Core Competencies

The Core Competencies for Direct Support Professionals are value-based standards and skills that are the foundation of person-centered supports for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities. These competencies are part of New York State’s Workforce Transformation initiative.

The Core Competencies were adopted by the NYS Talent Development Consortium and apply to all Direct Support Professionals across the state, working at state-operated and voluntary programs. DSPs are the “core” of New York’s system of supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. Their jobs require technical and values-based skills that make life-changing differences in the lives of the individuals they support.

The Competencies are broken down into seven goal areas covering all aspects of a person’s life, while also including the professionalism of Direct Support Professionals. A Core Competencies video series is now available that demonstrates the key areas.

The seven key goals are:

  • Putting People First
  • Building and Maintaining Positive Relationships
  • Demonstrating Professionalism
  • Supporting Good Health
  • Supporting Safety
  • Having a Home
  • Being Active and Productive in Society

Within each goal, there are competency areas that are defined by specific skills that can be demonstrated by a DSP in their work. These skills include a wide range of technical skills, such as Medication Administration, as well as value based skills, such as advocating with the people being supported.

The Core Competencies are NOT a training program. They represent the day-to-day valuable work that DSPs perform when supporting people with developmental disabilities.

In 2014 the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities issued an Administrative Memorandum, which outlines the details this Workforce Transformation initiative. The Regional Centers for Workforce Transformation (RCWT) have developed numerous tools to help agencies implement the new competencies, including a Core Competency Tool Kit. Agencies are not expected to revamp their training programs, but rather, should compare their current training to the Core Competencies and crosswalk the training criteria. These documents and videos, along with many others, are available on the RCWT’s Resource Library.

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