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What are the requirements to become a National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS)?

The NCPS certification lets peer specialists demonstrate that they have exceptional skills, knowledge, and experience in peer support and ensures employers and pays that they are hiring to the same high standard no matter where they are in the country.
The NCPS is an examination-based, legally defensible certification. To be approved to sit for the NCPS examination, applicants must meet the following requirements:
  • A minimum of 3,000 hours supervised work and/or volunteer experience providing peer support within the past six years;
  • Current state certification with a minimum training requirement of 40 hours OR hold a certificate of completion of an MHA approved training program;
    • Current approved trainings include:
    • RI International Peer Employment Training
    • Institute for Recovery and Community Integration Certified Peer Specialist Training
    • DBSA Peer Specialist Training
    • Project Return Peer Support Network's Peer Professional Training & Placement Program
    • NorCal MHA WISE U Peer Support Training Academy
    • Appalachian Consulting Group Peer Specialist Core Recovery Curriculum
    • Intentional Peer Support
  • One professional letter of recommendation for certification;
  • One supervisory letter of recommendation for certification;
  • Attest to lived experience; and
  • Agree to be bound by NCPS Code of Ethics

Once approved, the three hour 125-question examination based on NCPS core competencies must be taken at an approved testing site or using our virtual testing platform. Accommodations are available as needed. A passing score on the examination is 76 percent.

To maintain the certification, NCPSs must complete 20 hours of continuing education per each 2-year renewal period.

Learn more about the NCPS and start your application here