Peer Specialists

Select at least one.
State Arizona Maryland
Is there a state-endorsed certification process?

There is no specific credential, however the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) has "established training requirements and credentialing standards" for every peer recovery training program.

Yes, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene endorses IC&RC certification as state-wide certification

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

No, both are included in Peer-and-Recovery Support Specialist (PRSS) credentials.

No, self-identification of behavioral health disorder can include mental health and/or substance use disorder.

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

Not all training organizations make this info readily available. However, available information suggests the minimum is a GED or High School Diploma.

Must provide proof of a High School Diploma or a GED (send directly to Maryland Addiction and Behavioral-health Professionals Certification Board)
*May provide college transcripts in lieu of High School Diploma or GED

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

Requirements vary from program to program. Some training organizations require Intake to their program, enrollment in AHCCCS, etc.

At least 18 years of age
Must be a resident in the State of Maryland at least 51% of the time
Must self-identify as a person in long-term recovery from the effects of a behavioral health disorder (mental health and/or substance use disorder) for a period of two years or more

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

Meet the requirements to function as a behavioral health paraprofessional, behavioral health technician, or behavioral health professional.

Min is for behavioral health paraprofessional:
-Minimum of 6 months of Behavioral Health experience required
-High School Diploma/ GED
-Level 1 Fingerprint Card
-CPR/ First Aid
-TB Test

No professional requirements needed to apply for training program / no specific training program to apply as many different training vendors and trainings are offered and accepted to count toward required 46 hours.

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

AHCCCS has minimum curriculum standards that Peer Support Employment Training Program (PSETP) providers must comply with.

Complete 46 total hours of documented behavioral health Peer specific education provided by an MABPCB approved organizational provider within the following 4 domains:
1) Advocacy Domain - 10 hours
2) Ethical Responsibility Domain - 16 hours
3) Mentoring/Education Domain - 10 hours
4) Recovery/Wellness Domain - 10 hours

- Applicants are allowed 12 in-service training hours as part of the 46 hours (must be provided within an agency by an agency employee / in-service training must be domain relevant)
- All applicants are required to complete a minimum of one CORE training
- All training for initial certification must be completed within the last 10 years

What is the average cost for CPS training? Unclear. AHCCCS ACC health Plan or RBHA can pay for training if approved but PSETP providers do not publish costs. "Varies as individuals can choose between different CORE, Online, Domain Specific, and additional trainings. (See chart on pages 6-7 of CPRS manual Core trainings: Free to $1300
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all)

Individual, AHCCCS ACC health Plan or Regional Behavioral Health Agency. Some PSETP are also employers and may pay for employee training.

Depends on training entity - Individual or organization of employment and local state grants.

Other potential funding sources.

Is there a state-wide certification test? Yes, however each PSETP provides a state approved competency exam, which is different from one PSETP to the next. "Yes, IC&RC exam is offered on demand at approved testing centers (computer-based exam) allowing candidates to test on a date and time convenient for them. To qualify for CPRS status, individuals must receive a score of 500 or greater on the 75 multiple c
What are the personal/professional requirements for certification, if they differ from attending the training?


Must complete 500 service hours of documented supervised paid or volunteer peer recovery support experiences in a clinical or community setting, (inpatient, outpatient, institution, residential, community or outreach) within the last 2 years.

- Experiences may be accumulated at multiple service organizations
- 25 of the 500 hours must be documented supervision by a Registered Peer Supervisor
- Must received supervision at least twice per month during 500 service hours
- Supervision hours must be specific to the following categories (5 hours of each): Advocacy, Ethical Responsibility, Mentoring/Education, Recovery/Wellness, General Supervision including Self Care

Documents required for submission with completed application: Copies of all training certifications (amounting to 46 hours), documentation of 500 employment/volunteer hours (on organizational letterhead), personal recovery statement, principles and guidelines, release from NOTARIZED by a Notary Public, Recovery Reference Record, application fee, proof of diploma or GED, Reference Evaluation forms (3) - 1 from sponsor or former counselor and 2 from professions (professor, instructor, former supervisor), and supervision form signed by Registered Peer Supervisor.

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

While there is no background check for the credential, a Level 1 fingerprint check is required to work in a setting reimbursed by Medicaid per the requirements to function as a behavioral health paraprofessional, behavioral health technician, or behavioral health professional.

A background check is not required to become a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS), but an employer may request a background check as part of the hiring process.

What is the cost of the certification test? Appears to be included in training costs but information on costs are not readily available. $125 is the cost of the application fee and exam. If a Peer does not pass the exam on the first try there is a $50 re-examination fee.
Does the certification test need to be taken regularly to maintain certification?

State requires continuing education but no need for retaking certification tests once passed. The credential is "lifetime."

Certification lasts two years, an individual is required to apply for recertification prior to the expiration date of original certification. An individual does not need to retake the exam if they complete recertification prior to expiration or within a year of expiration. Recertification is no longer an option 12 months past the expiration date and an individual must then go though the initial certification process which includes retaking the exam.

Aside from any fees for the training or state-wide certification test, are there other certification fees/costs? No. Recertification fee: $125 (if completed prior to certification expiration) Recertification fee: $125 + $15 for each month past expiration (if recertification is late between one day and 12 months)
Is there a statewide certification body?

No but AHCCCS approves training entities.

Yes, Maryland Addiction and Behavioral-health Professionals Certification Board

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

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)

10807 Falls Rd., #1376,
Brooklandville, MD 21022

Where can information be found for upcoming peer support trainings?

Check each training provider for upcoming provider. No centralized source found.

On average, how often are trainings held in your state? Varies across the state according to region. Several trainings per month
Training providers (vendors) and their contact information.

This list is provided by AHCCCS.

Arizona Complete Health / 480-689-1995 /

CHEEERS / 602-246-7607 /

CODAC / 520-327-4505 /

Community Bridges, Inc. / 877-931-9142 /

ConnectionsAZ / Phoenix 602-476-7600;Tucson 520-301-2400 /

COPA Health / 480-969-3800 /

Coyote Task Force / 520-884-5553 /

Crossroads / 602-263-5242 /

Four Directions, LLC. / 480-699-2344 /

Health Choice Arizona / 800-322-8670 /

Hope Lives/Vive La Esperanza / Phoenix 855-747-6522;Flagstaff 928-440-5002 /

HOPE, Inc. / 520-770-1197 /

La Frontera, EMPACT / 520-884-9920 /

Lifewell / 602-808-2822 /

MIKID / 602-253-1240 /

NAMI Southern Arizona / 520-622-5582 /

NAZCARE / 928-442-9205 ext. 0 /

NCADD Phoenix / 602-264-6214 /

Recovery Empowerment Network (REN) / 602-248-0368 /

Resilient Health / 877-779-2470 /

RI International / 866-481-5361 /

Southwest Behavioral & Health Services / 602-265-8338 /

STAR / 602-685-1296 /

Terros Health / 602-685-6000 /

The Guidance Center / 928-527-1899 /

Transitional Living Center (TLCR) / Casa Grande 520-423-9941;Yuma 928-261-8668 /;

University of Arizona / 520-621-1642 /

WholeLife Community / 602-899-1033 /

List of approved trainings and Organizational Providers Listing:

What are the continuing education requirements?

At least 2 hours per year.

Individuals must acquire 20 hours of MEBPCB approved peer recovery specialist specific education over the two year certification period (from same list of trainings available to initial certification process). Of these 20 hours, 6 hours minimum must be an Ethical Consideration course.

Continuing Education Requirements are required for recertification along with holding a current and valid CPRS certificate issued by MABPCB, verification of reviewed, read and willingness to uphold by practice the MABPCB Principles and Guidelines for Certification Peer Recovery Specialists, and completion of the re-certification application and payment of associated fee.

Who tracks CEUs? Individuals, contractors and/or employers. Individuals, reports them to MABPCB prior to certification expiration date in process of applying for re-certification
Is there a certification requirement for CPS Supervisors? If yes, provide details of requirements and relevant information.

None found. Peer Support Specialists are supervised by individuals qualified as Behavioral Health Technicians or Behavioral Health Professionals.

Yes, to become a Registered Peer Supervisor an individual must meet one of the following criteria and provide supporting documentation from their current employer:
a. At least one year of supervision to Peer Recovery Specialist; or
b. 6 months of clinical/administrative supervision in a Behavioral Health setting; or
c. Hold a CPRS certification for at least 1 year

Complete 6-hour Peer Supervision training approved by MABPCB, complete application and submit all subsequent documentation for approval and authorization, $50 fee to MABPCB.

Complete 6-hour Supervisor Refresher course every 2 years in order to maintain RPS status.

Suggested that individual or group Peer supervision be provided bi-weekly.

Additional specializations available for certified peer specialists:

Forensic Peer (Integrated Forensic Peer Recovery Specialist) - endorsement training provides educational support for the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist seeking knowledge, skills, and abilities in assisting individuals who have been involved with the criminal justice system.
Family Peer (CPRS-Family) - CPRS’ and family members will be offered specialized training to provide peer support to family members.

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

There is only the PRSS - Peer-and-Recovery Support Specialist.

CPRS: Certified Peer Recovery Specialist
RPS: Registered Peer Supervisor
i-FPRS: Integrated Forensic Peer Recovery Specialist
CPRS-F: Certified Peer Recovery Specialist-Family

Are Certified Peer Specialists services Medicaid reimbursable?

Yes, complies with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)requirements for delivery of Peer Supports Services per CMS memo SMDL #07-011. Peer specialists must be employed through a qualified provider for services to be reimbursable.


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

Arizona funds many peer support services through an 1115 Waiver.

Medicaid waivers:
MD Community Pathways (0023.R07.00)
MD Community Supports Waiver (MD.1506.R01.00)
MD Family Supports Waiver (MD.1466.R01.00)
MD Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities Amendment (MD-01.R02)

Is digital peer support available? Medicaid reimbursable?

It varies from region to region.


Is there a statewide Peer Specialist organization?


Name of Statewide Peer Specialists Organization

Maryland Peer Advisory Council

Peer Specialists Organization Website

Peer Specialists Organization Primary Contact

(775) 800-6722

Other relevant/helpful contacts:

AHCCCS has a list of Peer-Run Organizations.

Monica White, (443) 722-8803, Peer Committee Chair (MABPCB)

Are there conferences held in the state specifically for Peer Supporters?

NAMI Arizona holds an annual meeting and includes programs geared towards peers and peer support specialists.

BHA Conference ($55 to attend)
NAMI MD Conference ($75 to attend)
On Our Own Conference ($80-310)
Peer Networking Conference (Free)
Peer Summit (Free)
Tuerk Conference ($85)

Are there recognition or award opportunities for peer support specialists or Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?

Of the 8 different regional health plans, many hold conferences and award recognition at various times. There is no statewide award or recognition.

BHA Carroll Conquest Award & Recovery Month Carroll Conquest Award, Corliss Jones Peer Service Award, & Shining Star Peer Award.

Helpful Websites/ References

Additional Info

Adelaide Weber at

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

MABPCB will waive extra lapsed fee for people late to re-certifying.
Virtual training has been implemented with interactive capabilities.
Testing for Peer Certification has resumed with implementation of social distancing in accordance with State of Maryland mandates.
MABPCB is accepting electronic submission of applications.