Peer specialist certification requirements are determined on a state-by-state basis. Many states require an individual to first complete a Peer Specialist training program. There are several training requirement scenarios. Each state determines its own training requirements, and options may include
- state-approved training offered by outside entities such as the DBSA Peer Specialist training,
- state-administered Peer Specialist training, and
- state administered Peer Specialist training that is contracted through an outside organization.
After successful completion of the training, each state defines its own certification requirements that must be met. 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 employed 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 has been determined by the VA to equip peer specialists with necessary skills and competencies. Once VA certification requirements are completed, the individual is eligible to work at any VA facility throughout the country.