Is there a state-endorsed certification process?
Does the state differentiate between Mental Health Peer Support Specialists and Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?
What are the educational requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Demonstrate reading and writing comprehension.
What are the personal requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Over 18 years of age. Self-identify as a person with lived experience with mental health or substance use services, or be a parent or legal guardian of a child (under the age of 18) with lived experience with mental health or substance use services. If applicable, be in mental health or substance use disorder recovery for at least one year.
What are the professional requirements needed to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Demonstrate qualities of leadership. Be willing to share your personal story of recovery. Complete online prerequisite training (between 10-12 hours).
What are the training requirements to become a Certified Peer Specialist?
Successfully complete the online pre-requisite course. Apply and be accepted as a possible training applicant. Successfully complete an Health Care Authority (HCA)-approved in-person training. Pass the written and oral state exam. HCA-approved Certified Peer Counselor trainings, standard behavioral health and youth and family are 5 days long (36-40 hours).
What is the average cost for CPS training?
There is no cost for the peer counseling training, training materials, or the test. Trainings that are offered regionally provide snacks and lunch, while statewide trainings also provide lodging and all meals.
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all)
Trainings may be sponsored either by the State of Washington or a Managed Care Organization (MCO) or BH-ASO. All known training dates and locations are listed on the website. Trainings sponsored by agencies other than DBHR may limit trainings to participants in their region or other specific criteria
Other potential funding sources.

Is there a state-wide certification test?
"Yes, the oral and written tests are coordinated by HCA's Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) and the trainers. They will be scheduled as part of the training agenda and usually occur on the last day of your training. Your trainers will prov
What are the personal/professional requirements for certification, if they differ from attending the training?
After having successfully passed the exam, one is considered “Qualified to be a Certified Peer Counselor.” To be officially considered a Certified Peer Counselor requires registering with the Washington State Department of Health as an Agency Affiliated Counselor. This requires one to be employed by a community mental health agency.
Is a background check required? If so, is a criminal record a disqualification for certification?
There is no background check specifically required for certification in terms of the application, however prior convictions may be a barrier to gaining an agency affiliated counselor license which is required to be 'officially considered a Certified Peer Counselor'.
What is the cost of the certification test?
Part of the training
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?
Is there a statewide certification body?
Please provide as much information about the certification board/body as possible.
Peer Support Program HCA Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery Email: [email protected] Phone: 360-725-1325 Fax: (360) 725-1385 Mailing Address: PO Box 42730, Olympia WA 98504
Where can information be found for upcoming peer support trainings?
On average, how often are trainings held in your state?

Training providers (vendors) and their contact information.
The peer must be invited by HCA-contracted trainers to participate a training. Participants must be preapproved to attend a training. Invitations are sent out via email 4-5 weeks in advance.
What are the continuing education requirements?
Currently (2020) in flux due to the COVID19 pandemic and budgetary concerns, according to the HCA website.
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:
There are currently three CPC trainings available: 1. Standard training; 2. Family and Youth training; and 3. Bridge training. This training is for CCAR certified recovery coaches who meet the other HCA eligibility requirements. All trainings result in the same certification.
What are the different acronyms used to distinguish peer supporters and specific peer support specialties?
Certified peer counselor - CPC Youth and family certified peer counselors - sometimes called ""Youth Partners"", ""Parent Partners"" or ""Family Partners"" (Youth are between 12-18 or 13-25 years of age)
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?
Peer support is covered under a 1915 (c) Waiver called "WA Individual and Family Services (1186.R01.00)".
Is digital peer support available? Medicaid reimbursable?

Is there a statewide Peer Specialist organization?

Name of Statewide Peer Specialists Organization*

Peer Specialists Organization Website*

Peer Specialists Organization Primary Contact*

Are there conferences held in the state specifically for Peer Supporters?
Peer Workforce Alliance holds a Peer Pathways Conference annually.
Are there recognition or award opportunities for peer support specialists or Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?
Yes, there is a scholarship for costs associated with attending the peer training. The CLP Certified Peer Support Specialist Scholarship Fund can be applied for at:
Additional Info*

If there are recent changes to the certification process due to COVID-19, are the changes permanent, temporary or other?

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