Certification requirements for Peer Support Specialists are determined on a state-by-state basis. Many states require candidates to complete a Peer Support Specialist training program. There are several training requirement scenarios. Each state determines its own training requirements, which may include:
- State-approved training offered by outside organizations, such as DBSA’s Peer Support Specialist Course
- State-administered Peer Support Specialist training
- State-administered Peer Support Specialist training contracted through outside organizations
After successful completion of the training, candidates must meet certification requirements set by the state where they will practice. Certification is usually not transferable between states. If you move to another state, you will need to comply with that state’s certification requirements. This can mean you will need to take the training recognized by that state’s certification board. Please check with your own state’s certification board to understand the requirements.
The Department of Veterans Affairs requires Peer Support Specialists to complete either their state mental health department’s approved training and certification process, or to be trained and certified by organizations whose training the VA has approved. Once VA certification requirements are met, newly trained Peer Support Specialists are eligible to work at any VA facility throughout the country.