National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (NCPRSS)

Peer Recovery Support Specialists are individuals who are in recovery from substance use or co-occurring mental health disorders.  Their life experiences and recovery allow them to provide recovery support in such way that others can benefit from their experiences. 

The purpose of the experiential-based National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist Credential is to standardize the knowledge and competency of peer support to individuals with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders.  

The NAADAC/NCC AP Peer Recovery Support Specialist Code of Ethics outlines basic values and principles of peer recovery support practice.

TEST-EXEMPTION OFFER - Open through December 31, 2018

NCC AP is now accepting applications from qualified peer recovery support specialists for the NCPRSS national credential based on demonstrated competence, skills, training, and experience, without testing.  This limited one-time offer is available until December 31, 2018.


Why obtain the NCPRSS Certification?

  • Position yourself for career opportunities and reimbursement potential.
  • NCC AP's NCPRSS Certification is endorsed by Optum as a reimbursed credential.
  • Distinguish yourself as a recovering person that evidences competency and knowledge in recovery support services.
  • The NCPRSS credential reflects a commitment of the highest ethical standards for Peer Recovery Support Specialists. 

Eligibility & Application Requirements

  • Must have a High School diploma, GED or higher. Candidate must submit copy of GED, high school or higher diploma or transcript.
  • Must have a minimum two years of recovery from lived-experience in substance use and/or co-occurring mental health disorders. Supervisor must attest to candidate having a minimum of two years of recovery from lived-experience in substance use and/or co-occurring mental health disorders on page ten of the application.
  • Must have a minimum of 200 hours of direct practice (volunteer or paid) in a peer recovery support environment. Supervisor must attest that the candidate has a minimum of 200 hours of direct practice (volunteer or paid) on page ten of the application.
  • Must provide evidence of earning 60 contact and training hours (CEs) of peer recovery-focused education and training. At least 50% of all training hours must be face-to-face.
    • Must include at least 48 hours of peer recovery-focused education/training, including education in documentation, community/family education, case management, crisis management, Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC), screening and intake, identification of indicators of substance use and/or co-occurring disorders for referral, service coordination, service planning, cultural awareness and/or humility, and basic pharmacology.
    • Must include at least six hours of ethics education and training and six hours of HIV/other pathogens education and training within the last six years.

Please note the following equivalencies: 1 hour of education/training = 1 CE; 1 quarter college credit = 10 CEs; and 1 semester college credit = 15 CEs.

  • Candidate must submit a signed statement that they have read and adhere to the NAADAC/NCC AP Peer Recovery Support Specialist Code of Ethics.
  • Two references, at least one of which must be professional. References must accompany NCPRSS application in a sealed envelope.
  • Candidate must mail application and all supporting documents with the non-refundable application fee of $150 postmarked no later than December 31, 2018 to: 

44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 301
Alexandria, VA   22314



  • NCPRSS Renewal Application
  • 20 hours of continuing education every two years, including six hours of ethics training.
  • Submission of a signed statement that the candidate has read and adheres to the NAADAC/NCC AP Peer Recovery Support Specialist Code of Ethics
  • Provide work history for the two years prior to renewal
  • Self-attestation of ongoing recovery from substance use /co-occurring mental health disorders, if applicable.
  • Payment of a $200 non-refundable application/re-certification fee.

Examination Details

The Peer Recovery Support Specialists written examination of consists of 125 multiple-choice, objective questions. The examination tests candidates’ knowledge in the areas of the role of the Peer Recovery Support Specialist (25%); basic concepts of recovery practice (40%); pharmacology (15%); and professional issues (ethics) (20%).

Testing Schedule

All NCC AP examinations are now available throughout the month at a date and location convenient for you! You now have more flexibility and opportunity to get your national credential than ever before. Locate a Testing Center in Your Area

Suggested Test Preparation Materials