Early Intervention specialists in Massachusetts are required to be certified by the MA DPH to work with enrolled children and families in the EI system. There are three components to certification:
  • Provisional certification is granted through the Department of Public Health to staff who meet entry level requirements and work in a professional capacity in EI, and is required for professional employment in Early Intervention. ( )

  • Provisional certification with advanced standing (PCAS) is granted through the Department of Public Health to graduates of DPH-approved higher education programs in early intervention after satisfactory review of completed application and transcripts. Application for full certification must be completed within three years from the date the PCAS is issued. ( PCAS)

  • Full certification (CEIS) is granted through the Department of Public Health after satisfactory completion of the EI portfolio certification process. Application must be completed by the end of 3 years of employment for those working 20 hours or more per week at one or more MDPH-certified EI program(s). Those working fewer than 20 hours per week are not required, but are encouraged to apply for full certification.

To complete requirements of full certification, applicants must be working in Massachusetts EI, or have worked in Massachusetts EI, for long enough to develop sufficient work samples for the portfolio, including IFSPs and progress notes.

Full Certification for Early Intervention Specialists (CEIS)

Core Values: The Foundation

For Certification

The certification system in Massachusetts mirrors the principles upon which the Massachusetts Early Intervention system is built. The required competencies are designed to assure that each Early Intervention Specialist:

  • Respects and honors the values and individual culture of each family;

  • Individualizes supports and services by tailoring them to each family's needs and circumstances;

  • Bases decisions with each family on the family's own values, priorities, and routines;

  • Supports families in the context of their communities, delivering services within their communities, and fostering those communities' capacity as resources for families;

  • Works with families as partners, coordinating and collaborating with the people, professionals and service systems in their lives; and

  • Facilitates life-long learning for each child and family, as well as for the Early Intervention Specialists themselves.

Massachusetts certification is based on a professional's competency in providing service coordination, developing and implementing IFSPs, and assisting families in transition to other service systems.

The Portfolio Process

All professional staff working 20 hours per week or more in a Massachusetts early intervention program are required to submit their portfolio for full certification as Early Intervention specialists within three years of date of hire. Certification requires a minimum of 1440 hours of supervised experience in a Massachusetts DPH-certified Early Intervention program, and is based on documentation of competencies through submission of a portfolio containing four entries.

The process of assembling a portfolio is described in Certification for Early Intervention Specialists, July 2002, Reprinted September 2004 and March 2006. (available at Early Intervention Training Center)

Suggestions for managing the process of developing a portfolio are found in One Approach to compiling a Portfolio.

Suggestions for items to check just before submitting a portfolio are found in How to Avoid Common Mistakes.


This information is provided by the Early Intervention Program within the Department of Public Health.