CMS Core Competencies

The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) funded the Road Map of Core Competencies for the Direct Service Workforce, a multi-phased research project implemented through the National Direct Service Workforce (DSW) Resource Center. The purpose of this project is to:

  • identify a common set of core competencies across community-based long-term services and supports (LTSS) sectors: aging, behavioral health (including mental health and substance use), intellectual and developmental disabilities, and physical disabilities; and
  • assist states to take a more comprehensive and standardized approach to direct service workforce training and workforce quality improvement through the creation of a nationally-validated core competency set.


The DirectCourse content is designed to help you meet these core competency areas.

See below for specific resources that demonstrate this!

  • DirectCourse Core Competencies Cross-Walk: Click here
  • CMS Direct Service Workforce Core Competencies Webinar: On January 22, Lori Sedlezky, MSW of the University of Minnesota RTC, presented the newly validated, CMS funded DSW Core Competencies.
    • To view the presentation, click here.
    • To download the slides, click here.
    • Recorded webinars and slides for individual content areas:
    • College of Personal Assistance and Caregiving: March 5th, 2pm EST
    •  College of Direct Support: March 18th, 2pm EST
    • College of Recovery and Community Inclusion: April 1st, 2pm EST
  • Road Map of Core Competencies for the Direct Service Workforce: Click here.

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