Last Updated on April 30, 2022

Arizona enacted SB 1181 creating a voluntary certification process for doulas.

The information presented on these pages is for informational purposes only. Links to official documentation and information is provided where and when possible. Please consult local government authorities for current and accurate information.

SB 1181 was introduced in the Senate in January 2021 and enacted by the governor on April 26, 2021. Long debates occurred throughout the legislative process, in particular around the bills extensive certification requirements and recurring fees to maintain certification. While a could is not required to be certified to practice, certification is required to be reimbursed by Medicaid.

  • A doula seeking certification must:*
    • Have at least 30 hours of in-person or combination of in-person and online in the following “core competency topics”:
      • Entrepreneurship
      • Standards of Practice and Ethics
      • The Childbirth Process
      • Parental Engagement
      • Postpartum Care
      • Grief
      • Trauma-informed Care
      • Cultural Doula Practices
      • Anatomy and Physiology
      • any other qualifications by legislation or department rule.
    • Observe at least 1 birth after completing training.
    • Attend three births as primary doula and receive a Department approved evaluation from laboring mother and medical provider who assisted the laboring mother.
    • Complete instruction on First Aid and CPR (the statutes do not clarify what level of First Aid and CPR is required).
    • Pay the certification fee set by the Department.
    • Possess a valid fingerprint clearance.

There is an alternative pathway for a doula that has been practicing in Arizona for 5 years prior to April 26, 2021. Such a doula can forgore the requirements listed above by showing:

  • Proof of current certification from a nationally recognized doula organization may be submitted in lieu of proof of minimum qualifications.
  • Three letters of recommendation from health care professionals who have worked with the doula in the past two years.

State certification lasts for three years and requires a renewal application and fee.

Key Links


In Arizona, Birth Workers Of Color Fight For More Access, WAMU 88.5–American University Radio (April 6, 2021)

Last Updated on April 30, 2022