The NADSP E-Badge Academy

get credit for competency.
NADSP E-Badge Academy
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) has launched The NADSP E-Badge Academy, which offers Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and Frontline Supervisors (FLSs) the ability to earn national certification through stackable electronic badges. These badges demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and values that these professionals utilize every day, recognizing the professional development that might otherwise go unacknowledged.

With E-Badges through the online platform Web Courseworks, DSPs and their supervisors can submit specific examples, experience, and education that highlights their achievements and contributions to human services.  Human service organizations can establish administrative accounts, while users can upload testimonials of their accomplishments for review by NADSP, and then share the resulting E-Badges with others. As badges are accumulated, each user is also working toward meeting the requirements for NADSP’s voluntary, national certifications.

“The NADSP E-Badge Academy has built confidence within myself professionally and provided a sense of achievement.”
- Brookley Garman, DSP, Black Hills Works

Why are E-Badges important?

For DSPs, this is the opportunity to demonstrate that you have an up-to-date and relevant skill set, highlight your professional achievements, and document the value that you bring to your employer and the people you support. NADSP E-Badges can also be grouped together to achieve NADSP’s DSP-I, DSP-II and DSP-III certifications for Direct Support Professionals. For agencies, this is the way to support their professional development, and to show the impact that they are having on the people they support, not only in principle, but also in practice. Agencies also benefit because they can prominently display the competencies of their staff and the impact they are having.

What types of E-Badges can DSPs earn?

Following the acquisition of the Code of Ethics Commitment E-Badge, the NADSP E-Badge Academy is currently divided into two main categories of E-Badges. These two categories are focused on the CMS Core Competency Areas and hours of NADSP Accredited Education. In both types, there needs to be specific evidence and examples of how the DSP met the requirements for the badge. When the DSP demonstrates that their professional skill and value meet the specified set of criteria, they can earn an electronic badge to display that accomplishment. There are dozens of different E-Badges that can be earned through the Web Courseworks Catalog.

How does it all work?

NADSP has produced an in-depth presentation video about The NADSP E-Badge Academy, which includes detailed information about what the E-Badge Academy is, why it’s important, and how it helps direct support professionals get credit for competency.

The video also shares a demonstration of the Web Courseworks platform, the E-Badge submission/review process, and the use of ‘Mozilla Backpack’ for sharing E-Badges. You’ll also learn about the specific steps for getting started with The NADSP E-Badge Academy.

What are the next steps?

  1.  Your organization should complete the E-Badge Academy General Interest Form to learn more about purchasing an E-Badge Academy subscription.
  2. Once you have submitted the E Badge Academy General Interest Form someone from NADSP will contact you to answer any questions and to provide you more information.
  3. Upon agreement by your organization, NADSP will send you a contract to purchase the E-Badge Academy for the number of identified users, detailed in our Pricing Guide. An invoice for the purchase price will be sent once the signed contract is received.
  4. With receipt of payment, NADSP will arrange for training of local administrators to enroll users as well as training to help users get started in the process of applying for E-Badges.
  5.  After users are enrolled in Web Courseworks, they may start to apply for badges, starting with the Code of Ethics Commitment E-Badge; share their accomplishments with others to demonstrate the impact they are having on people supported; and seek out more E-Badges to build upon their online folio and continuing their professional development.
  6.  As each user accumulates E-Badges, they can use them to apply for certifications from NADSP at the DSP-I, DSP-II, and DSP-III levels.

Get Started

To make sure direct support professionals get credit for competency through The NADSP E-Badge Academy, you need to first complete the General Interest Form and submit it to NADSP.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up a NADSP E-Badge Academy account?
When purchasing access to the NADSP E-Badge Academy, your organization will designate a local administrator who will have the ability to enroll staff in the NADSP E-Badge Academy.
What is the first E-Badge that I need earn?
When purchasing access to the NADSP E-Badge Academy, your organization will designate a local administrator who will have the ability to enroll staff in the NADSP E-Badge Academy.
How do I demonstrate participation in NADSP webinars?
You will need to complete the Accredited Education Documentation Form in its entirety and submit with other records of NADSP-Accredited Education when applying for an Accredited Education E-Badge.
How long does it take to apply for an E-Badge?
While the work you do to meet the requirements for a E-Badge may take many hours, the process of applying for each E-Badge should only take about 15 minutes.
How is confidentiality protected in the NADSP E-Badge Academy?
The NADSP Code of Ethics requires each DSP to safeguard and respect the confidentiality and privacy of the people they support. For this reason, no testimonial including individually-identifiable information will be approved for an E-Badge.
What are the differences between NADSP Certification through the E-Badge Academy and portfolio-based credentialing?
The achievement of E-Badges can be applied to the requirements for DSPs to attain DSP-I, DSP-II, and DSP-III Certification. Each level of certification builds off of the requirements of the preceding level. As you’ll see in NADSP’s Certification Comparison document and Comparison Webinar here are key differences between achieving NADSP Certification through The NADSP E-Badge Academy and the traditional, portfolio-based model of achieving NADSP Certification.
What are the requirements for DSP-I Certification through the NADSP E-Badge Academy?
To earn the DSP-I Certification, you must earn 15 total E-Badges. These E-Badges must include:

  • The Code of Ethics Commitment E-Badge
  • The 50 hours of Accredited Education E-Badge
  • At least one Core Competency E-Badge from the Crisis Prevention and Intervention competency area
  • At least one Core Competency E-Badge from the Safety competency area
  • At least one Core Competency E-Badge from the Person-Centered Practices competency area
  • At least one Core Competency E-Badge from the Health and Wellness competency area
What are the requirements for DSP-II Certification through the NADSP E-Badge Academy?
To earn the DSP-II Certification, you must earn 30 total E-Badges.  These E-Badges must include:

  • The DSP-I E-Badge
  • The 100 hours of Accredited Education E-Badge
  • At least one Core Competency E-Badge from the Evaluation and Observation competency area
  • At least one Core Competency E-Badge from the Communication competency area
  • At least one Core Competency E-Badge from the Professionalism and Ethics competency area
  • At least one Core Competency E-Badge from the Community Inclusion and Networking competency area
What are the requirements for DSP-III Certification through the NADSP E-Badge Academy?
To earn the DSP-III Certification, you must earn 50 total E-Badges.  These E-Badges must include:

  • The DSP-II E-Badge
  • At least one Core Competency E-Badge from the Empowerment and Advocacy competency area
  • At least one Core Competency E-Badge from the Community Living Skills and Supports competency area
  • At least one Core Competency E-Badge from the Education, Training, and Self-Development competency area
  • At least one Core Competency E-Badge from the Cultural Competence competency area
How will the NADSP Code of Ethics be incorporated into the E-Badge Academy?
The NADSP E-Badge Academy is really designed to get DSPs in the habit of frequently referring to and reflecting on the Code of Ethics. We do this by asking DSPs to make a connection between their work and the Code in most of the Core Competency E-Badges.  The Code of Ethics is woven into the entire NADSP E-Badge Academy in a much more deliberate way than it was in the traditional certification program.
Can providers continue to use a cohort model, as with the traditional portfolio-based certification program?
Absolutely. Some of the best practices for implementation of the NADSP E-Badge Academy will be similar to the traditional portfolio-based program, but we expect that agencies will develop new approaches as well. NADSP will share success stories from around the country in a variety of ways.
Who reviews the E-Badge submissions? How are reviewers trained and evaluated?
Our initial reviewers are I/DD professionals who are well-versed in the NADSP Code of Ethics and Competency Areas. All reviewers complete a two hour training session, and there will be both oversight and support for these reviewers. We are creating an inter-rater reliability standard for the reviewers and they will be tested at least twice a year.

E-Badge Academy News & Updates

NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: Jacqueline Cerna

Congratulations to Jacqueline Cerna, who has been selected as the NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month for December of 2020. Jacqueline is being recognized for her excellent ‘Personal Care’ E-Badge submission. This badge represents a...

NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: Alaba Owolabi

Congratulations to Alaba Owolabi, who has been selected as the NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month for November of 2020. Alaba is being recognized for her excellent ‘Crisis Documentation’ E-Badge submission. This badge represents a...

NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: Brookley Garman

Congratulations to Brookley Garman, who has been selected as the NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month for September of 2020. This signifies that Brookley has demonstrated excellence in the competency of the 'DSP Orientation' E-Badge. By...

Frontline Supervisor E-Badges are Here

It’s been a little over a year and a half since the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) launched the E-Badge Academy. We now have 51 badges that represent various skills and accomplishments in direct support which...

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...

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