What is a certified sleep consultant? | Batelle
Photo: Tatiana Syrikova

What does accreditation really mean in an unregulated industry?

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The sleep training industry has a long way to go. It’s full of murky claims, there are often no public-facing reviews, and array wildly differing opinions that create a lot of disagreement. One reason for this is that it’s an unregulated industry, in contrast to similar industries such as psychotherapy, physical therapy, pediatrics, and education. As an unregulated industry, there is no central body to validate claims or set universal standards, rules, and regulations.

“As an unregulated industry, there is no central body to validate claims or set universal standards, rules, and regulations.” 

Lack of regulation is not necessarily a bad thing – unregulated industries allow space for new, untested ideas, leading to higher innovation, and – by extension – faster improvement of existing methods. The downside, however, is that it is very tough to tell the good from the bad as a consumer.

 “Sleep consultant certification programs” do not help the matter. Despite official sounding names, anyone can create a certification program, without any special credentials. All you need to do is create a website, create a program, and charge people to complete it and become “certified”. Courses range in quality and length; spanning anywhere from 20-400 hours of study. To put that in perspective, someone could take 3 days to study, take a theoretical test, and become a certified sleep consultant. No practical experience is needed. No specific results are needed. Unfortunately, this creates a prolific lack of credibility.

“Unregulated industries allow space for new, untested ideas, leading to higher innovation, and – by extension – faster improvement of existing methods.” 

At Batelle, we have a panel of clinical and subclinical specialists across various stages of growth and issues, such as lactation, autism spectrum disorders, and mental health, to name a few. We have worked with thousands of families and followed them from start to finish on their sleep journey. A single cohort of ours is significantly larger than the vast majority of sleep studies conducted – our team sees and work with hundreds of children monthly (in contrast, some of the largest sleep studies have sample sizes of under 100 participants). Our team are able to use this high volume of data in combination with their expertise from formal training to continuously improve their guidance.

“A single cohort of ours is significantly larger than the vast majority of sleep studies conducted” 

As more and more families participate in Sleep School, the more data we have, and the better we’re able to evolve and refine our approach to sleep training. We’re intentionally non-dogmatic about our methodology, taking the best research from each of our specialists’ fields and experience, and rigorously testing them with real families. We believe that for a solution to continue to work, it needs to be able to evolve, and it needs to be proven to work.

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