Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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New York’s Core Competencies for Direct Support Professionals

the core
the core of who we are
the core of who we are and what we do
the core is about people
the core is about the people we serve

Direct support professionals are the “core” of New York’s system of supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. Their jobs require technical and values-based skills that make life-changing differences in the lives of the individuals they support. DSP Competency Project Overview

What the Core Competencies ARE:

The Core Competencies adopted by the NYS Talent Development Consortium apply to all DSPs across the state, working at state-operated and voluntary programs.  Coupled with the Code of Ethics for Direct Support Professionals, these values-based competencies and skills are the foundation of person-centered supports for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities.

The Competencies are broken down into seven goal areas covering all aspects of the individual’s life, while also including the professionalism of direct support. A Core Competencies video is now available that demonstrates the key components.

The seven Competency Goal areas are:

  • Putting People First
  • Building and Maintaining Positive Relationships
  • Demonstrating Professionalism
  • Supporting Good Health
  • Supporting Safety
  • Having a Home
  • Being Active and Productive in Society

Within each goal, there are competency areas that are defined by specific skills that can be demonstrated by a DSP in their work. These skills include a wide range of technical skills, such as Medication Administration, as well as value based skills, such as advocating with the individual being supported. 

In addition to the competencies, there are numerous tools available to help agencies implement the new competencies.

What the Core Competencies are NOT:

The Core Competencies are NOT a training program.  The Core Competencies represent the day-to-day valuable work that DSPs perform when serving individuals with developmental disabilities.

Training Resources:

Agencies are not expected to revamp their training programs, but rather, should compare their current training to the Core Competencies and cross-walk the training criteria.  Agencies may identify a need for additional training for DSPs who have not had the opportunity to apply some of the skills in their own practice prior to these competencies.  To help agencies meet this potential need, a learning resources document has been developed that lists hundreds of available learning resources.  In addition, the DSP Competencies Tool Kit includes many resources, such as videos, manuals, and other tools, developed specifically for the implementation of the DSP Core Competencies.


Why Core Competencies?

These competencies will bring a level of consistency and quality throughout New York State’s system.  Coupled with the Code of Ethics for Direct Support Professionals, each DSP will understand their partnership with individuals who deserve respect, opportunities for self expression and involvement in their communities.