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    Per Senate Bill 576 of the 2010 Session of the General Assembly, all Residential Child and Youth Care Practitioners (RCYCP), formerly known as “residential child care workers”, employed in the State of Maryland will be required to be certified by the State Board for the Certification of Residential Child Care Program Professionals (the Board) on or before October 1, 2015 unless:

    1. the RCYCP is an employee of the Maryland School for the Blind who is a residential child and youth care practitioner and holds a current paraprofessional certificate. (Health Occupations Article §20-301 (i)).
    2. the RCYCP is participating in a Board-approved training program that leads to certification within 180 days of hire. Health Occupations Article §20-301 (ii)

    To become certified, RCYCP’s must participate in a Board-approved training program and pass an online Standards Examination with a minimum score of 75%.  The purpose of the training program is to provide a fundamental working knowledge of the varied aspects of performing the direct responsibilities related to activities of daily living, self-help, and socialization to children and youth in residential child care programs. 

    After October 1, 2015, RCYCP’s will have 180 days from the date of hire to become certified as a practitioner.

    The only exception to the requirement for completion of a Residential Child and Youth Care Training Program and taking the Standards Examination is:

    • A RCYCP that can present satisfactory evidence to the Board that he/she has worked as an RCYCP in the State for at least two consecutive years prior to October 1, 2015 can be grandparented/ grandfathered in and will receive their certification without participation in an approved training program or taking the Standards Examination.  This certification will be contingent upon meeting the non- examination requirements contained in the application for certification.

    The only exception that allows an individual to take the Standards Examination without completing a training program is:

    • An applicant who has an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university may take the Standards Examination without participating in a training program.  If the applicant fails the examination, then participation in a training program may be required

    Any individual with a disability may request, pursuant to COMAR E, modifications in examination materials or procedures upon written request to the State Board.

    Please Note: All RCYCP candidates will complete a minimum of 10 hours of On Site Program Orientation.   This orientation is a required component of the RCYCP Certification Training process.  The orientation shall consist of an on-site private provider orientation to program policies and procedures, the program culture, professional boundaries, and job shadowing.  A certified RCYCP Program Administrator will be required to sign a document that confirms participation in the orientation.  The On Site Program Orientation form is part of the RCYCP Certification application. 


    The Online RCYCP Certification Training Program will consist of 7 modules designed to ensure trainees have the required fundamental working knowledge in the following areas: (1) the Residential Child and Youth Care Practitioner, (2) Child and Adolescent Development, (3) Communication Skills, (4) Life Skills Development, (5) Trauma, and (6) Legal and Ethical Issues in Residential Care. (7) Standards of Health and Safety.   Each module will end with review questions.  The Online RCYCP Training Program consists of 20 contact hours of training. The Online Residential Child and Youth Care Certification Training Program shall be taken by staff who:

    1. Do not have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
    2. Are not participating in a Board approved PRIVATE PROVIDER training program
    3. Do not meet criteria for grandfather clause

    The additional required 10 hours of training will consist of an Onsite Program Orientation that includes job shadowing, and training on agency policies and procedures, organizational/program culture, and professional boundaries. Verification of Onsite Program Orientation will be documented as part of the RCYCP Certification application.


    The Online RCYCP Training Program:

    • Upon submission of completed RCYCP Certification Application to the State Board, the RCYCP will be given access to the Online RCYCP Training program. 
    • The RCYCP will complete each online training module and review questions at the end of each module. 
    • Upon completion of the Online Training Program, the RCYCP will be provided with instructions for accessing the Standards Examination. 


    The Standards Examination is composed of 100 questions taken from the 7 modules of the Online Residential Child and Youth Care Worker Certification Training Program.  A Study Guide will be made available in preparation for the Standards Examination.  To pass the Standards Examination, a minimum score of 75% is required.   The Standards Examination will be taken by staff who either:

    • have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or 
    • has completed the Community College of Baltimore (Catonsville) Child and Youth Care Practitioner Certificate Program  or
    • has completed a Board approved Private Provider RCYCP Training program or
    • has completed the Online RCYCP Training Program

    The Online Standards Examination Process:

    • Upon submission of a complete RCYCP Certification Application to the State Board, the application fee of $50.00, verification of OnSite Program Orientation,  and verification of completion of a Board Approved Residential Child and Youth Care Practitioner Training (if applicable), the RCYCP will be provided with instructions for accessing the Standards Examination. 
    • The Standards Examination can be taken up to two times, within a 30 day period.
    • If the individual fails the exam after the second attempt, he/she will be informed of the specific modules of the exam that he/she failed. The RCYCP will be required to review the Online RCYCP Training modules failed and pass a post- test specific to that module. The RCYCP must wait 24 hours before each re-test.
    • When the RCYCP has passed the Standards Examination/post-test, the online computer system will generate a notification of pass to the individual, the Program Administrator where the individual is employed, and to the State Board.
    • Upon receipt of passing scores, verification of a completed application, the Board will generate a Residential Child and Youth Care Practitioner license to the applicant.  All certified RCYCP’s must complete a re-certification process every two years to maintain certification. 


    Statutes and Regulations

    Health Occupations Article: Title 20
    Title 14 Subtitle 31 Chapter 5
    Title 14 Subtitle 31 Chapter 6
    Title 10 Subtitle 57 (Board Regulations)