IDD/MI Dual Diagnosis Specialist Certification

Developed in association with The National Association of State
Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS)

NADD developed the NADD Competency-Based IDD/MI Dual Diagnosis Specialist Certification Program to improve the quality and effectiveness of services provided to individuals with a dual diagnosis through the development of competency-based professional standards and through promoting ongoing professional development.  

Specialist certification through NADD validates and provides assurance to people receiving services, professional colleagues, employers, and third-party payers that a specialist has met the standards established by NADD for providing services to individuals with IDD/MI.  Certification attests to the specialist’s competency in providing these services. 

Specialists who receive NADD certification will be entitled to use to use “NADD-DDS” as a credential. 

A Specialist in the field of dual diagnosis is defined as an individual who delivers, manages, trains and/or supervises services for persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental health needs.  Staff working in units of county, state or provincial government, QIDPs, program directors, program supervisors, case/care managers, program specialists, supports coordinators, peer specialists, trainers and others are examples of roles that can apply for the Specialist certification.

An overview of the Specialist Certification Program is available in the Executive Summary.  For greater detail, see the Program Manual.

The Specialist seeking certification is required to demonstrate mastery of six competency areas.

NADD Membership Requirement

Organizations seeking accreditation and individuals seeking certification must have NADD membership in order to qualify.

Individuals who work for an organization that has a NADD organizational membership are considered members for this requirement. 

Be sure to have your individual or organizational NADD membership number when you are completing your application. 

If you do not know your membership number, you may call the NADD office at 800-331-5362 for assistance. 


The cost of Specialist Certification is payable in the form of a non-refundable exam fee at the time of application, as follows:

  • $200 for employees of a NADD-Accredited Organization
  • $275 for employees of an organization that is not NADD-Accredited

Renewal cost is as follows:

  • $50 for employees of a NADD-Accredited Organization
  • $75 for employees of an organization that is not NADD-Accredited

Specialist Certification is vaild for two years

There is a continuing education requirement of 10 hours every 2 years in Mental Health & Wellness for persons with IDD