Is there a state-endorsed certification process?
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.
Does the state differentiate between Mental Health Peer Support Specialists and Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?

What are the educational requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
High school diploma or GED
What are the personal requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
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.
What are the professional requirements needed to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Must have internet access and basic computer skills. Must commitment to attend and participate in all days of training.
What are the training requirements to become a Certified Peer Specialist?
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.
What is the average cost for CPS training?
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all)
Applicant (if training is not provided by employer).
Other potential funding sources.
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.
Is there a state-wide certification test?
Yes, assuming the peer support specialist desires Colorado Providers Association/IC&RC certification.
What are the personal/professional requirements for certification, if they differ from attending the training?
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.
Is a background check required? If so, is a criminal record a disqualification for certification?

What is the cost of the certification test?
Total Cost: $295 $50 to begin an application, which must be completed within a year of starting the application. $245 application completion fee includes committee review and examination fee. All fees are nonrefundable. https://www.coprovidersassocia
Does the certification test need to be taken regularly to maintain certification?
No, for IC&RC certification you only test once unless certification lapses.
Aside from any fees for the training or state-wide certification test, are there other certification fees/costs?
Is there a statewide certification body?
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.
Please provide as much information about the certification board/body as possible.
Colorado Providers Association (COPA)
Where can information be found for upcoming peer support trainings?
On the websites of individual agencies that offer peer support trainings which meet the Colorado requirements of Peer Support Core Competencies.
On average, how often are trainings held in your state?

Training providers (vendors) and their contact information.
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.
What are the continuing education requirements?
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.
Who tracks CEUs?
Peers must track and submit certificates of attendance.
Is there a certification requirement for CPS Supervisors? If yes, provide details of requirements and relevant information.

Additional specializations available for certified peer specialists:

What are the different acronyms used to distinguish peer supporters and specific peer support specialties?
Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) Certified Family Specialist (CFS)
Are Certified Peer Specialists services Medicaid reimbursable?
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.
How are peer support services paid for by the state? What specific Medicaid waivers are used, if any?
Colorado contracts its Medicaid program to regional health organizations, requiring them to provide recovery support services, generally to users receiving services under a waiver.
Is digital peer support available? Medicaid reimbursable?
Recovery services are not restricted to face-to-face interventions.
Is there a statewide Peer Specialist organization?
Colorado Mental Wellness Network
Name of Statewide Peer Specialists Organization*

Peer Specialists Organization Website*

Peer Specialists Organization Primary Contact*

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*

If there are recent changes to the certification process due to COVID-19, are the changes permanent, temporary or other?
Even prior to 2020, IC&RC validated trainings could be "webinars, online self-paced trainings, live conferences and live trainings"

We Want to Hear From You

If you have any additional information or updates you would like seen on our site, click on "Share Helpful Information." We’re always trying to improve our content. Click on "Give Us Your Feedback” to let us know how we’re doing.