Sonoma County Office of Education

Career Technical Education

Direct Support Professional (DSP) Training

Direct Support Professional (DSP) training is for individuals who currently work in community care facilities for people with developmental disabilities. The training is offered throughout California by locally based Career Technical Education (CTE) centers at no cost to enrollees.

The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act and Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations established Californiaís intent to provide quality services that meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities. The state is committed to continuously improving the quality of care and protecting the health and safety of individuals receiving state-funded services and support.

Today, there are approximately 20,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities residing in 4,400 community care facilities licensed by the state. These facilities are the backbone of the community residential care system, serving over 75 percent of the people with developmental disabilities in licensed facilities.

Training Overview
Recognizing that direct support professionals are key to the provision of quality care, the state has established a two-year, 70-hour, competency-based training program that is mandatory for all direct support professionals and administrators who provide direct care in community care facilities that receive regional center funding.

The training is divided into two equal segments of 35 hours each, which are completed in successive years. Individuals mandated to take the training may opt to meet this requirement by passing a challenge test for each 35-hour segment. (Passing the challenge test satisfies the training requirement for that segment.) Testing and training are based on the core competencies and skills needed for satisfactory direct support professional job performance.

In Sonoma County, DSP training is provided by the Sonoma County Office of Educationís CTE Support Services department.

Year 1 and Year 2 Trainings

There are no trainings scheduled at this time. Check back for updated information.


  • Questions regarding trainings and challenge exams may be sent to Shayne Aloe-Chase at or (707) 524-2913 until June 2015.
  • Beginning July 1, questions regarding the DSP transition, updates, trainings, or challenge exams should be directed to Cindy Holley at or (800) 622-8904.
  • Updates on the transition can also be found at the Department of Developmental Services website.