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With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has placed prevention at the forefront of health care reform. Colorado is encouraging Prevention Specialist Certification in order to better meet the goals of the ACA, creating a professional workforce ready to offer consistent high-quality prevention services. Credentialing prevention professionals creates consistent standards for competent, well-trained, ethical prevention providers.

The substance abuse prevention field has a reputation and history of leading in cutting edge and best practices. Prevention is being recognized and included in policy and funding decisions at the federal, state and local levels. Research supports the growing need and interest in substance abuse professions.

In cooperation with its community partners, COPA administers the Colorado Certified Prevention Specialist program. The Certification for Prevention Specialist, or CPS, is recognized worldwide as the gold standard for competency in the prevention field. It is written into federal and state practice regulations and insurance legislation. Globally, the CPS is administered by the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC), the world’s largest credentialing organization in the field of addiction. The Colorado Certification for Prevention Specialist is awarded by the Colorado Prevention Certification Board, which works under the IC&RC’s strict credentialing guidelines.