Is there a state-endorsed certification process?
Does the state differentiate between Mental Health Peer Support Specialists and Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?
No, CPSS may be people with lived experience with mental health and/or substance use disorder.
What are the educational requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Completion of a high school or GED or higher degree
What are the personal requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Must be 19 years of age Must be a lawfully present in the United States and provide documentation Self-identify as a current or previous consumer of behavioral health services who have been successful in their own recovery, or as a parent/legal guardian or primary caretake of an individual who receives or has received behavioral health services. Attestation of a minimum of one year of recovery and as having lived experience is required within the application.
What are the professional requirements needed to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Applicants must read and agree to abide by the Nebraska CPSS Code of Ethics as indicated by applicant's digital signature on the online CPSS Application.
What are the training requirements to become a Certified Peer Specialist?
"Complete and provide certification of completion of State of Nebraska Division of Behavioral Health (DBS) Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) approved Peer Support Core Curriculum training. Training is made up of 60 hours of 13 domains and associated competencies and must include 10 hours of Ethics with 40 of the 60 hours being live interactive hours. (Domains: Engagement; support; lived experience; personalize peer support; recovery planning; resources, services & supports; health, wellness & recovery skills; crisis management; communication; collaboration & teamwork; leadership and advocacy; professional growth & development; ethics) *Training must be complete within 12 months immediately prior to the date of the application for the CPSS certification"
What is the average cost for CPS training?
Cost of training is determined by the approved providers.
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all)
Other potential funding sources.

Is there a state-wide certification test?
"Yes, applicants must pass the IC&RC Peer Recovery Examination within six months from the date the IC&RC emails the applicant with notification of approval to test and test registration links. Applicants who do not pass the IC&RC Peer Recovery exam can r
What are the personal/professional requirements for certification, if they differ from attending the training?

Is a background check required? If so, is a criminal record a disqualification for certification?
Applicant must complete the Adult and Child Protective Services Portal Registry background check information. If applicant is on the APS/CPS registry, the State will be unable to issue a certification. It is encouraged to contact the APS/CPS office at 402-471-9272 to request information on removal and expungemnet of records. The application includes a question about whether an applicant has any misdemeanor or felony convictions. The Office of Consumer Affairs and Division of Behavioral Health understand and value lived experience as a provider of peer services and a conviction does not automatically disqualify applicants from obtaining certification.
What is the cost of the certification test?
IC&RC charges $100.00 fee to take the exam (fee to retake test is also $100)
Does the certification test need to be taken regularly to maintain certification?
Aside from any fees for the training or state-wide certification test, are there other certification fees/costs?
No fee for application. Fee for training and test.
Is there a statewide certification body?
Please provide as much information about the certification board/body as possible.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509 402-471-7736
Where can information be found for upcoming peer support trainings?
On the approve training provider websites:
On average, how often are trainings held in your state?
At this time there isn't a set schedule for courses.
Training providers (vendors) and their contact information. Peeriodical Nebraska Peer Support Training Phone: 402-314-9387 Email: [email protected] Website: Approved Trainers: Danielle Smith, CPSWS; Sadie Thompson, CPSWS; Retha Knapp, CPSWS; Jenn Nelson Community Alliance Peer Support Specialist Training Phone: 402-341-5128 Email: [email protected] Website: Approved Trainers: Dr. Lilchandra Sookram, Ph.D.; Mary Ahern, CPSWS; Jon Thomsen, CPSWS; Joel Schneider, CPSWS
What are the continuing education requirements?
A renewal application is required every 2 years that includes having completed 20 hours of continuing education units in order to stay up to date on new and current evidence-based practices. These can be as in-person classes, webinars, or online classes. *Any misdemeanor or felony incurred while certified as a CPSS will need to be reported in writing to the OCA within 30 days of the date of the occurrence.
Who tracks CEUs?
Individuals are responsible to tracking and self-reporting their hours to OCA.
Is there a certification requirement for CPS Supervisors? If yes, provide details of requirements and relevant information.

Additional specializations available for certified peer specialists:
The former certification (State of Nebraska-issued Certified Peer Support and Wellness Specialists) may be grandparented into the new Certified Peer Support Specialist credential. *Individuals who currently hold CPSWS and have worked or volunteered a minimum of 500 hours in the last 12 months immediately preceding the submission of their application can submit the online grandfather application with a signed copy of your job description signed by supervisor. Individuals who are approved to be grandparented, do not have to take the training but do still need to take and pass the IC&RC test within 90 days of receiving the email from the IC&RC providing exam registration details.
What are the different acronyms used to distinguish peer supporters and specific peer support specialties?
CPSS - Certified Peer Support Specialist (new certification) CPSWS - Certified Peer Support and Wellness Specialists (This is the old recognition which is still recognized but is no longer current State of Nebraska-issued certification)
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?
Medicaid - State Plan Amendment # 16-0009 Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services received a second SAMHSA Grant recently related to COVID-19, which some funds will be allocated to peer-run and peer-support services.
Is digital peer support available? Medicaid reimbursable?
Is there a statewide Peer Specialist organization?
Name of Statewide Peer Specialists Organization*
The Nebraska Coalition for Peer Delivered Services, (The Wellbeing Initiative)
Peer Specialists Organization Website*
Peer Specialists Organization Primary Contact*
(402) 314-9387 [email protected]
Other relevant/helpful contacts:*

Are there conferences held in the state specifically for Peer Supporters?
Certified Peer Support Conference
Are there recognition or award opportunities for peer support specialists or Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?

Additional Info*
Office of Consumer Affairs Contact: Brenda Moes 402-471-7721 [email protected]
If there are recent changes to the certification process due to COVID-19, are the changes permanent, temporary or other?

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