START Coordinator Certification

What is a START Coordinator?

A START Coordinator is a masters-level professional who plays a vital role on a START Clinical Team. A START Coordinator does not replace any member of an existing system of support. Rather, they collaborate and facilitate change through the way they understand, interact with, and respond to the individuals and systems they serve. Based on the premise that there is no value in expertise if it is not shared with others, START Coordinators continuously share knowledge with teams and systems in an effort to build capacity. The ultimate goal of a START Coordinator is to help the individual and system achieve stability making START services unnecessary. The way in which this goal is accomplished is through providing specialized support, assessment and intervention that builds on the principles and approaches of START.  Each of the following roles are fulfilled by the START coordinator depending on the unique needs of the individual service user and their team. These roles require the Coordinator to draw on a variety of character strengths and to identify ways to highlight these character strengths in others.

START Coordinator Certification

Coordinator certification ensures that each START coordinator can expertly and effectively implement the START model. Achieving the rigorous training and practice standards set by the Center for START Services, as part of the well-respected University of new Hampshire Institute on Disability/UCED, verifies fidelity to the mission, values, principles and approaches utilized within the START model. Additionally, certification validates expertise and specialized knowledge in the field of MH/IDD. Being a certified START coordinator affords opportunities to contribute to the broader field through valuable practice evaluation and networking opportunities.

START Coordinator Certification Curriculum

The START Coordinator Certification Curriculum was developed to ensure that all START team members are proficient in the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective specialists in the mental health aspects of IDD. The START Coordinator Curriculum consists of three main elements: the START Coordinator Certification Course, Coordinator Training Group participation; and active START coordination.

START Coordinator Certification Course

This online course consists of over 40 recorded trainings and reading assignments that provide in-depth training on the mental health aspects of intellectual and developmental disabilities and the START model, including overviews of the specific assessments, tools, and approaches utilized by START coordinators. The curriculum was developed by the Center for START Services, UNH faculty, and START Network partners from across the country and is intended to provide a conceptual framework from which to build upon. The curriculum is asynchronous, meaning that coordinators may access it at any time they choose from any location with an internet connection

START Coordinator Training Groups

Coordinator training groups are synchronous (live, interactive) online learning forums facilitated by CSS staff that are designed to deepen a coordinator’s understanding and application of the content presented in the coordinator certification course. 

Active START Coordination

Direct application of the START approach is vital to fully integrating the curriculum content and facilitated Training Group discussions into daily work.

Certification Renewal Information

START Coordinator Certification must be renewed every 2 years. The purpose of certification renewal is to ensure that all START Coordinators remain informed of current research, training, and best practices in the context of the START model. Coordinators must submit a Certification Renewal Application to the Center for START Services within the 24th month of certification (early applications will be accepted if submitted within the last 6 months of active certification). 

Renewal Document Quick Links