Does your state have peer specialists working in the Mental Health System?: 
Is there a certification process?: 
Are Certified Peer Specialists services Medicaid reimburseable?: 
What are the educational requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?: 

Must have a high school diploma or general equivalency degree

What are the personal requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?: 

Must be someone who has received mental health services for a serious mental illness. A serious mental illness is defined in the mental health bulletin OMH 16-12 (This is a new bulletin isssued 12/16)

What are the professional requirements needed to apply for a peer specialist training program?: 

Within the past three years, must have maintained a job or volunteer position for 12 months, or must have earned 24 post-secondary education credits

What are the training requirements to become a Certified Peer Specialist?: 

Must attend and pass an Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) 10 day (75 hour) approved training

Please list the training providers (vendors) and their contact information.: 

Institute for Recovery and Community Integration

Recovery International: Consulting

In Western PA: Peer Support and Advocacy Network:

What is the average cost for CPS training?: 
between $1300 and $1400
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all): 


Other potential funding sources.: 

Glenn Koons Scholarship through the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers Association.
Funding available through OVR.
For Philadelphia residents only:
Individuals are encouraged to reach out to other organizations such as local NAMI, county MH, and MHA offices as assistance is sometimes available.

On average, how often are trainings held in your state?: 
Varies - trainings often listed at
Additional specializations:: 

Older Adult
Crisis Services
transitional age in development as of July, 2016

Is there a state-wide certification test?: 
Does the certification test need to be taken regularly to maintain certification?: 
No test
Is there a statewide certification body?: 
Please provide as much information about the certification board/body as possible.: 

Certified Peer Specialists in Pennsylvania are now part of the Pennsylvania Certification Board.

What are the continuing education requirements?: 

Recertification requires obtaining 36 hours of CEUs every two years and a $50 two-year recertification fee.

Who tracks CEUs?: 
CEUs are tracked by employers through copies of certificates of completion or, if no certificates are available, any other available proof of attendance (handouts, registration confirmation, etc.)
Is there a peer specialist organization in your state?: 
Organization Name: 
Pennsylvania Peer Support Coalition
Other relevant/helpful contacts:: 

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Ginny Mastrine

Additional Information:

There is a short window of opportunity to be Grandfathered into the process. (March 1, 2018 - August 31, 2018)

The requirements to become grandparented are:
- You must have completed the two-week peer specialist training from one of the recognized training vendors.
- Those two vendors are the Institute for Recovery and Community Integration and RI Consulting.
- Complete the CPS Grandparenting Application and sign and date a Peer-specific code of ethical conduct.
- Signed and notarized release form.
There is no initial cost to peers for obtaining the credential as the grandparenting fee is being underwritten by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS).