Department of Health Certification
Steps to Get Certified
The SEIU 775 Benefits Group is excited that you are taking your first steps on your journey to becoming a state-certified Home Care Aide! Congratulations.
To earn your certification, you will need to submit an application to the state Department of Health (DOH), go through our training program, and take your certification exam. This application is known as the “Home Care Aide Certification Application” as well as the “DOH Application”.
Below, we offer a step-by-step roadmap in going through training and becoming certified. We recommend that you follow this timeline.
Submit DOH Certification Application — Days 1–14
DOH requires that you submit your application to become a Home Care Aide (HCA) within 14 days of being hired. This application can be submitted before the training begins. If you are past the 14 days, please send your application in immediately.
You are NOT required to pay the $85 application fee. As part of your benefits with SEIU 775, the application and first-time testing fees are covered. When applying, rather than mailing in a payment, make sure you check the “state pay” box in the application, on Page 1 of the Home Care Aide Certification Application (which is on Page 7 of the PDF).
If your English skills are limited, you may be allowed up to 60 extra days to become a certified HCA. To apply for provisional certification, you must check the “I am applying for a provisional certificate” box on Page 1 of the Home Care Aide Certification Application (which is on Page 7 of the PDF). NOTE: you will still need to complete Basic Training 70 within 120 days.
In both instances, here is where you would mark the application:
HOW TO APPLY
- Download the Certification Application Packet
- Send your completed application to the DOH, at this address:
Department of Health
Home Care Aide Credentialing
PO Box 1099
Olympia, WA 98507-1099
Reply to DOH email to verify your email address. The Department of Health will send you an email in response to your application. Please reply to the email from firstname.lastname@example.org (DOH) with subject line: “Exam Email Acknowledgment for Home Care Aide Certification Application…” so that they may verify your email address.
Additional Tips for filling out your application:
Make sure your handwriting is legible.
Top of the Application:
“Fingerprint-based background OCA #” can be located on your fingerprinting receipt. Alternatively, you may be able to get the OCA number by contacting the site coordinator who assisted you during the contracting session.
Section 1: Demographic Information
Leave “National Provider Identifier Number (NPI)” blank.
You MUST put your email address next to “Email address for Test Date (Required)” and you must check this email address daily for Department of Health and Prometric messages.
Section 6: AIDS Education and Training Attestation
You may leave this Section blank. Alternatively, you can initial and date, and write “Will be in 75-hour training.”
Section 7: Examination
Check “Regional Test Site” and choose a “preferred exam site code” from the regional test site document, which you can download here.
If you are taking the HCA exam in English, Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Samoan, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Ukrainian, or Vietnamese:
Check “No” for “Are you applying for testing accommodations?” and “Are you applying for a one on one interpreter for a language that is not listed above?”
If you plan to take the HCA exam in any other language:
Check “Yes” for “Are you applying for testing accommodations?” and “Are you applying for a one on one interpreter for a language that is not listed above?” Also complete Page 3 of the Test Accommodation document, which you can download here, and submit to: WA Home Care Aide Program, 7941 Corporate Drive, Nottingham, MD 21236
Register for Training — Days 1–14
Create your username and password to log in to the portal at www.myseiubenefits.org and register for training or call the Member Resource Center at 1-866-371-3200.
Check with your employer on the best way to register.
Target Completion of Basic Training — Days 30–60
Take your training as soon as possible to ensure best access to classes in your area and your preferred language.
Self Study and Prepare for the Exam — Days 60–90
To prepare for the exam, review the “Exam Preparation Materials” found on the Prometric website for the Home Care Aide Exam, provided in 13 languages. There you will find practice questions, skills checklists and instructions that will help you be successful in the exam.
Take Exam — Days 90–120
Get Certified — Days 120–200
Your results are reported to DOH, and they will send you a letter confirming you are officially certified. You can check the DOH website to see if your certification is Active. If your status is “Pending,” it means that DOH does not have all the information they need to complete certification.
Make sure you have:
- Fully completed the application
- Completed the background check
- Explained any personal history that could affect your ability to get certified
- Successfully passed your written and skills examination through Prometric
What happens if I don’t apply to the Department of Health (DOH) or if I don’t send in my application to DOH?
You should submit the Home Care Aide Certification application to Department of Health (DOH) within 14 days of being hired.
What happens if I don’t get an examination date within two weeks of completing basic training?
If you do not receive notification of an examination date within two weeks from the training completion date, you need to contact Prometric at 1-800-324-4689.
Do I need to fill out separate applications for certification and the exam?
No. Prior to May 1, 2016, you did need to fill out an application to DOH for certification and also to Prometric for the exam. However, as of May 1, 2016, those applications have been combined.
Completed applications are now submitted to DOH. Prometric will continue to administer the exam. Once an applicant meets all requirements to take exam, DOH notifies Prometric to schedule the exam.
Note that Prometric will not schedule a certification exam without an email address. Applicants must check their email regularly, including junk and spam folders, for communication from DOH and/or Prometric. Applicants without an email address must list the email address for someone who will frequently check their email and pass on information to them.
If you have any questions, contact the Department of Health at (360) 236-2700.