Certified Employment Support Professional™ Credential

CESP™ Certification Is Far More Than Certificate of Completion

The Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP™) credential recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a sufficient level of knowledge and skill to provide integrated employment services to a variety of populations.

The CESP™ credential embodies going above and beyond expectations. As a result, the job seekers, the business community, and government partners recognize it as a symbol of quality and pride.
— Tashara Tolbert, Employment Consultant, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


The ESPCC developed the CESP™ for employment support professionals (ESPs) who provide employment services to individuals with significant disabilities by assisting individuals to obtain and maintain competitive employment in integrated community workplaces.

The CESP credential is designed for job coaches, job developers, transition employment specialists, job placement personnel, and employment specialists/consultants who serve a wide variety of target audiences including individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, mental health diagnoses, sensory impairments, physical disabilities, traumatic brain injury and autism spectrum disorders.



Eligibility requirements for test takers include Education, Work Experience, and Code of Conduct prerequisites to ensure that individuals certified by the ESPCC have an acceptable level of knowledge and skill needed to provide employment support services at an entry level of competency.


Prepare for the Exam

Created by subject matter experts and leaders in the field of disability employment, the CESP™ exam seeks to define the benchmarks for knowledge and competency in the field in the following areas:

  1. Application of Core Values and Principles to Practice
  2. Individualized Employment and Career Planning
  3. Community Research and Job Development
  4. Workplace and Related Supports

We’ve Got Great Resources on CESP™ Certification

  • Learn about certification, accreditation and their benefits
  • Review the development of the CESP™ certification exam
  • Review exam eligibility requirements
  • Learn how to prepare for the exam
  • Find out what to do before, during and after the exam
  • Annual reports for the Certification: Click here to access reports.

For more information please contact
National APSE Office: 301-279-0060 or send us an email.

Employment Support Professional Certification Council (ESPCC)

APSE Staff Assigned:  Kari Tietjen, Certification Director
Chair: Terri Nelles, email: espcc@apse.org

Purpose: The ESPCC serves as an independent and autonomous committee within APSE and is solely responsible for all essential decisions related to the development, administration, and ongoing maintenance of the CESP™ certification program.

  1. Establishing the policies and procedures for granting and maintaining certification, including eligibility and recertification requirements.
  2. Providing oversight to any committees as needed (Current committees: Quality Assurance, Recertification, Research)

ESPCC members, as individuals, have no authority over CESP™ certification program matters, except as authorized by action of the ESPCC.

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Proud member Institute for Credentialing Excellence.
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Download a Template Employer Support Letter

Use this template letter/email to help your request to apply for the Certified Employment Support Professional™ Certification


Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP™) Candidate Handbook

Updated March 2020