Colorado automatically recognizes any training that educates on the Core Competencies of the Peer Specialist. These standards were set by the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium as well as the Colorado Behavioral Health Council.
High school diploma or GED
Must have history of a substance use disorder and currently engaged in recovery and/or
Must have history of a mental health diagnosis and/or
Must have history of caregiving to a person with a substance use or mental health disorder.
Must have a desire to assist others in their recovery journey.
Must be established in one's own recovery for a minimum of 1 year.
Must have internet access and basic computer skills.
Must commitment to attend and participate in all days of training.
60 training hours specific to the IC&RC Domains, including peer/family specialist specific trainings:
• Hours applied to each IC&RC domain:
- 10 hours: Advocacy
- 10 hours: Recovery/Wellness Support
- 10 hours: Mentoring & Education
- 16 hours: Ethical Responsibility
Note: At least 30 training hours required for certification must be Peer or Family Specialist related. And additional topic areas MUST include: trauma informed care, cultural sensitivity, whole health, substance use, mental health, and family support if not already covered.
Applicant (if training is not provided by employer).
There are some grants potentially available to pay for IC&RC certification, however grants may be time limited and there is no guarantee applications for sponsorship will be accepted.
Applicant must be a Colorado resident 51% of the time to qualify for certification.
Applicant must have:
• 500 hours of work experience (volunteer or paid) specific to the IC&RC domains over a minimum of 6 months.
• 25 hours of supervision specific to the IC&RC Domains must be verified and submitted with the application.
Statement of Lived Experience: A paragraph (250 words or less) briefly describing your lived experience.
No, for IC&RC certification you only test once unless certification lapses.
Any proprietary certification is not necessarily preferred over others by the State of Colorado or any of its departments, assuming the training meets the standards of Peer Support Core Competencies.
However, since these standards meet the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium certification guidelines, IC&RC certification seems to be accepted statewide.
Colorado Providers Association (COPA)
On the websites of individual agencies that offer peer support trainings which meet the Colorado requirements of Peer Support Core Competencies.
Training vendors are not verified by the state. Any training that educates on the Peer Support Core Competencies should be accepted by the regional programs which administer Health First Colorado. For IC&RC certification, the training should be at least 60 hours on the above domains.
I&RC Recertification Hours Requirement:
• 30 hours of continuing education trainings/workshops within the last two years
• Hours should correspond to the IC&RC Domains
• Of the required 30 hours of continuing education, 6 hours of ethics training is required.
Certified Peer Specialist (CPS)
Certified Family Specialist (CFS)
Yes-- Colorado uses its state authority and program (Health First Colorado) to contract with behavioral health organizations to provide recovery support services across the state, generally to users receiving services under a waiver.
For more information on who qualifies to receive 'peer mentorship', contact Health First Colorado.
Colorado contracts its Medicaid program to regional health organizations, requiring them to provide recovery support services, generally to users receiving services under a waiver.
Recovery services are not restricted to face-to-face interventions.
Colorado Mental Wellness Network
Even prior to 2020, IC&RC validated trainings could be "webinars, online self-paced trainings, live conferences and live trainings"