Direct Care Worker Training and Testing Program

AHCCCS has instituted new training and testing requirements for Direct Care Workers (DCW) who provide direct care services (Attendant Care, Personal Care and Homemaker) to ALTCS members residing in their own home. There have always been training requirements, but without specific requirements for the training and testing of DCWs.
Beginning October 1, 2012, all AHCCCS provider agencies of direct care services cannot utilize DCWs who have not met the training and testing standards, within 90 days of hire, unless they were employed by the agency on or before September 30, 2012.
An entity that wants to train and test DCWs must become an Approved Training and Testing Program.
Entities that can become approved training and testing programs are an AHCCCS registered agency that provides Direct Care Services, an entity that is contracted (delegated) by a DCW agency to provide the required training and testing of the DCW agency employee, a community college or an entity that is licensed as a Private Vocational Program by the Arizona Board of Post Secondary Education.
AHCCCS has instituted a listserv to communicate updates on recent developments on the DCW training and testing program requirements. AHCCCS encourages anyone who is interested in the initiative to sign up to receive the regular communication. To subscribe, follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to the website (
  2. Locate and click on the "AHCCCS-DCW-L" list name
  3. Locate on the right hand column and click on the "Join or Leave AHCCCS-DCW-L"
  4. Follow the instructions to subscribe

Technical Assistance

  • AHCCCS has created a "Decision Tree and Implementation Tool" [PDF] to help provider agencies review the available options and make informed decisions on the best way for them to comply with the new training and testing requirements.
  • Provider agencies should contact one of the ALTCS Contractor primary points of contact [PDF] in the event that they have questions pertaining to the new training and testing requirements.

News and Updates

April 2012

Exemptions from DCW Requirements

  • Self-directed Attendant Care (SDAC) caregivers
  • Independently AHCCCS registered caregivers
  • Registered Nurse
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Certified Nurse Aide

Key Dates

  • December 1, 2010 – AHCCCS begins accepting applications for DCW training and testing programs.
  • January 1, 2011 - AHCCCS begins providing initial program approvals for training and testing programs.

  • September 30, 2012 - DCWs hired on or before this date will not be required to meet the training and testing requirements if they remain employed with the same provider agency.

  • October 1, 2012 - All DCWs hired on or after this date will be required to meet the training and testing requirements within 90-days of hire.

  • October 1, 2012 - ALTCS Managed Care Organizations will conduct onsite audits for Continuing Program Approval


Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ - April 2012 [PDF]

Policy and Support Documents

Use the Policy and Support Documents page for description of the Direct Care Worker Program policy and the documents related to the policy.


Approved DCW Training and Testing Programs

Approved Programs [PDF]

Additional Information



Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view PDF files. This is a free program available from the Adobe web site. Follow the download directions on the Adobe web site to get your copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.