Peer Support Specialists Certification and Grandparenting Process

Peer Support Specialists Certification and Grandparenting Process

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To more formally recognize the value of peers in the workforce, Pennsylvania is moving to a new full peer certification offered by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB). This new formal certification will be necessary to provide Medicaid billable peer support services.

To make this transition as easy as possible for current Pennsylvania Peer Specialists, there will be a time-limited grandparenting process for those who wish to obtain the new full certification during the grandparenting period.

The grandparenting period began March 1, 2018, and ends August 31, 2019. The requirements for the grandparenting process must be met but no additional exam will be required.

The requirements to become grandparented are:

  • Peer must have completed the two-week peer specialist training from one of the recognized training vendors. Those two vendors are the Institute for Recovery and Community Integration and RI Consulting.
  • Complete the Certified Peer Support (CPS) grandparenting application and sign and date a peer-specific code of ethical conduct.
  • Signed and notarized release form.

There is no initial cost to peers for obtaining the credential as the grandparenting fee is being underwritten by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services (DHS), Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). The new CPS certification will be valid for two years.

This new formal certification through the PCB is designed to help strengthen the profession and give CPSs a stronger voice, while maintaining the essence of peer support in delivering recovery oriented services. We urge you to complete the process now, during the grandparenting period, to ensure you can continue to do the great work that you do.

This new formal certification will be necessary to provide Medicaid billable peer support services. The CPS grandparenting application can be found at this link.

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