Caregiver training requirements can be complex. Home care agencies must be aware of their state’s caregiver training requirements and take the necessary steps to manage and track caregiver certification, ensure compliance, and protect the wellbeing of their senior clients and caregivers. Whether you are a startup home care agency or opening offices in multiple states, training and certification will be central to your business’ growth. Here’s a quick guide to help you figure out your needs.
Three Levels of Caregiver Certification
Typically, there are three levels of caregiver certification that we have termed – high, medium and low. While we’ve simplified the categories, you must look at the requirements on a state-by-state level and then delve deeper to determine how those requirements change by certification type and by payment method (i.e. Medicaid, vs Medicare vs Private Pay).
- High requirements:
Some states like New York, Washington and New Jersey have stringent requirements for initial training, in some cases requiring forty or more hours of training. The District of Columbia for example, requires all direct care workers be certified as home health aides with 75 hours of initial training whereas New York requires 40 hours of state standardized curriculum from a state approved agency training program. Additionally, some states require approval for classes, instructors and programs. Finally, some states require continuous education or ongoing annual training.
- Medium requirements:
States like Pennsylvania, Colorado, and California require that caregivers complete a certain number of hours on specific topics prior to providing services to clients. For example, California requires five hours of initial and annual training while both Pennsylvania and Colorado require eight hours of initial and annual training.
- Low requirements:
States like Massachusetts, Arizona, and Ohio along with 19 other states have no training requirements if you work for private-pay agencies. Regardless of the requirements, training caregivers before entering the field is always recommended to ensure the safety of clients and caregivers.
Standardizing Caregiver Training
If you are an agency or franchise that crosses state lines, it can certainly be a challenge to ensure compliance across caregivers and agencies. Currently, there is no universal standard for caregiver training, but it doesn’t stop you from developing your own standard training program that either meets or surpasses state mandates. This can be done by leveraging an existing provider or creating your own in-house program that can be implemented throughout all of your locations. Many agencies are turning to online training programs as an effective tool for rapidly and consistently onboarding and upskilling caregivers.
Standardizing training has many benefits: it will help attract new caregivers and ensure they have the necessary skills to enter the field; it will help retain caregivers who want to advance their career, and finally, it will help you live up to your brand promise to deliver the best care to your clients.
How to Determine the Requirements for Your State
It’s imperative that you understand the parameters of your state’s mandates to ensure compliance.
Try our interactive map to see state requirement for private-pay non-medical caregivers.
- CareAcademy offers compliance based training which evolves as requirements and best practices change in the dynamic health and home care landscape. If you want more specific information about your state, book a 15-minute demo with CareAcademy.
Caregiver Career Path Infographic
To help you illustrate how rewarding a career in caregiving can be, we’ve created an infographic that charts one possible path. Share this with your caregivers to start the discussion and use this as a recruitment tool to demonstrate how your agency views the role of the caregiver over the next forty years.