Summary OF DSHS/DOH/Prometric Webinar Today

For those of you who were around and paying attention last year at this time, it was a bit of DejaVue.  For those who weren't, it may have come as a shock!  Today, the Department of Health and Department of Social and Health Services co-hosted a three hour webinar to review the upcoming changes to training requirements for "long-term care workers."

Initiative 1163 requires the laws that were developed via I-1029, be put into service 60 days from the date of the vote.  That date is January 7, 2012.  I will try to summarize three hours of information into a few paragraphs here and hope you call or email me for further information or questions.

Who does this affect?

Anyone providing any personal care in the following settings:  Adult Family Homes,  Assisted Living Facilities, Home Care and Home Health Agencies, and Individual Providers whose clients are part of the COPES program.  In 2016, caregivers working in residential care settings (group homes for MR, DD, etc) will be added into the mix. Home Care and Home Health Agencies have not had to be part of this training group in the past, but they are now.

When does it go into effect?

Background checks and fingerprinting begin January 1, 2012 for new employees or those due for the bi-annual record check.  The training requirements begin January 7, 2012 and the continuing education moves from 10 hrs to 12 hours July 1, 2012.  Both will occur through the current BCCU system.

What is required?

Personal care staff hired after January 7, 2012 will be required to obtain the following training:


  • Orientation & Safety - 5 hours by a DSHS contracted instructor PRIOR to providing personal care.
  • 70 hours of additional training in an approved DSHS curriculum.  These will all be slightly different but will include Core Basics and Population Specific training.  Some of the course curriculum approved may include certification for specialty training in Dementia or Mental Health.  This training must be completed within 120 days from the date of hire.  However, if you wait that long, you are going to have problems because you won't be able to get your staff signed up and tested for the Home Care Aide Competency exam (by Prometrics) in time to get their certificate back from the Department of Health within 150 days from the date of hire.  If they do not have that final Home Care Aide Certificate in hand, they may not work as a personal care giver.
  • CPR/First Aid - within 30 days of hire and until then must be working with a co-worker who is certified.
  • Food Handlers Card
  • Specialty Training certification if working with specific populations.
  • Nurse Delegation if practicing delegated duties
  • Nurse Delegation: Special Focus on Diabetes if delegated with insulin or BG checks
  • CPR/First Aid
  • 12 hours Continuing Education - if birthday falls between Jan 1, 2012 and June 30, 2012 they must have 12 hours by June 30, 2012.  After July 1, the training must be DSHS approved courses and the 12 hours will be due by their birthday (July 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012).

Once staff have completed training and have their 70 hour certificate in hand, they may apply for the Prometric exam.  The exam fee is $115.  The written portion of the exam is taken on a computer and the results are immediate.  The skills portion of the exam is done at a testing site contracted by Prometrics with a Prometrics nurse evaluator.  The exams are being offered in five languages (both written and skills.)

Does everyone have to retrain? Is anyone "grandfathered"?

Just like last year, if your staff have completed their RFOC or MFOC, are registered as an NAR and worked at least one day this year,  they will be exempt (NOT grandfathered) from the new training requirements.  But they will have to maintain documentation to prove their exemption for the rest of their caregiving days so they can produce it for any employer or state licensing agency.  Caregivers will also be exempt if you hire them no later than January 6th and have all of the 2011 training components completed within 120 days of hire. This means there will be some staff taking RFOC, etc and others taking Core Basic, etc between January and April of 2012.  Talk about confusing!!!

At Cornerstone, we are already prepared for January 7 as our curriculum was approved in 2010 for the 2011 run.  We continue to offer many online options as well as on-site training.  We will have orientation and safety available online prior to January 7th.  Please call one of us if you have any questions or we can be of assistance.  We are on top of this and we have the answers you need.


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