Career Pathways

Personal Support Specialist (PSS)

PSS PDF Download

Description of a PSS

Personal Support Specialists (PSS) are unlicensed assistive personnel employed to provide hands-on assistance with daily living for older adults and people with disabilities.  PSS’s provide services related to a member’s physical requirements for assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), including health maintenance activities, which must be activities the member would otherwise be able to do if physically or cognitively able.  A PSS provides these services according to an authorized plan of care, which can be different depending on where and who they are working with. 

PSS Work Settings and Population Served

  • Works with older adults and persons with disabilities
  • Works with children with disabilities
  • Can work in a residential setting such as assisted living complex or residential care complex, or in a person’s home

Hiring Requirements

A person may not be hired as PSS if that person has ever been:

  • Convicted of a crime involving abuse, neglect or misappropriation of property in a health care setting
  • While working as a CNA, is/was the subject of a complaint involving abuse or neglect  or misappropriation of property- if the complaint was substantiated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and entered on the CNA Registry
  • Convicted within the last 10 years for sexual misconduct, or abuse, neglect or exploitation in a setting other than a health care setting
  • Convicted within the last 10 years for a crime that was punishable by 3 or more years in prison


Be at least 17 years old

Complete the 50-hour PSS training program: necessary for certification




A person who is certified as a PSS can move into the following positions with additional education:

Health Services:

  • CRMA
  • Home Health Aide
  • CNA
  • CNA-M
  • LPN
  • Medical Assistance
  • Nursing Degree

Human Services:

  • MHRT-1
  • CIPS
  • MHRT-C
  • Mental Health Worker
  • DSP