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.
To be eligible to be certified as a Peer Recovery Supporter (PRS) in the State of Ohio, you must have a direct lived experience of mental health and/or substance use issues. “Direct lived experience” means that you are personally in recovery from a mental health and/or substance use issue (having a friend or family member in recovery does not qualify). You may not apply for PRS certification if you have a Disqualifying Offense (there is no waiver for these offenses).
In Ohio, there are 3 ways to become a Certified PRS:
See the tabs below for detailed information on each route to PRS certification.
Submit ALL items to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To Apply for Certification using the OhioMHAS PRS Training, you must do the following:
The below PRS trainings, not organized by OhioMHAS, meet the requirements for the 40-hour Peer Recovery Supporter Training:
If you have taken or are interested in taking a training not listed above, please e-mail the certification team at email@example.com to ensure the training meets the core Peer Support competencies required by OhioMHAS.
To Apply for Certification using an Outside Training, you must do the following:
You may apply for certification without attending a 40-hour in-person training if: you have at least 3 years verifiable work experience in a position titled peer specialist, peer supporter, peer recovery coach, or peer navigator, AND you have a direct lived experience of a mental health and/or substance use issues.
To apply for Certification Using Work Experience, you must do the following:
Submit ALL items to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Peer Recovery Supporter (PRS) Certification is valid for a period of 2 years, after which individuals must apply for Re-Certification. Re-Certification Applications should be submitted within 60 days of certification expiration.
As with other professional licensure and certifications, in order to maintain certification, it is necessary for individuals to remain in good standing. 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 PRS Code of Ethics.
To apply for Re-certification, you must do the following:
Continuing Education (CE) Credit Hours:
The OhioMHAS PRS Certification is valid for a period of two years. During those two years, certified individuals are required to earn a total of 30 continuing education (CE) credit hours. CE credit hours that can count towards re-certification must be earned between the effective date of the certification and date the Re-Certification Application is submitted. You DO NOT need to submit certificates of completion for these credits – you only need to list the courses that you completed on your Re-Certification Application. Training hours must be listed on the Certificate of Participation. Keep your certificates of participation for your records! PRS Certifications are subject to audit.
Continuing Education Units or Certificates of Participation for PRS re-certification may be obtained in various settings that include attending in-person conferences, trainings or online learning courses.
Below are some samples of organizations that offer online learning resources:
Your re-certification CE credit hours must include at least 1 hour each of the following topics:
*You may find work incentive or benefit planning training/webinars through Work Incentive Seminar Events (WISE) at https://choosework.ssa.gov/wise.
To apply for certification or re-certification, you must obtain a criminal background check. Click here to find a background check agency in your area.
IMPORTANT: If you are applying for certification for the first time, DO NOT complete a background check until you have completed training, passed your exam and submitted ALL ITEMS on the Certification Application Packet Checklist (including eBased Academy Certificates of completion)
Background Check Codes:
Have background check(s) mailed directly to OhioMHAS at:
Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services(OhioMHAS)
ATTN: Peer Services
30 East Broad Street, 36th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
***IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO INCLUDE "ATTN: PEER SERVICES" IN THE ADDRESS! BACKGROUND CHECKS NOT SENT TO THE ATTENTION OF PEER SERVICES MAY NOT ARRIVE!***
***Background checks may take 30-45 days to arrive at OhioMHAS.***
To apply for certification as a Peer Recovery Supporter, you must submit certificates of completion for the below 11 eBased Academy courses.
Register for your free eBased Academy account at http://www.ebasedacademy.org. For technical issues with eBased Academy, email MHAHelpdesk@mha.ohio.gov.
Please ensure that you complete these exact course titles! There are courses in eBased Academy with very similar names.
IMPORTANT NOTES REGARDING EBASED ACADEMY:
An essential component to the incorporation of Peer Recovery Supporters in any organization is regular supervision. In making the decision to assign a supervisor to Peer Recovery Supporters, take the following variables into account. The potential supervisor should:
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, at minimum, and individual who:
Supervisors must complete the 16 hours of E-Based Academy courses specific to peer services and complete the four-hour, in-person OhioMHAS Effective Supervision of Peers training. Fourteen of the 16 hours of E-Based Academy courses provide Continuing Education Credits. Individuals interested in supervising Peer Recovery Supporters may begin taking the eBased Academy on-line courses by visiting http://www.ebasedacademy.org/lms/. Please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/ or the OhioMHAS training calendar for scheduled trainings. If you have questions about supervision, please e-mail email@example.com.
Guidance for Supervisors of Peer Recovery Supporters:
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.
The department recognizes that some certified Peer Recovery Supporters (PRS) hold credentials from other credentialing boards such as the Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board and the Chemical Dependency Professional Board. OhioMHAS is in support of holding a dual license and certification with clear delineation between the roles.
When employed and serving in a dual role as a Peer Supporter and/or counselor, it is an ethical obligation of all dually credentialed individuals to communicate clearly to clients the role in which they are functioning. It is essential to create clear and understandable distinctions between the duties of a Peer Recovery Supporter (PRS) and another licensed role to avoid any compromise of ethical boundaries with any other license. A Peer Supporter must avoid serving a client in both roles. Peer Recovery Supporters are encouraged to consult with their supervisor(s), or the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to clarify any dilemmas relating to professional practice.