Peer Recovery

Peer Recovery Specialists help a person become ready and willing to seek treatment (if needed) and enter recovery by helping the person explore their options for recovery or treatment.  Peer Recovery Specialists ask questions, offer insight, and help service recipients as they become whole, resourceful, and capable of choosing what is best for them.

Peer Recovery Specialists use a strengths-based approach helping service recipients find and utilize their values, assets, and strengths while supporting them in achieving success.  They recognize that it is normal for recovering service recipients to have gaps in their skills or development.  The role of the specialist is to help service recipients recognize and fill these gaps with the skills needed.  Peer Recovery services focus on the present and future and are based on partnership with the recipient.

The role of Peer Recovery Specialists can be viewed on a continuum of services and falls between the role of recovery support individuals/recovery sponsor and the substance abuse or mental health counselors.  The role of the Peer Recovery Specialist has emerged from the recognition of a need to reconnect substance abuse and mental health treatment to the larger continuum of recovery management.  The peer is not a sponsor or a therapist but rather a role model, mentor, advocate, and motivator.

Updates & Announcements

Education Requirement Updates (January 1, 2021)

Effective January 1, 2021, education requirements for initial certification for the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Reciprocal must meet the following additional requirements:

  • Education must be completed through an approved provider or the training event must be pre-approved to determine it is in alignment with the IC&RC peer recovery domain requirements.
  • Education must be delivered fully in a synchronous format. 
  • Education must include information of the principals and the characteristics of substance use and opioid use disorder, evidence-based approaches to their treatment, and understanding of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and the potential for rejection of MAT as part of treatment by some cultural communities.

Current approved providers of the peer recovery curriculum can be found on our Approved Peer Training page.

This policy replaces any previous policies found in current or outdated applications.  All application packets are being updated to reflect this information.  For questions, please contact mcb@mcboard.org

Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) Credential Updates (March 1, 2021)

The Minnesota Certification Board is pleased to announce updates to its Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) credential. The changes to the credential are effective March 1, 2021.  The following is a summary of significant changes to the credential:

  • Simplified Application: MCB has greatly revised the application to make it simpler to complete.
  • Increased Initial Education Requirement: MCB increased the initial education requirement from 40 hours to 46 hours for this credential. Increasing the education requirement, brings the CPRS in line with the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Reciprocal (CPRSR) credential and is consistent with the length of training being provided by most training providers in Minnesota. 
  • Opioid Use Disorders Training: The initial 46 hours of training will include information on the principals and the characteristics of substance use and opioid use disorder, evidence-based approaches to their treatment, and understanding of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and the potential for rejection of MAT as part of treatment by some cultural communities. This will provide certified peer recovery specialists with critical information that will help them to be effective in the work with peers.
  • Approved Education Providers: The initial 46 hours of training must be provided by an approved training provider. This will help to ensure that applicants will receive quality training that is consistent with the standards of the credential.  MCB will offer a list of approved providers on its website.
  • Supervision Requirement: MCB has simplified it’s supervision requirements for the CPRS credential. Under the new requirements, if you are employed as a Peer Recovery Specialist by a Department of Human Services licensed facility or a Recovery Community Organization (RCO) (as defined by Minn. Stat. § 254B.01, subd. 8), you will be supervised by a licensed professional at that facility and MCB will have no additional requirements for supervision. If you are practicing as a Peer Recovery Specialist outside of a Department of Human Services licensed facility or a Recovery Community Organization, you must be working under the supervision of an MCB approved supervisor or Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Reciprocal (CPRSR) and maintain logs of your supervision.
  • Increased Continuing Education. MCB has increased the hours of continuing education necessary during each two-year recertification period from 20 hours to 30 hours.  This change will help to keep certified peer recovery specialists apprised of the vast amount of information necessary to be successful in their roles.

For information on how these changes may impact you, please see below for a summary of implications for new applicants and currently certified professionals:

New Applicants:

If you do not meet the necessary requirements for certification due to the newly implemented changes (e.g., completed a 40-hour training rather than a 46-hour training, completed training from an unapproved provider, etc.), please contact mcb@mcboard.org to request an exception during our transition period.  

Current Certified Peer Recovery Specialists (CPRS):

  • Supervision: If you are employed as a peer recovery specialist by a Department of Human Services (DHS) licensed facility or a Recovery Community Organization (RCO), you no longer need to fulfill additional supervision requirements for MCB. You will not be required to have a supervision agreement or waiver on file and you will not be required to submit supervision logs at the time of your recertification.  If you are a working as a peer recovery specialist outside of a DHS licensed facility or and RCO, you must continue to be supervised by a CPRSR or an MCB Approved Supervisor.  You must submit your supervision log at the time of recertification and/or as requested by MCB. 
  • Continuing Education: You will be expected to demonstrate 30 hours of continuing education (including a minimum of 6 hours in professional ethics and responsibilities) at the time of your recertification. If you are unable to meet this requirement due to the timing of the implementation, please contact mcb@mcboard.org to request an exception during our transition period.

Current Approved CPRS Supervisors:

If you are currently an approved CPRS supervisor, MCB no longer requires you to be approved if you are working in a DHS licensed facility or an RCO and only providing supervision to certified peer recovery specialists working within your organization.  You must still meet supervision requirements as determined by your organization, other regulatory organizations, and/or payers. 

If you are providing supervision to individuals working outside of DHS licensed facilities or RCOs, the Minnesota Certification Board will continue to require that you are approved as a supervisor.

If your current employment situation does not require you to be an approved CPRS supervisor through MCB, you may still wish to continue to maintain your status to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in providing supervision to CPRSs.  MCB has continued to keep the fees ($30 for two years of approval) and continuing education requirements (6 hours every two years) minimal. 

Individuals Seeking Approval as a CPRS Supervisor:

If you are not currently an approved CPRS supervisor and wish to pursue this status, MCB is pleased to announce a revised and simplified application process.  Please see our website for additional details. 

Current Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Reciprocals (CPRSR)

If you are currently a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Reciprocal (CPRSR), these changes will have little to no impact on you.  No specific changes have been made to your credential at this time. While the continuing education requirement for the CPRS credential has increased to 30 hours every two years, the continuing education requirement for the CPRSR credential remains at 20 hours every two years.  MCB will explore aligning the continuing education requirement for the two credentials at a later time. If changes are made, individuals who possess this credential will be notified accordingly of the changes made as well as an implementation plan and timeline. 

Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS)

The Certified Peer Recovery Specialist credential is an entry-level state credential.  This credential demonstrates basic competency in peer recovery. 

Requirements:

  • 46 hours of training
  • Passing score on IC&RC Peer Recovery Exam
  • Must live or work in Minnesota at least 51% of the time

Fees:

  • First-time certification: $150 (includes processing fee, exam, and one year of certification)
  • Annual renewal fee (one year): $75
  • Biennial renewal fee (two years): $150
  • Retest fee: $125

Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Reciprocal (CPRSR)

The Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Reciprocal credential is a reciprocal credential.  This credential demonstrates competency for advanced peer recovery specialists that have accrued sufficient supervised experience.

Requirements:

  • 500 hours work experience
  • 46 hours of training
  • 25 hours of supervision
  • Passing score on IC&RC Peer Recovery Exam
  • Must live or work in Minnesota at least 51% of the time

Fees:

  • First-time certification (included processing fee, exam, and one year of certification): $150
  • Annual renewal fee (one year): $75
  • Biennial renewal fee (two years): $150
  • Retest fee: $125

Upgrade from CPRS to CPRSR

If you possess a good standing CPRS credential and have achieved the additional requirements necessary for the CPRSR, you may complete an upgrade form to immediately upgrade your credential.

Requirements:

  • CPRS credential in good standing
  • 500 hours of work experience
  • 25 hours of supervision

Fee:

  • $30

Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Approved Supervisor

This approval is intended for individuals who do not possess a CPRSR that wish to provide supervision to individuals with the CPRS credential. 

Requirements:

  • Certified or licensed professional in behavioral health field (CPRSR, ADCR-MN, LADC, LPCC, etc.)
  • 500 hours of work experience
  • 46 hours of education
  • Must live or work in Minnesota at least 51% of the time

Fee:

  • $30 (2 years of approval)
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