DSP-Specialist - Employment Supports

The DSP-Specialist in Employment Support credential (DSP-S-ES) recognizes competence in knowing and understanding the value of work to all people and their role in the facilitation of positive work opportunities for those they support. Employment Support specialists help create these opportunities by using a personalized combination of job development, job coaching, and interpersonal skills to make employment a reality.

Required Elements:

1. Must have been awarded the DSP- II credential;

2. Training/education of 40 hours in Employment Support that must be approved by an employer representative (such as a supervisor, trainer, HR administrator), completed during the 2 years prior to the DSP-III-Specialist application, and none of the required 40 hours can duplicate the training/education hours used for the 200 hours required for the combined DSP I and DSP II credentials.

3. Three Portfolio work samples – each demonstrating competence in 3 different and essential components of employment support;

4. Letter from the employer that: a. verifies the applicant has one year of continuous employment providing employment support opportunities for people who use community human services, and b. supports the applicant’s competence and professional integrity in the area of employment support.

Recognized award:

  1. Officially embossed certificate that identifies them personally as a DSP- Specialist in Employment Supports;
  2. Lapel pin that says “Direct Support Professional – Specialist;” and
  3. Personalized letter from NADSP congratulating them on their achievement.

Fee: $100


In order to maintain DSP-Specialist in Employment Support status the DSP must be re-certified every two years. The re-certification process requires:

  1. Re-certification of the DSP-Certified credential;
  2. Proof of completion of 5 hours of continuing education in Employment Supports; and
  3. Re-affirmation of commitment to the NADSP Code of Ethics

Fee: $50