This is for all the direct support professionals out there. We have some questions for you, but we think we already know the answers.

  • Do you notice areas where people you support are excelling? Do you help them continue to reach even greater milestones?
  • How about assessment – Are you monitoring what’s going on with someone’s wellbeing?
  • When it comes to self-advocacy – Do you take steps to help people speak up for themselves?
  • There are probably things getting in the way of people accessing the services they want. Are you supporting them to overcome these obstacles?

It won’t come as a surprise to us at NADSP that you would likely be responding “yes” to most, if not all, of these questions. The answer that’s probably not as universal is if we asked you, “Do you get credit for competency that you display in your work as a direct support professional?”

Get Credit For Competency

As you may know, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) has created The NADSP E-Badge Academy to make sure that DSPs actually get credit for competency. This allows DSPs to earn electronic badges for their knowledge, skills, and values on the job. With the online platform Web Courseworks, organizations set up administrative accounts so that DSPs can submit specific examples, experience, and education that highlights their achievements and contributions to human services.

Direct support professionals can use The NADSP E-Badge Academy to demonstrate skills and education, build up professional portfolios, display talents on resumes, and highlight in annual evaluations. Organizations can use The NADSP E-Badge Academy to acknowledge the expertise of DSPs, encourage staff development, establish career ladders, strengthen employee onboarding, and feature on their board reports, website, promotional materials, and more.

Ever-Expanding Skills of DSPs

NADSP recognizes that the work of a direct support professional is never done, and their expertise is constantly growing. To reflect this in The NADSP E-Badge Academy, we’re regularly updating our catalog of available E-Badges that DSPs can achieve, by adding in more specific competencies. You can learn about four new E-Badges we’ve just added to Web Courseworks.

Building on Strengths

Provides person centered support and helps the individual to build on his or her strengths in life activities.

  • Part of the Community Living Skills and Supports CMS Core Competency
  • Aligns with the NADSP Competency of Community Living Skills and Supports

Ensuring Access

Assists the individual to get past barriers to get needed services.

  • Part of the Empowerment and Advocacy CMS Core Competency
  • Aligns with the NADSP Competency of Advocacy

Informal Assessment

Observes the health and behavior of the individual within his or her cultural context.

  • Part of the Evaluation and Observation CMS Core Competency
  • Aligns with the NADSP Competency of Assessment

Self-Advocate Ally

Supports the individual to advocate for him or herself by encouraging the individual to speak for his or herself.

  • Part of the Empowerment and Advocacy CMS Core Competency
  • Aligns with the NADSP Competency of Participant Empowerment

When Competencies Add Up

The achievement of electronic badges through The NADSP E-Badge Academy can be applied to receive NADSP’s DSP-I, DSP-II, and DSP-III Certification. Each level of NADSP Certification entails meeting a minimum requirement of total E-Badges, along with specifications for attaining certain categories of E-Badges.

A Bit More About The NADSP E-Badge Academy

If you’re looking for additional details about The NADSP E-Badge Academy, you can learn more by checking out these links: