The Differences between a QMHP and a QIDP

Last Updated on July 9, 2021

You may see job listings for QMHP or QIDP. Here are some of the differences and similarities between the two qualifications.

A Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP) refers to someone who has earned a minimum of an undergraduate degree and at least one year of experience working with individuals with mental health disorders. In addition, there are two types of QMHP. There is the QMHP-A and the QMHP-C. The QMHP-A has an undergraduate degree and at least one year of experience working with adults (hence the “A”) while a QMHP-C has at least an undergraduate degree and one year of experience working with children with behavioral disorders or other mental health problems.  A QMHP can have degrees in the following areas (Not limited to this list):

Social Work
Human Services
Early Child Development
Criminal Justice

QMHP certification doesn’t come with an official document in the form of diploma or other form of documentation. It’s more of an implied certification based on what is listed on your resume. Of course, documentation such as a college transcripts or work references may be requested by a future employer for verification. Paid internships may also count toward work experience for new graduates seeking employment.

In Virginia all Qualified Mental Health Professionals (QMHP) must be registered with the  Virginia Board of Counseling as of January 1, 2019. Mental Health services can be denied reimbursement  if the services are provided by a staff that is not registered. It will be interesting to see if other states will follow suit to ensure that mental health service providers have the appropriate qualifications. In addition, all QMHPs have to pay a registration renewal fee each year. So it’s also a revenue generator for the state.  QMHPs will also need to take at least 8 hours of continuing educational  credits to maintain the credential. 

The QIDP is the former Qualified Mental Retardation Professional or QMRP.  This change was approved in 2010 due to  Rosa’s Law, which replaced the term mental retardation with intellectual disability.

The Qualified Intellectual Disability Professional (QIDP) has at least an undergraduate degree and one year working with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. In some cases, five years of experience can substitute for the education requirement. However, advanced clinical positions like case managers and care coordinators require at least an undergraduate degree. The areas of study are pretty much the same as the QMHP qualifications. And like the QMHP, the QIDP does not come with any official documentation or certification that needs to be renewed.

Also unlike the QMHP, the QIDP credential is not separated into categories of children and adults. The QIDP can obtain experience in only children, only adults, or a combination.

The QIDP often takes on roles that require developing service plans and training support staff. These duties often take place in  group homes and Intermediate Care Facilities.

Also See  QMHP Jobs and QIDP Jobs


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Martin Gardner
Thanks for visiting Case Management Basics! Martin Gardner is the founder of and Case Management Basics, LLC. Gardner is a mental health professional with over 20 years of experience in the human services field.

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