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Home Hospice Association

Death Doula Certificate Program

Program Overview

Our Certificate Program is designed to combine maximum flexibility with support from a peer learning network.

Program Description & Benefits

Home Hospice Association’s Death Doula Certificate Program educates and empowers those who aspire to offer quality care to the dying and their loved ones.


Whether you're an individual learning how to better support a loved one or a professional hoping to advance your client care, our Certificate Program will equip you with the necessary skills, insights, and perspectives to draw the circle of compassionate care wider, while providing you with a peer-support network as well as guidance from highly qualified and experienced professionals.​


By becoming a Death Doula through HHA, you will receive:

  • A certificate of completion to recognize your acquired skills and knowledge to support and encourage grieving individuals and their families


  • Personalized support from your Candidate Advisor


  • Access to HHA resources and programs for continued learning


  • Free admission to Death Doula community networking and support groups


If you're not yet sure what a Death Doula does or if it's the right fit for you, learn more about the importance of Death Doulas in end-of-life care on our HHA Death Doulas page.

Program Dates

This program is designed for you to learn at your own pace. Except for the 2.5-day in-class (online) component, you can complete the rest of the learning at your own speed and on your own time.

When you register, you will choose a learning cohort, which will meet online for the weekend training session. All other Certificate Program requirements can be completed at your own pace.

Registration is now open for the following cohorts:

Summer 2024

Weekend Training Session: June 21-23 **FULL**

Fall 2024

Weekend Training Session: September 6-8

Winter 2025

Weekend Training Session: January 10-12


As soon as you register and pay your registration fee (even if you have registered for a cohort that is several months away), you will get immediate access to the first online learning components of the program. You will also receive invitations to all HHA's doula candidate learning nights and other educational and social events.

Program Structure

HHA's Death Doula Certificate Program includes four learning components:

1. Compassionate Caregiving Modules

(Online in Google Classroom)

  7 modules, including topics such as:

Spiritual Care at End-of-Life
     Ethics in Hospice Palliative Care
     The Role of a Caregiver

3. Weekend In-Class Training Sessions

(Virtual in Google Meet)

2.5 days, including topics such as:

Grief & Bereavement
Advance Care Planning
Vigils and Living Wakes
Active Dying
Funeral Services

*Ongoing training in specialized topics is provided through optional monthly learning nights

2. Independent Studies

(Online in Google Classroom)

4 mandatory modules with some optional modules, including topics such as:

The State of Palliative Care in Canada
     How to Help Adults Talk to Children & Youth About Dying and Death


4. Death Doula Projects & Experience

(Online in Google Classroom)

Final projects & assignments, including topics such as:

Case Studies
Book Reviews

Practical Experience
Community Engagement

Optional Group Projects


Death Doula Certificate Program

Certificate Program Fee



Paid by e-transfer to

Payment in full is required to begin the Certificate Program.

As soon as we receive your registration fee, you'll get access to learning materials and events, including role play nights, guest speakers, and other invitation-only networking and educational sessions.

Please Note: Registration fees are non-refundable. However, if you are unable to attend your cohort's weekend training session, you are able to join another cohort with a minimum of 30 days notice.

Included with Fee
  • Online independent learning modules in Google Classrooms - learn at your own pace!


  • 2.5 days of in-class sessions, delivered virtually via Google Meet (see dates below)

  • Online independent projects and assignments in Google Classrooms


  • ​Ongoing Professional Development Training Through Monthly Virtual Learning Nights

Cohort Learning Training Sessions
(online via Google Meet)

June 21-23, 2024 ***FULL***

September 6-8, 2024

January 10-12, 2025

To complete the Certificate Program, your attendance is mandatory during one online weekend classroom session. 

Class times for all sessions:

Friday: 6pm-9pm (ETZ)

Saturday: 9am-5pm (ETZ)

Sunday: 9am-5pm (ETZ)

All other Certificate Program requirements can be completed asynchronously.

Meet the Facilitators

Death Doula Certificate Program

Why Choose Home Hospice Association?

Our Death Doula Certificate Program was created - and is continuously being revised and updated - by a team of experts who share a common passion for educating and bringing comprehensive knowledge and practical perspectives to end-of-life care. Our educators come from diverse backgrounds and bring experiences in birthing, end-of-life, and bereavement care


Our program provides extensive opportunities for engagement between students, facilitators, and special guest speakers. Over the course of the program, you will acquire valuable skills and will get the chance to apply your learnings and nurture your professional networks in order to further expand your knowledge.

To date, we have trained hundreds of death doulas who provide services across Canada. 


“Glen is a very genuine person who has a warm and calming aura whenever he speaks. He is truly in the field he was born to be in. His natural, serene demeanour is trusting and inspires anyone to be a better person towards not only vulnerable grieving people, but to everyone who needs it.” 


Learning Outcomes
  • Explore your role as a death doula assisting clients (and their loved ones) before, during, and after the death


  • Experience what active dying looks like in order to educate your client’s family on what to expect


  • Gain practical knowledge of the four domains of care a death doula provides (legacy, death planning, vigil, and grief)


  • Build compassionate strategies to help prepare clients & families for their grief journey, beginning with self-compassion


  • Achieve awareness about how your own death experiences may influence your work in order to manage your reactions and possible fears

Topics Covered
  • History of deathcare


  • Evolving role of a death doula


  • Grief & bereavement, including the complexity of grief and how to respond effectively to expressions of grief


  • Tending to the spiritual, physical & emotional needs of the dying


  • Compassionate and empathetic communication


  • What active dying looks like

  • When the death occurs

  • Contacting the funeral home

  • Honouring a life - rituals, traditions, and cultural awareness

  • Reserving judgement

  • Palliative sedation and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

  • Consultation practice

  • Vigil practice

  • Selfcare, triggers, and debriefing

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