IC&RC Peer Recovery & Support Specialist Certification

What is a Peer?

Peers are individuals with lived experience in recovery from substance use, mental health, or co-occurring challenges. They use their recovery experience to provide support and hope to individuals working through their own recovery.

Acronym:  Certification boards (CB)s will be required to use the acronym PR (for instance, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist; Certified Peer Recovery Coach; Certified Peer Recovery Mentor)

What is the difference between a non-certified Peer and an IC&RC Certified Peer?

While non-certified and IC&RC Certified Peers both use lived experience to guide individuals through the recovery process, only IC&RC Certified Peers are equipped with a scope of practice and peer core competencies. They are bound by ethical guidelines which protect the Peer, the individual, and the public. In addition, IC&RC Certified Peers are required to:

  • Participate in peer specific training in the competency areas of:
    • Advocacy
    • Recovery and Wellness
    • Mentoring and Education
    • Ethical Responsibility
  • Apply for certification through a formal application process
  • Sign and adhere to a peer-specific code of ethics
  • Take and pass the IC&RC Peer Recovery examination
  • Pursue continuing education credits to stay current on emerging trends and best practices

Why a Certified Peer?

Certification provides public protection and quality care. It requires a demonstration of competence and proves that the Peer is well trained, educated, and skilled in providing appropriate services. IC&RC Certified Peers are bound by a code of ethics which includes a formal sanctioning process if questions of ethics arise.

IC&RC’s Certified Peers are required to pass the IC&RC Peer Recovery examination. The examination has been developed through a peer-driven process to standardize the certification process and assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to provide peer recovery services. It is based on a rigorous, legally defensible, psychometric job analysis and updated regularly to
assure content stays current with changes in the field.

About IC&RC

IC&RC promotes public protection by setting standards and developing exams for credentialing prevention, substance use treatment, and recovery professionals. Organized in 1981, it has a worldwide network of over 50,000 certified professionals.

For information contact IC&RC at info@internationalcredentialing.org or by visiting the website at  www.internationalcredentialing.org/creds/pr.

IC&RC Certified Peer Fact Sheet

NBHA International Requirements for Certified Peer Recovery (PR) and Support Specialists

  • Lived Experience

A certified peer recovery and support specialist shall be in recovery for at least two years prior to certification.  Recovery is characterized by continual growth and improvement in one’s health and wellness that may involve setbacks. Because setbacks are a natural part of life, resilience becomes a key component of recovery.

  • Peer Recovery and Support Work Experience

500 hours of volunteer or paid work experience specific to the domains below.

  • Education and Training:

A high school diploma or jurisdictionally certified high school equivalency is required.

Additionally, 46 hours of training is required, specific to the Peer Recovery and Support domains with:

– 10 hours in the domain of Advocacy
– 10 hours the domain of Mentoring/Education
– 10 hours in the domain of Recovery/Wellness Support
– 16 hours in the domain of Ethical Responsibility

  • Non-Clinical Supervision:

25 hours of supervision specific to the domains is required. Supervision must be provided by an organization’s documented and qualified supervisory staff per job description. The NBHA PR Certification Board must approve all supervisors.

  • Examination

All applicants are required to pass the IC&RC Peer Recovery Examination.IC&RC has developed a Candidate Guide for professionals preparing for the Peer Recovery Examination.

*Exam may be waived by the CB during final grandfathering period, August 15 to September 15, 2018. Once grandfathering closes, all candidates applying for the PR credential would have to meet all standards including passing the examination.  The exam can only be waived during a grandfathering period.

  • Code of Ethics

The applicant must sign a peer recovery specific code of ethics statement or affirmation that the applicant has read and will abide by the code of ethics.

  • Cost of Certification

$100 (inclusive of the IC&RC examination)* Please use the form at the bottom of the page to make payment.

*During the final grandfathering period, August 15 to September 15, 2018, a reduced fee of $40 is available.

  • Recertification

20 hours of continuing education earned every two years, including six hours in ethics.

Download Application

Training and Information


For more information on training opportunities available, please visit www.nevadabha.org/training.

Application Fee 

Please use the form below to pay your application fee. Fee goes up to $100 on February 1 2018.

  • Price: $40.00
  • $0.00
  • American Express