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.


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 (self-attested).
  • Must have a minimum of 200 hours of direct practice (volunteer or paid) in a peer recovery support environment (supervisor-attested).
  • Must provide evidence of earning 60 contact and training hours (CEs) of peer recovery-focused education and training.
    • 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 $235 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.
  • Payment of a $200 non-refundable renewal 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