March 14, 2013_AFH "Dear Provider" Letters

March 14, 2013

ADSA:  AFH 2013-003

Dear Adult Family Home Provider:

We continue to receive questions regarding the new basic training, home care aide (HCA) certification, and continuing education (CE) requirements resulting from the passage of Initiative 1163.  This letter is to remind you of these requirements, identify changes made to streamline the process and provide guidance. 

Home Care Aide Certification Requirements

Unless exempt, long-term care (LTC) workers must become certified home care aides within 150 days of hire. Some LTC workers including registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are exempt from this requirement.  See a list of exempt workers at

The Department of Health (DOH) oversees HCA certification.  The required written and skills test is administered by a company called Prometric.

  • Within 14 days of hire: LTC workers must apply to the DOH for HCA certification. 
  • 30 days before completing the 75 hours of basic training:  LTC workers should apply to Prometric to take the skills and written exam.  
  • After completing basic training:  LTC workers must mail the Certificate of Completion (DSHS 75 hour training certificate) to DOH.  Workers no longer have to mail the Certificate of Completion to Prometric.
  • Within 150 days of hire:  LTC workers must be certified as home care aides or the provider must ensure the worker stops providing care to residents/clients.

Home Care Aide Certification Checklist

The enclosed checklist outlines the steps to complete HCA certification and recommended timelines for meeting basic training and certification deadlines. 

  • We recommend that you review this checklist with each non-exempt LTC worker at the time of hire.
  • The LTC worker can use this checklist to track their progress throughout the training and certification process.

Find the checklist at  It will soon be available in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean at that link.

Basic Training Requirements

  • Unless exempt, newly hired  LTC workers, must:
  • Complete 5 hours of orientation and safety training before providing care.
  • Complete 70 hours of basic training (core basic and population specific training) within 120 days of hire.
  • Providers must ensure that non-exempt LTC workers stop providing care to clients/residents if the worker does not complete training within 120 days. 
  • Workers with professional certification such as RNs, LPNs and CNAs are exempt from the 75 hour LTC worker basic training. 
  • Modified Fundamentals of Caregiving is no longer required for these workers.
  • Exempt workers must be oriented to their job but are NOT required to complete the 5 hours of Orientation and Safety Training that is part of the 75 hour training.

Continuing Education Requirements

  • All LTC workers must complete 12 hours of CE on or before their birthday – including AFH providers and all LTC workers exempt from the 75 hour basic training.
  • The provider must ensure that LTC workers failing to meet CE deadlines stop providing care to clients/residents.  
  • DSHS approved CEs are assigned a unique CE approval code.  Only CEs with such a code can be used to meet the 12 hour CE requirement.

Training Curriculum and Instructors

  • All basic, specialty and CE training curriculum and instructors, except for first-aid and cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), must be approved by the department.
  • First-aid and CPR training must meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements.
  • To learn how to become an approved instructor or to have training curriculum approved, visit:
  • If you were an approved instructor or provided any training to your staff before January 7, 2012, you should find out from the department if you are still authorized to provide that instruction.

Thank you for your continued commitment to residents/clients living in adult family homes.


Joyce Pashley Stockwell, Director 
Residential Care Services

Bea Rector, Director
Home and Community Services