CESP™ & State Policy

States at the forefront of Employment First recognize the benefits that Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP™) Certification brings to employers, people with disabilities, state agencies, and communities. APSE and our chapters continue to assist states as they:

  • Require CESP™ certification through Medicaid waivers and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) requirements,
  • Offer a higher reimbursement rates for employment services for CESP™ certificate holders, and
  • Implement large-scale certification efforts, covering the cost of the exams for those who qualify. 

Is your state considering writing competency requirements for either a certification or a certificate-based program or training? Are you trying to understand the benefits, requirements, and differences between the two?

The Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE) Board of Directors and the APSE Certification Council (ESPCC) have created a NEW resource that provides guidelines that state agencies can use when requiring the Certified Employment Support Professional™ (CESP) Certification or the ACRE Certificate of Completion. These guidelines also provide information about and outline differences between the CESP and ACRE training programs.

By requiring a National Certificate of Completion or Certification, employment provider organizations and employment support professionals will receive a nationally recognized standard of training (ACRE) and the opportunity to demonstrate competency (CESP). State agencies need to consider their options in supporting such a workforce development initiative in their state.

This invaluable resource gives you the information you need in one document https://apse.org/apse-and-acre-state-guidelines/

Looking for a one-page resource about the CESP certification and ACRE trainings: https://apse.org/acre-and-cesp-chart/



State Guidelines for CESP and ACRE Competency Requirements


Comparison Document between Certification (CESP) and ACRE Certificates

States Provide Incentives for Certification

South Dakota reimburses service providers who obtain the CESP™ certification and complete a two-day Person- Centered Thinking training. The state’s reimbursement is 25 percent above the current established employment services fee rates through the South Dakota Vocational Rehabilitation (VR).

In Ohio, the state vocational rehabilitation organization Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) will sponsor more than 1,000 test takers to sit for the CESP™ certification between 2017-2020.

Other states with similar CESP™ requirements through Medicaid waiver or VR include Iowa, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

Please see our Medicaid section for more information on Medicaid funding of waiver services.


Please email cesp@apse.org if you have questions about CESP™ waivers, reimbursement, testing, or legislation.  APSE staff is available to help you contemplate potential policies and implementation.

Follow CESP™ on Twitter and Facebook for information and updates.

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