Frequently Asked Questions

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The State of Wisconsin is launching a free, professional workforce advancement program to increase the number of caregivers working in home and community-based settings (HCBS).

The certified direct care professional (CDCP) program is offered by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in partnership with the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay.

WisCaregiver Careers offers caring individuals a streamlined path to successfully become a certified direct care professional.

Download the program fact sheet: English(PDF) | Hmong(PDF) | Spanish(PDF)

Sí, la capacitación del CDCP está disponible en español. Aprende más aquí.
You’ll provide personal care and supportive home care to older adults and individuals with disabilities. Personal care support activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, mobility, toileting, transferring, and range of motion exercises. Supportive home care duties, such as supervision and monitoring, general household tasks (like doing light cleaning, laundry, or yard work), running errands, or accompanying the client on outings. You will be able to work in a variety of settings. Workplace opportunities for CDCPs include:
When you become a certified direct care professional, you’ll learn essential skills to help you begin a career in health care. You’ll feel a sense of pride in your work knowing you have helped others live their lives to the fullest. You’ll also:
  • Receive free online training and certification testing
  • Get a $500 bonus upon successful course completion and employment at an eligible employer
  • See your name added to the Wisconsin certified direct care professional registry
  • Gain certification to work in a wide variety of settings
  • Connect with employers across Wisconsin
  • Choose shifts that match your work/life balance
  • Learn essential skills needed to succeed in your caregiving career
  • Step up the career ladder with extra certifications that exceed national standards
  • Grow into future positions – certified nurse aide (CNA), medication aide, licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), administration, or management
  • Realize a fulfilling and rewarding career
A certified direct care professional (CDCP) role is an exciting and fulfilling career path, and you are in the right place to learn more! You do not need any background experience in the health care field, and the credentials you earn will help you continue certification in future health care positions. As a CDCP, you gain essential skills to advance your career as a certified nurse aide (CNA), medication aide, licensed practical nurse (LPN), or registered nurse (RN), or administrator.

You can take the first step to a meaningful career right on this website. Sign up for free CDCP training to be among the first to become a certified direct care professional through WisCaregiver Careers.

We anticipate that there will be 30 hours of free online training required to complete the certified direct care professional coursework. Participants will work at their own pace, with periodic evaluations throughout the curriculum.(PDF).


Sign up today for training to become a certified direct care professional (CDCP).

You’ll learn more than a dozen essential skills during your training. These include:

  • Care settings
  • Communication
  • Professionalism, responsibility, and ethics
  • Person-directed practice
  • Evaluation and observation
  • Crisis prevention and intervention
  • Safety
  • Integrity and respect
  • Empowerment, advocacy, and self-determination
  • Health and wellness
  • Community living skills and supports
  • Community inclusion, networking, and relationships
  • Cultural competency, respect, justice, fairness, and equity education, training, and self-development

Learn more about the curriculum.

WisCaregiver Connections features information on employment options across Wisconsin. This one-stop portal features job postings, candidate profiles, credentialing details, training opportunities, a resource library, and more. It includes a function to match employers with job seekers.

If you are interested in getting in early on the direct care professional certification opportunity, sign up for CDCP training today.

By gaining certifications through WisCaregiver Careers, you’ll be able to build your skill sets and enhance your professional value. Free online courses will help you learn at your own pace. Plus, you can earn extra credentials that will help you care for individuals with special needs and continue your education toward advanced positions like certified nurse aide (CNA). If you work at an eligible employer, you will receive $250 when you complete the certification and another $250 if you stay with your employer for an additional six months.
Yes! As a certified direct care professional, you will be able to build your credentials to serve many individuals, including those enrolled in a Children’s Long-Term Support Program, Family Care, Family Care Partnership, IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct), and Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), among others.

Yes, and more. The ongoing certified nurse aide program was the first component of WisCaregiver Careers. Learn how to become a CNA. Now, we are expanding WisCaregiver Careers to add a new education track for certified direct care professionals.

There are no requirements from WisCaregiver Careers regarding the number of hours worked. However, CDCPs need to complete a renewal application process every three years to keep their certification. Please contact your employer for details.
The certified direct care professional (CDCP) training does not have an age requirement. There may be age restrictions with certain job positions depending on the program. Employers must be aware of all employment rules for minors.

If you are an agency or provider interested in participating in WisCaregiver Careers CDCP program, please register here. As an eligible provider, your current staff can pursue their CDCP designation, boost their skills with free training, and receive bonuses, too!

The certified direct care professional (CDCP) program and WisCaregiver Connections were developed with American Rescue Plan Act funding for home and community-based services (HCBS). Eligible providers/agencies are those that serve HCBS participants enrolled in programs such as Family Care, Partnership, IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct), PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), Children’s Long-Term Support, and fee-for-service providers who serve HCBS participants.

CDCPs receive a $250 bonus upon hiring and an additional $250 six-month retention bonus if they are employed by an eligible agency or provider. There is no cost to you for this bonus. In addition, your current employees who earn certification will be eligible for bonuses at no cost to you when you become an eligible provider on WisCaregiver Connections. Bonuses are provided from American Rescue Plan Act funds designated to encourage individuals to become or remain caregivers; salary increases remain the responsibility of the employer.

Our workforce platform, WisCaregiver Connections, is a one-stop career resource for employers and job seekers. Agencies and providers can post job openings, automatically match with job seekers, screen candidate profiles, and view credentialing details. This direct access to trained caregivers is available at no charge. Join WisCaregiver Connections today.

The members of programs such as the Children’s Long-Term Support Program, Family Care, Family Care Partnership, IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct), and PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) will all benefit from a better trained and certified direct care professional workforce. In addition, a statewide professional certification system will improve competency and opportunities for career advancement.

The overall goal of this initiative is to provide training and education for caregivers, and a pathway for career advancement. The anticipated outcome for this initiative will result in more direct care workers and improved quality and sustainability of the direct care workforce.

After completion of your training and when you have passed your competency test you will be placed on the CDCP certification registry. You will receive an email congratulations and a request to inform us of where you are working. If you work for an eligible provider (see FAQ for what employers are eligible) registered on WisCaregiver Connections powered by Handshake, you can expect a $250 check for your bonus to be sent to you in 30 to 60 days after completion of your proctored competency test to become a CDCP. Bonus payments will come from the Department of Health Services. First, your certification must be verified, and your employer deemed an eligible agency/employer who is a member of WisCaregiver Connections. If you are employed for an eligible provider/agency but they are not registered on WisCaregiver Connections, please encourage them to do so and you will be eligible for the bonus. Registration is free, and employers can sign up here.


After six months, you and your employer will receive an email asking you to confirm that you are still employed at the eligible employer. If still employed, you will receive a $250 retention bonus within 30-60 days of your 6-month employment after the sign-on, stay-on bonus. As a reminder, a CDCP is only eligible for one sign-on (stay-on) bonus and one 6-month retention bonus.

If your employer is eligible (see FAQ for what employers are eligible), you can urge them to sign up for WisCaregiver Connections. Registration is free, and employers can join here. They also can contact UW-Green Bay, which provides the CDCP curriculum and verifies information, by emailing

Eligible providers/agencies are those that serve HCBS participants enrolled in these programs:

  • Children’s Long-Term Support Program
  • Family Care
  • Family Care Partnership
  • IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct)
  • Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

Fee-for-service (FFS) providers who serve HCBS participants.


Plus, eligible providers/agencies employ workers in these settings:

  • Home and community-based services (HCBS) and supportive living
  • Nonmedical in-home care
  • One-on-one care (IRIS)
  • 1-2 bed adult family home
  • 3-4 bed adult family home
  • Community-based residential care facilities (CBRF)
  • Certified residential care apartment complexes (RCAC)

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