This is the first level of credential offered. The DSP-Registered (DSP-R) status is intended to recognize people who have entered the profession and desire to have careers in the field of community human services. It is not intended to be a credential for which NADSP prescribes or sanctions DSP competence.

DSP-R applications that are complete and include payment will be reviewed within 6 weeks of receipt. Applications will not be reviewed until payment has been received. Applicants should ensure they meet the following criteria before applying.

Why become credentialed? Having a DSP-R is a wonderful thing that helps fund NADSP. We are happy to have people register for DSP-R and just stop there. Many interpret getting a DSP-R as a stepping stone towards national certification but it is also just a great way to be registered in good standing with NADSP. It is never required to continue on to the Credential.

NADSP DSP-Registered

  • Completed NADSP application form
  • Commitment to adhere to NADSP’s Code of Ethics
  • Statement of professional commitment from the applicant which describes their values, commitment to, and purpose for entering the profession
  • Letter from the employer indicating that the applicant:
    • has completed all required training and orientation as prescribed by the jurisdiction in which they work and an employer in community human services or a person who self-directs her or his own services and supports,
    • has six months continuous and current employment with an employer in community human services or a person who self-directs his or her own services and supports,
    • has no substantiated cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation,
    • has a criminal background check with results that meet the standards of employer and the jurisdiction in which they work.

Get Started

You can begin the process towards obtaining your DSP-Registered (DSP-R) status by completing and submitting the online application form. After you have submitted the application, NADSP will be in touch about any next steps.


Fee: $50.00

What happens after I apply?

Your DSP-Registered application packet will be reviewed by NADSP within 4-6 weeks after the date that we receive it. If your application meets the criteria for the DSP-R credential, you will receive your DSP-Registered recognition package.

Once you become credentialed at the DSP-Registered level, you will be eligible to move forward to additional levels of credentialing that recognize your skill-based competency in providing direct support to individuals who use community human services.

Direct Support Professionals will also receive formal recognition of this designation:

  • Officially embossed certificate that identifies the DSP as a DSP-Registered
  • Lapel pin that says “Direct Support Professional-Registered”


Re-certification is required to maintain active certification status. The DSP-R Annual Renewal Form is due on or before the last day of February annually, after the first full year of being certified.


There is no re-certification fee for DSP-Registered (DSP-R).