NADSP Transitions Certification To The NADSP E-Badge Academy
Effective January 22nd, 2020, The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) will begin fully transitioning its Certification program to the NADSP E-Badge Academy through the platform Web Courseworks. This updated model provides a more modern, efficient and effective solution for Direct Support Professionals to receive recognition for their knowledge, skills and values.
Historically, Direct Support Professionals would develop and submit a cumbersome portfolio, through a process that demanded an extensive amount of time and resources to achieve Certification. Following the creation and submission of a voluminous portfolio, the review process can be burdensome and lengthy.
The traditional, portfolio-based model of Certification will officially expire on June 30th, 2020. While current certifications under this model will not be affected, NADSP will no longer be accepting new submissions through the portfolio-based model after the expiration deadline. Additional details about the impact on the traditional, portfolio-based model can be found below.
Please note, this transition from our traditional, portfolio-based credential to the E-Badge Academy for DSP-C does not impact our DSP-R level applications. The DSP-R is intended to recognize people who have entered the profession and desire to have careers in the field of community human services and many organizations use this initial recognition after a probationary period. The DSP-R level is not intended to be a credential for which NADSP prescribes or sanctions direct support competence. Therefore, the NADSP will continue to accept DSP-R applications as explained here.
Certification through the NADSP E-Badge Academy still entails the same robust requirements and high standards, but the criteria to achieve Certification is divided up into more workable components. By earning individual electronic badges based on specific core competencies and hours of completed accredited education, Direct Support Professionals have more control and flexibility in their path of pursuing Certification.
“We’re really impressed with the way that it has broken down. It focuses on those competencies and the ethics in a way that is manageable,” says Tanya Fritz, Director of Credentialing for Black Hills Works, who has been featured in previous NADSP blogs.
In addition to this more individualized structure, the online platform for achieving E-Badges is more intuitive and dynamic. It allows for an enhanced experience for submitting, reviewing, tracking and sharing the contributions of Direct Support Professionals. In breaking down the competencies and accredited education into separate, distinct E-Badges, it also offers more opportunities to monitor progress and identify areas of improvement for Direct Support Professionals.
“With the E-Badges, in getting that feedback they were able to make those adjustments and those changes in real-time,” adds Fritz. “It allows for a lot of success for our DSPs!”
The past month, the NADSP celebrated it’s first year of the NADSP E-Badge Academy. In it’s first year alone, organizations have invested in Direct Support Professionals getting credit for competency from Vermont to California.
Reflecting on the first person to achieve their DSP I status in 2019, Joseph Macbeth, President and Chief Executive Officer of NADSP said, “They’ve shown that they value the expertise of their employees and are willing to invest in their professional development.”
Additional Details About Portfolio-Based Certification
Portfolio-model certifications are valid for two years from the date of certification and the re-certification process is identical for certifications earned through portfolios and the NADSP E-Badge Academy. If those who are currently certified through the portfolio-model wish to seek a higher level of certification, they will also need to transition to the NADSP E-Badge Academy.
A webinar was conducted in 2019, which provided detailed information about the portfolio-based certification process, compared to achieving certification through the NADSP E-Badge Academy.
I would like to comment that I think we should have stuck to the original way of doing Portfolio Certification. I am one of the originals that did mine that way. I think the new way is much easier, and not really fair to those of us that did it the more involved way. Also, without pictures as proof of your work I feel staff could say they did a project and did not really do it. I know it is time consuming to hear back after the portfolio was submitted. My suggestion would have been submit two work samples, then the remainder of the the portfolio when everything was finished. I realize this email comes too late after a decision has been made to change to the E-Badge Certification. I just felt it was important that you receive my comment. As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
Thanks for your time,
Thank you for your comment. We appreciate hearing how hard you worked on your application. Please note that the E-Badge Academy still requires a lot of and rigor. The process is just different. Please check out our comparison document here: https://nadsp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/NADSP-E-Badge-Academy-Certification-Comparison.pdf
I have reached my DSPC2 certification via a portfolio.
I have several questions …
To keep my certification updated biyearly, how do I submit prove of training hours? Does it have to be via EBadge?
Also, if my agency doesn’t continue the Credentialing career via EBadge am I able to independently do the EBadge for my DSPC3?
Hello Cheryl, Please excuse the delay on this. Re-certificaton is the same regardless of whether a certification was gained though a portfolio or EBA.
It involves the submission of 20 hours of training during the last two years by mail or email.
It doesn’t require access to the EBA.
A DSP-II who wants to pursue DSP-III would need to submit a portfolio before June 30 or have access to the EBA.
How do we gain access to the e-badge process?
Is there any format for writing the testimonial and the length?
Hi, I am an eBadge Academy learner like you, and have earned a few badges so far. I hope this helps. I submit my testimonial in a Word document. One was really short, and I wrote one paragraph to describe the work I did, and a second paragraph to explain how the work I did lined up with the Code of Ethics. It was a very easy process and I got that badge right away.
Some other testimonials were longer because the work was a little more complicated.
How would we do the ebadge if you work somewhere that isn’t signed up as an organization?
I read that the people who were already completing their “original portfolios” were given an extension of December 2020. I cannot find that post now. Does anyone have that information please.