A. INITIAL CERTIFICATION
- Why did my classmate receive a longer period of time on his/her initial certificate than I did?
Some applicants receive a longer period of time on their initial certification because certificates are issued based on an individual’s date of birth. However, all CNAs/HHAs will receive at least two years from the effective date on their initial certificate.
- I passed the CNA test some months ago. What is holding up my certificate?
For ATCS to issue a CNA certificate, the applicants must have passed the competency evaluation AND a criminal background check.
- Can I get certified if I have had prior convictions?
It depends on the type of convictions that you have. If you have a conviction that may result in the denial of your certificate, you will be notified by mail. All CNAs/HHAs with convictions for misdemeanors and felonies are reported to the Investigation Section (IS), by the California Department of Justice (DOJ), for review. The Fingerprint Investigation Unit (FIU), of IS considers the type of conviction and other factors of good character and rehabilitation. After review, a decision will be made to either deny or issue you a criminal record clearance. However, IS is required to deny applicants who have certain misdemeanor and felony convictions. For a list of these crimes, contact your training program. A list can also be viewed on our website, at www.dhs.ca.gov/lnc/cert/default.htm under Criminal Background Prescreening: Disqualifying Penal.
- After I was convicted and completed probation, I had my conviction dismissed by the court. Will I be certified if my conviction was dismissed?
After a conviction, the court may grant your request to have your case dismissed pursuant to Penal Code, 1203.4. If you obtained such a dismissal, your conviction will still be reported to ATCS for review to consider the type of crime and other factors of good character and rehabilitation.
- If I have a conviction, how long will it take to review my case?
This depends on the workload in FIU and the type of criminal record that you have. For less serious offenses, the review may be completed in four (4) weeks from receipt of your criminal record from DOJ.
- Did ATCS receive my application material I recently sent?
It is not possible to look through all incoming mail to find your application material due to a huge volume of applications received each day and limited number of staff. ATCS processes all applications by the date received in ATCS.
- Whom should I notify if I move?
Within 60 days of your moving, you must send in your change of address to ATCS either by fax or mail. (The address and FAX number are on page 1.) Be sure to include your Social Security number on any correspondence. Any information/documents that are sent to you will be sent to the address on the ATCS computer record. It is equally important to provide any change of telephone number.
- What are continuing education units (CEUs) or in-service training hours and what kind of courses may I take to satisfy CNA and HHA renewal requirement?
"CEU” is any extra training over and above your working hours that enhances your knowledge of nursing skills. Certain college courses can also be counted converting the units to hours as follows: each semester unit=15 hours, each quarter unit=10 hours. “In-service training” are sessions available to all employed certified nurse assistants to enhance knowledge and skills and address areas of weaknesses (See Title 22, Division 5, Chapter 2.5). The required number of in-service training hours for CNAs is 48; for HHAs, it is 24 hours in the two-year certification period.
- If my CNA certificate has expired, may I renew without retaking the competency evaluation?
If your CNA certificate has been expired less than two years AND you have met the renewal requirements (obtained 48 hours of in-service/continuing education training hours AND worked at least one day for pay providing nursing services), you may renew your certificate by sending a renewal application to ATCS. You will not have to retake the competency evaluation.
- My certificate has expired, may I work?
No, not until you send in your renewal application as described above. Keep copies of the application to show to your employer/prospective employer verifying that you did send these items to ATCS. It is the policy of ATCS to allow you to work if we have processed your application material. If your employer does not accept this policy, there is nothing ATCS can do to override that decision.
- Under what circumstances must I take CNA retraining?
If your certificate has expired more than two years. You must also be re-fingerprinted upon enrollment into training.
- Can I renew my HHA certificate without renewing my CNA certificate?
Yes, if your HHA certificate has not expired over two years. You should send the application to ATCS. If it is over two years from the expiration date, you must take HHA retraining. However, you may NOT take a 40-hour retraining course if you do not have an active CNA certificate. Without an active CNA certificate, you must take a 120-hour HHA training class.
- Am I supposed to receive a notice to renew?
Yes. Approximately 4 months before time to renew, all CNAs/HHAs are sent renewal notices. However, non receipt of the renewal notice does not relieve you from the responsibility of renewing your certificate. It is your responsibility to fax or send your request for a renewal application (HS 283C form) to ATCS to the fax number or address on page 1. You may also get a copy of an HS 283C form on the web @ http://www.dhs.ca.gov/publications/forms/L&C/l&c.htm. As soon as you receive the notice/application, you should complete it and send it to ATCS to ensure that your certification will not be interrupted.
- What does “delinquent status” mean?
It means that your certificate has expired more than 30 days.
Why must I “reactivate” instead of being able to renew?
CNA “reactivations” are for applicants who cannot meet BOTH renewal requirements (worked for pay providing nursing services and accumulated 48 hours of in-service/continuing education training) and must re-take the competency evaluation OR for CNA and HHA applicants, certificates have expired for more than 2 years. There are two options that you may take to reactivate your certificate if you don’t qualify to renew:
FOR CNAs ONLY If you HAVE NOT met BOTH of your renewal requirements AND IT IS LESS THAN TWO YEARS SINCE YOUR CERTIFICATE EXPIRED, you will qualify to retake the competency evaluation without re-training. Send your renewal application OR renewal notice to ATCS, and check the box for “reactivation”. You will be sent information about how and where you may take the competency evaluation to reactivate.
FOR HHAs ONLY
If it has been over two years since your certificate expired, you must retrain at an ATCS-approved training program. Send an application and a copy of a completed BCII 8016 Request for Live Scan Service form which shows you have had fingerprints taken. New fingerprints are required even though you may have been previously cleared through a background check for CNA certification.
After ATCS receives your application, you complete the training, and ATCS receives verification from the testing vendor that you passed the competency evaluation; ATCS will reactivate your certificate accordingly.
If it has been over four years since your certificate expired, AND you have an active CNA certificate, you must complete an approved 40-hour HHA training program and send an application and fingerprints (2nd copy of the completed Request for Live Scan Service form) to ATCS. New fingerprints are required even though you may have been previously cleared through a background check for HHA certification.
When your training program reports to ATCS that you completed the training, ATCS can reactivate your certificate.
- Without an active CNA certificate, you must complete an approved 120-hour HHA training program to reactivate. You must send an application and fingerprints (2nd copy of the completed Request for Live Scan Service form) to ATCS. Your training program reports to ATCS that you completed the training, ATCS can reactivate your HHA certification.