New information 05/2024

In July of 2023, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)  issued the National Model Standards for Peer Support Certification. This guiding document identified some areas in which our North Carolina Peer Support Program could be strengthened, including our current training and certification process. To allow time to further examine these standards and determine how to best incorporate them, the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Use Services (DMH/DD/SUS) is temporarily pausing the review and approval of new peer support training courses. This pause affects only new courses. Peer Support certification remains accessible state-wide and there will be no impact on the current availability of Peer Support services.



The Department of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Use Services recently announced a pause on new Course Submission.  Please see the statement above and reach out to if you have any questions.

The North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist (NCCPSS) Program outlines the processes for submitting, reviewing, and approving a curriculum for training in North Carolina. Individuals or organizations interested in owning a course for peer support specialist training in NC must follow this process to submit their course for review and approval by the Program before training in NC. The NCCPSS Program has nine (9) domains that make up the content of an Approved Course. Each domain has different core concepts that tie into the primary domain. Below are the domains that constituent the content of an Approved Course for peer support training in NC:

  • Commitment to Personal Recovery                                        
  • Relationship Building
  • Peer Support Interaction
  • Systems Competencies
  • Ethics and Boundaries
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Trauma-Informed Practice
  • Support of Service Members and Families
  • Cultural Competencies and Awareness

The Training allows potential CPSS to understand their role and the roles of other professionals in the behavioral health service delivery system. The content of the Approved Course provides the basic knowledge and skills to equip peers to offer hope and support to others on their recovery journey. The domains and their corresponding core concepts may be accessed under the Course Submission Documents tab.

Approved Course Hours

The NCCPSS Program Approved Courses are at least fifty (50) training hours (a minimum of 40 hours of face-to-face instruction and 10 hours of pre-work or homework). The training prepares individuals to offer peer support services for others in recovery from mental health and substance use challenges. During the training, potential CPSS build their knowledge and practice skills using content covered under the nine (9) domains, addressed by the core concepts, and practice skills. The training hours are accomplished in one of the following ways:

  • Fifty (50 hours) of face-to-face instruction
  • Forty (40) hours of face-to-face instruction and ten (10) hours of pre-work
  • Forty (40) hours of face-to-face instruction and ten (10)  hours of homework

Certified Trainers of an Approved Course must conduct the training to meet the NCCPSS Program requirements. Course Owners must ensure that participants complete the fifty (50) hours of required training before receiving their certificates. Information about missing training hours and how to make up for these hours are included in the NCCPSS Training Policies and Procedures.

Course Submission Timeline

The NCCPSS Program will accept new courses within a specified time. Courses submitted before or after these dates cannot be reviewed but may be submitted in the next submission period. The Approval Process tab outlines the Course Approval process, and the Course Submission Documents tab provides the list of documents to be presented for review. A course submission packet will be considered incomplete if all required documents and the submission fee are not received during submission.

Please visit the Course Submission Documents tab for electronic copies of the submission documents.