What is Credentialling or Advanced Certification?

Credentialling or Advanced certification is an evaluation of a nurse’s experience, educational preparation and ongoing professional development against a set of established standards.

These standards include:

  • minimum levels of practice and/or experience (underpinned by the DANA Specialist Nursing Standards and Competencies)
  • recency of practice
  • education
  • continuing professional development

The decision to participate in the DANA Pathways to Credentialling and Advanced Certification Programs is entirely voluntary. The program is open to DANA members and non-members alike but with a pricing differential.

What are the advantages of Credentialling or Advanced Certification?

The DANA Pathways to Credentialling and Advanced Certification Programs provide nurses with the opportunity to:

  • validate their experience, knowledge and expertise
  • distinguish themselves as drug and alcohol nurses
  • enhance their professional confidence
  • retain a strong professional identity as a CDAN or ACAN
  • enhance career opportunities
  • provide for a consistent standard of practice
  • contribute to better patient outcomes.

DANA Pathways to Credentialling Brochure and Poster (Australia)

Credentialling Brochure AUS

Credentialling A3Poster AUS

DANA Pathways to Advanced Certification Brochure and Poster (New Zealand)

Adv Certification BrochureNZ

Adv Certification A3Poster NZ

Application Packages and Guidelines 

Australian applicants – follow this link to download your copy of the  DANA Pathways to Credentialling Program Australia

New Zealand applicants – follow this link to down load your copy of DANA Pathways to Advanced Certification Program Aoteoroa New Zealand

These documents set out  the information required to apply  to the DANA Pathways to Credentialling Program (Australia) or the DANA Pathways to Advanced Certification Program (New Zealand).

NEW! Application Packages for Re-Credentialling / Re-Certification

It’s time for many CDANs and ACANs to apply for re-credentialling / re-certification. The application forms can be downloaded:

DANA Re-Credentialling Application Package Australia

DANA Re-Certification Application Package Aoteoroa New Zealand

Are you considering applying?

We encourage experienced Drug and Alcohol Nurses to apply for Credentialling and Advanced Certification.  There are many pathways that you can take to achieve Credentialling or Advanced Certification.

Firstly, we recommend that you download the appropriate package for your country as above, and read it thoroughly.  This will explain the different pathways that you can take for your individual application.  If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us to clarify.  We are here to help you.  Just send us an email at: 

Frequently Asked Questions

What do we mean by ‘credentialling’?

Credentialling is “a process of professional validation by which an individual nurse may be designated as having met established professional nursing practice standards.”

Credentialling is sometimes also referred to as ‘certification’.

What are some of the benefits of credentialling?

  • Ensuring a consistent standard of quality patient care;
  • A consistent standard of practice;
  • Retaining a strong identity as specialist drug and alcohol nurses;
  • Opening up employment prospects;
  • Being a recognised expert in the field.

Is credentialling only for nurse practitioners?

No.  Credentialling allows nurses to voluntarily measure their practice and experience against a pre-determined standard.  It is not necessarily about “advanced practice” but it is about “best practice”.  Nor is credentialling about deeming a nurse competent at any tasks. This would require an observational evaluation and this is not a part of the credentialling process. Credentialling is open to all practitioners who choose to volunteer for the process. It provides a benchmark – if someone has been through the process then there is a known standard against which they have been compared.

 What are the options for experienced nurses who may not have post graduate qualifications?

There can be several pathways to becoming credentialled. The role of the Credentialling Advisory Committee (CAC) will be to finally determine these pathways.  In the formative days of other credentialling programs, some organisations have used a “grandfather clause” to address the issue of some nurses who do not hold formal university qualifications, yet are extremely experienced clinicians. This might prove to be an option for DANA.  These clauses normally cease after an initial period.

Would non DANA members be able to participate in the credentialling process?

Yes, but they would be required to pay a higher premium for this, so they would be advantaged by joining DANA.

Other organisations undertake a re-credentialling program.  Is this something being considered by DANA?

Yes, because it is important that we demonstrate our ongoing commitment to professional development.  The opportunity to re-credential would occur every 3 years.

I am relatively new to my workplace and don’t have a three year relationship with a potential Peer Reviewer.

You may have up to three Peer Reviewers to cover the three year time frame. However each Peer Reviewer must have known the applicant for a minimum period of 12 months.


Payment is required at the time you make your credentialling submission. DANA  members $120 and Non members $300. Click HERE to proceed with your payment.

Before you submit, remember to do one final check…

When you have finished your application, we advise you to do one last check to ensure you have everything included:

  • Does your name appear on every page of the application, including attachments?
  • Have you attached your current CV and certified copies of your qualifications and current practising certificate?
  • Does your applications include all elements required to achieve at least 110 points?
  • have you asked your peer reviewer to submit the completed documents independently, within 2 weeks of your submission?
  • Inform your peer reviewer that they may be contacted by the DANA Credentialling Advisory Committee should clarification be required
  • Have you signed and dated the declaration and attached it to the front of your application?
  • Have you paid the application fee online via the DANA website?

Then finally, submit!

When all of these points are addressed, then you can submit!  See submission email addresses below for both Aus and NZ:  (if you are seeking Advanced Certification in New Zealand) (if you are seeking Credentialling in Australia)


Credentialled Drug and Alcohol Nurses & Advanced Certified Addiction Nurses 

Find out more about the nurses who have already been awarded the DANA Credential of CDAN in Australia and ACAN in New Zealand. Go to this link.


Archived Documents

Credentialling Updates 2012