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Home / Competency-Based Direct-Support Professional Certification Program / Application Procedure
The pre-requisites for NADD DSP certification are:
Meet the requirement for number of hours worked
The applicant must have worked as a direct support professional (DSP) in the developmental disability or mental health field for at least one calendar year and must have completed 1000 hours of direct support work, either paid or unpaid
Employee in good standing
Applicant must be validated by current employer as being an employee in good standing. This includes that the applicant is (was) not under disciplinary review or probation and that the applicant is (was) in compliance with all agency and state/provincial requirements.
The applicant must review and sign off on the Code of Ethics developed by the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (see Appendix B).
NADD membership (either an individual NADD membership or employment in an organization holding a NADD organizational membership)
The applicant must complete a self report of experience, skill, and knowledge.
The application will be completed on line. Applicants will be required to list their experience and formal education. When listing work experience, applicants will be required to provide the hours of work, job title, brief description of setting/agency, as well as providing supervisory contact for each employer so that information can be verified. Applicants will list their formal education, providing dates and completed certificates or degrees. Applicants can list any continuing education classes, coursework, development activities, or in-service trainings related to skills, knowledge, and values of credential competencies.
Applicants are required to submit two completed recommendation forms one from a person receiving services or his or her representative, and the second from a supervisor at the current or most recent employment. The form is designed to elicit accounts of work done with individuals with dual diagnoses that illustrate: (1) values, (2) knowledge, and (3) skills in the identified competency areas, especially as they relate to problem-solving and leadership.
Once the application has been reviewed, the applicant will be given instructions about taking the certification test. The test is completed on line and is in the form of a multiple choice test. Applicants will be provided with scenarios involving working with individuals with a dual diagnosis and will be asked questions designed to allow them to exhibit their qualification as a DSP. Applicants must demonstrate competency in the required competency areas. An overall score of 80% is required for passing, as well as a minimum score of 60% in each of the five competency areas.