Navigating the New California Regulations for Residential Care Facility Administrators

These new standards for RCFE administrators in California mark a significant increase in the role of the administrator and an effort to give administrators more authority as well as more accountability.

Industry Update

The demand for new units in the senior living industry could exceed 200,000 by 2025, a number that is not achievable at the current pace of construction. This estimate is based on a recent article by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) that emphasizes the upcoming shortage of new development.

California Enhances Oversight in Elder Care through Updated Administrator Regulations

In elder care, the safety and wellbeing of seniors largely depend on the quality and adherence to regulations by facility administrators. Recognizing their pivotal role, California has revamped the rules for Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs), effective as of July 10, 2023, under California Health & Safety Code § 1569.616.

Enhanced Certification Training for Administrators

Key among these changes is the mandate for administrators to undertake a state-approved certification training program before starting their duties. 

Educational Requirements and Exceptions

Although all administrators are generally required to fulfill these new educational standards, there are exceptions – notably for licensed nursing home administrators who can skip certain parts of the certification.

Comprehensive Training Program

The updated regulations require a minimum of 80 hours of training, encompassing a wide array of vital subjects such as legal and regulatory issues, business management, staff supervision, understanding the psychological needs of the elderly, medication and dementia care, sensitivity towards the LGBTQ+ community, and residents’ rights.

Certification Process

Candidates must pass a state-conducted exam after completing their training. This training program will be updated every two years.

Ongoing Education and Renewal

Administrators are also now required to renew their certificate every two years, which includes completing 40 hours of continuing education.

Enhanced Accountability and Legal Consequences

In addition to the training, the revised regulations impose greater accountability on administrators. They are taking this quite seriously. In fact, Illegally claiming to be a certified administrator is now a criminal offense. 

Stringent Vendor and Course Oversight

The Department of Social Services has expanded its supervisory role over training providers, ensuring that approved programs adhere to California’s rigorous educational standards. This includes overseeing both physical and digital course formats.

Overall Impact

These new standards for RCFE administrators in California mark a significant increase in the role of the administrator and an effort to give administrators more authority as well as more accountability.

How these higher professional requirements affect the availability of jobs in elderly care for those who are committed to this area will be revealed over time. 

Your experiences and concerns regarding these new regulations are welcome and valuable for understanding their real-world implications. I would like to hear from you if you have experienced problems with or have concerns about these new requirements.

The information herein is intended to be educational and an introduction to the subject matter presented. Despite any statutory or regulatory references cited in the article above, it is NOT specific legal advice to be relied upon for specific individual circumstances. Contact your own legal professional or reach out to our firm if you would like specific advice on this topic.

Look for additional blog posts on topics of interest to Assisted Living, Group Homes, and Behavioral Health operators. We welcome topic suggestions! Write to [email protected] if you are curious to learn more about a certain topic impacting assisted living or other group housing concerns.

Experience the Impact of the National Association

RAL Success Starter Packet

A collection of resources to help the residential assisted living professional maximize profitability and elevate care. Get this free packet which includes instruction related to Dealing with HOAs, Memory Care, Senior Health and Wellness, RAL Marketing, Home Tours, and Dementia.

What You Do for Seniors Matters

This packet is filled with practical and actionable steps to help you do good and do well. Where should we send your copy?