Frequently Asked Questions - Administrators


1. I didn’t receive my test results letter. What do I do?

2. When can I call to get my test results using the automated phone system?

3. I sent in all my renewal paperwork and I have not heard anything from the Department – what should I do?  

4. The check for my administrator certificate renewal was cashed but I haven’t received my certificate. How long does it take?

5. Why was I charged a late fee when I made sure my renewal application was postmarked the day my administrator certificate expired?

6. I was late submitting my renewal application because I didn’t receive a reminder letter from ACS in time. Why am I being charged a late fee?

7. Can I use CEU courses approved by: the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB), Nursing Home Administrator Program (NHAP) or the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS)?

8. Why was a CEU course from a DSS-approved vendor not accepted for my certificate renewal?

9. I submitted certificates of completion for the required 40 hours of continuing education but ACS did not accept them all. Why?

10. I’m an RCFE administrator but do not have any clients with dementia in my facility. Why did I receive an incomplete notice requiring I take coursework in dementia?

11. I took classes from the American Red Cross on first aid. Why didn’t they count toward my CEU requirement?

12. My address and phone number have changed. How do I notify ACS?

13. My name has changed. How do I notify ACS?

14. I’m a GH administrator and received an incomplete notice that I needed to be re-fingerprinted. Why?

15. How and where do I get fingerprinted for ACS?


1.  I didn’t receive my test results letter.  What do I do? 

If you do not receive a test results letter within 14 calendar days of taking the exam, you must contact ACS.  The best way to contact ACS is via email at AdminCertInfo@dss.ca.gov.  In the subject line, please write NEED TEST RESULTS LETTER. In the email, please provide your name, exam date and location, and your certificate number, if known.  Your request will be forwarded to an analyst who can investigate and email you a copy of the test results letter.

2. When can I call to get my test results using the automated phone system?  

If you provided your Social Security Number on the scantron, you can call (916) 653-9300 (option #2) on the evening of the day your proctor told you to call, which is generally 7 calendar days from the day you took your exam, if not sooner.  If you do call, please follow the prompts on the phone.  If you try to get a live person, they’re not going to have access to the system that has your exam results.  Also, please do not call the Regional Office for exam results or application status; they do not have any information about exam results or application status.

3.  I sent in all my renewal paperwork and I have not heard anything from the Department – what should I do?

Administrators must be responsible and accountable for initial and continuing education training to make sure that initial and renewal certificates are always active or current. If you have submitted materials to the ACS and you have not received notice on the status of your request, call the office – it is your certification and you need to actively be engaged in the process. The ACS is here to help and answer questions, so do not wait – if it has been more than 30 days, call and ask for status! The ACS main telephone line is (916) 653-9300. Let’s stay connected!

4.  The check for my administrator certificate renewal was cashed but I haven’t received my certificate. How long does it take?

The check will be cashed upon receipt and the application will be reviewed in the order received. To assess where your application is in the queue, please see the “Application Processing Dates” on the ACS website. Please wait until one week after the received date of your application is posted to email AdminCertInfo@dss.ca.gov or to call ACS (916)-653-9300.

5.  Why was I charged a late fee when I made sure my renewal application was postmarked the day my administrator certificate expired?

Without knowing the specifics of your case, you were probably assessed a late fee because your application was incomplete due to inadequate continuing education hours, and there was no time to remedy it before your certificate expired.  See CCR Sections 84064.3 (GH), 85064.3 (ARF), or 87407 (RCFE) for the applicable recertification requirements.

Note: The “best practice” to avoid late fees is to submit your renewal application 90 days before your current certificate expires.
 

6.  I was late submitting my renewal application because I didn’t receive a reminder letter from ACS in time. Why am I being charged a late fee?

Per the regulations, to apply for recertification after the expiration date of the certificate requires payment of a fee of $300. While ACS does send out reminder letters approximately 90 days before certificate expiration, if the letter doesn’t reach you (usually due to an administrator changing address without notifying ACS) that is not good cause for waiving the required late fee. See CCR Sections 84064.3 (GH), 85064.3 (ARF), or 87407 (RCFE) for the recertification requirements.

7.  Can I use CEU courses approved by: the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB), Nursing Home Administrator Program (NHAP) or the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS)?  

Administrators are reminded that for continuing education courses taken beginning January 1, 2015, ACS no longer accepts courses approved only by the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB), Nursing Home Administrator Program (NHAP) or the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS). And, for courses taken beginning January 1, 2016, ACS only accepts those approved by CDSS (or Regional Centers, where applicable) toward administrator certificate renewal requirements. See sections 84064.3(b) (GH), 85064.3(b) (ARF) or 87407(b) (RCFE) of the updated regulations for details.

 8.  Why was a CEU course from a DSS-approved vendor not accepted for my certificate renewal?

Without knowing the specifics of your case, it’s likely that the course was either not approved by CDSS at the time taken, or was not approved for your type of certificate (ARF, GH, RCFE). Some current vendors have no currently approved courses, and many only have vendorships (and thus approved courses) for one program area (ARF, GH or RCFE). See CCR Sections 84064.3 (GH), 85064.3 (ARF), or 87407 (RCFE) for the applicable recertification requirements.

Note: The “best practice” is to check with the vendor as to whether the course is  currently approved by CDSS for your type of certificate before taking the class.  

 9.  I submitted certificates of completion for the required 40 hours of continuing education but ACS did not accept them all. Why?

Per the regulations, the continuing education coursework must be from courses approved by the Department or another State agency or an accredited educational institution offering courses consistent with ACS requirements AND must relate to the applicable (i.e., GH, ARF, RCFE) COK. (ARF and GH administrators may also receive credit for some courses completed through Regional Centers.) In addition, of the total 40 hours required, by law, no more than half the hours may be completed through online courses. See CCR Sections 84064.3 (GH), 85064.3 (ARF), or 87407 (RCFE) for the recertification requirements, and Health and Safety Code Sections 522.41(f)(1) (GH and ARF) or 1569.616(f)(1) (RCFE).

10.  I’m an RCFE administrator but do not have any clients with dementia in my facility. Why did I receive an incomplete notice requiring I take coursework in dementia?

Per the California Code of Regulations (CCR - Title 22, Section 87407 (a)) to renew their certificates (each two-year cycle), all RCFE administrators must show proof of completing eight (8) hours of continuing education in subjects related to serving clients with Alzheimer's Disease or other dementias. Regardless of whether you currently serve any residents with dementia, the requirement is there so all RCFE administrators are prepared to serve such clients.

11.  I took classes from the American Red Cross on first aid. Why didn’t they count toward my CEU requirement?

Basic First Aid and CPR courses fulfill a separate training requirement in facility law and regulations so cannot also be counted toward administrators’ continuing education.  

12.  My address and phone number have changed. How do I notify ACS?

ACS recommends administrators always include their current address and phone number(s), and also an e-mail address, when submitting their initial or renewal applications. If your address or phone number changes in between application cycles, submit the change to ACS by emailing it to Admincertinfo@dss.ca.gov or leaving a voicemail with your name, certificate number, and the change, at (916) 653-9300.  

13.  My name has changed. How do I notify ACS? 

To request a name change, submit a written request including a copy of the applicable name change document (e.g., marriage license or dissolution of marriage/name change) and copy of a photo ID (e.g., driver’s license) that reflects the new name.

14.  I’m a GH administrator and received an incomplete notice that I needed to be re-fingerprinted. Why?

In addition to the usual background check clearances from the Department of Justice and the FBI, GH administrators must have been cleared by the Child Abuse Registry and this clearance must have been completed on or after January 1, 1999 due to changes in system technology affecting reporting of rap-backs to CDSS. If you have an older Registry clearance you’ll be required to be re-fingerprinted and cleared before your certificate is issued or renewed.  Child Abuse Central Index check requests submitted prior to January 1, 1999, are only a point in time check. 

15.  How and where do I get fingerprinted for ACS?

You can be fingerprinted at any Livescan location and you need to use the form LIC 9163 (3/11) to ensure your information is submitted to the Department’s background check system. “Background Check Instructions” including examples of how to complete the required LIC 9163 and LIC 508 forms are in the Applications section.