How to Become a Colorado Certified Prevention Specialist

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Certified Prevention Specialist in Colorado. Your work is so important in preventing risky behaviors by increasing protective factors and reducing risk factors across the state. Applied prevention will enhance a person’s skill sets and develop confidence, increasing their ability to handle challenging situations. Also, increase the community’s knowledge and understanding of the adverse conditions associated with substance abuse and risky behaviors. This can be accomplished by enhancing efforts that identify and cultivate sustainable resources, as well as how to access those resources and services. We are here to assist you in any way we can through your certification process. COPA recognizes the professional contributions of prevention specialists in Colorado communities. This certification represents that a Certified Prevention Specialist has met the required training and supervision standards to serve their organizations with prevention best practices.

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 Prevention Specialist Certification Committee is a subcommittee of COPA that approves certification for trained Certified Prevention 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

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

Full requirement information can be found in the Certification Manual.

Benefits of Certification

  • Improves prevention work in our communities.
  • Helps our state respond to the growing demand for quality, accredited prevention programs.
  • Provides international recognition and new professional opportunities.
  • Supports competitive wages and qualifies prevention specialists for upward mobility.
  • Recognizes that prevention specialists are key to the delivery of behavior health services.
  • Promotes opportunities for skill and career development.
  • Promotes reimbursement of prevention services rendered by insurance/Medicaid.
  • Promotes ethical practice by adherence to the Prevention Code of Ethics.

‘Many people work effectively in prevention without necessarily considering themselves “prevention specialists.” They may be teachers, religious leaders, administrators of employee assistance programs or law enforcement officers. However, we think it’s time for them to make this important connection, to view themselves and their work within the field of prevention — and to be recognized for their expertise. The Colorado Certified Prevention Specialist (CCPS) certification is for professionals providing services in the field of behavioral health and within the prevention continuum — which starts even before birth.’

~Colorado Prevention Specialist Certification Committee

Contact the Certification Manager