Is there a state-endorsed certification process?
Does the state differentiate between Mental Health Peer Support Specialists and Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?
Yes, CPSS is for mental health peer support; people with substance use disorders may become CPSS if it is a co-occurring disorder with a mental illness. For substance use specifically, the Idaho Board of Alcohol/Drug Counselor Certification, INC. (IBADCC) offers certifications as Certified Peer Recovery Coach.
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?
Lived experience of mental illness or mental illness with co-occurring substance use disorder. Must be very well grounded in recovery, practice self-care regularly, and have a genuine desire to work in this field. Must have at least one ongoing and continuous year in recovery from mental illness or co-occurring disorders. Must submit 2 letters of reference with application for training - letter must be written by individuals who have been part of the individual's mental health recovery process. Must have strong encouragement to read the training guide carefully and completely and take the self-assessment at the end of the guide to ensure individuals are pursuing a career that is a good fit for them.
What are the professional requirements needed to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Must have email address and access to computer. Training applications are completed online and an email will be sent following submission of application to schedule a time for a phone interview. Phone interviews are about 30 minutes and allow the training entity to get to know individual and their qualifications through casual conversation. Must be comfortable reading, writing, and using a computer. Must be willing to work productively as a team member with other mental health provider staff. Must have ability to access reliable transportation for attending work and visiting peers' homes. Must read and understand the Peer Support Specialist Training Guide. Must read and agree to abide by the Idaho Certified Peer Support Specialist Ethics.
What are the training requirements to become a Certified Peer Specialist?
40 hours of training. Training facilitators use attendance, participation, and demonstration of strength in recovery to evaluate trainees on their readiness to become a certified peer support specialist. Those who successfully demonstrate their strength in recovery and understanding of the training material, have participated openly and willingly, and have attended 100% of the training sessions are eligible to take the training comprehension exam on the last day of training. Individuals must attend 100% of training sessions and pass the training exam with a score of 80% or greater to be eligible for peer support specialist certification in Idaho.
What is the average cost for CPS training?
Roughly $500.
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all)
Other potential funding sources.
Training entity encourages applicants who have a relationship with an employer, Vocational Rehabilitation, or a private sponsor to inquire about financial assistance to attend the training if they are not able to pay out of pocket.
Is there a state-wide certification test?
"No but there is a comprehension exam on the final day of training that must be passed with 80% or greater. If an individual does not successfully pass the comprehension exam with 80% or greater, they must retake the exam within 4 weeks of training comple
What are the personal/professional requirements for certification, if they differ from attending the training?
Following training, individuals are eligible to apply for peer support specialist certification through BPA Health using the 6-month PCSS certification application. If approved, certification will be awarded for a 6 month certification which allows individual to apply for and bill for peer support services. The individual will have 6 months to complete 20 hours of supervision (by a degreed professional in a human services field who holds supervisory capacity at their organization) and 100 hours of work and/or volunteer experience if the individual has a bachelor degree or higher in a human services field or 200 hours of work/volunteer experience if an individual only has a high school diploma or GED. Extensions are available if an individual needs longer than 6 months to complete supervision and work hours. Upon completion of hours, the individual's supervisor will submit verification of hours and individual will be awarded full 1-year certification.
Is a background check required? If so, is a criminal record a disqualification for certification?
Individuals must confirm that they are able to pass a criminal background check prior to apply to the training, although the training does not require individuals to submit a background check with training application. Passing a criminal background check is required to work with vulnerable adults in Idaho and most likely will be a condition of individuals' employment as a Certified Peer Support Specialist. Individuals may not be able to pass a background check if they have had a felony in the last 5 years even if it is not a disqualifying offense. For question regarding ability to pass a background check contact the Criminal History Unit 208-332-7990.
What is the cost of the certification test?
Included in the cost of training.
Does the certification test need to be taken regularly to maintain certification?
No. The comprehension exam only needs to be repeated if it was not passed with 80% or higher or if the training need to be repeated.
Aside from any fees for the training or state-wide certification test, are there other certification fees/costs?

Is there a statewide certification body?
Yes, BPA Health
Please provide as much information about the certification board/body as possible.
BPA HEALTH CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS Address: 8050 W. Rifleman St., Ste. 100, Boise, ID 83704 Phone: (800) 486-4372 E-mail: [email protected]
Where can information be found for upcoming peer support trainings?

On average, how often are trainings held in your state?
Trainings are several times throughout the year, in multiple locations, recently online training has been approved.
Training providers (vendors) and their contact information.
Idaho Behavioral Health Path to Prime - Jess Wojcik LIFE Counseling Center
What are the continuing education requirements?
Must earn 10 hours of continuing education annually with at least 1 hour in ethics. Continuing education may be in the form of webinars, classroom-based education or training, or workplace training.
Who tracks CEUs?
"Individual is responsible tracking hours and for submitting certificates of attendance along with a document listing the topic/title of the training, who provided the training, and how many hours they participated in it. They must submit this informatio
Is there a certification requirement for CPS Supervisors? If yes, provide details of requirements and relevant information.
No, there does not appear to be a certification requirement for CPS supervisors. Supervision hours for certification must be completed by a supervisor defined as "a degreed professional in a human services field who holds supervisory capacity at their organization"
Additional specializations available for certified peer specialists:
Certified Family Support Partners
What are the different acronyms used to distinguish peer supporters and specific peer support specialties?
CPSS: Certified Peer Support Specialist CFSP: Certified Family Support Partners
Are Certified Peer Specialists services Medicaid reimbursable?
Yes, under Managed Care through Optum Idaho.
How are peer support services paid for by the state? What specific Medicaid waivers are used, if any?
Most agencies in Idaho that provide Peer Support Specialist services and received state or federal funds or reimbursements from third party payers do require peers to be certified.
Is digital peer support available? Medicaid reimbursable?

Is there a statewide Peer Specialist organization?
Name of Statewide Peer Specialists Organization*
Empower Idaho
Peer Specialists Organization Website*
Peer Specialists Organization Primary Contact*
Anna Guida - Project Manager 208-947-4289 [email protected] Claudia Ordonez-Landry - Project Coordinator 208-947-4289 [email protected] Erin Moore - Project Assistant 208-947-4298 [email protected]
Other relevant/helpful contacts:*
Path to Prime training contact person: Jess Wojcik [email protected] (970) 570-1972 To learn about CFSP training, please contact: Life Counseling Center Paige Howard [email protected] (208) 465-5433 Strengthening Villages Rebekah Forster-Casey [email protected] (208) 415-0308
Are there conferences held in the state specifically for Peer Supporters?
Yes, Peer Support Connection Conferences
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?
Trainings may be temporarily offered online. Contact training entities to ask about online training options.

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.