form for initial certifications and 2950-1 should be utilized for all renewal certifications. Applicant instructions can be found within DD Forms 2950/2950-1, and outline the D-SAACP Application process, review eligibility requirements for the four levels of certification, offer guidance for submitting DD forms 2950/2950-1, and provide the timeline with the application review process.
Based on requests and feedback from the field, NOVA and DoD SAPRO have been working together to identify ways to incorporate more review boards for faster credentialing of the field. Beginning in mid-2023, the D-SAACP Review Committee added the first round of additional review periods and will move to eight (8) boards per year in 2024 and beyond. Please note that moving forward the deadlines are fluid to ensure that the reviews are happening approximately every six (6) weeks.
The updated 2023 submission deadlines for initial or renewal applications are as follows:
November 10, 2023
The 2024 submission deadlines for the eight boards will be:
- January 12, 2024
- February 23, 2024
- April 5, 2024
- May 17, 2024
- June 28, 2024
- August 9, 2024
- September 20, 2024
- November 8, 2024
What does this mean for me?
Eight boards a year means quicker credentialing times for advocates. If you were originally approved through November 30, 2023, the approved applicant list will be randomly split to go to the new October 2023 board or the December 2023 board. This will continue to happen throughout 2024 and 2025 until all advocates are on the new schedule of eight review cycles per year.
What else changes with eight boards per year?
In order to continue to provide the same excellent customer service experience, the new eight boards per year will be limited to 1,625 applications. This will credential 13,000 advocates each year. This requested increase in boards means that there will not be the option to request ad hoc boards in the future as they meet approximately every six weeks and there will be no time in between for an ad hoc board to convene.
As always, renewal applications for future boards will not be renewed early. The boards are designed to review and approve renewal applications during their timeframe. Renewal applications will have precedence of being reviewed first should the cycle reach the 1,625-application maximum.
Does the Expiration Policy change?
With doubling the review boards, the expiration policy will also double. Beginning with the July 2023 review board, the expiration policy will be if an applicant has missed 8 or more deadlines, they will need to submit a renewal application and their Service’s initial SAPR VA training taken within the last year. The DoDI 6495.03 will include this update in a future iteration.
Please reference the applicant instruction found in each of the DD Form documents or in the FAQs below for questions about filling out and submitting DD Form 2950 (first-time applicant) or 2950-1 (renewal applicant).
Completed application forms should be submitted to: DSAACP@TRYNOVA.org
Continuing Education for D-SAACP Certification Initiation and Renewal
Continuing education opportunities ensure that the military's SAPR professionals are receiving the tools they need to prevent and respond to sexual assault. It is our aim to field innovative prevention strategies, new training approaches, and the incorporation of best practices for SAPR training to instill an environment that provides dignity and respect for all. Each military Service and the DoD has Victim Advocate (VA) continuing education training that has been approved by the D-SAACP Review Committee.
Additional requirements and guidance for D-SAACP certification renewal can be found in the Continuing Education for D-SAACP Certification Renewal Information Sheet.
The actual number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for a given training is determined by the number of hours of actual classwork time. For example: a SAPR VA takes a two-day course. After subtracting eight 15-minute breaks, 2 one-hour lunches, and 2 one-and-a-half-hour sessions allotted for physical fitness, the SAPR VA only had 10 hours of actual training. The SAPR VA receives 10 CEUs for the course.
SAPR VAs should consult with their Service SAPR Program Manager and/or SARC for ideas to fulfill their semi-annual training requirement, and keep the following key factors in mind:
- All Department SARCs and SAPR VAs must complete 32 CEUs every two years following D-SAACP approval in order to renew certification
- Two of the 32 CEUs must be Victim Advocacy Ethics training and the remaining 30 CEUs are to be Advocacy / Prevention training
- Training need not be Service-specific
- A combination of online training sessions and/or in-person certified training courses offered by the military Services can help to satisfy the semi-annual requirement
FAQs about the D-SAACP application and review process are below. For a printout version of the FAQs, please click here.
- How will I know if my application was received?
NOVA will send you email notifications at each step of the process – when your application has been received, when your application has been screened and deemed complete or incomplete, and when you have been approved. If you do not receive an email confirming receipt of your application within five (5) business days of being submitted to NOVA, please contact email@example.com.
- How and when will I notified whether I become certified?
Within six weeks of submitting your application you will be notified of your certification status first via email from NOVA and then by mail.
- What if I missed my renewal deadline and my certification expires?
If you have been certified by D-SAACP at any time in the past, you are still considered a renewal applicant. You must stop working directly with victims until your certification is renewed. Beginning July 2023, if you missed one to seven application deadlines, submit the DD Form 2950-1 and 32 hours of continuing education completed within the last two years. If you missed eight or more deadlines, submit the DD Form 2950-1 and the initial training certificate completed within the last year.
- Can my D-SAACP certification be revoked?
Yes. D-SAACP certification can be revoked for several reasons, including violation of the SARC/SAPR VA Code of Professional Ethics.
- Can I get my certification reinstated if it has been revoked?
It depends on the reason for revocation. Please contact your Service SAPR Program Manager for more information.
- I have more questions not answered on this page. Who should I contact?
For questions about your certification status or if you have questions about the application process, please contact NOVA at firstname.lastname@example.org