In early 2018, GMSS was one of 3 agencies in the country that was honored to pilot the NADSP ‘E-Badge Academy’. Our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) were very active in providing feedback; now a year later, it is launched nationwide. 
As stated on their website, “The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) has launched The NADSP E-Badge Academy, which offers Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) the ability to earn electronic badges as a way to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and values on the job. These electronic badges recognize and celebrate the professional development that might otherwise go unacknowledged.
With E-Badges through the online platform Web Courseworks, professionals can submit specific examples, experience, and education that highlights their achievements and contributions to human services.  Human service organizations can establish administrative accounts, while users can upload testimonials of their accomplishments for review by NADSP, and then share the resulting E-Badges with others.”
Joseph Macbeth, the Executive Director of the NADSP stated, “Human service organizations will finally have a formal system to recognize the knowledge, skills, and values of their employees. Through The NADSP E-Badge Academy, agencies can issue and Direct Support Professionals can earn electronic badges - E-Badges - based on the competencies they demonstrate and the education they receive. This a chance for human service organizations to recognize the contributions of Direct Support Professionals, and demonstrate to people receiving supports, families, donors, board members, colleagues, and other stakeholders, just how qualified their employees are.”
But why are E-badges important?
The explanation on the website continues, “For DSPs, this is the opportunity to visually represent your accomplishments. You can demonstrate that you have an up-to-date and relevant skill set, highlight your professional achievements, and document the value that you bring to your employer and the people you support. NADSP E-Badges can also be grouped together to achieve NADSP’s DSP-I, DSP-II and DSP-III certifications for Direct Support Professionals.
For agencies, this is the way to support their professional development, and to show the impact that they are having on the people they support, not only in principle, but also in practice. Agencies also benefit because they can prominently display the competencies of their staff and the impact they are having.”
GMSS is honored to be the first agency in New England to provide this educational benefit to our DSPs at no cost to them; once again providing innovative, person-centered approaches through compassionate and pragmatic training and recognition to our front line employees.
To learn more about the E-badge academy visit: https://www.nadsp.org/e-badges/