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Licensing and Certification Program

COVID-19 CNA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Professional Certification Branch has prepared this list of FAQs to assist stakeholders with questions about temporary waivers of specific requirements for CNAs and applicants due to the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The information provided here is based solely on the CDPH's All Facilities Letters (AFLs) and the Governor's Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 state of emergency. For general information about the licensing and certification process, please visit the Licensing and Certification Program's webpage.

Initial Certification

I am enrolled in an approved certification training program, but have not received my certificate from the California Department of Public Health, can I work?

A nurse assistant enrolled in an approved certification training program may continue to be employed throughout the declared emergency for more than three (3) months after the start date of employment. (See AFL 20-35.2)

I am unable to complete my training or competency testing, what do I do?

A nurse assistant may delay completion of the training program and competency testing until after the end of the declared emergency but is encouraged to complete the program as training programs resume. (See AFL 20-35.2)

A nurse assistant who has not completed the training program shall only render services at the competency level confirmed by the training program on a competency checklist to be shared with the facility. (See AFL 20-35.2)

I am unable to get tested for tuberculosis; can I work?

Due to the current state of emergency, a nurse assistant enrolled in an approved certification training program or competency evaluation program may provide patient care prior to having a test for tuberculosis infection. The nurse assistant shall complete the test for tuberculosis infection as soon as practicable but no later than thirty (30) days after the expiration of the state of emergency. (See AFL 20-35.2)

What should I do if I have not been able to get live scanned?

CNA applicants who submitted an initial application without a completed Live Scan form due to the previous inability to obtain Live Scan services must submit a completed Live Scan form (BCIA 8016) (PDF) as soon as practicable, but no later than sixty (60) days after the publication of this AFL. (See AFL 20-35.2)

What happens if I don't get a live scanned by the deadline?

If CDPH does not receive a copy of a completed Live Scan form (BCIA 8016) (PDF) showing that an applicant has completed this requirement in the timeframe provided, the status of the CNA's record will be changed to inactive and the CNA will not be allowed to work until this documentation is received.  (See AFL 20-35.2)

Renewal Certification

Can I renew my certificate during the state of emergency?

All CNAs are encouraged to renew following normal timelines.

I am unable to complete my in-class in-service training/CEUs, what should I do?

A CNA seeking certificate renewal may complete any of the forty-eight (48) required hours of in-service or continuing education units at any time during the two-year recertification period and may complete all the required 48 hours through online or distance learning formats.  (See AFL 20-35.2)

Expired Certification

My certificate has expired within the last two (2) years. Can I work as a CNA?

If your certification expired no earlier than March 30, 2018, or will expire during the state of emergency, and your status remains "employable during state of emergency" you may work as a CNA for the duration of the declared emergency without renewal.  (See AFL 20-35.2)

All facilities must check CDPH's online verification page to verify employment eligibility. Only those CNAs with a status of "active" or "employable during state of emergency" may be employed  (See AFL 20-35.2)

My has certificate expired. Can I complete the CEU requirements after the expiration date on the certificate?

A CNA who remains in an "employable during state of emergency" status will be allowed to complete in-service or continuing education units and count them towards renewal of the certification. Any of the forty-eight (48) hours of in-service and continuing education may be completed through online or distance learning formats.  (See AFL 20-35.2)

My certificate expired within the last two (2) years and I have not satisfied the work requirement. Can I renew my certificate?

The work requirement has been waived. You may complete your In-service/CEUs and submit your renewal package for review.  (See CMS Waiver, revision 09/29/2020) (PDF)

My certificate has been expired for more than two (2) years. Can I work as a CNA?

At this time, CDPH has not waived or offered any flexibility for individuals whose certificates have been expired for over two years.  (See AFL 20-35.2)

Address Change

Do I need to report an address change during the state of emergency?

A CNA must notify CDPH of a change of address as soon as practicable, but no later than 30 days after the expiration of the state of emergency.  (See AFL 20-35.2)

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