How to Become a Colorado Peer & Family Specialist

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Certified Peer and Family Specialist in Colorado, your work is so important in supporting people in their recovery from substance use and behavioral health disorders. We are here to assist you in any way we can through your certification process. COPA recognizes the professional contributions of peers in Colorado communities. This certification represents that a Certified Peer and Family Specialist has met the required training and supervision standards to serve individuals in their treatment and recovery processes.

Certification credentials are based on experience and competencies as set by the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium. All applicants are required to demonstrate that they have completed the training requirements, have had the appropriate amount of supervision, and have passed the IC&RC exam. The Colorado Peer and Family Specialist Certification Committee is a subcommittee of COPA that approves certification for trained Certified Peer and Family Specialists by reviewing training, continuing education, supervision, and work experience; facilitating examinations; and promoting reciprocity with other jurisdictions.

Certification Manual

This manual contains all of the information professionals need from completing the application and recertification. We request that you review this manual in detail before beginning the application process.

If you are applying for recertification please review the manual for essential recertification requirements.

Regardless of what step you are on with your application or recertification, this manual should be kept on hand for guidance on requirements and certification portal navigation.

Requirements for Certification

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Supervision
  • Code of Ethics
  • Lived Experience
  • IC&RC Exam

Full requirement information can be found in the Certification Manual.

Benefits of Certification

  • Recognition that peers are key to the delivery of behavioral health services.
  • Ability for peers to achieve and maintain professional certification.
  • Opportunity for skill and career development.
  • Consistency in training that aligns with recognized standards of practice.
  • Potential application for Medicaid reimbursement.

‘This certification is intended as a professional credential for individuals with lived experience in behavioral health. Lived experience is defined as having one or more of the following: A history of substance use disorder and currently engaged in recovery, a history of mental health diagnosis, and/or a history of caregiving to a person with substance use or mental health disorders.”

Colorado Peer & Family Specialist Certification Committee

Contact the Certification Manager