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. 

APSE/ACRE State Guidelines for Employment Services Personnel Training Certificates or Certification

Offered by a collaboration of the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE) Board of Directors and the APSE Certification Council (ESPCC).

A NEW resource (released 2020) that the collective boards of ACRE and the Certification Council (ESPCC) created.

The two Councils recognized the need for a guiding document for states considering writing in competency requirements, whether it's a certification or a certificate-based program or training.  It outlines information about the CESP as well as ACRE training programs, and dives into the conversations states should have when considering such a requirement.


APSE/ACRE State Guidelines for Employment Services Personnel Training Certificates or Certification


Comparison Document between Certification (CESP) and ACRE Certificates


Certification Handbook Updated January 2020

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 2017-2019.

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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