Is there a state-endorsed certification process?
Does the state differentiate between Mental Health Peer Support Specialists and Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?
Yes, SUD Peer Support Specialists have a different certification called "Certified Recovery Peer Advocate".
What are the educational requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
High school diploma or equivalent
What are the personal requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Must actively be in recovery from a mental health condition or major life disruption and self-disclose one’s mental health journey to others
What are the professional requirements needed to apply for a peer specialist training program?
2000 hours of peer specialist specific experience is required of the NYCPS, no hours currently required for the NYCPS-P
What are the training requirements to become a Certified Peer Specialist?
Provisional: Completing the 13 Core Courses at the Academy of Peer Services. Full certification: 5 additional elective courses from the Academy of Peer Services are required
What is the average cost for CPS training?
Free (paid for by the State of New York)
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all)
State of New York
Other potential funding sources.

Is there a state-wide certification test?
The Academy of Peer Services has tests after each 'course'. A passing score of 75% or higher is required. Two attempts are allowed per calendar term. If you do not achieve a passing score in two attempts, you can try again on or after the first day of t
What are the personal/professional requirements for certification, if they differ from attending the training?
For the provisional certification: A minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent, with documentation Three references from individuals able to speak to your ability as a peer specialist Full certification: Documentation of 2000 hours of peer support provided under supervision of a qualified supervisor 3 references along with recommendation from current supervisor
Is a background check required? If so, is a criminal record a disqualification for certification?
No background/criminal check is required of certification
What is the cost of the certification test?
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?
"Currently, all fees associated with provisional applications, as well as fees for upgrading to full certification, are being funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health. Application Filing Fee - NYCPS $150 Application Filing Fee - NYCPS-Provisi
Is there a statewide certification body?
Please provide as much information about the certification board/body as possible.
New York Peer Specialist Certification Board 3 Atrium Drive, Suite 205 Albany, NY 12205 (518) 426-0945 [email protected]
Where can information be found for upcoming peer support trainings?
On average, how often are trainings held in your state?
APS courses are offered in three terms per year. Terms run from January to March, May to July, and September to December each year. For exact start and end dates, visit the APS homepage at
Training providers (vendors) and their contact information.
What are the continuing education requirements?
Ten hours per year.
Who tracks CEUs?
Is there a certification requirement for CPS Supervisors? If yes, provide details of requirements and relevant information.

Additional specializations available for certified peer specialists:
Family and Youth Peer Support Peer OMH State Hospital Bridgers Peer Wellness Coaching Peer Crisis Diversion Rights Protection and Advocacy Peer Supported Housing
What are the different acronyms used to distinguish peer supporters and specific peer support specialties?
Certified Peer Specialist -- NYCPS -- works with individuals in the mental health system. ""Certified Recovery Peer Advocate"" -- Substance Use Disorder Peer Support. ""Youth Peer Advocate"" -- YPA -- Individuals between 18-30 who provide support to those experiencing social, emotional, medical, developmental, substance use, and/or behavioral challenges as a young person or receiving services in any one of the child-serving systems (juvenile justice, foster care, special education, or addiction recovery). Administered by Families Together. ""Family Peer Advocate"" -- FPA -- Family Peer Advocates have ‘lived-experience’ as the parent (biological, foster, adoptive) or primary caregiver of a child/youth with a social, emotional, behavioral, mental health, or developmental disability). Administered by Families Together.
Are Certified Peer Specialists services Medicaid reimbursable?
Yes, they may be reimbursed by Medicaid. Services also may be reimbursed to beneficiaries of state health waivers including the NHTD waiver.
How are peer support services paid for by the state? What specific Medicaid waivers are used, if any?
NYS has transitioned to a MCO Medicaid model. "BH HCBS will be available to adults meeting Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) targeting criteria and risk factors in HARPs and HIV SNPs who are found eligible through an assessment."
Is digital peer support available? Medicaid reimbursable?
Due to the COVID19 Pandemic, in 2020: "For those designated CFTSS practitioners of Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR), Family Peer Support Services (FPSS), or Youth Peer Services (YPS) who do not fall under a telehealth regulation, the face–to–face requirement to provide the services is waived whenever clinically appropriate to properly care for the patient, and these practitioners are able to still bill the appropriate corresponding rate."
Is there a statewide Peer Specialist organization?
Yes, specific to NYC: NYC Peer Workforce Coalition
Name of Statewide Peer Specialists Organization*
NYC Peer Workforce Coalition
Peer Specialists Organization Website*
Peer Specialists Organization Primary Contact*
Other relevant/helpful contacts:*

Are there conferences held in the state specifically for Peer Supporters?
Yes. There are multiple conferences. The NYC Conference for Working Peer Specialists (annual since 2006) is coordinated through the Office of Mental Health. NYPSCB (New York Peer Specialist Certification Board) has an annual conference for peer specialists statewide, from 2017 on.
Are there recognition or award opportunities for peer support specialists or Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?

Additional Info*
Support for Peer Providers through the APS Community: Peer Newspaper --
If there are recent changes to the certification process due to COVID-19, are the changes permanent, temporary or other?
The changes are temporary. The NYPSCB COVID-19 Emergency Renewal Assistance Program temporarily suspends the NYPSCB renewal program and immediately renews all NYCPS and NYCPS-Provisional certifications through May 31, 2021.

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