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Training and Certification

How to Become a Peer Support Specialist (PSS) or Peer Wellness Specialist (PWS)

Anyone who:

  • Is at least 18 years of age;
  • Is not listed on the Medicaid provider exclusion list​; and
  • Identifies as:
    • A current or former mental health services consumer; 
    • A person in recovery from an addiction disorder who has abstained from alcohol and other drugs for at least 2 years; 
    • A person in recovery from problem gambling; or 
    • A family member of a current or former recipient of addictions or mental health services.​​

​The Traditional Health Worker website ​provides complete information about training requirements. Requirements include:

Peer Wellness Specialists (PWS) must complete an 80-hour training program​.

Peer Support Specialists (PSS) must complete a 40-hour training program.

PWS and PSS may waive these training requirements if they submit required documentation with their certification application by June 30, 2021. See Section 3 of Oregon Administrative Rule 410-180-0325 to learn more.

To apply for certifi​cation:

All applicants must pass a criminal history background check.

  • MHACBO will perform the background check for CRMs.
  • OHA will perform the background check for other applicants.​​

PSS and PWS must recertify every three years as described on OHA's Recertification Process page​.  

​To qualify for recertification, PSS and PWS must complete 20 hours of continuing education as described in OHA's Continuing Education Requirements.

The Traditional Health Worker website lists the approved Continuing Education programs that meet OHA requirements. 


PSS and PWS Descriptions

Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon - For Certified Recovery Mentor certification

Traditional Health Worker website - For other PSS and PWS certification

Approved Oral Health Training for PSS and PWS Certification

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