How do I get into a CPS training?
The most recent Bulletin, OMHSAS-16-12 identifies the following criteria to be trained as CPS:
(a) Be self-identified individuals who have received or are receiving mental health services for a
serious emotional disturbance or serious mental illness.
(b) Eighteen (18) years of age and older.
(c) Have a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma and
(d) Within the last three (3) years, have either maintained at least 12 months of successful work or
volunteer experience, or earned at least 24 credit hours at a college or post-secondary educational
Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) – A condition experienced by a person under 18 years of age who currently or at any time during the past year had a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or
emotional disorder of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within the current
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual; and that resulted in functional impairment which substantially
interferes with or limits the child’s role or functioning in family, school, or community activities.
Serious Mental Illness (SMI) - A condition experienced by persons 18 years of age and older who, at any time during the past year, had a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder that
met the diagnostic criteria within the current DSM and that has resulted in functional impairment
and which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. Adults who would
have met functional impairment criteria during the referenced year without the benefit of
treatment or other support services are considered to have serious mental illness. Substance use
disorders and developmental disorders are not included.
What about peer specialist supervision and what qualifications are needed to supervise peers?
Peer Specialist Supervisors. A supervisor of certified peer support specialists shall meet one of the following:
A mental health professional who has completed the Department-approved
peer specialist supervisory training; or
A person who has a bachelor’s degree in sociology, social work, psychology, gerontology, anthropology, political science, history, criminal justice, theology, counseling, education or a related field from a program that is accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) or the CHEA, or an equivalent degree from a foreign college or university approved by the USDOE; and two years of mental health direct service experience that may include peer support services; and has completed the peer specialist supervisory training curriculum approved by the Department; or
A person who has a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma and four years of mental health direct service experience that may include peer support services, and has completed the peer specialist supervisory training curriculum approved by the Department.
A full-time equivalent peer specialist supervisor shall not supervise more than seven (7) full-time equivalent CPSs. Supervisory staff time for part-time peer specialist supervisors shall be at least proportionate to the ratio of one full-time supervisor to seven CPSs.
Supervisors shall conduct a minimum of one face-to-face meeting with each certified peer specialist per week with additional support as needed or requested.
Supervisors shall maintain a log of supervisory meetings which documents;
The date of the supervision meeting;
The length of time in the supervision meeting; and
A summary of the points addressed during the meeting.
Certified peer specialists shall receive at least six hours of direct supervision and mentoring from the supervisor in the field before working independently.
The immediate supervisor of a CPS shall determine the need for additional supervision or mentoring prior to allowing a CPS to work independently.
Staff training and professional development
PSS agencies shall develop a written staff training plan that ensures that each CPS receives ongoing individualized training appropriate to their identified strengths and needs and the other requirements identified in this section. The training plan shall include a description of the opportunities for certified peer support specialists to network with other certified peer support specialists both within and outside the PSS agency.
PSS agencies shall provide opportunities for CPSs to meet with or otherwise receive support from other CPSs both within and outside the agency. Staff training plans shall identify learning objectives specific to providing services to the population being served that ensure that certified peer specialists and their supervisors are sufficiently skilled to provide services in a developmentally appropriate and culturally competent manner and that staff attain and maintain the peer support certification required.
Peer specialist supervisors shall complete a peer specialist supervisory training course approved by the Department within six months of assuming the position of peer specialist supervisor.
Peer specialist supervisors may not provide PSS unless they are certified peer specialists and comply with the continuing education training requirements in (7).
CPSs shall complete the Department-approved core certification training curriculum prior to providing PSS.
CPSs shall complete a minimum of 18 hours of continuing education training per calendar year beginning with the first calendar year after the year in which the CPS obtains certification. The 18 hours of training shall include 12 training hours that are specifically focused on peer support or recovery practices, or both.
Documentation of completion of required trainings shall keep kept in each staff’s personnel file.
Who is the target audience of your programs and services?
The Institute's programs and services are currently marketed to systems, agencies, and organizations and individuals. Individuals as well as agencies are welcome and encouraged to contact the Institute to learn about our programs or services. Courses are offered throughout the State and we are happy to bring training opportunities to your area.
Recipients of behavioral health services have a right to request and receive recovery and community integration services from county systems. We encourage consumers to be active self-advocates and to contact their local behavioral health system, behavioral health agencies, social service agencies and peer and/or peer-supporter organizations if there is a course that you would like to have in your community.
If you are interested in becoming a Certified Peer Specialist, please request a training in your area.
If you live in Philadelphia County, PA and are interested in taking the Certified Peer Specialist training, please contact:
If you live in Montgomery County, PA and are interested in taking the Certified Peer Specialist training please contact:
Maureen Feeny-Byrnes, CPS
If you live in Delaware County, PA and are interested in taking the Certified Peer Specialist training please contact:
James Klasen, CPS
If you live in Chester County, PA and are interested in taking the Certified Peer Specialist training please contact:
If you live in Bucks County, PA and are interested in taking the Certified Peer Specialist training please contact:
Anthony J. Pacifico, Coordinator of Rehabilitation Services
I would like to host a training? What do I do?
If you are interested in scheduling a continuing education or other training or want more information about Institute courses, please contact:
Sendy Alcidonis, Manager, Learning and Development
Bob Turri, Business Manager
I lost my CPS or WRAP certificate. How do I get a replacement?
If you have lost your certificate, contact the Institute for Recovery & Community Integration by calling 267.507.3888 or via email email@example.com. You will need to provide us the name and dates of the training. There is a small fee for replacing certificates.
Updated: January 22, 2016 - Price Increase
Copies of Certificates: $10.00 per copy
Original Certificates: $15.00 each
We can now accept online payments.