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What are the eligibility requirements to sit for the CESP™ examination?

The CESP credential is designed for job coaches, job developers, transition employment specialists, job placement personnel, and employment specialists/consultants who serve a wide variety of target audiences including individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, mental health diagnoses, sensory impairments, physical disabilities, traumatic brain injury, and autism spectrum disorders.

Candidates for CESP certification must meet all eligibility requirements in effect at the time of their application for certification. 

Applicants for certification must meet all of the following requirements at the time of application submission:

    Education: High school diploma, GED or equivalent
    Professional Work Experience: One of the following work experiences*:
    • One year of paid employment support professional (ESP) work experience that meets the Work Experience Definition below (up to 3 months internship time)
    • Nine months of paid ESP work experience with additional training/internship that meets the Training Definition below.
    Code of Conduct:
    • All applicants and credential holders will agree to the ESPCC Code of Conduct (Code) as a condition of certification. Violation of any portion of the Code may result in disciplinary action as outlined in the Disciplinary Policy.

    Work Experience Definition: 

      A minimum of 20 hours per week of paid Employment Support Professional (ESP) related work is required. Examples of paid ESP related work are:

      • Work directly related to providing and/or supporting community-based employment services.
      • Employment as a direct employment services professional, provision of direct employment services as an agency/company employee, and/or managerial or supervisory work in employment services.
      • Experience in school-to-work transition environments providing ESP service.
      • Work completed as part of an internship, practicum, or other on-the-job training may be counted to the limits noted in the training definition.
      • Work-related to residential and/or non-employment day services, segregated employment services will not be accepted.

    Training (Proof required for applicants with between 9-12 months work experience):

    An internship or practicum of at least 2 months in length and/or successful completion of an intensive training course that includes at least 32 hours of ESP-related course work. The content for acceptable training courses must be directly related to the CESP™ content outline. Acceptable training content is related to supported and customized employment as well as training relevant to providing employment and community-based supports to people with disabilities. 

    Examples of acceptable training content include but are not limited to: specialized training to work with specific disability groups (i.e. autism or mental illness), training on small business development, American with Disabilities Act (ADA) training, benefits counseling, and strategies for job development.   Training related to segregated employment services or services that are not widely considered to be best practices will not be accepted.

    Still unsure about your eligibility?

    If you have questions about your eligibility, click the contact link in the upper right-hand corner. 

    Please note if you submit your application and are deemed ineligible to sit for the exam based on the requirements, you will be required to submit a new Eligibility application to document your eligibility.

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