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Title: Personal Care Assistant (PCA) Certification
Alternate Title:
Description: Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS)
Subject: Health Care
Health Professionals
Creation Date: 10/15/2010 2:49:00 PM
Modification Date: 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
Agency Name: Human Services (DHS), Minnesota Department of
Agency URL:
Agency Description: The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) offers programs for health care, child support, food support, general assistance, nursing home care, seniors, people who are deaf, people who have developmental disabilities, foster care, child protection and adult and children's mental health services.
Agency Phone: 651-431-2000
Agency Fax: Agency URL:
Agency Address:

St. Paul
Audience: Application URL:
Renewal URL:
Versa URL:

Minn. Stats. § 256b.0659, subd. 11(a)(8):

Subd. 11.Personal care assistant; requirements. (a) A personal care assistant must meet the following requirements:

    (1) be at least 18 years of age with the exception of persons who are 16 or 17 years of age with these additional requirements:

            (i) supervision by a qualified professional every 60 days; and
            (ii) employment by only one personal care assistance provider agency responsible for compliance with current labor laws;

     (2) be employed by a personal care assistance provider agency;

     (3) enroll with the department as a personal care assistant after clearing a background study. Except as provided in subdivision 11a, before a personal care assistant provides services, the personal care assistance provider agency must initiate a background study on the personal care assistant under Minn. Stat. Chapter 245C, and the personal care assistance provider agency must have received a notice from the commissioner that the personal care assistant is:

            (i) not disqualified under section Minn. Stat. § 245C.14; or
            (ii) is disqualified, but the personal care assistant has received a set aside of the disqualification under section Minn. Stat. § 245C.22;

     (4) be able to effectively communicate with the recipient and personal care assistance provider agency;

     (5) be able to provide covered personal care assistance services according to the recipient's personal care assistance care plan, respond appropriately to recipient needs, and report changes in the recipient's condition to the supervising qualified professional or physician;

     (6) not be a consumer of personal care assistance services;    

     (7) maintain daily written records including, but not limited to, time sheets under subdivision 12;

     (8) effective January 1, 2010, complete standardized training as determined by the commissioner before completing enrollment. The training must be available in languages other than English and to those who need accommodations due to disabilities. Personal care assistant training must include successful completion of the following training components: basic first aid, vulnerable adult, child maltreatment, OSHA universal precautions, basic roles and responsibilities of personal care assistants including information about assistance with lifting and transfers for recipients, emergency preparedness, orientation to positive behavioral practices, fraud issues, and completion of time sheets. Upon completion of the training components, the personal care assistant must demonstrate the competency to provide assistance to recipients;

     (9) complete training and orientation on the needs of the recipient; and

     (10) be limited to providing and being paid for up to 275 hours per month of personal care assistance services regardless of the number of recipients being served or the number of personal care assistance provider agencies enrolled with. The number of hours worked per day shall not be disallowed by the department unless in violation of the law.

            (b) A legal guardian may be a personal care assistant if the guardian is not being paid for the guardian services and meets the criteria for personal care assistants in paragraph (a).
            (c) Persons who do not qualify as a personal care assistant include parents, stepparents, and legal guardians of minors; spouses; paid legal guardians of adults; family foster care
                 providers, except as otherwise allowed in Minn. Stat. § 256B.0625, subdivision 19a; and staff of a residential setting.

Training requirements
Minnesota statute requires all PCAs to take pass a certification test. PCAs may take the training and test as often as needed. However, PCAs must pass before enrolling with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS).

This online course and test is free. PCAs must register with DHS before taking the certification test.

Individualized Personal Care Assistance Training

Minnesota statute also requires that a PCA completes training on the specific person’s need and demonstrate competency to meet that person’s needs. 

Statutes: 256b.0659


Online Registration



Period of Issuance:

The certificate is valid indefinitely. 

Length of Determination: There is no processing time associated with this certificate.
Other Info:
Activity: License Detail URL:

PCAs affiliated with a PCA provider agency contact their PCA provider agency with questions. If the provider agency is unable to answer the question, the agency may contact the MHCP Provider Call Center

PCAs not yet affiliated with a PCA provider agency may email their questions to DHS DSD Response Center or call 651-431-4300 (metro area) or 866-867-7655 (Toll Free).


Individual PCA training and certificate

Minnesota Department of Human Services

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