Washington State, like most states, has no requirement that a person be licensed, certified or registered with any state agency or professional association (including WSPA) before he or she can work as a paralegal.
Accordingly, Washington State has no entity to certify, license or otherwise regulate paralegals.
WSPA is a strong proponent of quality Paralegal Education programs and supports both the Academic Standards and the Core Competencies as laid out by the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) including the minimum number of semester hours necessary to be adequately prepared for entry into the legal profession. Even so, there is not yet any minimum educational requirement to work as a Paralegal. In fact, many paralegals have been trained "on the job" and do not hold formal Paralegal Certificates from recognized paralegal programs.
It is generally agreed that paralegals holding Paralegal Certificates from accredited programs are generally more highly sought after by employers, but well experienced paralegals without certificates can command strong salaries as well.
Since the paralegal profession is not yet regulated in our state, there is also no requirement in Washington for paralegals to maintain Continuing Legal Education credits. WSPA, as a voluntary professional association, strongly believes that paralegals should participate in Continuing Legal Education activities to stay apprised of changes in the law and professional developments.