Frontline Initiative Choice, Direction, and Control

Credentialing Column

The DSP Credentialing Column shares the stories of direct support professionals (DSPs) who have completed a credentialing program. In this issue, John Raffaele, Director of Education Services for the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) spent time with a cohort of DSPs who were working on their NADSP credentialing program DSP-C2 portfolios. They were talking with other learners who were beginning work on their DSP-C1 portfolio work samples. John extracted some quotes while listening to these incredible learners.

“As I work on my DSP-C2 portfolio, I am so much more confident in my work. I also feel obligated to help the people who are learning and working towards their DSP-C1 portfolio. Helping them seems only right. I remember where they were at!” ~ Cheryl M. DSP-C1

“I face challenges in my work differently now. I have a better understanding of my important role as a professional. I always held the title, professional. Now I know what that means.” ~ Jerry F. DSP-C1

“I now work with more confidence. I [work] with a sense of confidence and skill I did not realize I had before doing the credential.” ~ Nikki S. DSP-C1

What is credentialing?

Credentialing is a process of receiving official recognition, including an authorized certificate for mastering and demonstrating professional standards of practice. The NADSP has identified and nationally validated the skills, knowledge sets, and ethical principles needed to be an effective DSP. They have organized these into a series of increasingly advanced levels of credential. Find out more information about NADSP credentialing programs on .

NADSP Accredited Training Curricula

  • College of Direct Support (CDS)
  • U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
  • Relias Learning
  • North Dakota Community Staff Training Program
  • ARC Broward
  • PATHS Certificate Program
  • Open Future Learning
  • NADSP Accredited Training Curricula
  • The Academy for Direct Support Professionals–The Center for Disability and Development at Texas A&M University
  • The Training Collaborative for Innovative Leadership
  • Star Services
  • Human Services Program–Providers’ Council (Massachusetts)