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 California’s 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 Education’s CTE Support Services department.

Year 1 Training

Year 1 training and testing take place at the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), 5340 Skylane Boulevard, Santa Rosa. Get directions

  • Mar 30–Apr 24, 2015 | Mondays & Fridays | 9:00am–2:00pm
  • June 2–12, 2015 | Tuesday–Friday | 9:30am–2:00pm
    At Cedars of Marin, 115 Upper Road, Ross
  • Challenge Exam | April 23, 2015 | 10:00am

Year 2 Training

Year 2 training and testing take place at the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), 5340 Skylane Boulevard, Santa Rosa. Get directions

  • April 28–May 21, 2015 | Tuesdays & Thursdays | 9:00am–2:00pm
  • Challenge Exam | April 23, 2015 | 10:00am


Advance registration is required for all DSP training and exams. To enroll yourself or an employee for Year 1 or Year 2 training or to register for a challenge test, complete the appropriate registration form below and submit it via email to or by fax to (866) 830-0204. The training and testing are provided free of charge.

Registration Form for 2015 Trainings/Exams (pdf)

Please note that each person who takes DSP training or challenge testing must provide a photo ID and vendor code (available from the North Bay Regional Center) at the initial class meeting or testing session.

Community care facility administrators may retake Year 1 and Year 2 training for continuing education credit. Thirty-five continuing education units (CEUs) will be awarded for each 35-hour segment completed.


  • 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.