Home Care Aide

Related links

Licensing information - applications and forms, fees, licensing requirements and additional information.

Continuing education, training classes, and other resourcesSee our Resources webpage for links to a list of continuing education classes, nursing assistant bridge training programs, the DSHS background check process and a checklist for new long-term caregivers.

Interpreters available for the written examination - The Department of Health offers the home care aide examination in the following languages: Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, English, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Somali, Tagalog, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. When requested, the department provides an interpreter to read the home care aide examination to accommodate other languages not listed above. More information is on our Individual Interpreter Project webpage.

Current Topics

Home Care Aide New Fees

Current Fee Fee effective June 1, 2023*
$85 $100

* Date application is submitted online or, if mailed in, postmarked.

Home Care Aides and COVID-19

With the Governor’s rescission of proclamations related to COVID-19, both the Department of Social and Health Services and the Department of Health have administrative rules in place to allow additional time to complete training and certification. Specific information is in table below:

Home Care Aides and COVID-19 training timelines
Worker hired or rehired during the time frame of: Must complete basic training no later than: Must be certified as a HCA or CNA no later than:
August 17, 2019 to September 30, 2020 January 31, 2023 January 31, 2024
October 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 April 30, 2023 April 30, 2024
May 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 July 31, 2023 July 31, 2024
April 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022 October 31, 2023 October 31, 2024
October 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 November 30, 2023 January 31, 2025
July 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024 Standard training requirements April 30, 2025
Beginning February 1, 2024 Standard training requirements Standard certification requirements

Exam Payment and Scheduling Changes

The scheduling and payment of applicant examinations will move from the Department of Health to Prometric. 

  • Starting early 2024, applicants will contact Prometric directly to schedule and pay for an examination.
  • There will be a black-out period for two weeks prior to the new system going live. Prometric will not be accepting payment or scheduling exams during this period.
  • Programs that pay for home care aide exams will need to purchase vouchers for candidates through the new Prometric portal. 
  • This Candidate User Guide will help caregivers (PDF) and their employers or trainers to better understand the new process for candidates to self-schedule and self-pay for their exams.
  • This Voucher User Guide (PDF) will provide guidance to employers, training programs, and other third parties that pay for caregiver exams to understand the process for purchasing bulk vouchers for payment of caregiver exams.
  • Prometric will provide more information on its website as the transition date gets closer.

Legislative Changes to the Home Care Aide Profession

Due to recent legislation, the following changes took place on July 23, 2023:

  • If a home care aide credential is expired less than five years, no continuing education is required to renew the credential. You will simply complete the required forms and pay the fee. If a credential is expired for more than five years, retraining and examination is required.
  • If a caregiver in training changes employers or returns to employment with a former employer, they may now start over with a new date of hire. This starts over the 200 days they have to receive their credential. To restart the 200 days: 
    • If you are obtaining an initial credential, speak with your credentialing specialist by email or phone.
    • If you are renewing an expired credential, submit an updated Employment Verification Form online.
  • You will be able to provide care to the following individuals without obtaining or maintaining a home care aide credential:
  • Biological, step, or adoptive child or parents.
  • Siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and grandchildren (including by marriage or domestic partnership).
  • If you care for one of the above individuals, work with the Consumer Direct Care Network Washington to be classified as an exempt family caregiver.
  • You will be required to obtain and maintain a home care aide credential when caring for a spouse or registered domestic partner, unless you qualify for the US Dept of Veteran Affairs home and community-based programs.

The following changes took place on September 1, 2023:

  • From September 1, 2023, through July 1, 2025, if your credential has been expired for more than six months but less than two years, your credential will be automatically renewed with no fee, forms to complete, or CE requirements. These renewals will take place between September 8 and September 15.