Supported Employment - Training and Certification

Do you provide Supported Employment services through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and/or Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid Waivers?

IF YES! Don't miss out on this opportunity to get paid for your professional development and satisfy new requirements for Employment First in Colorado! Act now!!

Options for Professional Development:

Complete any one of these trainings or do both – a training and a certification!  

Benefits to training and certification  

  • Comply with new Colorado Supported Employment Service Provider requirements  
  • All are courses are nationally recognized, therefore at completion, you will be added to a National registry and have documented credentials that will be honored even if you move to another state
  • Excellent resume builders! 
  • Network with colleagues across the state and nation 
  • Encouraging on-going learning  
ACRE Training Options - Focused on I/DD Service Providers

Offered by Colorado Office of Employment First (COEF)

Intended Audience
  • This is a good match for Colorado DVR vendors and HCBS Medicaid Waiver Services Providers
Course Info
  • This training is for Colorado supported employment professionals who are seeking an ACRE training certificate. Coursework is completed through our learning management system. Many assignments are designed to be integrated into an employment professional's work with employment seekers actively seeking employment.
     
  • Training Participants must attend all training days and turn in all coursework to successfully complete the training and meet requirements for the Core Competencies of Senate Bill 18-145 for Supported Employment Providers and to earn an ACRE Certificate- Basic Supported Employment Services.
Available Training Resources

Offered by Community Integrated Services (CIS)

  • Intended Audience
    • This is a good match for DVR vendors and HCBS Medicaid Waiver Services Providers
       
  • Course Info
    • This training is conducted by peers in the nation who offer strategies, tools, and up to date information in Employment Services. This training satisfies new requirements for providers of employment services.
       
  • Available Training Resources

Offered by Griffin Hammis and Associates

  • Intended Audience
    • This is a good match for DVR vendors and HCBS Medicaid Waiver Services Providers
  • Course Info
    • This 12-week web-based course is comprised of 6 two-week lessons, the topics ranging from Community Employment to Job Site Training and Support Strategies, supplemented with archived and live, interactive webinars, work-applied assignments.
       
  • Available Training Resources

Offered by Indiana University Center on Community Living and Careers

Intended Audience
  • This is a good match for DVR vendors and HCBS Medicaid Waiver Services Providers
Course Info
  • This 8-week, comprehensive online training gives employment consultants, specialists, job developers, and other professionals the foundation, techniques, and effective strategies necessary for supporting job seekers with disabilities. 

    If you are involved in training, preparation, hiring, inclusion, and job placement for inclusive community employment this training is for you.

Available Training Resources

Offered by Institute for Community Inclusion

  • Intended Audience
    • This is a good match for DVR vendors and HCBS Medicaid Waiver Services Providers

Offered by University of Texas Workforce Inclusion & Sustainable Employment (UNTWISE)

  • Intended Audience
    • This is a good match for DVR vendors and HCBS Medicaid Waiver Services Providers
  • Course Info
    • The Supported Employment: Discovering Untapped Talent course provides an overview of the principles and practices to assist a person with the most significant disabilities to work.  Drawing on a variety of resources created since supported employment emerged, the participant will walk through the supported employment process, from the moment they meet a candidate seeking a job, through the job search, skills training and integration into the workplace process.
       
  • Available Training Resources

Offered by Utah Center for Employment Inclusion

  • Intended Audience
    • This is a good match for DVR vendors and HCBS Medicaid Waiver Services Providers
  • Course Info
    • The Employment Specialist Training at Utah State University is designed to provide participants with the requisite skills for understanding and developing an array of employment supports for individuals with disabilities. The training is competency focused and will provide participants with the knowledge and skills to develop validated strategies to meet the diverse integrated employment needs of individuals with disabilities. Topics for the training include: (a) disability rights and history of employment, (b) disability and employment services related legislation, (c) best practices in employment including supported and customized employment. (d) professionalism and ethics, (e) individual assessment, including discovery, (f) career planning and benefits planning, (g) community research & job development, and (h) workplace and related supports.
       
  • Available Training Resources

Offered by Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Intended Audience
    • This is a good match for DVR vendors and HCBS Medicaid Waiver Services Providers

Offered by Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (WISE)

  • Intended Audience
    • This is a good match for DVR vendors and HCBS Medicaid Waiver Services Providers
  • Course Info
    • The WISE Online Academy 100 ACRE (approximately 40 hours total) * May be taken in any order and offered on a rotating basis each quarter

      • Introduction to Supported Employment, Discovery and Person-Centered Planning Course (IDP):  5 live webinars and online video and homework for a total of 12 hours

      • Job Development and Marketing Course (JDM): 5 live webinars and online video and homework for a total of 12 hours

      • Systematic Instruction: Teaching, Learning and Retaining Abilities Course (SIT): 4 live webinars and online video and homework for a total of 12 hours

      • Social Security and Work Incentives On-Demand (SSA) Online on demand with quizzes for a total of 4-5 hours

  • Available Training Resources

Offered by Work Works, Institute on Human Development & Disability, University of Georgia

  • Intended Audience
    • This is a good match for DVR vendors and HCBS Medicaid Waiver Services Providers
  • Course Info
    • Program includes 9 units of study and a final competency-based examination.  Online training includes values, applicable laws, disabilities, assessment and discovery, assistive technology, job development, marketing, work skill development, and support needs.

      The program is self-paced and, with good self-discipline, participants can complete the course in 4-5 months.  The program has open enrollment; therefore, accepted students may start when they are ready.

      See links below for more information.
       
  • Available Training Resources
Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) - Focused on I/DD
  • Intended Audience
    • The Certified Employment Support Professional credential recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a sufficient level of knowledge and skill to provide support to people with significant disabilities to get and keep jobs that are a good match.
       
  • Course Info
    • The CESP Certification is:
      • Nationally recognized, therefore at completion, you will be added to a National registry and have documented credential that will be honored across the Nation.
         
      • A resume builder!
         
    • Join the community of more than 3,100 certified support professionals across the nation!
       
  • Available Training Resources
     
Individual Placement & Supports (IPS) - Focused on Service Providers in Mental Health Centers

IPS Training

Offered by Colorado Office of Employment First

Offered by National IPS Employment Center

  • Intended Audience
    • IPS is a good match for Employment Specialists who work for Mental Health Centers who have contracts with DVR and with Medicaid Regional Accountable Entities.
       
  • Course Info
    • This training is conducted by professionals in Colorado and with the National IPS Center who offer strategies, tools, and up to date information in IPS tools, strategies and services.
       
  • Available Training Resources
     
 

IPS Certification

  • Intended Audience
    • IPS is a good match for Employment Specialists who work for Mental Health Centers who have contracts with DVR and with Medicaid Regional Accountable Entities.
       
  • Course Info
    • IPS Certification (CIPS) is a way for experienced IPS practitioners to demonstrate their proficiency in Individual Placement and Support. Individuals who are certified in Individual Placement and Support have demonstrated knowledge about IPS. 
       
  • Available Training Resources
     

 


 
Customized Employment

Testimonials

In-Person ACRE Training with CIS

  • Here's what Colorado Employment Support Professionals are saying about ACRE Training with CIS:
    • The training was interactive and everyone was engaged and willing to share their experiences. The stories and examples shared during class really brought things home. I feel that I have been given more tools to make me a better Employment Specialist.
    • All of the trainers that presented were very knowledgeable. I will be able to better assist the individuals we serve in understanding and establishing community integrated employment.
    • I learned so much about the complexities of supporting people in their jobs. Loved the course, very valuable.
    • The information presented was thorough and the trainers made sure that we understood the material. I look forward to applying what I learned to help the people I serve.
    • ACRE training was informative and inspiring. I learned a lot about Employment First, and especially enjoyed connecting and sharing ideas with other support professionals.
    • Trainers made the course engaging and were very knowledgeable. This training will help further progress our new supported employment department.

Online ACRE Training with WISE

  • SSA On Demand: The modules are really well done and I like the short time frames which enable the user to absorb the material in bits and pieces to get to the whole. I was in an IEP meeting and a parent asked me about SSI and I was able to answer the question in more detail than I would have before taking the modules! ;o)
  • I loved the enthusiasm of the presenters! It made sometimes seemingly redundant information, interesting and relevant.
  • I look forward to using my new skills!

Colorado Employment First - IPS Training

  • The IPS training was extremely beneficial and informative! My team and I were able to learn about the IPS model from skilled providers and we feel more confident in our ability to provide IPS services that meet fidelity. Our clients are clearly benefiting from the IPS model and this success was due, in no small part, to the training provided by COEF.
     
  • At first, I was not excited about the idea of this training. I worried about the time commitment and wondered how much an online class could teach me. Deirdre proved me wrong. She found a way to keep the class fully engaged during every lesson. It is clear she cares about IPS and everyone involved with this work. The guests had relevant in depth knowledge and provided guidance during their presentations and after the course ended. I have taken many ZOOM trainings over the last few months and this was the most informative one.

 


Get Reimbursed for Your Professional Development

About Reimbursement

Who can be reimbursed?

  • Answer:  Service providers who are actively providing Individualized Supported Employment services through Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) or Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid Waivers can be reimbursed for training and/or certification. To be eligible for reimbursement, you need to be set up to bill for Supported Employment services through Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Health First Colorado, and/or HCBS Waivers.


How much is reimbursed?

  • Answer:  Reimbursements will cover the cost of the training and certification, application fees, and staff time.
    • Training will be reimbursed up to $1,200.00
    • Certification will be reimbursed up to $300.00


How many people per agency can be reimbursed?

  • Answer:  As we continue to work with and get feedback from service provider agencies, we have determined we can accept applications for reimbursement for more than one person per agency.

    Submit the pre-approval form for each staff person who would like to request reimbursement of training and/or certification costs. Multiple requests may be approved based on availability of funding.

    We will monitor and reassess quarterly to maintain statewide equity and access to reimbursements for Nationally Recognized Training and/or certifications.

    Questions? Contact HCPF_Supported.Employment@state.co.us

Reimbursement Process

Pre-Approval Process

  • You must apply for pre-approval for training/certification prior to attending by completing the following form(s):
  • Submit current provider W-9 form
  • Submit supporting documents if seeking pre-approval for training not listed - include detailed documentation that all competencies are covered for required skills and knowledge
  • Email pre-approval form to: HCPF_Supported.Employment@state.co.us
  • You will receive an approval letter with a date the approval will expire or a denial letter within 30 days of the submitting the pre-approval form
  • If approved, you must email evidence of completion of the training and/or certification and an invoice to the Department within 30 calendar days of completion. If your training/certification occurs in May or June, you must submit your completion documents by June 30 to be reimbursed within the state fiscal year.

Reimbursement Process

  • After you have attended your pre-approved training/certification, you must submit evidence of completion and an invoice within 30 calendar days. If your training/certification occurs in May or June, you must submit your completion documents by June 30 to be reimbursed within the state fiscal year.
  • If you need an extension to complete the training or to submit completion documents, you must get approval of the extension BEFORE the 30-day timeframe is exhausted. If you miss the expiration date and do not have an extension, you will not be reimbursed.
  • Once we have evidence of successful completion and an invoice, you will receive reimbursement within 30 days.
Guidelines and Core Competencies

The already approved trainings or certifications listed above are approved because:

  • nationally recognized training or certification includes standards that are set and approved by relevant industry groups and/or governing bodies nationwide,
  • training curricula includes detailed documentation of all competencies covered for required skills and knowledge,
  • certification is accredited by a nationally recognized entity.

Core Competencies

Core values and principles of Supported Employment
  • These include the priority of employment for all working-age persons with disabilities, and the belief that all people are capable of full participation in employment and community life. These values and principles are essential to successfully providing Supported Employment services. 
Person-centered process
  • The process that identifies the strengths, preferences, needs (clinical and support), and desired outcomes of the individual and individually identified goals and preferences related to relationships, community participation, employment, income and savings, healthcare and wellness, and education.
     
  • The Person-centered approach incudes working with a team where the individual chooses the people involved on the team and receives necessary information and support to ensure he or she is able to direct the process to the maximum extent possible, effective communication, and appropriate assessment.
Individualized career assessment and planning
  • This process is used to determine the individual's strengths, needs, and interests to support career exploration and leads to effective career planning, including the consideration of necessary accommodations and benefits planning.
Individualized job development
  • Identifying and creating individualized competitive integrated employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities, which meet the needs of both the employer and the individual. This competency includes negotiation of necessary disability accommodations.
Individualized job coaching
  • Providing necessary workplace supports to individuals with significant disabilities to ensure success in competitive integrated employment and resulting in a reduction in the need for paid workplace supports over time.
Reimbursement Timeline

Don't miss out on this opportunity! Act Now! Each year the legislature will re-evaluate the budget available to reimburse you for a training and/or certification

July 1, 2019

5-Year Transition Period Begins

June 30, 2024

Transition Period Ends

On-Going New Employees
Reimbursement may be available for Supported Employment Professionals who need to obtain a nationally recognized training certificate and/or nationally recognized certification All Supported Employment Professionals must have a nationally recognized training certificate or nationally recognized certification All Supported Employment Professionals must have a nationally recognized training certificate or nationally recognized certification Have up to 2 years to acquire training certificate or certification.
They must be supervised by someone with either a training certificate or a certification

Contact Us

HCPF_Supported.Employment@state.co.us