Welcome to the NAQ Certificate Program for Developmental Disability Professionals and thank you for your interest.  Due to the ever-changing landscape of disability services, NAQ is currently in the process of redesigning this curriculum to better suit the needs of our members. During this time, NAQ will not be accepting new students.  Please know that NAQ is hard at work completing all the necessary steps to bring our members an up-to-date educational experience that will enhance their ability to provide person-centered supports to people with disabilities.  Please check back soon and see our progress!

 What is a DDP?

Developmental Disability Professionals (DDPs) go by many names - QIDPs, Case Managers, and Service Coordinators to name just a few. We worry less about their title and more about their function. Formal titles aside, DDPs fulfill a variety of roles - from advocate to educator to leader. They are resilient in the face of challenge. They are uncompromising in the provision of person directed supports.

What are the requirements to become a DDP?

The educational and experiential requirements for a Developmental Disability Professional vary depending upon the state in which they work and the specific title/responsibilities associated with their job. In addition, individual organizations can place extra requirements on these professionals that are above and beyond those mandated by the state and federal governments. In general, however, most DDPs are required to hold a Bachelors degree in the human services or medical field and have at least one year of experience working with people who have developmental disabilities. 

Why should I enroll in NAQ's Certificate Program?

Despite educational requirements, DDPs often find that there is a significant gap between their academic learning and the practical application required in their jobs. Our Certificate Program helps to bridge that gap by providing the information, training, and resources that are critical to being successful in this type of role. 

Graduates of the program find that they are better able to navigate the complex systems associated with the field of developmental disabilities and implement best practices that ultimately lead to improved outcomes for the people they support.   

What are the DDP Program admission requirements?

To qualify for admission into the existing Certificate Program, candidates must:  

  1. Complete the DDP Certificate Program application (which includes three professional letters of recommendation, resume, and a background screening consent form). A non-refundable application fee of $150 is required at the time of submission.   
  2. Hold a Bachelor's degree in a human services or medical related field. Candidates with graduate degrees can be considered for admission even if their undergraduate degree is not in a human services or medial related field.  
  3. Have at least one year of experience working with people who have disabilities. 
  4. Pass a background screening (including criminal, educational, and employment checks). Provide two written essays which are evaluated & graded by NAQ staff.

What are the requirements for DDP Certificate Program completion?   

The DDP Certificate Program is an online, self-paced educational opportunity. Participants are given nine months to complete the program. Candidates must complete seven core training elements that include: 

  1. Supporting Individuals with Disabilities in the Community 
  2. Person Centered Planning 
  3. Working with Families
  4. Achieving Personal Outcomes. Implementing the Person Centered Plan
  5. Guidelines for DDPs 
  6. Designing and Implementing Positive Behavioral Supports 
  7. Prevention of Abuse and Neglect Leadership Course (Online) 

Candidates must also complete three electives from the following options:   

  1. Aging and Developmental Disabilities
  2. Seizures 
  3. Positioning, Turning, and Transferring 
  4. Sexuality and DD 
  5. Promoting Nutrition and Wellness
  6. Job Coach Training Manual 
  7. Assisting People with Traumatic Brain Injury and their Families 
  8. Rearranging Lives After Alzheimer’s Disease
  9. Supporting Individuals with DD and History of Sexual Offense
  10. Leadership Roles in Human Service Agencies
  11. Community Education and Public Relations 
  12. Supporting Individuals with Autism Across the Lifespan 

Curriculum content for each training topic includes objectives, lesson pages, feedback questions, and feedback answers. After each core course and elective, applicants must pass the assessments with a minimum of 85%. All testing is done on-line. Finally, candidates must assemble and submit their portfolios which are reviewed by NAQ representatives. Following acceptance of portfolios, successful candidates receive a DDP Certificate from NAQ.

What is the cost of the DDP Certificate Program?

There are three costs associated with the DDP Program:

  1.  A $150 non-refundable application fee.  
  2.  An $800 coursework fee.
  3.  A $55 membership fee (dues paid annually).  

Note: Most often, employers pay all or part of the cost of the DDP Certificate Program. Companies can rely on NAQ to provide quality training to their DDPs which results in better job performance and increased outcomes for those they support.