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

Peer Recovery Application Change (March 28, 2022)

The Minnesota Certification Board is pleased to announce the addition of the Minnesota State-based Peer Recovery Exam option to the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) credential.  The new exam is available beginning on March 28, 2022. Candidates beginning their application on or after this date will be able to select the new state-based exam as an option. The following is a summary of key points about the exam:

  • Eligibility: Candidates applying for the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) certification may choose to complete the Minnesota State-based Peer Recovery Exam or the IC&RC Peer Recovery Exam. The Minnesota State-based Peer Recovery Exam will only be accepted toward the CPRS credential.  Candidates applying for the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Reciprocal (CPRSR) credential must complete the IC&RC Peer Recovery Exam.
  • Cost: Through funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the cost of applying for certification as a CPRS with the Minnesota Sate-based Peer Recovery Exam will be $70. This is a limited time cost reduction while funds are available. The cost of applying for certification as a CPRS with the IC&RC Peer Recovery Exam will continue to be $150.
  • Format: The Minnesota State-based Peer Recovery Exam includes 75 true/false or multiple-choice questions. The exam is designed to be delivered online with a remote proctor at the applicant’s desired location.
  • Time: Candidates are allowed 2 hours to complete the exam.
  • Content: The exam is based on the IC&RC Peer Recovery domains. The exam also includes questions specific to 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.

The Minnesota Certification Board has also made a number of minor changes to its peer recovery specialist credentials.  A summary of changes is provided below.

  • Increased Continuing Education for CPRSR Certification. 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 and aligns requirements for the CPRSR certification with the CPRS certification. 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.
  • Verification of Lived Experience. All new candidates applying for the CPRS and CPRSR certifications will be required to verify that they have a personal lived experience related to substance use

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

The Approved Supervisor (Peer Recovery) credential is intended for appropriately certified or licensed professionals in the behavioral health field (CPRSR, ADCR-MN, LADC, LPCC, etc.) who are dedicated to providing exceptional supervision to Certified Peer Recovery Specialists and are committed to their professional development.

Requirements:

  • Current certification (e.g., CPRSR, ADCR-MN, AADCR-MN) or licensure (e.g., LADC, LPCC, LICSW) in a behavioral health field in the state of Minnesota.  The credential must be maintained in good standing for the duration of approval as a supervisor.
  • 3 hours of education (e.g., training, workshop) that covers each of the following topics: the MCB Peer Recovery Specialist Code of Ethical Conduct; the IC&RC Peer Recovery domains; relevant statutes, rules, and standards relevant to the provision of peer recovery services in Minnesota; and supervision concepts pertinent to peer recovery.
  • Must live or work in Minnesota at least 51% of the time

Fee:

  • $30 (2 years of approval)
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