EASY as PIE: The RCFE Administrator's Certificate

With over 8,000 Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) in California, there is a market for certified RCFE Administrators; each facility must have one (Title 22, §87405).  Given that 80% of the RCFEs in San Diego and Imperial counties are in the 1-to-6 bed category,  what does it take to become a certified Administrator of a six-bed1 facility?   The short answer is – not much.

The applicant has to be 21 years old, take a certification course from a state-approved vendor, get fingerprinting and have a criminal background check, then pass the state-administered test.  In about a month, start to finish, and with less than $700 in out-of-pocket expenses, any Applicant meeting these requirements can now run an RCFE, caring for your dad, mom, husband, wife or grandparents.

And Title 22 does not require that an Administrator of a 6-bed facility have any experience or background providing residential care for the elderly, or any specific knowledge of geriatrics,  gerontology, medicine, health care, or related skills.   With prior experience not a requirement, the Administrator learns the ropes solely on-the-job.

The requirements necessary to become a small-capacity RCFE Administrator are nearly the same as required for other high-school-diploma-only jobs (i.e. general maintenance and repair workers, refuse and recycle collectors, and bill collectors) with one major difference:  the RCFE Administrator is responsible for the care, supervision and quality-of-life issues of vulnerable residents.

1. California’s Title 22 has progressively stair-stepped qualifications to become an Administrator of larger facilities, and individual Licensees may set a higher bar for their Administrator hires