MAP policy on training

Training Programs must meet the specifications outlined in the MAP policy on training.

The Departments of Public Health, Mental Health, Children and Families, and Developmental Services and Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission have developed this training policy to:

  • Compile the many policies regarding the preparation of MAP trainers and direct care staff
  • Clarify issues concerning training and testing
  • Describe the centralized database for trainers
  • Provide the applications for DPH registration and Certification/Recertification in the DMH/DCF/DDS/MRC Medication Administration Training Program

Becoming a trainer

Regulations at 105 CMR 700.003(F)(2)(a) require that a trainer be a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, registered pharmacist or licensed physician who meets the applicable requirements for a trainer.

The jointly established requirements for a trainer are:

  • Currently licensed as a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, registered pharmacist, or physician in Massachusetts
  • At least 2 years of experience in your profession
  • Completion of the DPH approved ‘Train the Trainer’ Program offered through the Departments of Mental Health, Children and Families,  Developmental Services, and Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.

The "Train the Trainer" (TTT) program is offered by DPH/DMH/DCF/DDS/MRC  approximately every two months at a centralized location within the state. The program is conducted jointly by a DDS MAP Coordinator and a DMH/DCF MAP Coordinator. Technical assistance is provided as needed by the DPH Clinical Reviewer. Professionals who meet the above criteria and wish to become a trainer should contact a DDS MRC or DMH/DCF MAP Coordinator to obtain a list of scheduled trainings.

Prospective MAP Trainers must provide the Area DMH/DCF, MRC Statewide, or Regional DDS MAP Coordinator with an updated resume and completed registration form to be signed up for a TTT Session. Professional license numbers will be verified online prior to the start of the TTT session. After the completion of the TTT session the TTT MAP Coordinator instructors will then forward trainers’ resumes, names, addresses, telephone numbers, and professional license numbers with the dates of expiration to the Central Office at the Department of Mental Health. This information will be data entered into the MAP Trainer’s database.

Being a trainer

To maintain your approval status, you must remain current regarding all DPH approved training and testing materials, advisories, policies and other changes through scheduled meetings with a MAP Coordinator, and as determined by DPH. Trainers not attending scheduled meetings may be notified that their approval status has been revoked.


Regulation at 105 CMR 700.003(F)(2), 115 CMR 5.15(6)(a) and 104 CMR 28.06(9)(b)(6) require all training programs to meet specifications jointly established by DPH, DMH, DCF, MRC and DDS. DPH approved MAP Training Programs must not be less than 16 hours in length, including classroom instruction, testing, and the practicum. Trainers must comply with this specification.

The Medication Administration Program’s training program is specific to DMH/DCF/DDS/MRC registered MAP programs only. MAP trainers may only train those staff who will be administering medications in DMH/DCF/DDS/MRC registered MAP programs. All trainers must use the most recent DPH approved training manual and testing materials. 

Staff training and Certification is transferable between DMH, DCF, MRC and DDS only. Because certificates are transferable between all DMH/DCF/DDS/MRC  community residential programs, all required portions of the training manual must be taught. No part may be eliminated or modified due to the trainer’s or service provider’s preferences or personal beliefs or for any other reasons.

Failure to teach the entire compulsory training would lead to inconsistencies in training and qualifications. If DMH, DCF, DDS, MRC or the Service Provider policies prohibit or discourage use of any portion of the training, (e.g., staff may not administer via a specific route) then staff should be instructed on the specific rules on site. Nevertheless, that portion of the training must be provided as part of the basic training.

Additional training for vital signs

To administer medications that require the monitoring of vital signs for administration, Certified staff must be proficient in this skill. Training for vital signs is not offered in the initial MAP training; therefore additional training must be provided to those Certified staff whose responsibilities include monitoring of vital signs for medication administration. Regulation at 105 CMR 700.003(F)(1)(b) states "... that only properly trained and Certified personnel administer medication." Furthermore, regulation at 105 CMR 700.003(F)(2) states that these staff must have successfully completed a training program that meets the specifications for a training curriculum and examination process established jointly by the Department of Public Health and the Department of Mental Health, Department of Developmental Services, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission or the Department of Children and Families.

Service Providers are responsible for:

  • Obtaining instructions from Health Care Providers regarding the need for monitoring of vital signs for medication administration
  • Obtaining specific, written parameters for vital signs, if appropriate
  • Training their staff to take vital signs
  • Maintaining a current list of staff who have been trained and are competent in obtaining vital signs. Documentation should include the name, address and telephone number of the trainer(s). This list should be maintained both at the site and in the Service Provider’s main office.


Upon completion of an approved MAP Certification Training Class and attaining a successful Pretest score, staff may be eligible to be tested by the D&S Diversified Technologies.

Applicants for Certification or Recertification must have their identity verified. The staff person must bring a signed, non-expired (must have an expiration date printed on it that has not expired), U.S. government issued photo ID (some examples are: driver’s license, state ID, passport, or military ID). All government issued IDs must be issued by the United States of America. The applicant will not be admitted for testing if they do not bring the proper form of ID. The applicant’s name on the ID must match exactly the name entered into the D&S testing database for the applicant. If the name does not match exactly, the applicant will not be admitted for testing.

Staff may not administer medications until they pass a D&S Diversified Technologies administered Certification exam and skills test. MAP Certification is effective on the date that the test results are posted on the D&S Diversified Technologies website indicating that the staff person passed the Certification exam. MAP Certification is valid for two years from the last day of the month in which the test was passed. If a staff person fails Certification three times, then that staff must complete the full MAP Initial Certification training again or complete remedial training given by the current MAP Trainer of record on the D&S database. 

Once MAP Certification expires, staff have one year to recertify before they must yet again complete the full Certification training. During this period, however, the staff person may not administer medications.


It is the responsibility of the Service Provider to assure that the trainer of their staff is an approved trainer. Service Providers may contact the Central Office at the Department of Mental Health to confirm a trainer’s approval.

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