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Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Certification

OhioMHAS will begin formally certifying Peer Recovery Supporters July 1, 2016. Peer Recovery Supporters in an all-inclusive term consisting of peer specialists, recovery coaches, and peer supporters. In order to have a formal certification, individuals delivering peer services needed to have one title for consistency. Peer Recovery Supporter was chosen as it represents the three largest sections of the current peer workforce.

Certification Application Video

Peer Support Certification

Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Basics

  • Individuals eligible to apply to be a Certified Peer Recovery Supporter include: Individuals with a direct lived experience of a mental health and/or substance use disorder who are in recovery
  • In Ohio, the definition of recovery is: The personal process of change in which Ohio residents strive to improve their health and wellness, resiliency, and reach their full potential through self-directed actions.
  • Individuals eligible to apply to be a Certified Peer Recovery Supporter include:
    • Individuals with a direct lived experience of a mental health and/or substance use disorder who are in recovery
    • In Ohio, the definition of recovery is: The personal process of change in which Ohio residents strive to improve their health and wellness, resiliency, and reach their full potential through self-directed actions.
  • OhioMHAS Peer Recovery Supporter caseload size should not exceed 20 individuals.

Peer Recovery Supporter Certification 101 webinar Series

E-Based Academy Courses

E-Based Academy Courses for Individuals Applying for the Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Certification OR for Individuals who will be Supervising Certified Ohio Peer Recovery Supporters

  1. Introduction to Peer Recovery Support
  2. History of Addiction for Peer Recovery Supporters
  3. Ethics and Boundaries for Peer Recovery Supporters
  4. History of the CSX Movement for Peer Recovery Supporters
  5. Helpful Tips for Peer Recovery Supporters Entering the Workforce
  6. Health and Wellness in Peer Recovery Support
  7. Cultural Competence in Mental Health and Addiction Recovery
  8. Human Trafficking Training for Peer Recovery Supporters
  9. Supervision for Peer Recovery Supporters
  10. Trauma Informed Care in Peer Recovery Support
  11. Ohio S-BIRT: An Introduction to S-BIRT and Motivational Interviewing

Individuals who have completed the Integrated Peer Supporter training have already completed 12 hours of E-Based Academy Courses and ONLY need to complete the Ethics and Boundaries and Supervision for Peer Recovery Supporters. The E-Based Academy may be accessed at http://www.ebasedacademy.org/lms/. E-Based Academy courses are free of charge. For clinicians who will be supervising Certified Ohio Peer Recovery Supporters, you may earn 14 CEUs for completing the E-Based Academy courses.

Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Certification Exam

OhioMHAS is pleased to announce that individuals with a direct lived experience of a mental health or substance use disorder who are interested, may now take the Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Certification Exam on-line. The on-line version is the same as the in-person version with the same parameters. Test takers will have a maximum of 3 hours to complete the exam and will need a passing score of 70%. If you are interested in taking the exam on-line, please e-mail mindy.vance@mha.ohio.gov with your first and last name and state your interest in taking the exam. An account will be created for you and a link to the test with your individual password will be e-mailed directly to you.

If you would like to request a reasonable accommodation, please e-mail ohiopeersupport@mha.ohio.gov and we will work with you to make alternative arrangements.

Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Certification Process

OhioMHAS formally began certifying Peer Recovery Supporters July 1, 2016. Peer Recovery Supporters is an all-inclusive term consisting of peer specialists, recovery coaches, and peer supporters. In order to have a formal certification, individuals delivering peer services needed to have one title for consistency. Peer Recovery Supporter was chosen as it represents the three largest sections of the current peer workforce.

Individuals with a direct lived experience of a mental health or substance use disorder who are in recovery are eligible to apply for the OhioMHAS Peer Recovery Supporter Certification. Interested individuals must:

A. Have completed an approved 40 hour in-person peer training. Click here for examples.

B. OR have a total of 3 years (work or volunteer) experience as a peer supporter, recovery coach, peer specialist, or peer navigator.

C. All individuals are required to complete the approved 16 hours of E-Based Academy courses, pass the Ohio Peer Supporter Exam, and submit a BCI Report.

If you are interested in applying for the certification, please follow the steps below:

  1. Complete all sections of the Application for Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Certification
  2. Sign the Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Code of Ethics
  3. Make a certification packet containing all of the following information:
    1. Completed Application for Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Certification
    2. Signed Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Code of Ethics
    3. Copy of a certification of completion for a 40 hour in-person peer training OR Human Resource Office contact information for previous work or volunteer experience as a peer supporter, recovery coach, peer specialist, or peer navigator
    4. Copies of certificates of completion for 16 hours of the approved E-Based Academy Courses
    5. A BCI dated within 30 days of signing this application
    6. If you have a conviction on your BCI that has occurred within the last 3 years, please also complete and include the Peer Recovery Supporter Certification Disqualifying Offence Waiver Final
  4. Mail or scan, fax, or e-mail your certification packet containing the below information to: The P.E.E.R. Center 750 E. Broad Street Columbus, Ohio 43205; lkiner@thepeercenter.org or fax to 614-453-4845.
  5. For individuals who have taken the OhioMHAS Integrated Peer Supporter Training, the 12 hours of E-Based Academy courses that were already taken will be honored. In order to make up the 4 additional hours, individuals who have taken the OhioMHAS Integrated Peer Supporter Training will only need to take the Ethics and Boundaries and Supervising Peers courses E-Based Academy Courses.
  6. Background Check:
    Individuals who are applying to be a Certified Peer Recovery Supporter, it is necessary to submit a Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) Report. To find a location in your community than can run a BCI, please visit http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/backgroundcheck. For individuals who are not currently working, please complete a Community Family Partnership Team application to cover the cost of the BCI. Individuals will be reimbursed provided funds are available. Applicants must have BCI and/ or FBI checks sent directly to The PEER Center from the authorized agency (agency that performs the BCI and/or FBI checks).

Once The P.E.E.R. Center has ensured your application packet is complete, their designated staff person will bring your application to OhioMHAS where it will be reviewed for approval. If The P.E.E.R. Center determines that your application is not complete, they will return it to you for correction. 

Examples of Approved 40 In-Person Peer Trainings

  • Examples of approved 40 hour in-person peer services training models include:
    • Appalachian Consulting
    • OhioMHAS Peer Supporter Training
    • Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR)
    • InterNational Association of Peer Specialists (INAPS)
    • Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Certified Peer Specialist training
    • Michigan Department of Community Health Peer Support Specialist Training
    • North Carolina Peer Support Specialists training
    • Arizona Peer Specialist Training
    • Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) 40 hour training
  • If you have taken or are interested in taking a training not listed, please contact the Bureau of Recovery Supports (ohiopeersupport@mha.ohio.gov) to ensure the training meets core competencies required by OhioMHAS.

Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Re-Certification

Peer Recovery Support Certifications are good for a period of 2 years. Certified Peer Recovery Supporters will complete the re-certification application 60 days prior to the date the certification expires. Applicants will need to submit proof of completion of 30 hours of Continuing Education Credits (CEU) to include trainings on trauma informed care and ethics and boundaries. CEU hours that can count towards the recertification must be earned between the effective date of the certification and date the recertification application is submitted.


Remaining in Good Standing

As with other professional and licensure and certifications, it is necessary for individuals to remain in good standing in order to maintain certification. The Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Code of Ethics is the professional standard of conduct for certification. When working for a provider, Consumer Operated Service, or other organization, it is crucial to abide by the organization’s Employee Code of Conduct and the OhioMHAS Certified Peer Recovery Supporter Code of Ethics.

Conflict of Interest

Professional licensure and certification bodies have clear standardized expectations to ensure individuals adhere to professional standards. In most cases, the standards include a Code of Ethics. When allegations of ethical violations occur, individuals from the certifying body are assigned to take a closer look. For Certified Peer Recovery Supporters, there is a formal Conflict of Interest process. Either Supervisors of Certified Peer Recovery Supporters or individuals they are partnering with for services may file a Conflict of Interest Form.

Depending on the complexity of the Conflict of Interest, the overall process may take a few months. Your patience is appreciated during this process. The OhioMHAS Conflict of Interest Review Committee will consist of four OhioMHAS staff members. All recommendations will be presented to the OhioMHAS Deputy Director of Treatment and Recovery.

Supervising Peer Recovery Supports

An essential component to the incorporation of Peer Recovery Supporters in any organization is regular supervision. In making the decision to assign a supervisor Peer Recovery Supporters, take the following variables into account. The potential supervisor should:

  • Have a thorough understanding of and believe in recovery
  • Believe sharing lived experience is helpful
  • Be available for regular supervision
  • Supervise no more than 5 Certified Peer Recovery Supporters.

Organizations interested in becoming certified for peer services may apply after July 1, 2016. In order to be certified, organizations must employ Certified Peer Recovery Supporters. Individuals who supervise peers must either be a licensed clinician or Peer Recovery Supporter with at least 5 years work/volunteer experience delivering peer services. Supervisors must complete the 16 hours of E-Based Academy courses specific to peer services and complete the 4 hour in-person OhioMHAS Effective Supervision of Peers training. 14 of the 16 hours of E-Based Academy courses provide Continuing Education Credits. Currently, most courses are available on the E-Based Academy. Individuals interested in supervising Peer Recovery Supporters may begin taking the on-line courses by visiting http://www.ebasedacademy.org/lms/  Additional courses will continue to be added. OhioMHAS is working to schedule regional 4 hour in-person supervision training. Please visit the OhioMHAS training calendar for details.

OhioMHAS Public Data Base

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