​Professional Development Certification (PDC) for HCW or PSW

Article 14, Section 5 in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), includes a training certification differential for homecare workers and personal support workers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Professional Development Certification (PDC)?

The purpose is to acknowledge the continued skill development and services provided by the HCW or PSW.

Is there a financial benefit for the HCW or PSW?

Yes, once approved for the Professional Development Certification, the worker will earn a $.50 cent more per hour differential, above base rate pay. The certification period is 24 months, as long as all requirements are met and maintained. There will be a renewal process developed in the future, for those who are interested in renewing their certification.

What are some important dates that apply to the Professional Development Certification?

Once all the requirements are met, the PSW or HCW may request a Professional Development Certification. The certification program is effective on January 1, 2017. The certification period is valid for 24 months.

Is there a funding cap?

Yes. The Professional Development Certification Program’s continuation is subject to the availability of funds. If the number of homecare and personal support workers eligible for the differential exceeds more than 30% of the total number of workers the program will then be capped. DHS/OHA/OHCC and SEIU are then required to meet and confer to keep the cost of the training differential within the available dedicated funds.​

What are the requirements for the Professional Development Certification?

  • Have an active provider number
  • Have a class attendance “no-show” rate of not more than 20%.
  • Have a current CPR/First Aid certification.
  • Pass each PDC class assessment with a score of 80% or higher for each PDC class.
  • Complete these required classes: Keeping It Professional, Working Together, and Helping Caregivers Fight Fraud & Abuse.
  • Choose two of these four safety-type classes: Medication Safety, Protection against Sprains and Strains, Preventing Disease Transmission, or Taking Responsibility in Personal Safety.
  • Choose two of these five elective classes: of the following: Challenging Behaviors (for HCWs), Everyone Communicates (for PSWs), Nutrition Basics, Heart Healthy or Bathing & Grooming.
  • Applications should be received (and date-stamped) by Oregon Home Care Commission by the first day of the month to be considered for an effective start date the following month.  For example, if Oregon Home Care Commission receives your application on March 3rd, you’ve missed the deadline for April 1st.  You will be considered for a May 1st effective start date.​

What If a homecare or personal support worker just took one of these classes a couple of months ago, can the worker take the assessment and get credit?

Yes, if the worker has taken any of the classes on or after October 29, 2015, s/he may request to take an assessment. There will be a one-time pro-rated stipend payment for the completion of each assessment. Those who do not score high enough to get credit, will need to retake the class; no stipend is available if the repeat class is completed within 12 months of taking the first class. You can request an assessment by sending an email to

How does a homecare or personal support worker apply for the Professional Development Certification?

To apply for the Professional Development Certification, please email the completed Professional Development Certification Application​ and a copy of your CPR/First Aid cards showing current certification to


If you have questions, please send an email to