HCBS Training

Using Person-Centered Skills to Train New Staff

skills of a direct support professional, teacher, nurse, psychologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, counselor, dietician, chauffer, personal trainer

Staff development is a key factor in expanding person-centered practices in HCBS. The term staff development refers to all of the policies, procedures, and practices that are used to develop staff knowledge and skills. One goal of staff development is for the actions of each staff member to reflect the values and culture of the organization. 

Staff development starts with the recruitment and hiring process.  Information about the organization and its mission are shared during recruitment and selection steps. Time is taken to share realistic details about what is involved in the job with applicants. These extra details can help providers select the right people to provide HCBS. Using person-centered practices in your recruitment, selection, and staff development models what it means to be person-centered. It also helps reflect the provider's culture. When interviewing and hiring people, consider if the personal beliefs of potential staff members are aligned with the person-centered values of the organization.    

It can be a challenge to recruit, hire and retain staff who have the skills needed to provide HCBS. The image on this page shows a wide variety of skills a Direct Support Professional (DSP), Personal Care Attendents (PCAs), and other staff that work directly with people receiving services.  By adding person-centered values into recruitment, interviews, job descriptions, and realistic job previews, you begin to select people who share important values. These actions begin to change organizational culture which, in turn, can improve staff retention. You can read more about recruitment, selection and retention of direct support workers by visiting the Module 6 Resource page .

Review the image on this page describing different roles that staff have when providing HCBS. If you were to create a similar image for your organization, it might look different. Think about what this visual would look like in your organization and how you could use it in developing interview questions. 


Please use the MN Team Checklist and the HCBS Planning Tool to complete the activity.

Minnesota Team Checklist.  Item number 21 in Staff Performance and Development section.  Performance-based management process for training staff includes details about person-centered and positive support practices.  Score the checklist: 0 – planning not yet started, 1 – in progress, or 2 – fully in place.

Checklist item 21: Performance-based management process for training staff includes details about person-centered and positive support practices.

Reflect on the strengths of the staff development processes within HCBS and which staff receive training in person-centered practices.

Minnesota Team Checklist

HCBS Planning Tool

If you haven't already done so please use these links to access the tools.