Dementia Care Specialist Certification

Dementia Care Specialist Certification is formal recognition of an individual’s commitment and leadership as a dementia care professional. It is a mark of distinction within the health care and long‐term care industries and offers those who earn the certification, and their employers, a competitive advantage.

Individuals earn certification by completing the Dementia Capable Care: Foundation Course—the gold standard in outcomes‐based dementia care training—and passing a comprehensive exam to verify their competency. The certification represents both practical application and academic excellence for professionals who are committed to delivering the highest standard of person‐centered dementia care.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does being Dementia Care Specialist Certified mean?

Being Dementia Care Specialist Certified means that a professional has a:

  • Demonstrated commitment to a person‐centered care model for people with dementia.
  • Desire to distinguish themself from other long‐term care professionals by having documented expertise as a dementia care professional.
  • Shared pursuit of a Dementia Capable Society.
2. What are the certification requirements?

A person earns Dementia Care Specialist Certification by:

  • Successfully completing the one‐day Dementia Capable Care: Foundation Course as taught by a CPI Global Professional Instructor or by an organization’s Certified Instructor.
  • Passing the follow‐up certification exam with a score of 80% or greater. The exam can be taken up to three times without having to re‐attend the Foundation Course.
3. Who can become certified?

Anyone employed in a health care setting can become Dementia Care Specialist Certified. There are no limitations other than the person must be a health care professional. Dementia Care Specialist Certification is not intended for family caregivers.

4. Is there a fee for taking the Dementia Care Specialist Certification exam?

There is no fee for taking the certification exam beyond the cost of attending the Foundation Course.

5. How is the certification exam different from the Foundation Course post‐test?

The Foundation Course post‐test is still an important part of the classroom experience. The certification exam is designed to take the classroom experience to the next level of competence and confidence by testing an individual’s ability to apply Dementia Capable Care content.

6. If someone has completed the Foundation Course in the past and wants to become Dementia Care Specialist Certified now, what are the parameters?
Course Type Time Passed Since Course Completion Certification Requirements/Process
Course was facilitated by a CPI Global Professional Instructor (open enrollment or on-site program) Fewer than 6 months Pass certification exam at no charge.
Between 6 months and 2 years Re‐attend the course at no charge and pass certification exam at no charge.
More than 2 years Re‐attend the course at full (current) price and pass the certification exam at no charge.
Course was facilitated by a Certified Instructor at their Base of Employment Fewer than 6 months More than 6 months
More than 6 months Re‐attend the course from a Certified Instructor (exceptions may be made on a case‐by‐case basis) and pass the certification exam at no charge.
7. What do individuals receive when they meet the certification requirements?

When individuals meet all the requirements, they receive a wall certificate and a congratulatory letter from Kim Warchol, OTR/L, president and founder of Dementia Care Specialists.

8. How is the CPI Blue CardTM connected with this certification?

The CPI Blue CardTM represents completion of Dementia Capable Care coursework and includes a code that is unique to each participant. Participants use that code to take the certification exam as it verifies their eligibility to earn this certification.

9. How do participants receive the certification exam?

a code that is unique to each participant. Participants use that code to take the certification exam as it verifies their eligibility to earn this certification.

  • Open enrollment program participants receive the exam as a PDF attachment to an email in the week following the course.
  • On-site program participants receive the exam from the facility’s contact person.
  • Participants taught by a Certified Instructor within their Base of Employment receive the exam from their Certified Instructor.
10. Are there additional CEUs associated with this certification (beyond the contact hours applied to Dementia Capable Care classroom work)?

Not at this time.