Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS)


Looking for Initial CPRS Training?

The Office of Recovery Services is pleased to announce a new website  portal for information about Peer Recovery Specialist (PRS) trainings.  At this site, you will be able to see PRS classes that are being offered, find a list of all DBHDS-approved PRS trainers and submit an application for training.

Visit www.vaprs.org for more information. 

The Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) is credential for individuals with personal, lived experience in their own recovery or experience as a family member or loved one. CPRS services are an important component in recovery-oriented systems of care. By offering insight into the recovery process based on their own experience, CPRSs are able to provide a unique perspective to those with similar life experiences.


The role of the CPRS reflects a collaborative and strength-based approach, with the primary goal being to assist individuals and family members in achieving sustained recovery from the effects of substance use and/or mental health issues. CPRSs are not clinicians; they serve in a supportive role within the community and/or treatment setting.  They do not replace other professional services; they complement the existing array of support services. 


The CPRS is not a sponsor, case manager or a therapist but rather a role model, mentor, advocate and motivator.


Services provided by the CPRS are a critical component of services that will substantially improve an individual’s ability to sustain recovery and wellness.




For more in depth information on the requirements please review the downloadable application above.


Formal Education: Minimum high school diploma/GED.


Peer Work Experience: 500 hours of volunteer or paid experience specific to peer recovery services.


Current Job Description: Copy of current peer recovery specialist job description, obtained from current employer, and which must be signed by both the applicant and their immediate supervisor.


On-The-Job Supervision: 25 hours of on-the-job supervision of qualifying work experience in the peer recovery specialist domains.


Education/Training: 72-hour DBHDS CPRS Training Curriculum


Examination: Once application is approved, applicant must pass the IC&RC Examination for Peer Recovery Specialists (PR examination).