Year 1 and Year 2
Direct Support Professional Training

Department of Education
and the
Regional Occupational Centers and Programs
in partnership with the
Department of Developmental Services


In 1998, the California Legislature established the Direct Support Professional (DSP) Training Program. The purpose of the program is to increase quality of care for people with developmental disabilities living in licensed Community Care Facilities by ensuring core competencies or skills for all Direct Support Professionals. The statewide training program requires all Direct Support Professionals to successfully complete 70-hours of training over two-years, or to pass a challenge test for each of two, 35-hour training segments. Upon successfully completing either of these requirements, Direct Support Professional Certification will be provided.

The California Department of Developmental Services formed an Advisory Committee, consisting of representatives from the developmental services community, to provide direction for the training program. This was accomplished through statewide meetings, mailings, focus groups and pilots of draft training and testing materials. A formal job analysis was conducted to identify core competencies for Direct Support Professionals. The training and testing materials were then developed from these core competencies.

The Department of Developmental Services has engaged the California Department of Education's Regional Occupational Centers and Programs to implement the training and testing program. The training program is being coordinated and taught by Regional Occupational Centers and Programs in local communities. Local Regional Occupational Centers and Programs have also established Advisory Committees to assist in meeting community needs.

The training materials include: a Teacher's Resource Guide with lesson plans, applicable instructor dialogue and background information, classroom activities (with teaching ideas/tools for use with LCD or overhead projector, TV-VCR, charting activities, group and individual work), homework assignments, reference and resource materials for each of the eleven training sessions. The Resource Guide for the Direct Support Professional includes extensive information related to each of the eleven training sessions, in-class activities, homework assignments, session review questions/answers, reference and resource materials. Both guides have a Key-Word Dictionary encompassing all the key-words used throughout the eleven training segments, and general information to help Direct Support Professionals in preparing for the required competency test at the end of the training.

For more information about the curriculum or where it will be taught in your area, please write:

Renee Kurjiaka
Department of Developmental Services
1600 9th Street, Room 320
Sacramento, CA 95814

Year 1 and Year 2 Resource Guides
The Department of Developmental Services has posted them on their Direct Support Professional website. You can find Year 1 and Year 2 Teacher and Student guides here.

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