Certified Employment Support Professional™ Credential
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.
CESP™ Certification as an Industry Standard
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.
CESP™ Certification Is Far More Than Certificate of Completion
The CESP program is the first in the nation to create national guidelines to validate and support the training currently provided in the field of Employment Support Professionals.
The certification program falls under the oversight of the Employment Support Professional Certification Council (ESPCC), established by the APSE Board of Directors.
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.
The CESP™ is accredited through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Accreditation for professional or personnel certification programs provides impartial, third-party validation that the program has met recognized national and international credentialing industry standards for the development, implementation, and maintenance of certification programs. The CESP’s content validity is demonstrated through a comprehensive job analysis conducted and analyzed by experts, with data gathered from stakeholders in the occupation or industry.
What People Say about the Certified Employment Support Professional™ Credential
"I feel the certification adds a level of professionalism for all staff. It shows a higher level of understanding and education for customers and employers. It lets them know employment staff have a general broad knowledge needed to be successful in this field."
David King, Ohio
"The CESP credential is an important step in building the professional recognition of the work being done in the employment services field, and the amazing skill set that is required to do it successfully. Having a path to obtain a recognized credential, and progress in their professional development, is important to staff and the retention of individuals working in our field. As an agency, we also think it is a valuable tool to show that we believe in the importance of the work that our staff are doing, and that we support their continued career path in the field of employment services- we want to encourage our staff to continue to grow and advance professionally."
Kate Travis, Connecticut
“In a field without the backing of a Standard Occupational Code, the CESP credential not only validates my skill set but also serves as a strong reminder in the business community of the importance of economic opportunity for all including people with significant disabilities. The CESP encourages me to continue to grow in the profession while supporting others in training.”
Theresia Kody, Pennsylvania
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.
Apply with APSE on APSE Apply first, then you can sit for the exam.
Need an examination accommodation? Request one at this time.
Recertification is required every 3 years. It's $199 to take the exam again or $125 to submit documented completion of 36 Continuing Education (CE) hours. We encourage you to use this to develop skills and interests as your career develops!
Get Involved with the credential and earn CE credits. Volunteer on a Committee, write or review question items, or share the credential with others.
CESPs also have an every other week CESP Conversation, held on Zoom for 45 minutes. Join us and meet your peers!
- Access the Most Recent Candidate Handbook
- Go to APSE Apply - where you can access all applications related to the CESP
- Download a Template Employer Support Letter
- See the Directory of Current CESP Credential Holders
- Read about the annual reports of the credential