The CESP™ certification is open to all employment professionals that meet the eligibility criteria. APSE membership is not required for CESP™.

Candidates for CESP™ certification must meet all eligibility requirements at the time of their application for certification.

Before taking the exam, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. High school diploma, GED or equivalent
  2. One of the following work experiences*:
    1. One year of employment support professional (ESP) work experience, which may include up to a maximum of three months of internship or practicum time, or
    2. Nine months of ESP work experience with training component**
  3. Each applicant must agree to and sign the Code of Conduct included in the application

*Work Experience Definition: A minimum of 20 hours per week of paid employment-support related work is required. Examples of paid ESP-related work are:

  • Work directly related to providing and/or supporting community-based employment services
  • Employment as a direct employment services professional, provision of direct employment services as an agency/company employee, and/or managerial or supervisory work in employment services
  • Experience in school-to-work transition environments providing ESP service
  • Work completed as part of an internship, practicum, or other on-the-job training may be counted to the limits noted in the training definition.

Work related to residential and/or non-employment day services, segregated employment services will not be accepted.

**Training Experience Definition: An internship or practicum of at least two months in length and/or successful completion of an intensive training course that includes at least 32 hours of ESP related course work. The content for acceptable training courses must be directly related to the CESP™ content outline. Acceptable training content is related to supported and customized employment, as well as training relevant to providing employment and community-based supports to people with disabilities. Examples of acceptable training content include:

  • Specialized training to work with specific disability groups (i.e. autism or mental illness)
  • Training on small-businesses development
  • American with Disabilities Act (ADA) training
  • Benefits counseling and strategies for job development.

Training related to segregated employment services or services that are not widely considered to be best practices will not be accepted.

If you have questions around your eligibility, email cesp@apse.org or call 301-279-0060. If you submit your application and are deemed ineligible to sit for the exam, you will be refunded your application fee minus a nonrefundable $40 processing fee.

Questions? Please email cesp@apse.org or call 301-279-0060.

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