Making Sense of California’s RCFE Medication Training Requirements

The medication training requirements of Health and Safety Code Section 1569.69 took effect January 1, 2008, requiring direct care staff in California Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) to comply with new, expanded training requirements when assisting residents with self-administration of medications.

Because nearly all RCFE’s provide medication assistance to their residents, these new requirements have been getting a lot of attention over the past several months. But, unfortunately, the somewhat complicated requirements of H&S Code 1569.69 can be difficult to apply to the myriad staffing plans, administrator qualifications, and other scenarios encountered in facilities.

Care & Compliance Training

The good news is that Community Care Licensing issued an official information release in mid-December-you can find the release here-which addresses most questions providers have in a “Frequently Asked Questions” format. All RCFE administrators will want to become familiar with the official release and ensure they are in compliance with H&S Code 1569.69. For your convenience, here is a quick recap of a few of the major points:

1.     What training is required?

H&S Code 1569.69 requires staff training on medications for any RCFE staff member that will assist residents with self-administration of medications. However, the exact requirements vary based on the size of your facility.

If your facility is licensed for 16 or more residents, the staff training must include:

  • 8 hours of initial training or instruction (covering the nine medication topics in 1569.69) within the first two weeks of employment
  • 8 hours of hands-on shadowing training in the facility prior to assisting residents with self-administration of medications
  • An examination that tests the employee’s comprehension of and competency in the nine medication topics
  • 4 hours of in-service training on medication-related topics every 12 months

If your facility is licensed for 15 residents or less, the staff training must include:

  • 4 hours of initial training or instruction (covering the nine medication topics in 1569.69) within the first two weeks of employment
  • 2 hours of hands-on shadowing training in the facility prior to assisting residents with self-administration of medications
  • An examination that tests the employee’s comprehension of and competency in the nine medication topics
  • 4 hours of in-service training on medication-related topics every 12 months

2.     Who must take the training?

All RCFE staff members that will assist residents with self-administration of medications, including the administrator (if he/she provides assistance), must complete the training requirement. However, licensed medical professionals (e.g. RN, LVN, MD) do not have to complete the training requirement.

Purchase the current California RCFE Compliance Manual

3.     Who can conduct the training?

H&S Code 1569.69 also specifies requirements for the individual conducting the medication training. First, they must have completed a minimum of five hours of initial, or certified continuing education, or three semester units, or the equivalent, from an accredited educational institution, on topics relevant to medication management. This training could be completed by taking the appropriate continuing education course.

They must also have two years full-time experience, within the last four years, as a consultant, administrator, or direct care staff member with expertise in medication management.

Alternatively, if the trainer is a licensed medical professional (e.g. RN, LVN, MD) they are qualified to conduct the training.

4.     Can the training be completed by taking a live or online course?

Yes! The four or eight hours (depending on facility capacity) of initial training can be completed by attending a course led by a qualified trainer. Care and Compliance Group offers an online med aide training course that can be used to meet this portion of the requirement. However, the required hands-on shadowing training must be done in your facility. If you need assistance completing the shadowing, our consultants are available to assist; call us at (800) 321-1727.

5.     Is that everything I need to know about H&S Code 1569.69?

Unfortunately, no. There is actually quite a bit more to it, including modifications to your plan of operation that must be submitted to licensing, and a few other details. So be sure to read the official CCL information release as well as the full text of 1569.69. And if you still have questions, please feel free to call us at (800) 321-1727.

27 Responses to “Making Sense of California’s RCFE Medication Training Requirements”

  1. Well, this new training has been sometime in the making and we’ve plently of ‘heads-up’ about it.
    Frankly it’s long overdue. The shadow element requires only 8 hours. I have required 40 hours of all new employee’s for years.
    While it’s a hassle for large places to get this up to speed it’s a good reg.

  2. I personally think after completing the 40-hour Administrator and 8-hour Medication training classes that the latter can be incorporated with the first by efficient use of time management. The extra 8-hour class only adds more frustration to the exasperating experience a RCFE facility applicant already endures in terms of the long wait before a facility get licensed by the state. Meantime, our poor elderlies are becoming victims of the less-effective care offered by overwhelmed, understaffed and expensive facilities.

  3. Can someone on G-tube remain in RL? If not, what would be your recommendation in order for the resident to stay in her own apartment?

  4. Thank you David and Filipina for your comments. Alex…feel free to call us anytime at the office to discuss your question: (800) 321-1727.

  5. I took the 8 hr medication training course and as a new administrator, working on getting licensed, where do I get the 8 hr shadowing?

  6. Does anyone know where to take the 8 hours medication training and the 8 hours shawdowing? I want it somewhere at North California area.

  7. What are the physical/medical requirements for a caregiver –
    heart conditions, diabetes , hepatitis, age, weight etc…
    Thanks

  8. if you fulfill these education and shadowing requiremtns and pass the test, are you given a certain certificate or license as a med tech? can you do this to attempt to obtain employment in the industry if you find someone who will provide the shadow hours.

  9. SAME QUESTION AS JON, ABOVE.

    “if you fulfill these education and shadowing requiremtns and pass the test, are you given a certain certificate or license as a med tech? can you do this to attempt to obtain employment in the industry if you find someone who will provide the shadow hours??

    Can someone answer this question.

  10. Hi Esmeralda. Unfortunately, no, California regulations do not create a “certification” after this training is completed. The training would simply need to be documented in the employee file.

  11. I am a resident of an assisted living facility. I have various concerns, over what is allowed and what not, therefore I am thinking about doing the RCFE my self. I am in southern CA. My question is, considering the circumstances, is this wise? For example, can anyone at all provide me the exact URL for medication management at the facility I’m at? (L.A. county) What requires a dr. order, and what’s doesn’t? Is there any urls for sites where the RCFE, “hang out” I have so many questions…………..

  12. I have a question about Adult Residential Facility. I work in ARF for over 20 years and have a minimum of five hours of medication training. Can I teach my staff’s and shadowed them also?

  13. i just want to ask because im applying as a CNA in one facility and they asked if i have a medication certificate. I found this site and im planning to take it so i can show them that i have certificate. Do you think they will approved this and let me work or i need/have to shadow in a facility before i get certificate?

  14. Hello Rizelle. If the facility is an RCFE, the training and shadowing must be provided in the facility.

  15. I was wondering how do I become a medication trainer for RCFE facility?

  16. Hello Elena. If you meet the qualifications in #3 above you are able to provide the training.

  17. need to take a medication administer class for employment where in san diego ca do they offer one

  18. where in san diego can i get my medication cert.

  19. Hi! Just wandering can I do hands on and shadowing first then the theory training and test ?

  20. Hello Gabrielle… It is preferable to do the classroom (“theory”) training first, but it is not mandatory.

  21. Hello Josh – My question is a little different ( I think!!) I would like to know if once you’ve taken and passed the med training, how often do you then need to retake the test and can you do so on line???

  22. I found that the CALIFORNIA ASSISTED LIVING MED AIDE TRAINING MANUALpurchased from CCL covers ALL the necessary information needed to complete this training with your staff, a Trainers Manual, A Student Workbook, Videos, a Competency 16hr verification checkoff form, Review Questions, a Final Exam 1, and Final Exam 2 prepares your employees with the best information and confidence initially, then after that Ron’s Pharmacy provides the necessary 4hrs needed annually.

  23. Hello Shauna… You do not have to retake the exam. You just have to complete four hours of continuing education related to medications each year.

    Cynthia…Thank you!

  24. Hi Josh,

    Is the private caregiver (paid) of our Independent Living resident allowed to assist
    the resident with his medications?

  25. This question is for Josh Allen. I would like to know if this training can be applied to group homes with clients that are D.D.

    If so I would like some infromationn sent to my email address, we would like to order your program.

    Thank You,

  26. Hello Mark. Yes, we have a version of this training program for clients that are DD. I will have someone from my office contact you right away.

  27. How would I submit proof of shadowing?

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