Is there a state-endorsed certification process?
Yes, Advocacy Unlimited's Recovery Support Specialist RSS Training and Certification is the only state authorized training program.
Does the state differentiate between Mental Health Peer Support Specialists and Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?
RSS application does ask if individual has direct, lived experience of addiction or receiving addiction services.
What are the educational requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
RSS Application asks if individual as High School Diploma or GED equivalent but doesn’t state if it is a requirement
What are the personal requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Must have direct, lived experience of receiving mental health services and/or mental health hospitalization over the course of your life and the experiences have seriously impacted your life and relationship for an extended time. (Peer is defined as ""an individual who has experienced a significant behavioral health condition as defined by the DSMIV-R to the extent it interfered with one or more major life functions and required treatment for at least one year"") Must be willing to use your lived experience as part of your role as a Recovery Support Specialist
What are the professional requirements needed to apply for a peer specialist training program?
One letter of reference is needed with application.
What are the training requirements to become a Certified Peer Specialist?
The course is an 80-hour advanced training and certification course. It is typically offered two times per week, 6 hours each day with computer based and between class assignments. Curriculum Outline: - Module 1 - Foundations for RSS (State of Affairs and Recovery Movement History) -Module 2 - The RSS Role (Honoring RSS Core Values and Sharing Your Recovery History) -Module 3 - Effective and Empathic Communication (Empathy & Hope and Active Listening) - Module 4 - Partnering and Mutuality (Personal Agency, Mutuality & Working with Others and Partnering, Boundaries, & Ethical Considerations) Module 5 - Day to Day (Intentional Peer Support and Wellness Recovery Action Planning); Module 6 - Advocacy (Advocacy & Working with Families & Groups); Module 7 - Community & Natural Resources (Community Resources Day and Legislation & Legal Issues); Module 8 - Comprehension (Peer Modalities, Group Facilitation Practice and Taking care of yourself, Group Facilitation Practice); Module 9 - Final Review & Course Eval. 50 hours of training are specific to the domains, with at least 10 hours in the domains of Advocacy, Mentoring/Client Education and Recovery/Wellness Support and at least 16 hours in the domain of Ethical Responsibility and 4 hours of electives
What is the average cost for CPS training?
Recovery University Course Fee (RSS) - due when acceptance letter is received: $100.00
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all)
Other potential funding sources.

Is there a state-wide certification test?
Yes, Recovery Support Specialist Course Final Examination/Certification Exam It is the IC&RC Peer Recovery Exam
What are the personal/professional requirements for certification, if they differ from attending the training?
Must agree to abide by and sign the Peer Recovery Code of Ethics statement. The CPRS code of ethics serves to: 1) Protect consumers of recovery support services; 2) Set a professional standard; 3) Increase confidence in the profession; 4) Identify core values which underlie the work performed; 5) Create accountability among CPRS professionals; 6) Establish occupational identity and maturity It includes 25 hours of supervision specific to the domains of Advocacy, Mentoring/education, Recovery/Wellness Support, Ethical Responsibilities provided by an organization's documented and qualified supervisor per job description and 500 hours of volunteer and/or paid work experience specific to the domains
Is a background check required? If so, is a criminal record a disqualification for certification?
There are not required background checks but employment agencies hiring may require and conduct background checks based on their established criteria.
What is the cost of the certification test?
RSS Certification Exam Fee $75.00 IC&RC PR CBT Exam $150.00
Does the certification test need to be taken regularly to maintain certification?
Re-testing only required if you let your certification expire.
Aside from any fees for the training or state-wide certification test, are there other certification fees/costs?
Application Processing Fee $25 CRPS Application filing fee $150.00
Is there a statewide certification body?
Yes, Advocacy Unlimited Inc.
Please provide as much information about the certification board/body as possible.
Advocacy Unlimited, Inc. is a peer run non-profit organization based in Connecticut. Over the past 20 years, we have remained innovative as we’ve grown from a small mental health rights initiative into a nationally-recognized non-profit organization that provides education, advocacy and support through non-clinical and holistic engagement. Advocacy Unlimited Inc. [email protected] Main office: 114 West Main Street, New Britain, CT 06051 Local: (860)505-7581 Toll free in CT: 1-800-573-6929 Hartford Office: 399 Franklin Ave., Hartford, CT 06114 Local: (860)296-2338
Where can information be found for upcoming peer support trainings?
Emailing Latosha ([email protected])
On average, how often are trainings held in your state?
3-4 times per year throughout the state.
Training providers (vendors) and their contact information.
Recovery University through Advocacy Unlimited Inc. [email protected] Main office: 114 West Main Street, New Britain, CT 06051 Local: (860)505-7581 Toll free in CT: 1-800-573-6929 Hartford Office: 399 Franklin Ave., Hartford, CT 06114 Local: (860)296-2338
What are the continuing education requirements?
Annual Renewal Requirements: 10 hours of continuing education specific to peer recovery, including 3 hours of ethics, is required for each year the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist wishes to renew
Who tracks CEUs?
"Individuals are responsible for tracking their continuing education credits, filling out the re-certification form with the information, and submitting it to Latosha Taylor. ([email protected]) An Individual must complete CEU and report/
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?
RSS: Recovery Support Specialist CPRS: Certified Peer Recovery Specialist
Are Certified Peer Specialists services Medicaid reimbursable?
Yes, Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services supports Advocacy Unlimited Inc. in training and certifying Recovery Support Specialists in Peer Delivered Services under the new Medicaid Waiver program
How are peer support services paid for by the state? What specific Medicaid waivers are used, if any?
The Mental Health Waiver Program, authorized in §1915(c) of the Social Security Act, allows the State to furnish an array of home and community-based services that assist Medicaid beneficiaries to live in the community and avoid institutional care. Waiver services complement and/or supplement services available to participants through the Medicaid State plan and other federal, state and local public programs as well as natural supports that families and communities provide. Peer services are also funded through grants administered by DMHAS (Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services).
Is digital peer support available? Medicaid reimbursable?

Is there a statewide Peer Specialist organization?

Name of Statewide Peer Specialists Organization*

Peer Specialists Organization Website*

Other relevant/helpful contacts:*
Questions about certification process: Jeff at [email protected]
Are there conferences held in the state specifically for Peer Supporters?
Peer Forum at Advocacy Unlimited and the Karuna Conference
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?

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