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The Arc Launches NADSP Career Ladder

May 23, 2024
Daniel Fluharty holding his certificate for NADSP Level I

We are excited to congratulate Daniel Fluharty, Community Support Assistant, on being the first DSP at The Arc to achieve a NADSP Certification Level 1 through our new DSP Career Ladder Program!

The Arc launched this program on April 1, 2024, to provide professional development opportunities for DSPs to grow in their careers and earn more without having to leave the DSP work they love.

“Part of our strategic plan, Leading Boldly, is providing career mobility opportunities for employees, especially DSPs,” says Jonathon Rondeau, President & CEO. “This DSP Career Ladder increases our employees’ skills, recognizes them for their new knowledge and experience by increasing their compensation, and means the people we serve will receive even higher quality support.”

Using the E-Badge system developed by the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), DSPs at The Arc can attain Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 certifications that correspond to increased pay rates (+$1.00/hr, +$2.00/hr, and +$3.50/hr respectively).

Each certification level requires dozens of hours of training outside of work, and The Arc’s Talent Development team provides support throughout the process.

“The Arc is serious about making this DSP Career Ladder a success,” says Brandy Stephens, Director of Talent Development, “and they are putting the necessary resources and processes into place to make sure employees who seek this avenue of professional development are as successful as possible.”

Over two dozen employees are currently pursuing DSP Certification Level 1 at The Arc, a process that will require 50 hours of online, hybrid, and in-person training in addition to the standard professional development already required for their positions.

And Daniel’s success shows just how meaningful this initiative will be for The Arc’s employees and for the people we support.

“Daniel has gone above and beyond to demonstrate his knowledge and skills through this program,” says Niki Jones, Director of Living Options & Services. “Daniel is already making such a difference in the lives of the people he supports. This certification level means he will be even more equipped to support them in their own decision making.”

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