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Caregiver Training: It’s Time to Talk Training Deadlines

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Article updated 7th September 2023.

The caregiving industry was hit severely by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been challenging for all caregivers to maintain the quality of care while doing their best

to stop the spread of the virus and protect their families.


As a response to this challenging situation, Washington state did its best to lift some weight off the shoulders of caregivers, and long-term care providers by lifting the deadlines for caregiver training.

Now, training deadlines have resumed and we want to help you make sure that all of your caregivers have the necessary certifications in time.

What Does This Mean for Employers?

Long-term care facilities and home care agencies need to consider two things: caregivers who are not yet licensed, and licensed caregivers who need their annual continuing education.


If you hired or re-hired workers during the pandemic when training was suspended and emergency rules were in place, you need to explore the DSHS legislation WAC 388-71-0876.

We have already done this for you in this article! Read on for a detailed summary of all the most recent updates in a format that should be easy to follow and understand.

If you hired or rehired workers during the pandemic, they need to complete their 75 hours HCA Basic training by the following dates:

Worker hired or rehired during the time frame of:

Must complete basic training no later than:

​8/17/2019 to 9/30/2020


​10/1/2020 to 4/30/2021


5/1/2021 to 3/31/2022


4/1/2022 to 9/30/2022


10/1/2022 - 06/30/2023


7/1/2023 - 1/31/2024

Standard training requirement (120 days from date of hire)

Beginning 2/1/2024

​Standard training requirement (120 days from date of hire)

If you hired or rehired workers during the pandemic, they need to pass their DSHS state exam by the following dates:

A worker hired or rehired during the time frame of

Must pass their DSHS state exam

​8/17/2019 to 9/30/2020


​10/1/2020 to 4/30/2021


5/1/2021 to 3/31/2022


4/1/2022 to 9/30/2022


10/1/2022 - 06/30/2023


7/1/2023 - 1/31/2024


Beginning 2/1/2024

Standard training requirement (200 days from date of hire)

This information is different for both training and certification deadlines, so make sure you know which one to follow! Finishing the 75 hours of training is the first step; they also need to pass their state exam to get their license and credential number to be in compliance with state regulation.

Are These Deadlines for Everybody? Are There Exceptions?

These deadlines don’t apply to two sets of workers:

  1. Long-term care workers with limited English proficiency

  2. Those exempted as described in WAC 388-71-0839 and WAC 388-112A-0090

Long-term workers with limited English proficiency can request an extension of their deadlines. The extension grants a provisional certification, issued to the caregiver on the 200th day after hire, based on the information on the initial HCA application.

The provisional license expires 60 days after being issued, which allows the caregiver a total of 260 days from their date of hire to pass the state exam and receive their full license. This extension does not apply to the training deadlines, only the certification.

There are 7 types of workers who are exempt from the deadlines, as detailed in the laws above, including:

  1. An individual employed as a long-term care worker on January 6, 2012, who complied with the basic training requirements in effect on the date of his or her hire;

  2. An individual previously employed as a long-term care worker who completed the basic training requirements in effect on the date of his or her hire, and was employed as a long-term care worker at some point between January 1, 2011 and January 6, 2012;

  3. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and advanced registered nurse practitioners licensed under chapter 18.79 RCW;

  4. Nursing assistants certified under chapter 18.88A RCW and persons in an approved training program for certified nursing assistants under chapter 18.88A RCW provided that they complete the training program within one hundred twenty days of the date of hire and the department of health has issued them their nursing assistant certified credential within two hundred days of the date of hire;

  5. A home health aide who was employed by a Medicare-certified home health agency within the year before being hired as a long-term care worker and has met the requirements of 42 C.F.R., Sec. 484.36;

  6. An individual with special education training who has an endorsement granted by the Washington state superintendent of public instruction as described in RCW 28A.300.010; and

  7. Home care aides (HCAs) certified under chapter 18.88B RCW.

What About Continuing Education Deadlines?

DSHS recognizes that all long-term care workers who were employed during the pandemic had to have ongoing training about SARS-CoV-2 virus as guidance from CDC and other health authorities changed throughout the pandemic.

To account for this new training, DSHS has granted 12 hours of CE credit, “COVID-19 On-The-Job Training Protocol”, to all caregivers who were working between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021. There is no certificate for these hours - everyone was granted this automatically.

DSHS allows for these CE hours to be applied to renewal periods between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021.

Since 12 hours are required every year and the due dates are based on date of birth, there will be other CE hours due after the 12-hour COVID CE is applied. All workers must have any additional CE completed that became due while training waivers were in place by August 31, 2023.

Another 12 hours of CE will become due on the caregiver’s first birthday after October 27, 2022, when the official post-waiver period began. If the caregiver’s birthday falls between October 27, 2022, or later, they must have their additional CE complete by August 31, 2023. If the birthday falls after August 31, 2023, CE will be due on their birthday.




January 15, 2019 - January 15, 2020

Worker has until August 31, 2023

January 15, 2020 - January 15, 2021

Worker has until August 31, 2023

January 15, 2021 - October 27, 2022

Worker has until August 31, 2023

October 27, 2022 and after

Worker has until August 31, 2023

How to Train Your Caregivers and Meet the Deadlines?

The fastest way to meet training deadlines is to use a 100% online HCA training solution. This means that caregivers can complete their 75-hour training through self-paced courses, in their own time. With Cornerstone Healthcare Training, there is even the option of completing the Skills Labs portion of the training online. There are different learning plans for people with different requirements.

Another option that Cornerstone offers at the moment is to complete the self-paced portion of the training online and to register for the in-person Skills Labs training in Spokane. This is only available for new registrations, so if your caregivers have already been enrolled in the online skills, they will need to complete them online.

If you are not sure what sort of training your caregivers need in order to comply with DSHS rules and regulations, feel free to contact us and we’ll help you work it out.


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