Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions about
the process by which service providers are authorized to become
providers of services and supports for the people with
developmental disabilities and their families who are served by a
regional center. This document has been adapted from content
published by the California Department of Developmental Services
(DDS) to be more specific as to the HRC process.
Q:1. What is vendorization and what is its purpose?
A:Vendorization is the process for identification, selection, and
utilization of service providers based on the qualifications and
other requirements necessary in order to provide services to
consumers. The vendorization process allows regional centers to
verify, prior to the provision of services to consumers, that an
applicant meets all of the requirements and standards specified
in regulations. Applicants who meet the specified requirements
and standards are assigned a unique vendor identification number
and service code.
Q:2. Are service providers vendored by DDS or regional centers?
A:DDS does not vendor service providers. Service providers are
vendored by the regional center in whose catchment area the
service is located, known as the vendoring regional center.
Although vendors are prohibited from being vendored by more than
one regional center, a vendored service provider may be utilized
by non-vendoring regional centers, known as “user” or “utilizing”
regional centers, as well as the vendoring regional center. The
vendor identification number assigned by the vendoring regional
center must be used by all regional centers purchasing the
vendored service (Title 17,
Sections 54326(a)(14) and 54340(a)).
Q:3. What are the different roles of the Department and regional
centers in vendoring service providers?
A:The vendoring regional center is responsible for ensuring that
the applicant meets licensing and Title 17 requirements for
vendorization, determining the appropriate vendor category for
the service to be provided, and approving or disapproving
vendorization based upon their review of the documentation
submitted by the applicant. Although not involved in the
vendorization process, the Department does establish rates for
community-based day programs and respite agencies after
completion of vendorization.
Q:4. What documentation do I need to submit to the regional
center when requesting vendorization?
A:In addition to a Vendor Application (Form DS 1890), and
the Applicant/Vendor Disclosure Statement (Form DS 1891),
applicants must submit the documentation specified in Title 17,
Section 54310. Contact your local regional
center for a vendorization package.
Q:5. If I meet all of the requirements, must a regional center
A:A regional center must vendor an applicant who meets all the
requirements for the service to be provided if the service is to
be provided in that regional center’s catchment area. While a
program cannot be denied vendorization due to a perceived lack of
need for the service by the vendoring regional center,
vendorization in no way obligates that regional center to
purchase service from that vendor. (Title 17, Section 54320)
Q:6. How long might the vendorization process take?
A:Once a potential service provider has obtained all necessary
licenses, submitted a complete application and all necessary
documentation to the vendoring regional center, the regional
center has 45 days to approve or disapprove vendorization. (Title
17, Sections 54320, 54322, 54380)
Q:7. Do I have to be vendored by each regional center that uses
A:No. You must be vendored by the regional center in whose
catchment area you are located only. Once vendored, any regional
center may refer consumers to that program.
Q:8. How can I determine in which regional center’s catchment
area my program/service is located?
A:Location for site-based programs is determined based upon the
address of the program site. For programs which are conducted
solely in the community, location is determined based upon the
vendor’s business address. (Title 17, Section 54340)
Q:9. Does my program have to be licensed?
A:Most site-based programs have to be licensed by the Departments
of Social Services or Health Services (Title 17,
Sections 54342, 56740, 56760(a)(1)).
Q:10. Where do I find Day Care & Residential Facility licensing
A:Department of Social Services’ licensing requirements may be
found in Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations. For
Department of Public Health licensing requirements, call
Q:11. What are community-based day programs?
A:Community-based day programs are programs which provide
services to individuals on less than a 24-hour basis in the
community. Per regulations, only activity centers, adult
development centers, behavior management programs, independent
living programs, infant development programs, and social
recreation programs are community-based day programs.
Requirements for community-based day programs are discussed in
Title 17, Sections 56710 through 56774.
Q:12. What are miscellaneous services?
A:Miscellaneous services are goods or services which are not
similar to any of the descriptions of goods or services specified
in regulations. A new miscellaneous service code must be
requested by the regional center and approved by the Department
prior to vendorization of that service. Once a miscellaneous
service code has been established for a specific good or service,
that service code may be utilized by any regional center if
required to meet consumer(s) needs. (Title 17,
Q:13. What is the importance of a vendor number or a service
A:The vendor number provides an identification number unique to
each vendor. The service code identifies the type(s) of service
provided by that vendor. The vendor number and service code are
assigned for the purpose of identifying providers of a specific
type(s) of service and allowing tracking of expenditures by
vendor and/or service type.
Q:14. Are regional centers restricted to purchasing services from
vendored service providers only? Are there exceptions?
A:Yes. Regional centers are prohibited from referring any
consumer to an applicant until the vendor application is approved
and cannot reimburse a vendor for services provided before
vendorization. However, if the regional center determines that
the health or safety of a consumer is in jeopardy, and no current
vendor is available to provide the needed service, the regional
center may approve emergency vendorization. (Title 17,
Sections 50612, 54324, 54326(c)(4))
Q:15. What is emergency vendorization?
A:Emergency vendorization allows a regional center to approve
vendorization of an applicant prior to completion of the
vendorization process if the regional center determines that the
health or safety of a consumer is in jeopardy and no current
vendor is available to provide the needed service. If emergency
vendorization is approved, the applicant may provide services for
no more than 45 days, after which the emergency vendorization
will lapse if the regional center does not approve vendorization
within 45 days of the initial authorization. If a lapse of
emergency vendorization occurs, the vendor will not be allowed to
reapply for emergency vendorization. (Title 17,
Q:16. If I move my program within the same regional center
catchment area, what must I do?
A:You must notify the vendoring regional center, in writing, at
least 30 days prior to the change in location. Keep in mind that
the new location must be licensed before being used, so this must
be figured into your timeframes. (Title 17, Section 54330)
Q:17. If I move my program into a new regional center catchment
area, what must I do?
A:You must notify the current vendoring regional center, in
writing, at least 30 days prior to the change in location. Keep
in mind that the new location must be licensed before being used,
so this must be figured into your timeframes. You must contact
the new regional center in whose catchment area you will be
moving to begin the vendorization process for a new vendor.
(Title 17, Sections 54310, 54330)
Q:18. Can State employees or regional center employees be
vendored to provide services to regional center consumers?
A:Officers or employees of the State of California and regional
center employees generally may not be vendored to provide
services to consumers. Some exceptions may apply. Please contact
DDS directly at 916-654-2300 for additional information. (Title
Sections 54314, 54500, 54505, 54510, 54511, 54512, 54520, 54521, 54522, 54523, 54524, 54525)
Q:19. If I open a new/additional location(s), do I have to submit
a new vendor application and request a new rate for the new
A:Yes. Each location must be separately licensed and vendored and
a new rate must be established for the new/additional
location(s). (Title 17, Sections 54340
(a)(1)(A), 54302, 54306, 54308, 54310, 54312, 54314, 54316, 54318, 54319, 54320, 54322, 54324, 54326, 54327, 54327.1, 54327.2, 54330, 54332)
Q:20. Can I contract out for some of my direct care services?
A:Yes, you may under certain circumstances. Any consultants,
subcontractors or community resources must be identified on the
vendor application submitted to the vendoring regional center.
Subcontracting is allowed where the unique needs of a consumer
can only be met by a licensed professional not available on
program staff, and must be approved by the regional center.
Sections 54310, 56710, 56756, 56772, 58524)
Q:21. What appeal rights do I have?
A:A service provider may appeal the denial of vendorization by a
regional center, and perceived non-compliance with the
vendorization regulations by regional centers, or the setting of
a rate by the Department. There are also appeal provisions for
audits. It is probably best to refer to regulations for the
specifics of each type of appeal. (Title 17, Sections:
appeals, 54380, 54382, 54384, 54386, 54388, 54390;
appeals, 57940, 57941, 57942, 57944, 57946, 57948;
appeals, 50730, 50731, 50732, 50750 50751, 50752, 50753, 50754, 50755)