Is there a state-endorsed certification process?: 


Does the state differentiate between Mental Health Peer Support Specialists and Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?: 

No, CPS can be individuals with their own lived experience of mental health and/or substance use challenges.

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

A high school diploma or G.E.D. certificate

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

At least 18 years old
Must have own lived experience of a mental health and/or substance use challenges

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

Must apply to training. Applications for each training close with the application deadline or when 50 applicants are received. After applications close, trainers will review applications and may call applicants to conduct a phone interview and will select 14-18 training participants.

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

Once accepted to the training, the attendee must attend the full training and demonstrate a basic understanding of the materials presented and the skills needed in a peer specialist. Successful completion of the training will award the attendee a training certificate which is required when applying for certification.

What is the average cost for CPS training?: 
Training is offered free of cost. $50 fee for test and $50 for recertification every two years.
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all): 

Individual must pay for test fee - no other fees

Other potential funding sources.: 

Is there a state-wide certification test?: 
Yes, competency-based certification exam (through University of Wisconsin Milwaukee School of Continuing Education)
What are the personal/professional requirements for certification, if they differ from attending the training?: 

Preferred Skills/Experiences:
-Computer skills (internet, email, web)
-Group facilitation or co-facilitation experience
-Knowledge of a variety of methods of creating wellness/recovery plans, and a variety of methods of teaching others to create their own plan
-Basic knowledge of how to assist peers with locating community resources (i.e. employment, housing, health, peers delivered services)
-Work or volunteer experience providing peer support

Is a background check required? If so, is a criminal record a disqualification for certification?: 

What is the cost of the certification test?: 
$50 (this is the only cost associate with becoming CPS)
Does the certification test need to be taken regularly to maintain certification?: 


Aside from any fees for the training or state-wide certification test, are there other certification fees/costs?: 
Only fees required are test (for initial certification) and renewal fee of $50
Is there a statewide certification body?: 

Yes Three entities work together for certification: Wisconsin Peer Specialists Org, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education.

Please provide as much information about the certification board/body as possible.: 

Wisconsin Department of Health Services
1 West Wilson Street
Madison, WI 53703

General phone number: 608-266-1865


Where can information be found for upcoming peer support trainings?: 

Wisconsin Peer Specialists Website: https://www.wicps.org/trainings/

On average, how often are trainings held in your state?: 
A few per month
Training providers (vendors) and their contact information.: 

Wisconsin Peer Specialists
3810 Milwaukee Street
Madison, WI 53714
Toll Free: 800-362-9877
Local: 608-242-8484

UW Milwaukee School of Continuing Education
161 W Wisconsin Ave, 6th and 7th Floors
Milwaukee, WI 53203
1-800-222-3623 or 414-227-3200

What are the continuing education requirements?: 

20 total hours required every 2 years. A minimum of 1.5 hours is required in each of the following six categories: Cultural Humility, Ethics and Boundaries, Substance Use Specific, Mental Health Specific, Trauma-Informed Care, and Peer Specialist Specific. The remaining 11 hours may be in any category of the person's choosing as long as it relates to the peer specialist role.

Who tracks CEUs?: 
Individuals are responsible for tracking their CEUs. Recertification documents including information about 20 completed CEU and $50 renewal fee are due by August 30th every two years. The Wisconsin Peer Specialist [Org] sends out emails of CEU opportuniti
Is there a certification requirement for CPS Supervisors? If yes, provide details of requirements and relevant information.: 

Additional specializations available for certified peer specialists:: 

Certified Parent Peer Specialist - an individual with experience raising a child with behavioral health challenges trained to utilize their experience navigating services in support of other parents

What are the different acronyms used to distinguish peer supporters and specific peer support specialties?: 

CPS: Certified Peer Specialist
CPPS: Certified Parent Peer Specialist

Are Certified Peer Specialists services Medicaid reimbursable?: 

Yes but it depends on the program or agency the CPS is employed with and if they provide services that are reimbursed by Medicaid. Services not reimbursed by Medicaid include Peer Run Respites, Peer Run Organizations and others.

How are peer support services paid for by the state? What specific Medicaid waivers are used, if any?: 

Certification was developed and written from funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Medicaid Infrastructure Grant #93.768.
Services are paid through Medicaid if they are offered through a program or agency approved for Medicaid reimbursement. Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus under Wisconsin Admin. Code § DHS 101.03(96m)

Is digital peer support available? Medicaid reimbursable?: 

Is there a statewide Peer Specialist organization?: 

Name of Statewide Peer Specialists Organization: 

Access to Independence, Inc.

Peer Specialists Organization Website: 
Peer Specialists Organization Primary Contact: 


Jason Beloungy
Executive Director

Tim S.
Peer Specialist Program Manager

Other relevant/helpful contacts:: 

Are there conferences held in the state specifically for Peer Supporters?: 
Are there recognition or award opportunities for peer support specialists or Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?: 

Additional Info: 


Tim Saubers
Peer Specialist Program Manager

If there are recent changes to the certification process due to COVID-19, are the changes permanent, temporary or other?: 

Trainings are online for the remainder of the year.
Exams are now offered online with hope to resume in-person exams by September 2020.
Recertification (annual) deadline of August 30th now has a 6-month extension with a new deadline of February 28th, 2021 for individuals whose certification expires this year. The deadline will return to normal in the future - those that renew this year by February 28th, 2021 will also have typical renewal date of August 30 in the year of 2022.