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CRP Training

These resources are for Community Rehabilitation Providers who provide assessment, job development/placement and job coaching to individuals with disabilities through the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and the Department of Health and Human Services. Upcoming Maine Trainings and other events will be posted on the homepage, so check back often.

Employment Specialist Certification Training must be Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE) Approved (Effective Effective July 1, 2011)

Job Coach Basic Required Training

Completion of the Maine College of Employment Services – on-line Job Coach Modules and a one day, in-person training of “Fading and Natural Support Strategies for Employment Success”, provided by Syntiro and the Institute of Community Inclusion or other entity approved by the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services is required to become a certified as a Job Coach and provide job coaching services to the Bureau of Rehabilitation and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS).

Completion of the on-line Job Coach modules is required before attending the in-person training described above. The in-person training may be provided on a quarterly basis or at least semi-annually. For a list of available dates for the in-person trainings, visit the training calendar located on the Syntiro website. The in-person training is available as an advanced-topical training for Employment Specialist, Work-Support Professionals and other interested parties; a job coach certificate will not be issued to individuals who take the in-person training without completing the on-line job coach modules.

All Job Coaches will be supervised by a “Fully Qualified Employment Specialist”* until completion of required training. A minimum of 5 hours per month of face-to-face supervision is required, and must be documented, dated and signed by the Supervisor (Employment Specialist) and the trainee, and maintained in the trainee’s personnel file. Newly hired staff must complete training within six months of date of hire.

* Minimum requirements to be a Fully Qualified Employment Specialist are an Employment Specialist Certification (through documented completion of an approved training program) and two years (FTE) of directly related work experience as a Certified Employment Specialist.

Certified Employment Specialists are not required to be certified as a job coach, as described above. The job coach training for an Employment Specialist is provided during the ES certification process. Job coaches may not provide job development services and are limited to providing on-site assistance to individuals with disabilities in order to observe, train, identify skills, abilities and barriers to employment and act as a liaison between the employer and Employment Specialist and to enable the individual to maintain employment.

Individuals who receive a Job Coach certification may provide employment services to clients of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and clients of the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (DHHS-SAMHS). Job Coaches may not provide long-term support to clients of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Aging and Disability Services (DHHS-OADS).

The job coach certification curriculum is not ACRE-approved and does not provide a platform, leading into an Employment Specialist certification.

For additional information on earning a Job Coach Credential click on this link: Earning the Job Coaching Credential

A grid of Employment Certifications accepted by the following State of Maine agencies: DHHS-OADS, DHHS-SAMHS, DOL-VR and MDOE. Maine Employment Certification Requirements

CDS Work Support is a New Option for VR Funded Job Coaches

Staff who have completed the CDS credential plus the 6 Work Support Modules (under contract with OADS) are now eligible to serve as Job Coaches for VR. To access the CDS program, you must work for an agency under contract with OADS Services.

List of Required Lessons in Maine College of Direct Support: Required Modules for Certification as a Maine Direct Support Professional are located on this link. There are 52 online lessons and 11 live classroom sessions. (Effective 9/1/2013)

For more information go to College of Direct Support

Employment Specialist Basic Required Training

The courses listed below have been approved as meeting the training requirement to work as an Employment Specialist across systems, i.e., whether services are contracted with the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, the Office of Aging and Disability Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. These courses also meet the requirement for the MHRT/C Vocational Aspects of Disability Course.

Employment for ME Workforce Development System

Syntiro is the former home of the Employment for ME Workforce Development System EWDS) for employment specialists and job coaches. During the transition to a new vendor, through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, Syntiro will continue to post their archived webinars (no certificates available) and their training calendar (updated through 6/30/21).

For more information go to:

For more information on training events visit:

Employment Specialist Certification Training Options

  •  Other ACRE Approved Trainings

    ACRE-approved training is offered by educators, who are current ACRE organizational members. Their curriculum has gone through a rigorous curriculum review process. ACRE training is available in several formats: Face-to-face, online, and hybrid (combination of in person & online).
    To learn more about these approved trainings please click on the listed below links.

Other Approved Maine Employment Certifications

    Individuals with an active Certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) are automatically qualified as a Maine Certified Employment Specialist and are not required to complete the CES training. Individuals with an active Certification as Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) are also automatically qualified as a Maine Certified Employment Specialist and are not required to complete the CES training. For more information about the CESP credential and to find out where and how you may sit for the exam:

"Grandfathered" Employment Specialist Training (if taken before 8/1/2003)

Employment Specialist Certification In-Person Training Options

  • New England TACE Center (University of Massachusetts and Assumption College) Innovative Employment Strategies: A Comprehensive Training Series (6 days of in-person training plus an online workshop). More details on the TACE Center site, including a training calendar.

"Grandfathered" Employment Specialist Training (if taken before 8/1/2003)

  • The University of Hartford CRP RCEP Certification
  • Southern Maine Community College (Maine Medical Center) Employment Specialist Course
  • BDL Employment Specialist Course
  • Goodwill Employment Specialist Course

"Grandfathered" Employment Specialist Training (if completed before 6/30/11)

Continuing Education Resources for all Employment Staff

Continuing Education Requirements for Certified Employment Specialists and Job Coaches: All Certified Employment Specialists and Job Coaches must complete 18 hours of employment related training every three years.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Training events that are developed and designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities, rehabilitation professionals, families, and persons working in business and industry.

Training Resource Network Inc. A website that contains on demand web-based trainings, downloadable PowerPoint presentations, books and other resources on the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in their communities.