Q&A Relating to Administrator Qualifications and Training

1. General Requirements

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The applicant or license holder is responsible for hiring and designating individuals to act as the administrator and alternate administrator. Refer to 40 TAC §97.243 (relating to Administrative and Supervisory Responsibilities).

No. Designation is not the same as being hired for the position. The designation date is the date when the administrator meets all prerequisite qualifications for the position and assumes responsibility for the duties of the position. The agency must have a designated administrator and alternate administrator at all times. The designation must be made in writing.

No. The license holder must designate two separate individuals as the people responsible for implementing and supervising the administration of the agency.

Yes. The alternate administrator must meet all initial qualifications and conditions, which are the same as those the administrator must meet, before the license holder designates the alternate administrator to the position. This includes experience and training requirements. The alternate administrator must be capable of assuming all responsibilities of the administrator position when the administrator is unavailable regardless of the category of licensure.

No. The agency must have one individual designated to serve as the administrator at all times. This individual will be the person reported to DADS licensing staff as the person responsible for the agency.

No. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) recognizes only one individual as a designated alternate to serve as the administrator when the administrator is unavailable.

As a business decision, the agency may choose to have more than one person trained, educated and available to fulfill the role of the alternate administrator as a backup to the alternate. The agency must:

  • ensure that the person is designated in writing at the time he or she assumes the alternate administrator role;
  • maintain documentation of the designated person's education or training; and
  • ensure that the individual meets the education and/or training requirements and qualifications of an administrator at the time of designation.

Reminder: The agency should as a part of its operations:

  • have job descriptions for each person's responsibilities;
  • be able to show documentation of the lines of authority for each position; and
  • be able to show who is the person in charge.

If such a backup person has a lapse in designation of more than 180 days, the individual must cover topics in 40 TAC §97.259(c) as part of administrator's or alternate administrator's continuing education. Each individual must meet all qualifications and conditions for the position.

References: 40 TAC §97.246(a)(1) and 40 TAC §97.242(b)(2)-(3)

Yes. The administrator or alternate administrator may be the designated administrator or alternate of more than one agency. It is up to the agency and the administrator to ensure all duties and responsibilities of the administrator are met according to the licensing standards.

Yes. The license holder may designate the supervising nurse or alternate supervising nurse as either the administrator or alternate administrator if he or she meets the qualifications and conditions for the position. The qualifications and conditions include training and satisfactory results of a criminal history check conducted by DADS. The supervising nurse or alternate supervising nurse may not act as both the administrator and alternate administrator at the same time.

Yes. Each potential administrator must submit to a DADS check of his or her criminal history. The agency's alternate administrator will be subject to a criminal history check by DADS during the initial application process and renewals.

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2. Experience Requirements

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DADS interprets this experience to be the equivalent of one year of verifiable employment or volunteerism in direct care of a person with a functional disability. This includes care of a loved one with a functional disability.

program, attendance at a nursing school for an undergraduate nurse trainee and direct care training for a personal care attendant. There are no specific times or clock hours associated with this training requirement.

No. Previous experience does not include the provision of childcare for infants and children without a medical diagnosis that limits functional capacity.

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3. Training Requirements

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Emergency preparedness planning and implementation is one of a number of required training topics for first-time administrators, and may be a topic included for continuing education. The licensure rules do not stipulate how many of the training hours must be devoted to emergency preparedness or a specific topic.

Either DADS or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will announce required regulatory training.

Yes. The eight hours of training may incorporate other subjects as allowed in the rule language. All training under this subsection must be in the administration of an agency and relate to that subject.

If a national or state organization or association recognizes the training, the training materials, certificate and objectives will note this approval, endorsement or recognition. A statement of approval or endorsement may be present even if the course does not offer continuing education hours or units. If no such statement exists, ask the provider to produce documentation of approval or endorsement by a state or national organization.

If DADS approved the training, the agency or consultant who provided the training must provide each participant a copy of the approval letter issued by DADS. This letter will list the topics approved, number of hours, and the categories of services for which DADS approved the course topic.

The DADS Regulatory Services division, Policy, Rules, and Curriculum Development unit will review the submitted curriculum. Refer to Provider Letter (PL) #08-15 regarding Initial HCSSA Administrator Training Approval.

Clock hours are the number of hours physically spent in the classroom. For computer-based and self-directed training, the training provider determines the number of clock hours. When a course provider or designer has only described the course in terms of continuing education hours or units, the agency will need to provide the time spent in the classroom by use of the agenda or certificate.

Yes. Experience as an administrator of an agency in another state does not exempt an individual from the training requirements in the licensing standards. The term "home and community support services agency (HCSSA)" is a Texas term. When DADS uses the term "agency," as defined in the licensing standards, we mean a HCSSA; this does not include other states.

No. Only experience as a HCSSA administrator or alternate administrator with a designation date before Dec. 1, 2006, qualifies an individual for the exemption from initial HCSSA administrator training.

It depends. National organizations and other state organizations are acceptable providers of initial administrator training. The training must have covered the topics specifically listed in the regulations. This must include Texas state standards and statutes for HCSSAs.

No. Administrator training courses transfer with the individual to new employment at other agencies. Once completed, the administrator should maintain documentation of completed training in his or her personnel files. The agency must maintain documentation of the administrator's qualifications and conditions to be designated in the position.

It depends. You must be able to present documented physical proof as evidence to DADS and a prospective employer that you obtained the required training. If you are unable to provide documentation of your completion of the required training, you may need to retake the training in question to provide proof to the licensing unit, surveyor or prospective agency license holder. An interview with an educational curriculum provider is not sufficient to verify the training occurred and was appropriate.

Before retaking the training, the individual may contact the training entity to obtain documentation to satisfy this requirement.

An administrator has a full year to complete his or her initial and annual training requirements from the date of designation. An administrator who transfers to a new agency before completing his or her first year as a newly designated administrator and who has not completed the 24-hour training requirement must provide proof of qualifications to the new employer before designation at the new agency. This includes all previous training records. Therefore, the new agency can consider previous courses. The surveyor examines documentation of previous employment and designation dates to determine if the administrator meets the requirements.

For example: An administrator, Ms. Smithson, is designated for the first time at Alpha Agency on June 1, 2015, after meeting the conditions and initial training requirements. Ms. Smithson leaves Alpha Agency on Nov. 23, 2015, to work for Beta Agency. As a condition of designation, the Beta Agency license holder verifies initial training requirements by reviewing documentation of Ms. Smithson's training experience. When Ms. Smithson is designated as the administrator of Beta Agency on Dec. 1, 2015, she still has until Nov. 30, 2016, to complete her first 24 hours of training.

Beta Agency will remain in compliance with the requirement for Ms. Smithson's training unless the requirements for an additional 16 hours in the required topics are found to be unmet on Nov. 30, 2016.

No. A professional license does not exempt an individual from the administrator training requirements.

It depends. If the administrator is in the process of obtaining the initial training requirements for a first-time administrator, then the professional education must relate to the required topics listed in the regulation at 40 TAC §97.259. For continuing education purposes, the topics should relate to the HCSSA industry and the duties of the administrator or at least two of the topics listed in the rule 97.259 (h). DADS surveyors will examine course documentation, including certificates, course agendas and outlines, to determine if this requirement is met.

It depends. If the administrator of the prospective agency has been an administrator of a HCSSA before Dec. 1, 2006, the application must include documentation of the previous designation and experience, and the individual has a year from the date of the license to complete the 12-hour continuing education requirement.

If the administrator is being designated for the first time, the administrator must complete the initial eight hours of training before designation. In the case of initial licensure, this is before the applicant submits the licensing application. Without appropriate documentation, DADS will not consider the application complete.

No. Presurvey conference does not cover the issues in subsection (e); therefore, it is automatically excluded. Presurvey conference only covers certain licensing standards, certain conditions of participation in the Medicare program and survey requirements.

No. The DADS OASIS training is not a mandatory course. The administrator and alternate administrator of a licensed and certified home health agency do have to complete some OASIS training as required by the licensing standards. But the DADS course is not the only option. Administrators may complete OASIS courses offered by other entities.

No. OASIS training does not meet the requirement at §97.259(c) for the initial eight hours of training in the administration of an agency.

Yes. §97.259 allows an administrator to use DADS joint training if it meets the requirements for the 24 hours of initial educational training required in the rule. Joint training may also be applied toward continuing education hours for HCSSA administrators.

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Updated: May 25, 2016