Professional Development

The following are professional requirements for Employment First Partnership provider staff.  Providers must be dually certified (approved by DODD and OOD) to provide Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services to DD eligible individuals including individuals served through the Ohio Employment First Partnership. 

Supported Employment Job Development  (SEJD)

VR Services Other Than SEJD

Must be CESP-Certified

CESP-Certified OR Completion of EF Training

Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP)

Each individual staff providing Supported Employment Job Development (SEJD) services through OOD must have successfully passed the Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) exam through the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) regardless of any previous training completed.  CESP-certified staff may also provide On-The-Job Supports and other VR services.

No further EF Partnership provider training is required. Providers should submit CESP documentation to the mailbox.

Non-CESP Certified Staff Training Requirements (Web Course and In-Person)

Staff who are not CESP-certified are not permitted to provide Supported Employment Job Development (SEJD) but can provide On-The-Job Supports (e.g. coaching) and other VR services after:

  1. Obtaining a passing score of 75% or higher on the “Orientation to Supported Employment” web course; and

  2. Attending the one-day in-person “Implementing Quality Employment First Practices” training within 1 year of obtaining a passing score.



Orientation to Supported Employment Web Course

Required for Non-CESP Staff. Available for free to the public. 

CEU Credits: 12

This Web-based training is an introduction to the competencies for effective supported employment. Please follow this link to register:

You will need to create an account, then return to the form, login, and you will be taken directly to Ohio’s course.

Seven lessons will cover the following topics:

  • Values, Definitions, History
  • Legislation, Funding, Ohio’s Employment First
  • Roles and Rights
  • Supported Employment Process and Benefits
  • Career Planning, Discovery, Vocational Profile
  • Marketing and Job Development
  • Job Design and Training, Natural Supports

This course should take between 12-20 hours to complete over a three-week period. It may take less time for experienced staff. There is a one-hour timed post-test to measure core competencies (75% or higher). DODD will offer 12 CEUs for Adult Services Staff, SSAs, Superintendents and Board Members.

Web course re-take policy: 

  • If a trainee does not receive a passing score of 75% or higher on the post-test, they will have an opportunity to review the course immediately and then re-take the test after reviewing the course content during their initial course access period.
  • If the trainee fails the test a second time, they must wait until their course has expired (three weeks from initial registration) in order to re-take the course and test.
  • Following a second failed attempt to achieve a passing score (4 tests total), the option of completing an in-person written test will be made available. This test will be scheduled with the Employment First Program Manager.  The Employment First Program Manager will schedule computer access to the course four weeks prior to the scheduled test date.  The trainee will be required to submit the completed “STUDY GUIDE - Ohio’s Orientation to Supported Employment” prior to taking the in-person written test.
  • Finally, upon failing to receive a passing score of 75% on the in-person written test, a personal conversation with the Employment First Program Manager and the trainee will take place to consider possible additional accommodations.
  • Should you have questions regarding being locked out or needing to retake the test, please send emails to

CEUs: DODD is offering CEUs for successful completion of the “Orientation to Supported Employment” web course. After passing the post-test, a certificate will be e-mailed to you. You will then need to send your certificate to to request CEUs. Please indicate if the CEUs will be for Adult Services, SSA, Superintendent or Board Member.


In-Person Training- Implementing Quality Employment First practices registration page

Required for Non-CESP Staff. Available for free to the public. 

Topics: Phases of Supported Employment Career Development, Customized Job Design Job Analysis, Employer Engagement Marketing, Employer Engagement, Job Site Supports & Natural Supports.

CEU Credits: 6

Future in-person training dates:

May 30, 2019

August 29, 2019