Is there a state-endorsed certification process?
Does the state differentiate between Mental Health Peer Support Specialists and Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?
No, APSS can have current or past diagnosis of mental health, substance use, or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders
What are the educational requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
A high school diploma or General Equivalence Diploma (GED) certificate.
What are the personal requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Must be 18 years of age or older. Must have a current or past diagnosis of a mental health, substance use, or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Must have received or be receiving treatment. Must demonstrate a pattern of recovery from a mental health, substance use, or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
What are the professional requirements needed to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Some trainings applications require references from two professional contacts.
What are the training requirements to become a Certified Peer Specialist?
30 hours of training (usually over 5 days) Must successfully complete adult peer support specialist training approved by the department or receive a training waiver for this requirement in accordance with information below. *An individual requesting to waive the adult peer support specialist training shall: A) Provide documentation to the department, on the department’s Web site, of successful completion of an adult peer support specialist training sponsored by a federal entity or by another state that is comparable to the adult peer support specialist training in this administrative regulation; and B) Provide documentation to show that the training has occurred within five (5) years of the waiver request. The department will then review the request to waive the training requirement and will notify the individual in writing within 20 business days. If an individual is denied a training waiver, he or she may complete the adult peer support specialist training.
What is the average cost for CPS training?
Varies by training vendor ($250-400) and often includes all materials, food, and cost for test.
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all)
Individual, some training vendors do offer limited number of scholarships.
Other potential funding sources.

Is there a state-wide certification test?
No state-wide test but written and oral examination is a required as part of each approved training.
What are the personal/professional requirements for certification, if they differ from attending the training?
Upon employment; Regular supervision is required. Supervision meetings must be face-to-face and occur no less than twice per month, with one lasting at least 30 minutes in length. Supervising professional must maintain a written record of supervision that is dated and signed by both professional and PSS and description of meeting.
Is a background check required? If so, is a criminal record a disqualification for certification?

What is the cost of the certification test?
Cost of test is included in training fees.
Does the certification test need to be taken regularly to maintain certification?
No, although some trainings for continuing education may have tests of their own.
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, Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities
Please provide as much information about the certification board/body as possible.
275 E. Main Street 4WG Frankfort, KY 40621 Phone: (502) 564-4456 Fax: (502) 564-9010 Hours: Monday–Friday 8:00 am–4:30 pm ET
Where can information be found for upcoming peer support trainings?
Individual training vendor websites. Can also search DBHDID-TRIS site:
On average, how often are trainings held in your state?
Roughly one a month.
Training providers (vendors) and their contact information.
What are the continuing education requirements?
Complete and maintain documentation of a minimum of 6 hours of related training or education in each subsequent year after successful completion of the adult peer support specialist training or receipt of waiver.
Who tracks CEUs?
"Individual shall submit a list of all trainings in which they participated, the provider or presenter of the training, and the number of hours of each training to the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities every thr
Is there a certification requirement for CPS Supervisors? If yes, provide details of requirements and relevant information.
Professionals eligible to provide supervision: Physician, Psychiatrist, Advanced practice registered nurse, Physician assistant, Licensed psychologist, Licensed psychological practitioner including a certified psychologist or a certified psychologist with autonomous functioning, Licensed clinical social worker, Licensed professional clinical counselor, Licensed marriage and family therapist, Licensed psychological associate, Marriage and family therapy associate, Certified social worker, Licensed professional counselor associate, Licensed professional art therapist, Licensed professional art therapist associate, Professional equivalent working within a CMHC, Licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor, Licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor associate, Certified alcohol and drug counselor, or Psychiatric nurse working in a CMHC.
Additional specializations available for certified peer specialists:
Adult Peer Support Specialist Family Peer Support Specialist Youth Peer Support Specialist Family Leadership Academy
What are the different acronyms used to distinguish peer supporters and specific peer support specialties?
APSS - Adult Peer Support Specialist KFLA - Kentucky Family Leadership Academy FPSS - Family Peer Support Specialist YPSS - Youth Peer Support Specialist
Are Certified Peer Specialists services Medicaid reimbursable?
How are peer support services paid for by the state? What specific Medicaid waivers are used, if any?

Is digital peer support available? Medicaid reimbursable?

Is there a statewide Peer Specialist organization?
Name of Statewide Peer Specialists Organization*
KYSTARS (Kentucky System Transformation - Advocating Recovery Supports) for Mental Health
Peer Specialists Organization Website*
Peer Specialists Organization Primary Contact*
David Riggsby ([email protected]) - Co-Director, KYSTARS | NAMI-Lexington Recovery Enthusiast Kelly Gunning ([email protected]) - Co-Director, KYSTARS | NAMI-Lexington Creative & Operations Director
Other relevant/helpful contacts:*
Cheryl Bogarty [email protected] (502) 564-0823
Are there conferences held in the state specifically for Peer Supporters?
Annual KYSTARS Consumer Conference
Are there recognition or award opportunities for peer support specialists or Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?
Yes, Kentucky Peer Excellence Awards (through KYSTARS for Mental Health) Nominations for: Regional Award, Molly Clouse Lifetime Achievement Award, Super Supporter
If there are recent changes to the certification process due to COVID-19, are the changes permanent, temporary or other?
Some trainings and webinars for are being offered virtually (dependent on training vendor)

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