Direct Care Worker Training and Testing Program

AHCCCS has instituted training and testing requirements for Direct Care Workers (DCW) who provide direct care services (Attendant Care, Personal Care and Homemaker) to Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) members residing in their own home.

Beginning October 1, 2012, all AHCCCS provider agencies of direct care services must utilize DCWs who have passed the required competency tests within 90 days of hire unless otherwise exempt from the training and testing requirements (e.g. Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse and Certified Nurse Aide). A direct care service agency has discretion whether or not to allow the DCW to provide care during the 90- day training period. The testing records are portable or transferable from one employer to another. DCWs do not have to pass the tests again unless they have experienced a lapse from working in the direct care field for a minimum of two years. AHCCCS has created an online testing records database ( to serve as a tool to support the portability or transferability of DCW or DCW Trainer testing records from one employer to another.

An entity that wants to train and test DCWs must become an Approved Training and Testing Program (Approved Program). PLEASE NOTE: Direct care service agencies can decide whether or not to become an Approved Program or delegate the responsibility of training and testing DCWs to an Approved Program through a contractual agreement.

Entities that can become Approved Training and Testing Programs are:

  • An AHCCCS registered agency that provide Direct Care Services
  • A private vocational program
  • An educational institution (e.g., high school, college or university)

A current listing of Approved Training and Testing Programs are available at this link: Approved Program Listing [PDF]

The listing contains the following information on Approved Programs:

  • Training and Testing Modules - Fundamentals, Aging and Physical Disabilities (APD) and/or Developmental Disabilities (DD)
  • Curriculum utilized for training and testing – “POC” indicates the Approved Program is using the standard Principles of Caregiving Curriculum. The term “Crosswalk” indicates the program is utilizing another curriculum that includes, at a minimum, the DCW competencies addressed in the Principles of Caregiving Curriculum.
  • Audit Status – Compliant, Not Compliant or Compliant with Recommendations
  • Training and Testing Sites – Main and alternate training and testing sites
  • Scope of Services – Whether or not the Approved Program is interested in training and testing Trainers employed by another Approved Program and/or DCWs employed by another DCW Agency.

Stay Informed!

AHCCCS has created a listserv to communicate updates on recent developments on the DCW training and testing program and information about the direct care service industry. AHCCCS encourages anyone who is interested in the initiative to sign up to receive the regular communication. To subscribe, follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to the website
  2. Locate and click on the "AHCCCS-DCW-L" list name
  3. Locate on the right hand column and click on the "Join or Leave AHCCCS-DCW-L"
  4. Follow the instructions to subscribe

Technical Assistance and Support

Information on steps to become an Approved Training and Testing Program is available at this link: How to become a Training and Testing Program

Information to assist Direct Care Services Agencies to comply with AHCCCS policy and standards is available at this link: Direct Care Services Agencies

Information to assist Approved Training and Testing Programs to comply with AHCCCS policy and standards is available at this link: Approved Training and Testing Programs