National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS)

National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS)

Created in partnership with Mental Health America and now solely operated by

the National Certification Board for Behavioral Health Professionals.

Created in partnership with Mental Health America and now solely operated by the National Certification Board for Behavioral Health Professionals.

We are pleased to offer the National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) credential. The NCPS recognizes advanced competency in mental health, peer-to-peer services, which are focused on providing hope and support to those seeking recovery from a mental health condition and/or substance use disorder. NCPS’ have the lived experience as a person in recovery to engage and encourage others to build the skills necessary to achieve and maintain wellness.

NCPS certification is a professional, advanced-level peer support credential for people providing peer specialist services in behavioral, physical, and related healthcare settings. The NCPS credential requires a minimum of a high school diploma or general equivalency degree, as well as prior education, training, and work experiences that reflect the NCPS performance domains and core competencies specified by the Board.

    The NCPS is not designed to replace state-level peer support/peer specialist programs. It is designed to recognize peers with advanced, current experience who can meet NCPS certification requirements.

    The FCB, through its wholly owned subsidiary, the National Certification Board for Behavioral Health Professionals (NCBBHP), is pleased to offer the National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) credential. As such and until further notice, NCPS applications and exams will be processed using the FCB’s credentialing and examination systems, while the NCPS wall certificate will be issued by the NCBBHP.

    people talking

    The NCPS performance domains are:

    • Foundations of Peer Support
    • Foundations of Health Care Systems
    • Mentoring, Shared Learning, and Relationship Building
    • Activation and Self-Management
    • Advocacy
    • Professional and Ethical Responsibilities

    NCPS Certification Requirements

    Please carefully review the NCPS Certification Requirements BEFORE applying for certification.
    In general, qualified applicants must:

    1. Currently hold a state-level peer support specialist credential that required a minimum of 40 hours of training or have previously completed an equivalent 40-hour training program,
    2.  Have 2,000 hours of supervised work or volunteer experience providing peer specialist services within the five (5) years prior to application, and
    3. Obtain three (3) professional letters of recommendation.

    Applicants who can provide documentation of these qualifications will be approved to sit for the NCPS exam, and will be awarded the NCPS credential after earning a passing score on the NCPS exam.

    Application Fees

    Fee Type

    Fee Amount


    Application Fee


    One-time fee

    If NCPS credential is not earned within 12 months of application, a 12-month extension can be obtained with an extension fee.

    Exam Fee


    Fee is due with each exam attempt.

    Biennial Renewal Fee


    Fee is due every 24 months, on or before the NCPS expiration date.

    Application Extension Fee


    Fee is assessed for each 12-month application extension request.

    Application Process and Documents

    Earning the NCPS credential is a multi-step process. Applicants have a maximum of 12 months from the date that their application and certification fee is received to earn the NCPS credential. Within this time, their application must be approved and the exam must be passed. Applicants who do not pass the exam may re-take it within this same 12-month period. After that, a 12-month extension can be obtained by paying a fee equal to the original application fee.

    In general, the applicant creates an electronic application, pays fees, submits documentation, and provides Board forms to former or current employers and to persons providing recommendations for certification to complete and return directly to the Board. Work experience and recommendations submitted by the applicant are not eligible for certification purposes.

    The Board initiates the exam pre-registration and registration activities after the NCPS application and supporting documentation is approved. All exam activities occur online, including taking the exam. The Board administers the exam using remote proctoring. Details will be provided when the NCPS application is approved. The NCPS credential is awarded when a passing score is earned on the exam. Individuals who do not pass may retest every 30 days.

    Are you ready to apply?

    NCPS Application Forms

    Download the NCPS forms, provide them to the appropriate people to complete and submit directly to the Board on your behalf.

    NCPS Exam Information

    The NCPS exam is a 125 item, multiple choice exam of peer specialist knowledge and skills. The exam is administered using remote proctoring protocols. Additional information will be provided to applicants who are approved to sit for the NCPS exam.