How to Become a Home Care Aide Certified

NOTE: As of February 29, 2024, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) made changes to their Home Care Aide (HCA) credential and exam scheduling process. If you are still completing your HCA certification process, you will get an email from Prometric with information on how to log into the new website. After logging in, you will be able to view your profile, exam activity and self-schedule for your English exam(s).  

The steps below have been updated to reflect the examination changes. 

Important information from DOH and Prometric:   

  • You can now schedule your own English HCA certification exam date with Prometric. 
  • For any non-English exams or any caregiver needing an ADA accommodation– you will need to contact Prometric’s Testing Accommodations Team to schedule your exam by calling 1-800-967-1139.  
  • Exams scheduled before February 13, 2024 will transfer to the new website and do not need to be rescheduled.    

Learn more about these changes from Prometric. If you have any questions, please contact the Washington Home Care Aide team at 1-800-324-4689. 

Step 1: Submit DOH Certification Application — Days 1–14

To become certified as a Home Care Aide, you need to complete and submit your Home Care Aide (HCA) Certification Application (also called the “DOH Application”) within 14 days of being hired. This application can be submitted before the training begins.

If English is not your preferred language, you may be allowed up to 60 extra days to become a certified HCA. To apply for provisional certification, you must check the “I am applying for a provisional certificate” box on Page 1 of the HCA Certification Application.

You can submit your application online, or by mail.


Watch this 3-minute YouTube Video from the Department of Health (DOH). It will guide you through logging on, verifying your identity, and filling out the application online. Things to know before you apply online:

  • Be sure to check “State Pay”.
  • Online application questions can be directed to DOH by email at or by phone at 360-236-2700.
  • Check your spam folder to make sure you haven’t missed any emails from DOH.

First – Complete the DOH APPLICATION (NOTE: no payment is required).

Mail them to:
Department of Health
Home Care Aide Credentialing
PO Box 1099
Olympia, WA 98507-1099

Get Help


DOH Navigators are available to support caregivers through the HCA certification process. Connect with a Navigator for help with: 

  • Submitting the HCA application. 
  • Understanding each step of HCA certification process. 
  • Learning about scheduling your exam and finding test locations near you.* 

To get support from your local Navigator, go to their website. *If you have questions about using Prometric’s website to schedule your Knowledge and Skills exams, please contact Prometric at 1-800-324-4689. 

Step 2: Complete Basic Training — Days 30-60

Take your training as soon as possible to ensure best access to classes in your area and your preferred language. You should submit the Home Care Aide Certification application to Department of Health (DOH) within 14 days of being hired.

Completed applications are now submitted to DOH. Prometric will continue to administer the exam. Once an applicant meets all requirements to take exam, DOH notifies Prometric to schedule the exam.

Note that Prometric will not schedule a certification exam without an email address. Applicants must check their email regularly, including junk and spam folders, for communication from DOH and/or Prometric. Applicants without an email address must list the email address for someone who will frequently check their email and pass on information to them.

If you have any questions, contact the Department of Health at (360) 236-2700.

Step 3: Prepare for Your Exam — Days 60–90

If you are taking your exam in English, you can schedule your Knowledge and Skills exams on Prometric’s website. You can schedule the exam as soon as you have enrolled in Basic Training 70 and have the dates for your classes. You must complete your training before your exam date.  

If you have questions, please contact Prometric at 1-800-324-4689. 


  • When scheduling the exam, you will need to schedule the Knowledge and Skills exam separately.  
  • There is a rescheduling fee that is not covered through your certification benefits. Please check Prometric’s website for more information. 
  • If you would like to schedule a non-English exam or need ADA accommodations, call Prometric’s Testing Accommodations Team at 1-800-967-1139.

Step 4: Take Exam — Days 90–120

On the day of your exam:

  • Arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled exam. Late arrivals will not be allowed to take the exam and will need to pay the exam fee for the rescheduled date.
  • Bring your “Admission to Test” (ATT) letter and 2 valid forms of identification.

Related Articles

75 Hour Home Care Aide Training

The following short presentation provided by Washington DSHS will help you understand:

  • New terms you need to know
  • What classes make up the 75 hours of training
  • Who must take and who is exempt from 75 hours of training and home care aide certification
  • Other training that may be required
  • Tools to understand the steps needed to complete training and home care aide certification