Professional Development

big sister comforting little sister

Certification for Early Intervention Specialists (CEIS)

The EI Specialist Certification Program is designed to assure the quality of personnel providing EI supports and services to families. It is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

This section contains a variety of information, materials, and resources related to the Certification Program. Support and information about certification are also available at the program level or by consulting the Certification Office.

Contact: Susan Breen, Certification Coordinator

What is Certification for Early Intervention Specialists?

Certification is a process of assuring professional quality to families and the field.

Who needs to be certified?

Any professional who works 20 or more hours in an early intervention program as a staff member, a consultant or a fee for service employee is required to become certified within three years of his/her date of hire.

How do I become certified?

There are two ways to CEIS:

  1. Submit a portfolio that documents your ability to master the Early Intervention Specialist competencies. CEIS 2012 specifies eight competency areas. The Early Intervention Specialist competency indicators are designed to be cross-disciplinary and to match the role expectations of a service coordinator across all aspects of early intervention. For more information about the certification process, including portfolio development, see the Certification for Early Intervention Specialists page. Each portfolio is reviewed by a portfolio review panel comprising an Early Intervention administrator, a parent or family member of a child with a disability, and an Early Intervention Specialist. The panel is responsible for reviewing your portfolio and making a recommendation. The recommendation will be one of the following: (1) the applicant is certified, (2) the applicant needs to submit additional information, or (3) the applicant needs a Professional Development Plan.


  2. Complete a Department of Public Health Approved higher education program. You can apply for Provisional Certification with Advanced Standing upon graduating from a DPH-approved higher education program. After you complete 1440 hours of employment (not including your practicum and internship hours), you can apply for and receive standard Early Intervention Specialist certification (CEIS). The approved early intervention programs of study are administered by Bay Path University, Lesley University, Northeastern University, MGH Institute of Health Professions, and University of Massachusetts-Boston.
Back to top