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National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) Approved Trainings

Mental Health America has approved the following trainings for our MHA National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) Certification:

  • RI International Peer Employment Training (PET): Since 2000, RI International and its training division, RI Consulting, have successfully trained and recruited Certified Peer Specialists. With one of the largest peer workforces in the world (650 and growing), all that we have learned over the years is reflected in our Peer Employment Training (PET) program, facilitated through RI Consulting. Also known as Certified Peer/Recovery Specialist Training, PET is facilitated nationwide, as well as in England and New Zealand. PET is the contracted training for the Veteran’s Administration. PER is successful because it provides tools needed to support people on their path to employment AND inspires action. Our graduates take with them an intense belief in the reality of recovery, and the inspiration to do this work. In every PET class, students are supported to recognize who they are and what they have to bring to the role of Peer Support Specialist. PET’s key principles are covered in-depth and practiced using real-to-life scenarios over the course of two weeks. PET meets all Peer Support Competencies identified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
  • The Institute for Recovery and Community Integration Certified Peer Specialist Training: Mental Health Partnerships, formerly the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, is home of the Institute for Recovery and Community Integration. The Institute has been authorized by the State Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to train and certify Peer Support Specialists and Peer Support Supervisors in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 2007. We have trained over 3500 Certified Peer Specialists and 1200 CPS Supervisors. The Certified Peer Specialist curriculum focuses on the principles and philosophy of recovery and, throughout the course relates to individuals by applying their personal lived experiences to the core skills, knowledge and beliefs of peer-to-peer support. The Certified Peer Specialist Supervisor course hones in supervisors’ skills, knowledge, and beliefs to ensure the growth and development of Peer Support Specialists as they serve in the peer environment.  Read more here. 
  • DBSA Peer Specialist Training: DBSA is a national leader in training for the Peer Specialist workforce: people who use their lived recovery experience to assist others in regaining hope, making the most of their chosen paths to wellness, and moving forward to achieve their goals. Our training curriculum was first piloted under a cooperative agreement with the Center for Mental Health Services/SAMHSA, and DBSA has trained Peer Specialists in 27 states and territories since 2004. DBSA offers 5-day Core and Veteran-specific Peer Specialist training courses in locations throughout the US, primarily on a contract basis. Our comprehensive and highly interactive training delivers a solid foundation in recovery principles, peer support intervention skills, and ethical practice. Training includes small group practice sessions to enhance the mastery of support skills and is followed by a post-course online exam to confirm knowledge. Successful completion of the DBSA Veteran Peer Specialist training course meets training/certification requirements for individuals seeking employment as VA peer support specialists.
  • Project Return Peer Support Network’s Peer Professional Training & Placement Program: The Project Return Peer Professional Training and Placement program prepares people who are, or who have been, consumers of mental health services for roles in the public mental health system as employees or volunteers. Individuals who complete the program are able to support the recovery of others and transform our mental health systems through the skilful use of lived experience. This training includes classroom instruction and an internship.
  • WISE U Peer Support Training Academy: The WISE U Peer Support Training Academy is based on SAMHSA core principles for peer support as well as organizational knowledge from NorCal Mental Health America, one of California’s oldest peer-run consumer advocacy agencies. The ten-day (90+ hours) interactive training course is offered four times during the year with a primary goal of placing WISE U graduates in permanent full-time or part-time, paid or volunteer peer positions in the public mental health field.
  • Appalachian Consulting Group Peer Specialist Core Recovery Curriculum Training: The Appalachian Consulting Group has trained peer specialists in 35 states after creating the GA Certified Peer Specialist Curriculum introduced in 2001 for pioneering Medicaid-billable peer support services. Our curriculum, or ACG and state-approved modifications of it, is used in most states and parts of Canada.
  • MHAAO Peer Wellness Specialist Training: Mental Health & Addiction Association of Oregon (MHAAO) has existed in some form for more than 35 years, always operating in a way that promoted peer values and recovery. Now one of the largest peer-run organizations in Oregon, MHAAO provides peer support to many, in addition to delivering training and technical assistance on a national scale. MHAAO’s Peer Wellness Specialist Training is an 80-hour training specifically designed to encompass whole health topics and prepare trainees to work in integrated settings. In this course, students learn about topics like the history of the peer movement, health across the lifespan, person-directed planning, collaboration with multidisciplinary teams, system navigation, cultural knowledge, trauma and crisis, recovery tools, boundaries, responsibilities, and ethical conduct, and more – all from the perspective of mental health and addiction lived experience.  
  • COPE: Co-Occurring Peer Education Training: COPE is an educational training program for people with lived experiences with mental health and/or substance use challenges to gain the skills and knowledge to become peer providers in Marin County, California. COPE is a 9-month program consisting of a 3 month Peer Counseling Course and a 6 months Peer Specialist Course.
  • Mental Health Association of San Francisco’ National Certification of Peer Specialists Training: This 40-hour training program prepares those interested in taking the National Certification for Peer Specialists (NCPS) exam 2 , covering all of the domains required to qualify for the exam. This training is also beneficial for those who are interested in enhancing their peer specialist skills. Our comprehensive program is highly interactive, using roleplays to ensure students are supported throughout the training period. All of our trainers identify as peers and/or family members. Developed in partnership with peers and clinicians, this instruction provides a comprehensive training manual that includes the history of the recovery movement, recovery principles and procedures, active listening, confidentiality, boundaries, professional conduct, trauma and crisis response, cultural humility, the foundations of integrated healthcare, activation, self-management, among others.
  • SHARE! Advanced Per Specialist Training: This training provides 120 hours of instruction in three consecutive courses (Peer Services 101, SHARE! Peer Toolkit, SHARE! Peer Bridging) where participants learn evidence-based and community practices to provide peer support and improve outcomes. These include self-help support groups, listening and disclosing, community building, recovery planning, the Helper Therapy Principle, trauma-informed care, conflict resolution, nonviolent communication, peer bridging, 28 tools developed by SHARE! to provide support without the need for authority or policing, critical time management and more. Participants complete projects and internships to ground their learning in on-the-job experience. Participants grow as they complete the training, so that they can model the continuing recovery process to those they serve.SHARE! the Self-Help And Recovery Exchange has supported people’s personal growth and change as a peer-run organization in Los Angeles, California since 1993. With a staff of more than 40, SHARE! operates two self-help support group centers, a peer respite, a peer SHARE! Collaborative Housing program, a self-help support group referral service, volunteer-to-job opportunities, and technical advice. Since 2016, SHARE! has prepared more than 500 Californians with lived experience of mental health issues and/or substance recovery for the peer workforce through SHARE! Advanced Peer Specialist training.
  • Peer Support Learning for the 21st Century:  The Peer Support Learning for the 21st Century is an 80-hour training certification course for individuals who have a lived personal and/or family member recovery experience from mental illness, addiction, and/or trauma. The competency-based PSL course is highly engaging, interactive, skill-centered and, in many ways, provides for a life-changing experience. The course prepares participants to gain competencies in the discipline and practice of peer support services. Participants will gain skill-based practice in the areas of recovery, resilience, peer support interaction, workplace wellness, recovery documentation, sharing their recovery story, cultural humility, interpersonal communication, facilitation skills, whole health peer support, reframing diagnostic labels and criteria, character building, suicide “peervention,” trauma-informed care, addiction “peervention,” and developing a Professional Resilient Employee Plan (PREP). The course also offers CEU’s for people in the field of nursing, counseling, and social work. If you are interested in this course, Chris Martin at chris.martin@cbhi.net or Scott. Palluck@cbhi.net at 209-471-4570
  • PEERiodical Peer Support Training: This is a 60-hour comprehensive training for individuals interested in becoming Nationally Certified Peer Support Specialists or to further their existing knowledge of Peer Support. This training uses The 5 Primary Tools: 1. Authentic Engagement, 2. Conscious Exploration, 3. Personal Wellness, 4. Empowered Advocacy, and 5. Possible Together as it’s founding principles. Not only preparation for a Peer Support Career, PEERiodical curriculum supports the development of relationship-building skills and recovery support that benefits anyone on their personal recovery journey. This nationally approved curriculum is split between 40 hours of face-to-face training and 20 hours of online course work. The Core Competencies of PEERiodical curriculum include Peer Support Basics; Communication; Engagement; Support; Lived Experience; Personalizing Peer Support; Recovery Planning; Resources, Services, and Supports; Health, Wellness, and Recovery Skills; Crisis Management; Collaboration and Teamwork; Leadership and Advocacy; and Professional Growth and Development. Through several competency checks, role plays, and quizzes, the practical skills learned throughout this course are ready to be applied in real-life circumstances upon completion of this course.

Other approved trainings:

Interested in becoming an NCPS training partner? Fill out our application here

Return To MHA National Certified Peer Specialist Certification Page.