MAP information for the general public

Learn about the Medication Administration Program (MAP).

Frequently asked questions

What is the Medication Administration Program (MAP)?

Under MA Department of Public Health (Department) regulations, MAP allows specially trained unlicensed direct care staff to administer or assist in the administration of medications to individuals living in residences in the community, such as group homes.  MAP makes it possible for these individuals to safely receive their medications at home.  The trained direct care staff, who are familiar with each individual and their specific need, are able to administer medication as a normal part of the individual’s daily routine.

When was MAP established?

The Departments of Public Health, Mental Health, and Developmental Services established the Medication Administration Program (MAP) through joint regulations in 1993. The regulations are at 105 CMR 700.003 (E).  In 2013, regulations were amended to include the Department of Children and Families. In 2020, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission was added to the definition of Community Programs within the MAP.

Why were the regulations established?

The regulations were established to provide standards and safeguards to protect the wellbeing of people living in community residential programs, licensed, funded, or operated by the Departments of Mental Health, Children and Families, Developmental Services, and/or the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission who need assistance with administration of their medications. The regulations established MAP as a direct authorization model.  Instructions and directions are specific to the individual and are issued by the prescribing Health Care Provider (HCP).  The regulations include, among other safeguards, a required training and certification program for staff who administer or assist in the administration of medications.

What is the goal of MAP?

The goal of MAP is to ensure the safe administration of medication to individuals living in community residential programs.

How are medications obtained?

Medications are ordered by an authorized prescriber (physician, dentist, etc.) and dispensed by pharmacists.  The medications are obtained directly from the pharmacies. Licensed health care professionals (nurses, pharmacists, physicians) are available 24 hours a day to help MAP Certified direct care staff with any medication administration issues.

What is the MAP training and certification program?

MAP training is provided by a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, registered pharmacist or licensed physician who has met established trainer requirements.  Direct care staff attend a MAP Certification Class that is given by an approved MAP Trainer.  After attending the training, staff must successfully pass a certification test. The MAP Training Program is specific to registered MAP Programs only.  Direct care staff must be at least eighteen years of age to be Certified to administer medications.

How long is the MAP Certification valid?

MAP certification is valid for two years.  To become re-certified, staff must demonstrate competence by successfully passing a recertification test.

Can MAP Certified staff administer medications in other settings, e.g. long term care facilities?

The regulations are specific to sites registered to utilize MAP.  Persons who have been certified in MAP do not have the authority to administer medications in any other setting or facility.

More information

For more information about the Medication Administration Program, please contact:

Department Contact number
Department of Public Health/Bureau of Health Professions Licensure (617) 973-0800
Department of Developmental Services (617) 624-7792
Department of Mental Health (508) 616-2161
Departments of Children and Families (617) 748-2073
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (978) 697-2072

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