Saturday, December 10, 2016

New York State Peer Specialist Certification

New York State Peer Specialist Certification
By Tara Davis, Certification Coordinator, The New York Certification Board

Some History and Information on the Process

As many of you know, increasingly the dream of hope offered by the delivery of peer recovery services is no longer considered “alternative,” but is something that is more accepted; that more agencies are incorporating into their menu of services; and is even Medicaid billable! Exciting times indeed as we witness massive (and long overdue) changes to our healthcare system.

History of the NYCPS Certification
In 2014, the New York State Office of Mental Heath officially launched the Academy of Peer Services, the training platform that would become the basis for the certification. Peer leaders from across NYS were instrumental in developing this course work.
In 2015 the NYPSCB (New York Peer Specialist Certification Board) was formed. The NYPSCB is also formed of peer leaders in the state, and included some of the same people who developed the course work.

The NYBSCB began to issue certifications as of August 2015, and, as of September 2016, over 750 professionals have been certified as New York Certified Peer Specialists. 

The NYCPS Certification Process
For those of you new to the process, general information about certification as a New York Certified Peer Specialist, including the application, can be found on our website here:

Tip: Visit our website for the most up-to-date information regarding certification. Announcements and updates will be posted there!
The first step is to complete the core courses offered by the Academy of Peer Services.

The Academy offers free, online training funded through the NYS Office of Mental Health and can be accessed online here:

Once coursework has been completed, candidates wishing to apply for certification should submit an application and all required documentation to our offices according to the instructions found in the application. Processing time for a complete application is typically 4-8 weeks (it can take longer if any of the required documentation is missing.)

Tip: The key to being approved is that all requirements for certification must be met and all required documentation submitted. Use the checklist in the application to make sure you are submitting everything that’s required!

Standard Launch
In February 2016, the “full” or “standard” level of certification (NYCPS) was launched. NYCPS was first offered to candidates already certified as New York Certified Peer Specialist Provisional (NYCPS-P) and anyone with an application in process who meets the requirements. This level of certification is intended for candidates that have been providing peer services in a work or volunteer setting for one year or more. To date (September 1, 2016) we have issued NYCPS certification to 97 professionals.
For more information and to view the requirements please visit our website at:

The Standard application will be available soon and posted on the website at that time.

Annual Renewal Standards
The Annual Renewal Standards are 10 hours of peer specialist specific training, but the board has not yet made a final determination on what training will be approved for CEUs (Continuing Education Units). It is very likely to include coursework from the Academy of Peer Services. Once a determination is made, we will send out an announcement and post details on the website.

Please contact us with any questions at:

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