Is there a state-endorsed certification process?
Does the state differentiate between Mental Health Peer Support Specialists and Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?
No, the state's definition of peer support specialist includes both; "self-identified individual currently or formerly receiving addictions or mental health services".
What are the educational requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?

What are the personal requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
18 years or older. Individual training agencies might have their own requirements. OR Rule 410-180-0305 (13) Peer Support Specialist means an individual providing services to another individual who shares a similar life experience with the peer support specialist (addiction to addiction, mental health condition to mental health condition, family member of an individual with a mental health condition to family member of an individual with a mental health condition. A peer support specialist shall be: (a) A self-identified individual currently or formerly receiving addictions or mental health services; (b) A self-identified individual in recovery from an addiction disorder who meets the abstinence requirements for recovering staff in alcohol or other drug treatment programs; (c) A self-identified individual in recovery from problem gambling.
What are the professional requirements needed to apply for a peer specialist training program?
In lieu of 40hr approved training a certification can be gained by: Provide documentation that you have worked or volunteered as a peer support specialist for at least 2000 hours in Oregon from January 1, 2004 to June 30, 2019. OR Provide documentation that you are certified by a group other than the Oregon Health Authority that requires completion of an approved training program and at least 20 hours of continuing education every three years
What are the training requirements to become a Certified Peer Specialist?
Complete all required training offered by an approved 40-hour training program for peer support specialists by specialization. (PSS) Complete all required training offered by an approved 80-hour training program for that individuals traditional health worker (THW) type such as the Peer Wellness Specialist (PWS) Complete an approved oral health training
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all)
Other potential funding sources.

Is there a state-wide certification test?
No, various organizations, agencies and institutions have their own training programs but the state has no certification test. State approves training programs
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?
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?
No Registration fee. Registration documents can be obtained ""in other languages, large print, braille…free of charge"" Background check required but state pays the fee.
Is there a statewide certification body?
Yes, an individual's certifications are approved through Oregon Health Authority's Traditional Health Worker Certification program
Please provide as much information about the certification board/body as possible.
The purpose of the Traditional Health Worker (THW) program is to help THWs in Oregon become trained and certified to meet current standards, diversify the health care workforce, provide high-quality and culturally competent care to our increasingly diverse populations and ultimately promote health equity. THW Registry Office of Equity and Inclusion 421 SW Oak St., Suite 750 Portland, OR 97204 Phone: 971-673-1240 Fax: 971-673-1128 TTY: 711 All Contacts
Where can information be found for upcoming peer support trainings?
Visit Oregon's Traditional Health Worker website. This website hosts all Traditional Health Worker training information however not all upcoming training will be relevant to peer support.
On average, how often are trainings held in your state?
Once monthly to once quarterly.
Training providers (vendors) and their contact information.
Visit Oregon's Traditional Health Worker website ( and search for "peer" in table provided by the state
What are the continuing education requirements?
20 hours of continuing ed every 3 year renewal period. They cannot be carried over if more hours are done.
Who tracks CEUs?
Individual provides written verification indicating that the certificate holder meets the applicable requirements for continuing education
Is there a certification requirement for CPS Supervisors? If yes, provide details of requirements and relevant information.
No certification requirement per se but supervision requirements are as below per OAR 309-019-0105 “Peer Support and Peer Wellness Specialist Supervision"" means supervision by a certified PSS or PWS with at least one year of experience as a PSS or PWS in behavioral health services or supervision by a qualified PSS/PWS supervisor and a qualified clinical supervisor. The supports provided include guidance in the unique discipline of peer delivered services and the roles of peer support specialists and peer wellness specialists. “Peer Delivered Services Supervisor"" means an individual qualified to evaluate and guide PSSs and PWSs in the delivery of peer delivered services and supports. This individual shall be a certified PSS or PWS with at least one year experience as a PSS or PWS.
Additional specializations available for certified peer specialists:
PSS: A Peer Support Specialist is any [range of] individuals who provide supportive services to a current or former consumer of mental health or addiction treatment. (From ORS 414.025) PWS: A Peer Wellness Specialist is an individual who has lived experience with a psychiatric condition(s) plus intensive training, who works as part of a person-driven, health home team, integrating behavioral health and primary care to assist and advocate for individuals in achieving well-being.
What are the different acronyms used to distinguish peer supporters and specific peer support specialties?
PSS: Peer Support Specialist PWS: Peer Wellness Specialist
Are Certified Peer Specialists services Medicaid reimbursable?
Yes, eligible to be reimbursed through Medicaid for your services if you work for an agency that can bill Medicaid, coordinate peer support within the context of a comprehensive, individualized plan of care, and are supervised by a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP)
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*
Mental Health & Addiction Association of Oregon is not specifically an organization of peer specialists, however they are an 'inclusive peer-run organization dedicated to self-direction honoring the voice of lived experience' and one of the services they offer is Peer Support for Peer Support Specialists.
Peer Specialists Organization Website*
Peer Specialists Organization Primary Contact*
P: 503-922-2377 F: 503-922-2360
Other relevant/helpful contacts:*
Abdiasis "Mohamed" Mohamed, Traditional Health Worker Program Coordinator: [email protected]
Are there conferences held in the state specifically for Peer Supporters?
Yes, Mental Health & Addiction Association of Oregon holds an annual conference called "Peerpocalypse".
Are there recognition or award opportunities for peer support specialists or Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?

Additional Info*
Oral Health Training: Free online option available through Mental Health & Addiction Certification Board of Oregon (
If there are recent changes to the certification process due to COVID-19, are the changes permanent, temporary or other?

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