Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Certification Process
Individuals with direct lived experience of a mental health and/or substance use disorder who are in recovery are eligible to apply to become Certified Peer Recovery Supporters.
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 interested in becoming certified need to submit an application packet containing:
- Completed OhioMHAS Application for Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Certification
- Signed copy of the Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Code of Ethics
- Proof of completion of a 40-hour in-person peer services training OR proof of 3 years of work/volunteer experience as a peer recovery supporter
- Proof of completion of 16 hours of eBased Academy Courses.
- Proof of passage of the Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Exam
Individuals applying for certification must also complete a BCI background check.
e-mail or mail the completed application to:
The PEER Center
Attn: Lisa Kiner
205 N Hamilton Rd
Columbus, OH 43213
Once The PEER Center has ensured the application packet is complete, their designated staff person will bring the application to OhioMHAS where it will be reviewed for approval. If The PEER Center determines that an application is incomplete, they will return it to the applicant for correction.
Examples of approved 40-hour in-person peer services training models include:
- OhioMHAS Integrated Peer Recovery Supporter Training
- Appalachian Consulting
- Arizona Peer Specialist Training
- Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR)
- InterNational Association of Peer Specialists (INAPS)
- Michigan Department of Community Health Peer Support Specialist Training
- North Carolina Peer Support Specialists training
- Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Certified Peer Specialist Training
If you have taken, or are interested in taking, a training not listed, please contact the Bureau of Recovery Supports (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ensure the training meets core competencies required by OhioMHAS.
The required eBased Academy courses for individuals applying for the Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Certification and those who will be supervising Certified Ohio Peer Recovery Supporters are:
- Introduction to Peer Recovery Support
- History of Addiction for Peer Recovery Supporters
- Ethics and Boundaries for Peer Recovery Supporters
- History of the CSX Movement for Peer Recovery Supporters
- Helpful Tips for Peer Recovery Supporters Entering the Workforce
- Health and Wellness in Peer Recovery Support
- Cultural Competence in Mental Health and Addiction Recovery
- Human Trafficking Training for Peer Recovery Supporters
- Supervision for Peer Recovery Supporters
- Trauma Informed Care in Peer Recovery Support
- Ohio S-BIRT: An Introduction to S-BIRT and Motivational Interviewing
These 11 courses are a total of 16 hours of on-line learning. Individuals who completed the OhioMHAS Integrated Peer Supporter Training prior to September 2016 have already completed 12 of the required 16 hours. To complete the remaining 4 hours, these individuals must complete the Ethics and Boundaries for Peer Recovery Supporters and Supervision for Peer Recovery Supporters courses.
The eBased Academy may be accessed at: http://www.ebasedacademy.org/lms/. eBased 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 eBased Academy courses.
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, and have completed the OhioMHAS Integrated Model Training, please e-mail OhioMHAS at email@example.com. Please include your first and last name and state that you are interested in taking the exam.
If you are interested in taking the exam, and have completed another 40 hour training or are using work/volunteer experience in lieu of the 40-hour training, please email Mindy Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first and last name and state that you are interested in taking the exam.
Once OhioMHAS receives your e-mail, an account will be created for you and a link to the test with your individual password will be sent directly to you.
For reasonable accommodations, please e-mail email@example.com and we will work with you to make alternative arrangements.
As with other professional, 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.
Individuals interested in applying to become an Ohio Certified Peer Recovery Supporter must complete a Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) background check. This BCI report must be less than 30 days old when an application packet is submitted to OhioMHAS for review.
To find a location in your community that can create a BCI report, please visit the Ohio Attorney General’s Website. If you are currently unemployed, you might be able to be reimbursed for the cost of your background check. Please complete a Community Family Partnership Team (CFPT) application and submit your information to OhioMHAS. Reimbursements are made at the sole discretion of OhioMHAS provided funds are available.
If you are a multi-state offender, meaning you have a criminal record in a state other than Ohio (or have been convicted of a federal crime), you must also complete an FBI background check. Please note that you do not have to be convicted of a crime to have a criminal record. If you were charged with a crime in a state other than Ohio (even if you were not convicted), your state BCI report might list you as a multi-state offender.
All BCI and FBI checks can be mailed directly from the authorized BCI office to The PEER Center. Having your report mailed directly to us will prevent unnecessary delays.
Please have BCI/FBI reports mailed to:
The PEER Center
205 N Hamilton Rd
Columbus, OH 43213
When you go for a BCI check, you will be asked for a “reason code” which explains why you are having the check done. The Ohio General Assembly assigns these codes and peer recovery support does not yet have one. Therefore, you should use the code “NO ORC” (the BCI office’s code for “other”) and specify “Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter Certification” as the purpose for the background check.
The FBI does not have an “other” code. If you need an FBI check, please use the code “NCPA/VA,” which is the “Volunteer with Children Act.” Although peer recovery supporters will not be working with children, using this code will run the correct type of background check.
Background checks submitted from offices other than the Ohio Attorney General’s will not be accepted.
FBI Rapsheet Request
Sometimes FBI reports say that an applicant “may not meet standards for employment.” If this happens, the certification process requires the applicant to get a copy of their FBI rap sheet, which is a completely different document from an FBI report. FBI rap sheets can be obtained from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at no cost. Due to federal regulations, the FBI rap sheet cannot be requested by or sent directly to The PEER Center. You must obtain your own rap sheet and have it sent to your address by following the instructions on the report. Once you have received the rap sheet you should forward a copy to The PEER Center.
You can request the release of your FBI rap sheet using the form here.
Please note: The “Request for Release: FBI Rap Sheet” form is created by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The AG’s office has let us know that the fax number contained on the form is no longer a working number. Although they have not yet corrected their form, we have been told that you should fax this request form to 1-866-750-0214.
Individuals who have been convicted of one of the 36 “Disqualifying Offenses” cannot become Ohio Certified Peer Recovery Supporters. A complete list of disqualifying offenses is below.
If you have had any criminal convictions within three years of applying for certification, you need to complete and sign a Non-Disqualifying Offense Waiver.
Individuals who are currently on probation or parole cannot be certified. You must wait until you have completed your probation/parole and are completely “off paper” before applying for 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.
If you are interested in a training, please contact OhioMHAS at firstname.lastname@example.org for a current list of trainings.