Who’s eligible to participate in DBSA Peer Specialist Training?

Participants must be individuals with the personal experience of living with a mental health condition or substance use condition, publicly willing to identify as such, and age 18 or older.

Can family members or friends participate?

Family members or friends are an integral part of the support system and other organizations provide training for family and friend peers. The focus of the DBSA training is for individuals who have experienced a mental health or substance use condition.

Can people in recovery from substance use disorder participate?

Our curriculum focuses broadly on recovery principles and skills and can be beneficial for people in recovery from both mental health conditions and substance use conditions.

Is this a national certification?

There is currently no national certification for peer specialists. Peer specialist training and certification requirements are determined on a state-by-state basis.

Does this training course meet my state training and certification requirements?

Each individual state sets its own peer specialist training and certification standards, and many states do accept DBSA Peer Specialist training courses. Please check applicable requirements with your state certification body, office of consumer affairs, or service delivery system before making the decision to participate in a DBSA Peer Specialist training course.

Does successful completion of this training course meet qualifications for VA peer support positions?

Successful completion of DBSA Veteran Peer Specialist training courses meets national competency standards set by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Mental Health Services for peer support employees. Successful completion of DBSA Core Peer Specialist training courses may also meet those standards if it can be used to obtain certification as a peer specialist in your state. Please consult with your state for specific information.

Does participating in this course make me eligible for a job?

Many individuals have increased their skills and marketability by successfully completing a DBSA Peer Specialist training course. However, participating in the course does not guarantee employment or a volunteer position as a Peer Specialist.

How do I enroll in the course?

Interested individuals must complete and submit a course application form by the scheduled deadline in order to be considered for participation. Enrollment is limited. Submitting an application form does not guarantee acceptance.

What types of payment are accepted?

DBSA accepts check and credit card payments and can invoice funders on request from the participant.

What’s the training schedule?

Total instruction time for the core training course is 40 hours, Monday-Friday. The course starts at 8:30 a.m. each day and concludes on Friday at approximately 4:00 p.m.

Is there a test, and is it required?

Post-training testing measures participant knowledge of core training competencies. Participants are encouraged to complete the test but it is not required by DBSA. However, state certifying bodies, employers, and/or funders may require test completion, and participants are responsible for determining applicable requirements.

When and where does testing take place?

Testing takes place online beginning the week following training.

Is there a fee to test?

Cost of testing is included the course registration fee.

Can I re-test if I don’t pass?

Individuals who do not earn a passing score are eligible to re-test at a later date.

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