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Become an Independent Provider

An independent provider is a self-employed person who directly provides services to people with developmental disabilities. They cannot employ someone else to provide services on their behalf.

Independent providers must be at least 18 years old, have a valid social security number, and one of the following forms of identification

  • State of Ohio identification,
  • valid driver license,
  • or other government-issued photo identification. 

Independent providers must have a high school diploma or GED and be able to read, write, and understand English at a level sufficient to comply with all requirements set forth in administrative rules governing the services provided.

Independent providers must also hold a valid American Red Cross or equivalent certification in first aid and CPR, including an in-person skills assessment.


Before you apply

Before submitting an application for certification as an independent provider, applicants must have successfully completed:

Department-provided web-based orientation for independent providers, available in  DODD MyLearning and 

Eight hours of training in accordance with standards established by the department that addresses the following topics,
  • An overview of serving individuals with developmental disabilities including implementation of individual service plans
  • An independent provider's role and responsibilities with regard to services including person-centered planning, community integration, self-determination, and self-advocacy
  • Universal precautions for infection control including hand washing and the disposal of bodily waste
  • The rights of individuals set forth in sections 5123.62 to 5123.64 of the Ohio Revised Code, and
  • The requirements of OAC 5123-17-02, better known as the MUI Rule, including health and welfare alerts issued by the department

Additional training requirements may apply for some services.

Within sixty days of first providing services, an independent provider shall successfully complete training in accordance with standards established by the department in service documentation and billing for services. These courses are available online at no-cost, through DODD MyLearning. 



Steps to Certification

This process outlines the steps applicants for certification will complete before they can become independent providers. 

Start with Your Background Check 

The 30-day review period for your application packet does not begin until all supporting documents are available for review, including background checks.

Because the results of a background check can take up to 45 days, visit a WebCheck location for fingerprinting a background report from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation or BCII, while gathering additional documents and completing training.

Request that the report be sent directly to DODD.

Create an Account

Create an OH ID account and subscribe to My DODD to access DODD online apps.

Use the Provider Services Management or PSM application to start an application for certification.

Complete the Initial Overview Online Course

Use DODD MyLearning to complete the Initial Overview and Orientation for Independent Providers. A certificate of completion is offered at the end of the course and will be required as part of your application packet.

Complete Required Training

Successfully complete the Eight-Hour Direct Service Provider training available in DODD MyLearning or other initial provider training course that meets the requirements for initial training found in rule 5123:2-02-01 Provider Certification.

Complete hands-on skill assessment for first aid and CPR.

These certificates of completion will be a part of your application packet. 

Complete the application packet

The application packet includes the PSM application and all required supporting documents, including 

  • social security card
  • birth certificate
  • high school diploma or GED
  • driver license or state ID and 
  • certificates for completed training.

As you complete the application in PSM, you'll be asked to upload these documents.

Submit the Application and Submission Fee

Pay the non-refundable fee, electronically sign, and submit the application.

All supporting documents must be submitted within 30 days of submitting the application and application fee.

The date that all supporting documents have been submitted and the background check results are received by DODD, the application is considered complete, this becomes the application submission date.

After 30 days applications missing documentation are closed and a new application and application fee will be required.

Application Review

DODD will review and respond to your application within 30 days of the application submission date. DODD may request additional documents as needed.

If the application is approved, DODD will send the application to the Ohio Department of Medicaid who will conduct a site visit with the potential new agency.

Final Approval Letter

Sent via email, the approval will list the DODD contract number, Medicaid provider number, certification effective date, and expiration date.


Tips for a smoother process


Consistency is Key

For consistency, always use your full name. Avoid nicknames or shortening your name in PSM and when submitting required documentation, matching the name on you birth certificate, ID and other documentation submitted.

Choose Services Carefully

In PSM, click Add Services to add services that the agency will provide. Click Withdraw Services and uncheck any service to end the agency’s certification for that service. Be aware that some services may require additional documentation.  

Check Your Work

It sounds simple, but the most common reasons that applications are delayed for review include

  • documents are missing a signature or date where one is required
  • documents scanned and uploaded are too dark or too fuzzy for
    reviewers to read, or
  • the document title does not match the document that was scanned and submitted.