Home Care Aide

We are no longer accepting examination payments after February 14, 2024. Examination payments are now made directly to the Prometric testing agency.

Related links

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

Continuing education, training classes, and other resourcesSee our Home Care Aide Resources webpage for links to the DSHS training and continuing education classes, nursing assistant bridge training programs, and a checklist for new long-term caregivers.

Interpreter services available - The Department of Health offers interpreter services upon request in the following languages: Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, English, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Somali, Tagalog, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.

More information is on our Individual Interpreter Program webpage.

Current Topics

Reducing Barriers for Home Care Aides

The Department of Social and Health Services and the Department of Health have rules in place to allow additional time to complete training and become certified depending on date of hire or rehire.

Home care aides and nursing assistant-certified alternative 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

Legislative Changes to the Home Care Aide Profession

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

Reactivation Information

  • If a home care aide certification is expired five years or less, no continuing education is required to reactivate the credential. You will need to print and complete the Home Care Aide Expired Credential Activation application (PDF) in ink, and mail with the reactivation fees to the mailing address within the application instructions.
  • If a home care aide certification is expired for more than five years, retraining and examination is required, along with printing and completing the Home Care Aide Expired Credential Activation application (PDF) in ink, and mail with the reactivation fees to the mailing address within the application instructions.
  • Beginning 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 continuing education requirements.

New Date of Hire Information

New Date of Hire Rule – A caregiver who is not currently certified may receive a new date of hire when beginning work with either a new employer or returning to a former employer:

New Exemption and Renewal Information

  • Child or parent, including when related by marriage or domestic partnership; and 
  • Siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents, or grandchildren,including when related by marriage or domestic partnership. 
  • Individual providers who provide 20 hours or less of nonrespite care for one person in a calendar month. 
  • Individual providers who are exempt from certification may voluntarily complete continuing education. Consumer directed employers must pay exempt individual providers for any continuing education they take, up to 12 hours annually. 

Be sure to discuss with your employer before you opt out of renewing your certification. This may be an employment requirement. If you work with the Consumer Direct Care Network Washington (CDWA), and you care for one of the individuals above, you may request to be classified as an exempt family caregiver. 

You will be required to obtain and maintain a home care aide certification when caring for a spouse or registered domestic partner, unless you qualify for the US Dept of Veteran Affairs home and community-based programs.