Is there a state-endorsed certification process?
Yes, WV Bureau for Medical Services defines a certification process. There is also West Virginia Cert Board for Addiction & Prevention Professionals which offers the IC&RC certification.
Does the state differentiate between Mental Health Peer Support Specialists and Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?
No, PRSS is someone who self identifies as someone with life experience of being diagnosed with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder.
What are the educational requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Have a high school diploma or GED equivalency (not applicable to 16-17-year old’s applying to be a PRSS)
What are the personal requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Self-identify as an individual with life experience of being diagnosed with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder which meets federal definitions. Must be well established in their own recovery; currently in recovery for a minimum of two years and not have received SUD treatment for the preceding six months, except for MAT which is considered a part of recovery.
What are the professional requirements needed to apply for a peer specialist training program?

What are the training requirements to become a Certified Peer Specialist?
Must complete the Bureau for Medical Services (BMS) PRSS webinar with an 80% or higher score in order to be certified. It is a 45 minute webinar, plus an exam.
What is the average cost for CPS training?
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all)
Other potential funding sources.

Is there a state-wide certification test?
No but PRSS webinar exam must be passed with a score of 80% or higher
What are the personal/professional requirements for certification, if they differ from attending the training?
PRSS application which includes the Attestation of Recovery Statement and three letters of reference - one (1) page or less in length, from individuals familiar with your Service Experience.
Is a background check required? If so, is a criminal record a disqualification for certification?
PRSS application asks applicants to indicate and explain if they have had any licenses, certification or registrations suspended, revoked, or surrender; if they have had a complaint filed against them; or if they have been convicted of a felony and/or crime that harmed another person. - There is no indication whether or not it will disqualify from certification. Fingerprint-Based Background check required for certified PRSS who work for a company that bills Medicaid.
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?
Is there a statewide certification body?
Please provide as much information about the certification board/body as possible.
West Virginia Bureau for Medical Services 350 Capitol Street Room 251 Charleston, WV 25301 Phone: (304) 558-1700
Where can information be found for upcoming peer support trainings?
Training is always available online through WV LMS Public Learning Center:
On average, how often are trainings held in your state?
Available year round via webinar that is accessible anytime.
Training providers (vendors) and their contact information.
WV LMS Public Learning Center - Online Webinar
What are the continuing education requirements?
Continuing education of 30 hours must be completed every two years in the competency domains which must include six hours in ethics.
Who tracks CEUs?
Is there a certification requirement for CPS Supervisors? If yes, provide details of requirements and relevant information.
No, for Medicaid reimbursable services PRSS must be supervised by an individual who has a master's degree.
Additional specializations available for certified peer specialists:
Peers under the age of 18 can provide peer recovery support services to other peers under the age of 18. No adult PRSS can provide services to a minor.
What are the different acronyms used to distinguish peer supporters and specific peer support specialties?
PRSS - Peer Recovery Support Specialist
Are Certified Peer Specialists services Medicaid reimbursable?
Yes, must meet additional requirements: The individual must be employed by either a CBHC or LBHC. Must be supervised by an individual who has a master’s degree and is employed by the same provider. Individual cannot be a family member of the individual receiving the peer support services. PRSS needs to complete 40 contact hours of volunteer work or paid work at an agency or provider prior to Medicaid services being rendered. Must have current CPR/First Aid card. Must complete a Fingerprint-Based Background Check.
How are peer support services paid for by the state? What specific Medicaid waivers are used, if any?
SUD Peer Support is paid for through a Medicaid West Virginia 1115 Substance Use Disorder Waiver.
Is digital peer support available? Medicaid reimbursable?

Is there a statewide Peer Specialist organization?
Name of Statewide Peer Specialists Organization*
West Virginia Recovers
Peer Specialists Organization Website*
Peer Specialists Organization Primary Contact*
J.K. McAtee, [email protected]
Other relevant/helpful contacts:*

Are there conferences held in the state specifically for Peer Supporters?
PEER Summit offered annually by WV Recovers and Peer Recovery Support Services Conference, hosted by WV Department of Health and Human Resources
Are there recognition or award opportunities for peer support specialists or Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?
Ted Johnson Paradigm Pioneer Award
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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