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MCOA Certification

The intent of Certification, a project established in 2000, is to provide a statewide standard that can be used as a measure of professionalism by interested program staff and directors of Councils on Aging and Senior Centers.  It is further intended that certification will encourage the continuing professional growth and development of certified Council on Aging personnel.  Certification is administered and awarded by the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors.

The purpose of certification is threefold:

  • to promote professional credibility and visibility
  • to identify to the public, those colleagues, Directors and Program Staff who have met specific professional standards as set by MCOA, and
  • to encourage the continued professional growth and development of the MCOA membership.


NCOA/NISC has shared the national senior center standards principles to align elements of the state program and national program.

Elements of Certification Portfolio

  • Senior Center/Community Profile
  • Mission
  • Values
  • Vision
  • Action Plan
  • Marketing Plan
  • Evaluation Plan
  • Annual Report
  • Fiscal Information

Certification Portfolio Checklist

2023-2024 Timeline

Letter of intent are due March 1, 2023
Strategic Plan training Spring 2023
Marketing Plan training June, 2023
Evaluation Plan training Fall 2023
Portfolios will be due January 19, 2024

Contact Kathy Bowler at MCOA ( for further information.

Director Certification Requirements

Those who apply must meet the following requirements:

  • currently directs a Council on Aging or a multi-service Senior Center as Director/Assistant Director
  • has two years of experience in role at time of application


Program Manager Certification Requirements

Description:   The Program Manager is one who is responsible for the direct and active oversight of the core service* outlined in the application and has two years of experience in role at time of application.  One core service must be cited.

 *“Core Programs” include, but are not limited to:

  • Outreach
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Activities Programming
  • Nutrition
  • Transportation
  • Information & Referral
  • S.H.I.N.E (Regional SHINE Program)
  • Health & Wellness
  • Public Communications
  • Advocacy
  • Public Safety
  • Resources Development
  • Adult Day Care
  • Activities
  • Senior Center Development


11.04.2021 Certification Information Session:

Massachusetts Councils
on Aging

116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306
Easthampton, MA 01027
Telephone: 413-527-6425
Fax: 413-527-7138